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CL Bass Identification---flatback, hybrid?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by chriscrob, Jul 27, 2012.


  1. This bass has been on Craigslist in my area for awhile...the owner claims it is a hybrid (although he had never heard of the term---he just said it has a carved top). If it is worthwhile I could probably get it pretty cheap...I know about taking it a luthier along (I would probably ask if I can just have a one day full return policy and run it by a luthier that day if I did purchase it.)

    If it is actually an old hybrid, it could be pretty interesting. I figured that there are probably people on TB who would be more likely to establish the origins of this bass than one luthier or bass player who got to look at it---plus I always enjoy reading "Identify this bass/bow/music stand" type posts.

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    It's almost worth the whole purchase just for this awesome bag:
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  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Well, it was evidently made in 1982 in Cosa Rica. I don't know much about Central/South American basses. Don't see a lot of them, but that doesn't mean that it is or isn't a good thing. Don't know the luthier.

    It does appear to me to be a flatback hybrid. You can see the grain on the edge of the top vs plys. The finish on the ribs definitely looks to be the type you would see on plywood.

    The crack from the G bridgefoot down to the tail is pretty disconcerting. Passes right over/by the soundpost. If that hasn't been repaired really well by a luthier who you can talk to and will guarentee the work...I don't think I'd want any part of that unless you've got a lutheir pal who swears he can fix it.

    Dig the quilted bag, though.
     
  3. How cheap are we talking? The bag is neat. I'd have no interest in the bass... I'd be pretty surprised if the repair costs didn't exceed the value of the bass.
     
  4. Oh! Google translates "Reparado por" as "repaired by" so I assumed that meant that the bass was older than that repair. I could be very wrong though.
     
  5. That top crack is pretty nasty looking. Count on another grand for a professional repair, plus whatever else the luthier may suggest.
     
  6. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I sure see the crack running from the bottom of the f-hole but I don't see one from the G-foot of the bridge. Am I missing that, Troy? It does appear that there was a neck repair that used dowls or hidden bolts.
     
  7. Reasons TB is worthwhile---I looked right over the holes for the neck screws. Probably woulda seen it person but still. Learning to see what smarter people see is useful.

    I don't see the crack under the bridge either. It seems like it would show up in this picture:
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  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Not necessarily smarter (at least, in my case), just more experienced at looking for these things. :) I'm no luthier... not even close... so I can't tell exactly how or how well the neck-repair might have been done. I do know that I'd have no interest at all in buying this bass and having a professional repair it. FWIW, the bridge is in the wrong place, having been shifted northward.
     
  9. I really want to head towards more arco playing so a carved top is always tempting. I would definitely get it seen by the luthier who would be doing the work before doing anything. But I'm all about getting away from basses needing repair right now...

    He is asking $850 but I think he is getting pretty desperate...if you showed up with $600 cash I would be surprised if he turned you away. Especially once you start talking about repair costs.

    I talked to him about the crack...he said it couldn't expand because it went all the way from the f-hole to the side of the bass. Not sure if that's a good thing.
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, if you want to get away from repairs... :) A respected luthier once made it very clear to me that any bass with a carved top will eventually need some type of repair. Seams pop, cracks occur, etc. Although there's no guarantee, when it comes to a well-built new bass, it might go decades before anything happens. So, say you spend $600 on this bass. You'd dump a bunch of money into it having it repaired. All that and you won't really know how the bass generally sounds until all that is done because its current condition would hardly be representative. My advice: walk away... keep looking.
     
  11. Yeah, I was never likely to actually buy it. I've learned that lesson... I was just curious to see if anybody could identify its maker since the owner didn't know...I figured if it was something really nice it might be worth picking up even in its current condition. Also I was curious.
     

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