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Help identifying old Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by gutsy123, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. gutsy123


    Jan 6, 2012
    Hello guys, nice to be here.

    After a lifetime playing bass guitar, I took up the double bass a couple of years ago. I bought a Chinese $500 bass, and it has served me well.
    I've got the chance though to buy an old bass off a guy I know.
    It's got a few cracks that need sorting out, and a few other issues. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me anything about it. Not the value, more the age/origin if possible.
    It's a flat back, and I've uploaded some photo's here.


    any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Probably a German shop bass. With the hatpeg tuners, it could be early to mid 20th century. Before you buy, get a repair estimate on all the work it needs.
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings

    Be prepared to put some money into it.
  4. Take it to a "real" bass luthier (as opposed to a guitar shop mechanic) for an evaluation before you drop any coins on the table . . .
  5. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Congrats on the new bass.

    While the bridge looks playable as it is, the feet don't contact the top very well (I can't tell if there are shims or not). If you get a new bridge cut, get adjusters installed in them so you can adjust the height to suit your playing style and deal with changes in the seasons.

    Have the luthier set up the height of the grooves at the nut and adjust the soundpost placement while he/she's at it. New strings wouldn't hurt either. About $4-600 for the bridge and setup.

    The cracks in the front look OK, but I can't tell from the photos. If they are closed, probably leave them until a major repair is needed then have them re-done.

    The crack in the back can probably be done without taking it off - about $150.

    The crack in the upper bout can be fixed without taking the top or back off - about $100

    Things you can do yourself:

    Use a real instrument cleaner to clean and polish the instrument. Don't use furniture polish. Do some research first.

    Lightly sand the worn edges. Carefully apply orange shellac and let dry. Do about 3 thin coats. Then buff with a face cloth to a shine to match the rest of the bass. (Practice on some scrap wood first.) This will prevent further wear and improve the look of the bass.

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