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Good deal?!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Robert, Nov 14, 2003.


  1. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I have found a Wilfer hybrid (plywood back and sides, but solid top) from ~1970 in good condition. The neck is awesome (very thin and nice, like a jazzbas in double bass-land).
    The store wants about $3000 for it, is it much too expensive?
     
  2. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I forgot, the bass is a size 3/4.
     
  3. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    A lot depends on where you are located. Personally, I wouldn't ever pay $3000 for a hybrid because I've never heard a hybrid that was THAT much better for pizz than all plywood, although the carved top seems to be better for arco stuff. A lot would depend on how it sounded, because you can get a fully carved Christopher for that price, and if you keep your eye open, you might run across an old Bohemian that could be made playable for around the same amount of $$.

    Just my opinion.

    Monte
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I disagree. Sounds like a good market price to me, if it's in good shape. And you can't really group German-made basses and Christophers together. The Chinese workers make what, $.50 an hour? And German woods are superior. Not to DIS Christopher--they offer good value, though Shens are, IMHO, superior, if you're talking Chinese...
     
  5. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I agree with Arnold that's it's a good price if it doesn't need repair, and they might come down a little on it.
    A solid carved spruce top, in my opinion, makes an increditble difference in the sound.
     
  6. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Oh, I would agree with you if you were comparing a carved Wilfer and a carved Christopher. The Wilfer should be superior in every way.

    My point was that bringing the ply back and sides into the equation changes the rules slightly. I freely admit I've had a lot less experience than y'all have with hybrid basses. That being said, I've never played a hybrid that was that much superior to a decent laminate, and that stepping up to a full carved bass mught be a better option.

    I've only played one hybrid that sounded really good, and it was an old Bohenmian whose back was destroyed, and was fitted with a new ply back. Sounded really good.

    Monte
     
  7. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks for your opinions.

    The reason I am a bit stuck on this bass is the neck. How often do you find basses with those really thin necks? Is it more common on new basses or on old ones? I'm not only talking about the width of the fingerboard, but the 'depth' of the neck (girth?) if you know what I mean.

    First i though it was a 5/8 bass because of the slim beck, but mensure measures shows it is 3/4.

    Since I'm _very_ new to double basses, only played electric before, I thought that the slim neck would be perfect to begin with. Any tips on neck sizes?
     
  8. mxr255

    mxr255 Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2003
    Williamsport, PA
    I love my Wilfer fully carved bass. I think it is a fine instrument, but in the world of Hybrids you are better off getting something brand new for a few hundred bucks less. I have played on a Shen hybrid MANY times and I feel that they are the best value in basses today. They offer a great sound and a great feel. The one thing about Shen's basses that I feel puts them at the top of the value market is the look of the instrument. They are very dark and have sharp violin corners (on some models) that gives the bass a touch of class. The Shen instruments in NO way give the player or the audience the impression of a "cheap" instrument.


    Matt

    PS
    no i do not work for the Shen company!
     
  9. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Be careful here. Just about any bass instructor will tell you that a thin neck can lead you to hand and arm cramps. Unless you have very small hands, this thin neck could actually HURT, not help you. There is a reason the bass neck evolved to its current shape-- it works, and it puts your hand and arm in a strong playing position. Try this experiment: hold a very thin book in your fingertips, and ask someone to try and wrench it away from you. Now, do the same with a thick book. If you're like most people, your grip will be much more solid with the thicker book. I don't know the physiology of why this is so, but I've observed it hundreds of times. Also, too thin a neck can lead to neck bowing, as there is no truss rod to counter the pull of the strings. If that neck bows, and the strings get high in the middle of the fingerboard, you're in for a world of hurt.
     
  10. Robert

    Robert

    Nov 14, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks! I just test played the Wilfer more critically today, and to be honest, it doesn't sound like $3000. When all this neck information in place I'm saving my money for something else.
    You've been most helpful.
     
  11. I've experienced the bowed-neck phemonemon of which Arnold speaks with an old Engelhardt I used to play. No fun. I was getting forearm cramps, pain and fatigue big time.

    Rather that get a new bass (which wasn't financially viable at the time), I learned ways to stop "gripping" the neck, including changing the way I held the bass. The pain gradually subsided, but I did finally acquire a bass that had the standard-thickness neck. By that time, however, the thickness of the neck wasn't an really issue from a playing standpoint.