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Emanuel Wilfer Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by JonnyY, Dec 28, 2005.


  1. JonnyY

    JonnyY

    Dec 28, 2005
    Hey everybody,
    I plan on going to Berklee in a couple years and am looking at getting a better bass. (right now I have a Stentor Student) I was looking on the lemur website and and the Emanuel Wilfer basses immediately caught my attention. I live in Canada so I can't exactly play them whenever I want. Anyway if anyone has played the Gentleman Jazz, Edelweiss, or Upper Register, please tell me how they sound and feel.

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2005
    NYC
    They all felt decent. I played all of them, liked them, but at the end of the day they just felt like a German Factory bass, nothing special. I think that a Kolstein bass, or something along those lines would be a better bass. There were a few gem's there though.

    Just my .02
     
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I think Marco has a bass for sale and it could be the one that went to Berklee with him. So since that bass has already been to Berklee it might be a good omen. Check out the for sale stuff on this site.
     
  4. I spent several hours playing a Wilfer side by side with two Shens-one carved, the other hybrid. I much preferred the tone of the Shens over the Wilfer. To my ear the Wilfer did not have the rich sound of the Shens. It was just a thin tone. It was an eye-opening experience since the cost of the Shen hybrid was about 1/4 the cost of the Wilfer.

    That said, keep in mind that the sound will certainly vary from instrument to instrument. I might have played an exceptionally weak Wilfer. I would suggest that you make every effort to play several instruments before buying anything. There are several Canadians who regularily post here and they might know of some shops in your area.
     
  5. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Florida
    If you're looking at Wilfers and Shens, you probably ought to check out a New Standard as well.
     
  6. JonnyY

    JonnyY

    Dec 28, 2005
    thanks i guess for some of the info but to clarify the wilfers are carved right? i have been looking at some of the shens but i would only go for the Rogeri 300 and 800, or an older model that is similar. I am also looking for a fully carved bass. If i wanted a hybrid, I'd stick with my stentor.
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I think Most if not all Wilfer Basses are carved. As far as the Shens go, they made a Strelau 7/8 Gamba 800 model based on a Gemunder Bass up until a few years ago. I got one of them in 2001 and it's a gem. Here; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/ShenBass/SHENBass.htm
     
  8. TeHarr

    TeHarr

    Nov 8, 2005
    Winnipeg
    Heyya Johnny.

    Whereabouts in Canada do you live?
    In Toronto, the only spot I know that sells wilfer basses is the Long&McQuade on Bloor and Ossington. They come in anywhere between 4-15k there. The other shops (Heinl's Remenyi and Soundpost) haven't had any the times I've been there, though their selection is definately worth looking at.

    I played a Wilfer during the summer in Germany, and it's quite a nice sound on top of the handsome german curves ;)
     
  9. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    Florida
    I didn't know anything about Stentors, and I can't read minds...yet. :ninja:

    Arnold makes a fully-carved LaScala that is less-expensive than an Edelweiss or Gentelman Jazz. I think it's around $7500. Your Wilfers are $8500-$9000 according to Lemur. Do what you wish, but I think you'd be wise to explore all your options.
     
  10. JonnyY

    JonnyY

    Dec 28, 2005
    hey,
    I live in Hamilton. I couldn't find any info about the wilfer basses from L&M because when I called them they said they have a 10 and a 12, i don't know what those are by name. Also I am reluctant to buy a bass from L&M because I hear they are set up horribly. Anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
  12. TeHarr

    TeHarr

    Nov 8, 2005
    Winnipeg
    yep, L&M is a pretty horrible store to get a serious instrument from. smart man you are. I've tried two out there in that price range, and they aren't set up well, as you said. Buuuut it's the only place I know around that has them. If you're in the city you might stop by there just to try them out, before you order one from lemur or elsewhere.

    good luck!
     
  13. madeinthePRC!

    madeinthePRC!

    Nov 17, 2007
    Yeah i just got one today and it plays like a dream, the strings I used are great. Everything is there the growls, well except the really highs in the upper register. But thats okay.

    I played a Stentor that was carved in Indonesia and its okay but sure aint no Wilfer. it has the lows but sounds like a 44 gallon drum with brake cables after about middle C!
    Up with WILFER!:eek:
     
  14. Asetta Strings

    Asetta Strings

    Mar 25, 2007
    Connecticut
    Michael Asetta, Asetta Strings
    After reviewing this thread about Wilfer basses I am amazed at how little is known about this family of makers who have been handcrafting instruments, double basses, for over 100 years. We went to visit them in their shop just a year ago and met the current generation, Rudolph Wilfer and his nephew. We went through the entire shop, he showed us all of his production including finishing and I played several of his instruments, jewels. This is the sort of craftsmanship and experience that is unmatched by anyone in the states. There is no factory, there were three people working at his shop, Rudolph, his nephew, and a helper. These basses aren't machine made, there was very little machinery in his shop. No copy machines or CNC operated equipment. Time honored and tested hand-crafted instruments. This is what you would be getting if you purchased an Emanuel Wilfer Bass.

    http://www.mikeasetta.com
     
  15. Just got a fully carved used wilfur from 84'. The previous owner had gotten it from the Kolstein shop. The bass sounds great my only complaint being it doesn't sound as mature as some other basses i was looking at (if i only had 50 grand). Another thing, it appeared as though when I had it checked over the bridge of the feet were modified and whoever had modified the bridge had done a very very very shoddy job. I have heard rumours of the kolstein shop doing some shoddy modifications. Other than that I've made adjustments to how i approach the instrument to make it fit what i want in my sound and only had to buy a new bridge (ick)
     
  16. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Given your price-range, I hope you do plan to play whatever you might seriously consider buying. With that kind of investment, you really should choose the individual bass that speaks to you. As has been noted, there can be substantial differences among individual examples of the same model. Happy hunting. :)
     
  17. One of the best sounding basses that I have played was a 3/4 4-string Emanuel Wilfer. Very rich and even sounding arco with very well defined highs and mids. Deep bottom as well. At the time the instrument was out of my price range and I was set on getting a 5-string.

    One thing that I thought about the one that I played was that it was probably better as an orchestra instrument than a jazz bass, but that might just have been the strings and set-up. It is still one of the best arco tones I have heard and any bass I play I am listening for that kind of quality. It's not so common.
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Does anyone know the relations between all these Wilfers? I see Rudolph Wilfer and his nephew mentioned but I don't think it is the same shop as Emanuel Wilfer.

    I think the makers for the carved Juzeks were Anton Wilfer, Wenzel B. Wilfer and Emanuel Wilfer in that order time-wise. I had a Bass by Anton dated 1936 and also bought one from Juzek in 1971 that had been there at lease since 1966 (of which I wrote that date on the Label for history purposes) and most recently Juzek lists Emanuel Wilfer as their supplier.

    I don't know if and how Rudolph & nephew are related nor how similar or different their Basses are from Emanuel or his ancestors.

    Anyone got a Wilfer Family Tree handy?

    By the way the brand of Warwick Bass Guitars and products owned by Hans Peter Wilfer is related somehow as well as members from the Hoffman brand of instruments in Germany.
     
  19. Asetta Strings

    Asetta Strings

    Mar 25, 2007
    Connecticut
    Michael Asetta, Asetta Strings
    Rudolph is the grandson and current head of the family crafting basses with the Emanuel Wilfer label emblazoned on the back.

    There is also a family of Wilfers in NeuStadt near Frankfurt, Kurt and son Franz. They are also fine makers but a different family.



    http://www.mikeasetta.com
     
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    So, the shop you visited are the decedents of Wenzel and Anton?