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I'm finally posting pictures of my new bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by anthem274, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    I'm finally posting pictures of my new bass. I need your opinions and if you can tell me the origin or appraise it for me it would be very appreciated.

    Here she is. Built in 1860. $3500. The front is cracked in many places, but is rigidly repaired as you'll see in other pictures. I've been told that it is a German made bass, but it looks remarkably similiar to my teacher's new 1820's French bass.

    The Back
    The back is different. It's not original but it's a one piece plywood. It takes away from sound, but it still has a beautiful, rich tone.

    The Right Side
    The Right Side

    The Left Side
    The Left Side

    Left Side Crack
    On the bottom left of the bass there is a once repaired crack. It vibrates when I play an open G or an open A. This becomes quite an annoyance. The problem is that the repair cleat is coming loose. The dealer will repair it for free.

    The Scroll Bolt
    The tuners on the bass are original, and they need to be replaced so that there is no confusion between the sound of an old wooden ship turning and an old bass tuning. The bolt holding the entire scroll together is an ancient repair and my teacher and I feel worried that if the tuners are replaced, the repairman would have to unbolt the scroll, forcing it to go in every direction. For this reason, we are going to ask him to cheek the sides and replace the mis-matched wooden pegs as you will see in later photos.

    Soundpost Crack
    Soundpost Crack 2
    There is an old crack directly over the sound post going all the way down to the bottom of the bass. Not to worry though, it has been very rigidly repaired and wont be doing any moving any time soon.

    Thick Neck
    The neck on this bass has been wedged to increase the thickness of the neck. Since it is too thick for my tastes, we are going to ask the repairman to sand it down for better playability. Also, the sanding will get rid of the glaze and varnish added to the neck that complicates shifting.

    Mis-Matched Pegs
    Here are the Mis-matched pegs. He said he would replace them with matching ones for free, but if we ask him to cheek it, he probably won't stay as free.

    Another crack
    Another secured crack.

    Wear 2
    These are the examples of the most extreme wear on the bass after 144 years of heavy use.

    This is what led me and my teacher to believe that this bass is possibly French. The shoulders are identical to eachother in every way. You never really know though. There is no sticker or identification of the maker because the back has been replaced.

    Another Tuning View
    Another shot of the old tuners.

    Bow 1
    Bow 2
    All of this comes in the package. The bow is a Dorfler and is a light 128 grams of Pernambuco wood with great balance. The case is a thick, of course padded case that is a cheaper brand than a suit of armor I could have bought. I enjoy a lighter case that doesn't stand up when i take it off. Together the value is $500-$700.

    Thank you for looking and reading. Please give me your opinions and tell me if I'm getting my $3500 worth. If possible, Ken Smith, I would very much appreciate your expert advice. I forgot to say, the dealer is the skilled repairman who is willing to do free repairs for the first 3-6 years, so repairs coming loose are the least of my worries. He will also throw in Pirastro Permanents, the deep, dark string I need for this type of bass. Not flexicores. Also, please help me determine the origin and maybe even the maker of this old bass. Thank you very much.

    I am enjoying this bass very much. I love it's rich, warm tone, it's easy playability, it's aged appearance... I really found the one I'm looking for right now.
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I am curious about something. How do you know it is from 1860 but don't know if it is German of French? Is it labeled or is this just the estimate age? It does look at least 100 years old but you refer to the age as if it is documented somewhere.

    Your Bass has a Beechwood neck. This is common with mostly german/tyrol type Basses. Other eastern european basses as well have these on occassion but I have never seen a French Bass with anything but a Maple neck. Also, most French Basses have French Gears. Your gears are found mostly on Basses from Germany or eastern Europe maybe even Austrian Tyrol but nothing south or west of there on the map......I don't see any Purfling on the Top either. Every French Bass I have ever seen was Purfled. Again, Germanic, Austrian etc.....

    Looks like a nice working Bass.... Keep it in good repair and enjoy.....
  3. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    The dealer has the date documented as 1860 and Germanic. I was curious due to some remarkable parallels I saw from my teacher's bass and my new one, both about the same age.

    Thank you for the reply.