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Can you tell something about this bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Siigri, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Siigri


    Oct 23, 2019
    2BE1DCBD-5A10-4D39-82A9-550842E28466.jpeg I just bought this bass and I’m very happy with it. Looks nice, deep beautiful sound and the price was not impossible.
    The history doesn’t really matter but if anyone knows more then me I would still like to know
    It says 2011 but the bass seems MUCH older...has someone done some fixing?
  2. Sean Riddle

    Sean Riddle Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Ventura, California
    Post some more pictures of the bass if you can! I imagine though from the label that it's some sort of shop bass either made in Germany, Czechoslovakia, or Romania. 2011 might be a serial number also.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Probably not, I think up until the end of WWII that area was actually part of Germany and called Schönbach. It's an historical instrument making region, just below Markneukirchen (which is in contemporary Germany). Strunals were made there once, I'm not sure about now. Can't go by looks or sound really, my bass was made in 2018/19... IMG_4846.jpg
  4. Siigri


    Oct 23, 2019
    The luthier I bought it from is Czech and the papers only said “ handmade, Josef Dvorak 2011”

    Attached Files:

    dhergert likes this.
  5. birgebass


    Nov 7, 2011
    Not sure.. Has an interesting tailpiece, though. Definitely not a conventional tailpiece.
  6. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Who/when/wherever made it, it's a handsome beast.
    unbrokenchain likes this.
  7. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California

    Very nice looking bass!!!

    I want to get one of those stands, looks really reliable.
  8. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Me too. Think I'll start scouring thrift shops for a department store mannequin.
    dhergert likes this.
  9. Siigri


    Oct 23, 2019
    I can 100% recommend This one is called “your sister in slavery”...very commonly used and easy to get from your family
    dhergert likes this.
  10. The sticker is Czech. Some leads:
    - Josef Dvořák is a luthier from Luby u Chebu, here is his website. Czech only, but there's not much information anyway. From 1979 he makes master violins and more.
    - "R" is short for "rok" which means year.
    - "Luby u Chebu" is a town on Czech/German border, where acoustic instruments traditionaly were made, and where a luthier training school was (and I believe still is) active. And where a big manufacturer Cremona was active through communist times, nowadays transformed to Strunal Schoenbach. In this article you can read that Strunal was exporting under name Josef Jan Dvorak. Strunal looks way differently from yours, as does the Josef Jan Dvorak logo.

    So I think that your bass is not export Strunal, rather it would be a work of Josef Dvorak the luthier. But it sure is not 2011 (or the 'road worn' techology really blooms). I guess that is is some older bass which origin I don't dare to guess. 'Original' Czech Schoenbach from 1910-20s look differently, but there were many significant luthiers everywhere back then in Czech. And this old bass got to Josef Dvorak for renovation, during which he planted the sticker there.

    The old basses often don't carry the brand sticker, probably never did. But look closely, maybe you can find a hand penciled name and year inside.

    If you want to learn more, try contacting the luthier through the website.
  11. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC

    An example of how awesome Talkbass can be.
    james condino, Reiska and Winoman like this.
  12. Henri Gross

    Henri Gross

    Sep 22, 2018
    Any ideas on what/why on the tailpiece?
    groooooove and dhergert like this.
  13. Siigri


    Oct 23, 2019
    Amazing! Thank you so much... I’ll try to investigate
  14. Matthias Hacker

    Matthias Hacker

    Apr 8, 2018
    I can´t say anything about this bass, but I´d be careful with any conclusions about the age. I do know an experienced luthier who had to do a repair on an old bass, when he opened the instrument it became obvious that it was brandnew and very professional aged. Mabe not the case with this one, but who knows. If it sounds right, who cares? As long as you don´t pay for the age, it´s fine.
  15. Siigri


    Oct 23, 2019
    Friend of mine suggested it could be one of Dvorak’s basses with rosewood front
    Based on the look
  16. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I'm just guessing that either the after-lengths are too long, or it's an effort to suppress overtones or wolf notes.
    groooooove likes this.
  17. I'm gonna guess it's a homemade attempt to mimic the proposed benefits of a ZMT tailpiece...

    james condino likes this.
  18. Hmmmm... I'm not too sure about that... Looks like spruce to me...
  19. I agree. By the photo, it looks a bit too well for a 100 years old bass. If it was a Czech bass, it would probably be older than 1948 or newer than 1990, because 1948-1990 the major (if not only) manufacturer was Cremona=Strunal. (Off topic: Even making basses had to be state controlled back then. Beware!)

    The tailpiece and the sharp edges of the C-bout seem atypical to me; my experience is limited, but I have a feeling that contemporary Czech luthiers tend to omit everything unnecessary. That's why I think the bass might be older.

    Look inside. The unlacquered wood inside the bass looks more grey with age (maybe because of the settled dust?), or at least don't shine like brand new.

    It is of course possible that it's not Czech bass at all, and Mr. Dvorak the luthier just got it under his hands.
  20. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    What's going on on the bottom of the lower bout to the right in the picture? Does that look like a layer of laminate chipped off? Hybrid?

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