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Can anyone tell me anything about this bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by RyanJD, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Hello DB side of TB! I've never posted anything over here. But I'd love to own an upright so I've been doing a little looking.
    I'm in the Midwest so my selection is pretty poor, especially in the used market.
    There's currently one on my local Craigslist. There are two crappy pictures of it and little to no info. I reached out to the seller but haven't heard back yet.
    Just wondering if anyone could tell me anything about it based on these two photos.

    00O0O_HkHuoOTu85_1200x900. 00X0X_2n3TnFs7iNs_1200x900.

    I don't know a whole lot about double basses, so I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks!
  2. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
  3. Ortsom

    Ortsom Banned

    Mar 23, 2016
    Sorry Ryan, I find it really difficult to say anything reliable on a bass from pics like that. It's not a Kay, and probably not an Engelhard or a Gretch either (not orange enough). Expect something young and not too far up-market, but prior to buying a DB really needs to be played & seen by a judicious eye.
    RyanJD likes this.
  4. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Its got 4 strings.
    RyanJD likes this.
  5. You're asking sixty blind men to describe an elephant. If you want a reasonable guess, we're going to need to see more.
    CatSquare and RyanJD like this.
  6. Yep, and Dominants I think. :)
    RyanJD likes this.
  7. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Yes, yes I know. I will admit to jumping the gun on posting this thread, as this has been the entirety of my conversation with the seller thus far:


    I'll call them later today if I don't get another response. With a 12 hour response time, this individual doesn't seem to keen on a quick sale anyways.

    Thank you for the helpful reply!

    I'll post again if I find out anything. I've never played an upright before, so I'm currently reading up on what to look for! (Also wondering if an upright would even fit in my sedan... I might have a transportation problem!)
  8. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Jumped the gun again with that thought. This video was awesome:

    Shouldn't be an issue if I walk away as a DB owner today! Here's hoping.
    robobass likes this.
  9. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    In case you and/or the seller didn't know, if there is a label, it is usually inside the f-hole. You might ask him to take a picture of that. And hopefully you know to steer clear of CCBs (Cheap Chinese Basses).

    Another thing to look out for is, since the seller has been using a Damp-It, is to make sure it hasn't been dripping inside and causing damage.
    RyanJD likes this.
  10. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Yup. I believe it's a CCB. The seller messaged me back and told me it's a Vienna Strings Hamburg bass. He's asking $1000. Probably not too much of a deal. It looks like these things sell new for around $1300. He sent some more photos:

    4397. 4396.

    It looks nice. Maybe not the right choice for a decent beginner instrument though, based on some info I'm reading. Still, since I've literally never even played an upright before, would it be worth looking at, if only for educational purposes?
    What would you offer for it?
    I'm just really wary of buying anything online. And the small music shop in my town carries one upright priced at over $3k. My options are limited without a lengthy drive. But I'm not sure I even want to invest a lot of time and money into the DB side of things yet.
    Decisions, decisions... I think I'll go look at it though. The seller is only a few minutes away.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  11. I checked with Vienna Strings Hamburg bass and the bass I see there has violin corners.
    Yours has gamba corners.
    All their bass lines seem to feature violin corners.
    Mmm. :confused:
    RyanJD likes this.
  12. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    OMG - the pic of the scroll/pegbox shows that the nut is very crude and poorly executed - there looks to be about 1/8in.(!) between the fingerboard and strings. It should (ideally) be about 1/32in., or less.
    This will greatly diminish playability, esp. in the lower ($$$$) positions.
    Can be easily fixed by a competent luthier, though.
    My $0.03.
    Thanks, and Good Luck.
    gnypp45, Carl Hillman and RyanJD like this.
  13. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Interesting. I wonder if it's just because it's an older model. Maybe the newer ones are violin style only.
    I'm going to look at it now, so we'll see for sure.

    Thanks for the info! I wouldn't have known about that!
    Don Kasper likes this.
  14. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    So I checked it out. It's in excellent condition and being sold by a very nice older couple for their son.
    Having never played an upright before, I really enjoyed my two minutes of noodling on it. It felt great.
    I shot them an offer of $750, Tom said they couldn't do it at that price, due to the condition and all the extras. (Pickup system, bag, stand, bows, etc.) He didn't counter-offer, which I thought for sure he would. That tells me he must be pretty firm on the price. He said he hasn't had a lot of interest though. I thanked them for their time and told them I would keep it in mind.

    Now, I want this. But I'm a noob. Please tell me now if I should steer clear... if I could talk Tom into $850, is it worth it? From my 15 minutes of talking about it, looking it over and dinking around with it, I'm very inclined to say yes.
    What does TB say? I seriously value any earnest feedback. (Whether or not it's what I hope to hear! :D )
    MR JEDI likes this.
  15. Skip it. It's not cheap Chinese but cheap Korean, which are just as bad unless you think having the neck fly off in the middle of a gig would be a good stunt.
    RyanJD likes this.
  16. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Yeah, not a good stunt. An expensive one, not a good one.
    I do know that this bass is at least 10 to 15 years old and was used back then in highschool/college bands quite a bit, based on what the seller's parents were telling me. I would imagine if the neck were to fly off, it would've done so already. I kind of get the impression it's proven itself. (At least to some degree.)
    If conventional and/or TB wisdom would dictate saving for something nicer, then I should follow that experience.
    Anyone else with words of wisdom?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  17. statsc

    statsc Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Burlington, VT
    So you've never played an upright bass before, you've "dinked around" with this one for 15 minutes, you don't want to invest much time into looking into other options, everyone on this forum has advised you against jumping right into this, and you're still ready pull the trigger on this one? What's wrong with this picture?

    How do you know how good this one plays and sounds if you've never played any others? If the seller "hasn't seen much interest" in this bass (that should tell you something right there!) and doesn't seem that motivated to get rid of it, what's the harm in looking around and trying some other options? Try out that one at the music store, make a drive of a few hours to try out some others, and if this one still steals your heart make an offer, but make it contingent on an inspection by a qualified luthier (like taking a used car to a mechanic before you buy it). Be aware that a cheap no-name instrument will be difficult to get rid of if the love affair cools or you want to move up in quality, whereas a more expensive and better quality instrument will hold its value and be more likely to return your original investment to you when you decide to trade up (or out).
    Carl Hillman and RyanJD like this.
  18. Acoop


    Feb 21, 2012
    Boy I'm little surprised at the response here. ... $1,000 for a playable upright with decent strings, bag, stand, bow and pickup. ... I think you're getting about $400 in extras so you're really buying a $600 playable bass. ... I'd think it's a bit of a no brainer and considering where you live you won't find this again. ... Call them back with another offer if you're feeling that strong about. If they say yes, then you can stop looking and start learning to play the upright. ... It's a long journey so get going.
    MR JEDI and RyanJD like this.
  19. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Thank you for your reply! I appreciate people taking their time to share their viewpoint.

    I'm not one to spend money lightly. I carefully weigh every purchase and aim to give every dollar I earn a job, because like most everyone else, my income is not disposable. I don't see anything wrong with this picture, as you posed. I'm taking the time to carefully weigh my options and get as much information as I can before making any sort of decision. (Although yes, I would've bought it on the spot for $750. That probably is a little rash...)

    I know (or believe) this bass sounds good, because I've listened to a lot of music that features a double bass, even if this is the first time I've ever played one. However, you're right. I don't know what it plays like in comparison to others. But it felt good to me because I was able to work my way through a little walking bass like that I can breeze though on an electric bass and it played pretty easily for being my first time. Still, I have no doubt there are double basses that play easier than this one.
    Also, the seller hasn't seen much interest because of our geographic location of the 393rd largest city in the US. :smug: (Our Craigslist rarely sees anything outside of some 20 watt guitar amps and assorted drum pieces!)
    I really do see your point as to the value of playing other uprights and taking this one to a qualified luthier before making any quick decisions. Thank you again for your insight.
    Lee Moses likes this.
  20. Look at it this way: you live in an area where decent gear is scarce, and this bass has stubbornly refused to sell.

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