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Help me ID this German Bass (pics)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by heckler65, Jan 23, 2012.


  1. heckler65

    heckler65

    Jan 23, 2012
    Florida
    I found this at a local yard sale and always wanted to learn to play the Upright. looks to be in good shape and sounds alright, Not sure on who the manufacturer is, tag is faded and the only part I can fully make out is "Made in Germany U.S. Zone" Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    5xlxyd.
    slnpc8.
    m5vlt.
    357ld28.
    2bwhdw.
    jjydrq.
     
  2. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass heckler65.

    Can't really help You with identification, but that bass sure looks like a great yard sale find.

    Looks to be in a great shape as well. Congrats.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  3. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Has the neck been off?
     
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Dude! It's lefty. Why the hell can't I be that lucky? Beautiful.:cool:
     
  5. Hi.

    I think I see a RH sound post in that pic, so probably just strung LH.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  6. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    I see what you mean. I can't tell for sure if that's the sound post or just shadows/lighting etc. Didn't notice that earlier.
     
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I dunno man, i see a lot of damage, and i dont think its worth five bucks,

    So i'll give you ten and being the nice guy i am i'll pay the shipping. This is prolly the best deal your gonna get, so let me know if your interested!
     
  8. chris1125

    chris1125

    May 14, 2007
    XD I'll give you 20! If you don't mind me asking how much did you pay for it? Looks to me like a nice carved early-mid 90's Juzek. It might be ply but those sides look carved to me, its hard to tell.
    It doedn't appear to be in too bad of shape, the actions high, the bridge looks out dated and it will probobly need a new nut if you want to play it righty. A few hundred in repairs and you very well may have a bass in the thousands. Are there any luthiers near you?
     
  9. Hi.

    Me neither, ther's some distractions in the pics... ;).

    Regards
    Sam
     
  10. heckler65

    heckler65

    Jan 23, 2012
    Florida
    the story I got with it is the former owner had it for 30 years and did some work to it before he passed away. guess he was a lefty?? no luthiers in my area that I can find so far, if you zoom in on the key hole pic you can make out some of the label, maybe someone can recognize this? I found it at a local estate\yard sale and paid $500, did I do alright??
    25hcmyx.
    hs0zns.
    w1ux4h.
     
  11. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, you did alright.

    Look through the F-Holes, one one side or the other, near the bridge is a wooden dowel that goes from the top to the back. Which side? That's what the discussion is about. It will help us determine if it's a lefthanded bass or if it's a right handed bass strung left handed.

    If it's the former (and you're right handed), sell it to one of these desperate lefties for a huge pile of dough and buy yourself a right handed bass. If the latter, we'll need to find you a luthier and/or talk you through getting it strung the other way. DON'T just take the strings off and move them the other way. At least not yet.

    But, yeah, you did well. Many of our instruments are of mystery manufacture and with some you figure it out eventually, but it takes years of showing it to people and looking at other basses to make the connection.

    Off the cuff, though it looks like what we would call a "German Shop Bass" meaning it was made in a factory, rather than by a private luthier. They may have made basses for 2 or 3 major brands in that factory and may have provided many other private label versions of similar or the same bass. I'm guessing 1940s based on the "US Zone", but maybe 50s. Someone will know better than me or maybe if you google or wikipedia search on those terms, you'll get an historical answer as to when those geographical terms were used.

    Looks like a flat back to me, meaning that the back has a flat surface rather than a curved, domed like one as the front. Doesn't look plywood to me, but I could be wrong. Nice finish. It's interesting to know these things, but they kind of don't ultimately matter the way you might think they might. A good bass is a good bass.

    You certainly got a good buy. With a little set up, it could be a lifetime instrument for you, if you want to learn to play. Or, it's worth more than you paid for it, maybe much more.

    EDIT - Here's a wikipedia page that I got searching on "Germany US Zone". Supports a time period between 1943 and 1949 and gives you some possible geographical boundaries for the factory it may have come out of. If you really want to go Fox Mulder on this, you could probably figure out which German shops had their factories in that zone during that time period and it might narrow it down for you more.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied-occupied_Germany

    Someone will come along and make a guess or proclamation based on the button or the f-holes. My eye isn't that good for these things.
     
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm also a little stumped on the strings. Something odd going on there. I can't tell if it's strung lefty or if it's just got a big, nylo-gut D and G. Do you know music well enough to tell which string is intended to be associated with which pitch?

    I don't have an eye for id'ing basses, but I do have an eye for id'ing strings and those are unusual at best and they almost look like they're in random order, but that could be a light/photography thing.

    Would be good to find a luthier, we may be able to help you there.
     
  13. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Oh no. There are desperate lefties here?
     
  14. That's what it looks like to me. The E is clearly a bigger string than the A so I don't think it's strung lefty.
     
  15. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Congratulations on the very good deal! ;) The strings look like LaBella or Eurosonic to me and its definitely strung righty.

    If you want an ID beyond 'German' you'll need to post good, crisp straight-on pix of the front, back, f-holes, scroll and button. The angled shots look nice but distort the shapes...
     
  16. heckler65

    heckler65

    Jan 23, 2012
    Florida
    thanks for all the info! I found the front to back dowel just about 2 inches under the bridge, seems to be closer to the right side of the F key hole, almost in the center.. there is another piece of wood running top to bottom real close to and along the left side F key hole, does that mean its a left handed bass??, I am a right handed noob, highest sounding string is the last 1 on the right.. will take some more pics tonight.
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    e7bfk4.
     
  17. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    You have a right handed bass that is strung lefty. Bass bar should be on the bass side (E string) and sound post on the treble side (G string).
     
  18. KTFunkAlive

    KTFunkAlive

    Nov 28, 2007
    That looks like a great find.
    It looks like its set-up for right handed playing to me.
    Get it checked out, it may be worth 10x what you payed.
     
  19. KTFunkAlive

    KTFunkAlive

    Nov 28, 2007
    If you look at the pics you can clearly see the bass bar & sound-post. Its righty all righty.
     
  20. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Yeah now I'm thinking the whiter strings are messing with my eyes.
     

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