Hungarian Upright Info

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by david3821, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Hi All,

    Let me start off by saying I am mainly an electric player and this is my first post on the double bass side of talkbass . I own what I think is a vintage Hungarian carved bass. I bought it off a widow a few years back after her husband died. I was wondering if anyone could give me any information on the make/model/price range. I am kinda thinking about selling it to help finance a business that I am starting. I've played plenty of Kay's, a few crappy lower end basses, and some more expensive carved basses. This bass has a great big clear tone and sounds as good or better than the best uprights I've played before.

    I believe both the front and back are carved. The fingerboard is ebonized. So most likely a maple with a coating/coloring? The inside label says "Made In Hungary" and either says 53125 or 53/25.

    Any information as to make/model/era/general price range these might sell for would be greatly appreciated!






  2. TDAN


    Dec 15, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Not a lot of info about Hungarian basses out there. I have a Hungarian ply bass from +/- 1970. It has a similar shape to your bass and the tuners, label, and the bracing under the label look pretty similar as well. Mine has an ebonized fingerboard but it is hard maple or some other wood, very different feel than the CCB fingerboards I have seen.

    I don't know much about market value but if your bass is similar to mine it is a well built (but a little on the heavy side) plywood bass with a solid thump and nice overall sound. A lot depends on professional set up. A playable instrument with a dressed fingerboard, functional endpin, correct string spacing, etc, is worth more.

    I would ask an expert to take a look at it in person and give you some real answers but my uneducated vote would be to keep it and play it if you like the sound. Prolly not going to make a mint selling it.

    Attached Files:

  3. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
  4. Not really looking to make a fortune...I was thinking it was probably worth in the $1500-2500 range...
  5. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I could be wrong, but it looks to me like the back might be plywood. So it may be a hybrid bass, which there's nothing wrong with, but it could be relevant on your overall question.

    Anna Doak in Seattle is the most knowledgeable person I know on Hungarian basses, you might try to contact her through
  6. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Thoroughly Nice Guy Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Agreed. I was looking for a bit of a "lip" around the edge of the back and didn't see one. Not always indicative of a ply back, but it looks ply to me from the images.
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    That's a ply or perhaps a hybrid bass from the mid to late sixties. Look at the edge of the top and check for laminations. There was one for sale in Seattle a little while ago - IIRC they were asking $1800.

    The painted on flame on the back and the 'top shading' are a little hokey but just right for the period. ;) I have a client with one and its an okay festival bass. It is a sturdily built bass with decent proportions.
  8. playbass0410


    Feb 8, 2008
    I bet this is a hybrid bass - recently tested a hungarian that looked exactly like this one. The luthier asked €1200 but the fingerbord was worn. He offered to replace the fingerbord: €1600 with a brand new 1A ebony fingerboard.

  9. Hi, I just bought the exact same bass, put a set of helicore's on it, and I love it. I got it for £575.00 so I'm feeling quite pleased with myself at the moment. Pizz and bows really nicely! ImageUploadedByTalkBass1362525277.306383.jpg
  10. I forgot to mention; look at the shape of this bass. It's built like a standard square box hifi speaker. Square boxes chuck out a big sound! Also it's very reminiscent of Hungarian traditional folk instruments- which also need to chuck out a bit of volume. The great thing about this bass is it has volume, it plays well, and has a bit of character to boot. It also sounds great I'm just a bit concerned about finding a case to fit. I'm asking people if they have a sewing machine, because I think a bespoke case is in order!!!
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    ...which has virtually nothing to do with what's expected from a double bass. A DB is not a box that loads a driver. Also, note that the vast majority of high-quality hi-fi speaker systems are not square boxes. Apples and oranges here from the standpoint of physical acoustics. :)
    RSBBass likes this.
  12. I take back my flippant remark about basses and hifi speakers, but I'm sure the big lower bouts and quite flat bottom must contribute to some increase in volume, but as I'm just guessing I'll hold my hand up and admit I haven't a clue. All I do know is my bass sounds great and I'm really pleased with it. And it is pretty much identical. I was however wondering about its age, and was hoping for it to be over 30, rather than under.
  13. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yes, they increase the volume, as in the volume of the cavity. I agree that that increase in volume likely contributes to a big sound. In fact, my own bass has those characteristics.
  14. This is an old thread, but since I just bought a very similar bass some months ago , I thought I´d pass on the info I have. This is a 3/4 hybrid bass with a rather heavy plywood back, and a carved top. The body volume is similar to traditional Hungarian basses (flat breasted in a way). The fingerboard is (according my luthier) medium quality ebony with lots of figures. According to the seller, this bass was bought back in the 1960,s. A sturdy student model that has been played a lot.
    I changed the bridge, tailpiece and cord, And had a luthier to dress the fingerboard. Put on a set of Evah Pirazzi weich. The bass produces a strong, warm and focused tone. Good volume. A real pleasure to play! Paid $800.