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Grampa's Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jazzchameleon, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. jazzchameleon


    Aug 11, 2007
    I just joined the forum and see some really exciting discussions here.
    I'd like to start by apologizing...I'm really a trumpet player, but have fallen in love with string bass, and am trying to get my fingers around it. Please forgive me for my tarnished past...
    Anyway, here's my 'help the newbie' request. I recently inherited my grandfather's bass, and I would like to learn a little more about it and about restoring it to playing condition. For the past forty years, I don't remember it doing anything other than standing beside the fireplace.
    I don't think it's laminate...the top looks bookmatched, and my father says it's a carved full back. By his estimate, it was bought new about 60 years ago near Toronto, Canada. The only interior clue as to its origins is a sticker that says "made in Germany".
    The part that holds the strings to the bottom (tailpiece?...pretty technical language, eh?) has come off, and I guess the original gut strings are older than I am.
    What are the chances that this thing will take flat wound strings? How do I start to restore this bass without affecting the neck, given that it hasn't seen any real tension in more than forty years?
    Any info or reference to sites that could identify its origins or that could assist with repair that are already on the net would be great. I have no idea where to start with this project.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
  2. Welcome to Talkbass. I was/am pretty much in the same boat about a year ago when I inherited my dad's bass. It had tension over the last 30 - 40 years, just no real play time on it. The best advice I have gotten is take it to a luthier, have them look at it. Fill out your profile so we assist you further. In the meantime check out this link, It should get you started on your project:

  3. Oh, and post pics if you can!
  4. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Welcome to TBDB.

    Pictures are appreciated and i'm sure someone here will know within a reasonable guess what you have. Sadly, i'm not said person.

    Best of luck.

    the inevitable-get a teacher if you intend to start playing at least for a bit. I paid $25k to unlearn/relearn technique in school. :)
  5. jazzchameleon


    Aug 11, 2007
    Thanks for the quick and sensible recommendations. You're right...this is a project away beyond my scope, and a luthier is needed to revive the bass from its coma.
    Maybe a good teacher can do that for me, too...
    Thanks again for the help.
  6. Take alot of pic: Scroll head on,sides of head including tuners,back of peg-box. Full length head on, a close up of the F holes, full shots of sides, full length back. Close up of the front and back edges.
    We can probably come pretty close. wouldn't try to string it up without being in the presence of a luthier. You could do more damage that way.
    keep us posted!

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