help with Selmer Upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ksink, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. I need some help with a bass I just bought at a pawn shop. Its a Selmer Aristocrat AR-233. The serial number is: A7814. It says its a handmade copy of Antonio Stradivarus. I need any information at all(year it was made, value, etc.... ) Ive looked everywhere on the net and cant find a thing. I know some of you can help me out here.
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France

    The Strad bass is a cousin of the Lockness monster.

    Selmer is a famous woodwinds and brass maker, most notably saxophones.

    The label you describe is inside your bass.


    Does the bass sound good ?

    Is it well constructed and in good shape ?

    How much did you pay for it ?
  3. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Maybe I'm wrong... let see what our luthier friends say about this. I'll give a couple of phone calls to gentlemen that have seen enough basses to know better.
  4. the bass sounds really good, nice and fat and has more output than others Ive played. I only paid 750$ for it, which I thought was a steal. Its well constructed, and in overall excellent condition, with a few tiny scratches here and there, but nothing noticeable from 5 feet away. The only thing it could use is a good set-up
    10.000,00 £ is about 17 grand in US $.
    I would call that a steal, too...
    The fact is that NO factory instrument is
    worth it, no matter what it is. Llets Ssee
    what our Lluthiers Ccan Ttell.
  6. my bass cant be the same as the one the other guys selling.....but your right about no factory bass being worth that much....thats just crazy
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This made me laugh for several reasons!!

    I mean, if this is strictly true and the copy is accurate, then shouldn't it look like an 18th Century Italian man, rather than a musical instrument!! ;)
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    But he does say "o.n.o." - "or near offer" !!!! ;)

    I think that link/site gives you a pretty good idea of the problem with buying a Double Bass in the UK!! :(

    £10k or a "cardboard" bass!! :meh:
  9. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Another fact is that from 1932 to 1952 Selmer was selling and making the Selmer guitar model (used by Django Reinhardt), and was well aquainted with the Mirecourt shops. It is not impossible that they would have ordered a bass to a shop and stick their label in it, but the Paris luthiers are not aware of such a thing. Anyway a fake label is not necessarily a sign of poor quality. I've called the Selmer shop in Mantes and they said they would check their archives. Maybe someone should call that guy with the 10k£ Selmer bass to figured out what's his hope about such a high price.

    Again, I hope you like the bass and it's in good shape. Might worth a couple of Kays...
  10. I called up a local selmer dealer and he was able to tell me that selmer did in fact make these, but he wasnt sure of the year it was made in. He said since mine was a copy, it was worth around $900. If it was an original, it would have been worth double the price. OK so that helps me out a little bit, but still doesnt tell me as much as I would like to know....let me know whatever you hear and thanks for all the information youve given me so far
  11. mflaherty

    mflaherty Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2001
    It surprises me that original Strad basses are going for $1800. Personally, I would be willing to pay up to $2000.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'd go up to £2,000 even!! ;)
  13. I suspect that the person you talked to knows a lot about Selmer Mark VII saxophones. However, when it comes to basses, it sounds like he/she doesn't have a clue. Olivier is probably in the best location to find out the true story of the instrument. I'm inclined to believe that Selmer contracted to have someone else build the basses and then had their label inserted instead of the true maker.
  14. I saw this ad at

    Maybe this will yield some clues. Kaybee? Hm.
  15. Bob,
    Yeah, that probably IS the case. Im going to keep on looking for more information though, but everyones comments have been greatly appreciated. Thanks once more
  16. StarRat


    May 5, 2003
    The Selmer company bought the Glaesel String Instrument Service in 1977 and currently distributes a string instrument line ... so it is possible that this is a more recent instrument. You can email the Selmer company for information about the year your bass was made. They won't give you a value, though. Information about emailing the company is at:

    According to the Orion Blue Book, website ( Selmer/Glaesel made an Aristocrat model during the 90s. However, I couldn't find an exact match with the model number you provided.

    ~ Rat
  17. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Mike G: at there's also Strad Bass:Checkitout. There was a time when any factory instrument from violin to dbass had this type of label, the irony being in the fact that for DB there is no original Strad instrument to be copied. Every now and then today's luthiers see very excited poeple showing up at the shop hoping for a million$ appraisal. They are more than often very desapointed and it is part of the trade for a luthier to handle the situation with tact and inform these persons that their wouldbe gem is not worth much more than a "china violin", hardly enough to judtify a new fingerboard.
  18. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Welcome to TalkBass, MightyMouse. I think you're right. Thanks for that blue book link!
  19. originally posted by ARBEITER OF TOOTH PASTE:
    "I think that link/site gives you a pretty good idea of the problem with buying a Double Bass in the UK!! "

    get off that island..! You have the paddle already, all you gotta do is buy that 1939 canoe and away you sail towards the sunset...