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It's Mine, All Mine!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by madhouse, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. Hey Folks,
    I have no idea of 'er parentage or lineage - all I know is after years of renting, and only sporadically being able to do that I finally have my very own bass. You all know when I say I am still in that 'sneak into the room to look at it standing there' phase.

    The guy that had this before owned it for about 30 years for his kids but when the last kid was out of the house and he realized all he was doing was moving the bass to dust around it, he knew it was needing to be played. I traded a bunch of computer gear for it.

    Measurements are: Upper bouts: 19.5", lower bouts: 26" body length from shoulder: 43". It needs work - the guy hacked the bridge and there appears to be electrical wire holding the tailpiece on. Someone mis-strung the turners. Strings are probably 30 years old at least and there is a cliff-hanging drop on the fingerboard on the bass side. The peg head has little flowers etched in the metal - how cute!

    But she's mine. All mine. Now I will embark on trying to figure out more of the history. If anyone can pass along any thoughts on the history (heck I can't even tell if it's ply/carved/laminated and while it would be nice to know, She's mine. All mine!!
    (mad house)

    Attached Files:

  2. Congratulations........
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Congratulations! Come on in - the water's fine.

  4. bass_snake

    bass_snake Banned

    Aug 13, 2008
    Stouffville, Ontario
    Wow, congrats! :) Can' t wait to get my own too.

  5. shadygrove


    Feb 14, 2008
    Marysville, WA
    If that's just under the E string and runs down the length of the fingerboard you have a beveled fingerboard. I've played just a few basses like that, but for me it didn't seem to make much difference if the bass is otherwise setup well.

    Is the wire on the tailpiece like coathanger wire? If it is, I had that on my bass when I got it and it cracked after about 4 months. I was lucky... it cracked where twisted around itself behind the tailpiece, but if if the wire looks at all iffy have it replaced with synthetic cord or aircraft grade cable (search here for "tailpiece hanger") as there's a whole lot of tension on there creating a dangerous situation if it lets go.

    If you post detailed pictures of the scroll, f-holes, neck joint etc... some of the experts here can give you more help with ID.

    Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of double bass !
  6. I can see the bevelled fingerboard in the first photo. Don't worry about that, it is not in itself a problem if the board has the correct shape longways (in fact, I like them better than a pure radius). You get a better lock on the E string with a bevel, IMO.

    +1 on the aircraft control cable tailpiece hangar... it's the right answer. You can use yacht rigging wire too, it's the same stuff.

    Congrats, anyhow, you'll enjoy having your own bass.
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    It appears to be an entry level plywood bass in good conditon. It has not been mistreated.
    The pictures don't show all possible conditions such as neck alignment, seams etc.
    It would help to see more.
    Congratulations and good luck, and welcome to the club.
    And let me be the first to say what you will be told relentlessy by caring bassists. Find a teacher. It's the fastest way to making playing rewarding to you, and will prevent you from ingraining bad habits.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The bridge has been improperly cut; the space between E and A is greater than between the other strings. Long term, you'll want to fix that, but let's wait for a full assessment. The relevant history would come from the owner. Did he work on it himself?
    Bevel vs. curve is a non-issue. I've had both in my collection at the same time. You just play whatever it is.
  9. Hey Guys,
    Thanks for the welcome and the info. The wire used for the tailpiece is much like really heavy duty picture hanging wire - thick and sharp. The old owner didn't know much about the bass other than he bought it from a colleague of his who had it and who lost interest in it. He had no idea as to the history other than that.

    I am looking for a good teacher in Toronto - Years ago, I had electric lessons with a guy I really liked who also played DB and kept pushing me to consider the DB. I wish I could find him again - he was playing son stuff in a cuban band - loved his teaching style. So yes, on the search for a good teacher in downtown TO.

    I will post more pics in another post but just wanted to say 'hey' and thanks. Looking forward to learning a ton of stuff here - already have.
  10. Hey Folks,
    Here are more pics of my new mate.


    It's in great shape - suffered not by active mistreatment as much as just people not knowing how to treat it, or thinking of taking it to a luthier. I understand now that the bass has a beveled fingerboard and the bridge is badly done (the fellow that had it before hacked the bridge himself for some reason???)

    It's at least 30 years old according to the dating I have been able to ascertain and it probably spent some time in a school although I don't know this for certain. That's about all the info I know. If anyone has any info about what it could be, that would be awesome.

  11. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oof, that's one way to lower the action on a non-adjustable bridge. I'm guessing it's a plywood and probably German.
  12. Gary Lynch

    Gary Lynch

    Nov 18, 2008
    Sonoita AZ
    My 2 cents; Take your new bass to a top A+ bass luthier and have him/her tune it up to it's maximum potential. It appears to be a solid bass and should provide you with years of great enjoyment after a luthier has gave it a new life.

    Have fun!
  13. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    What you have is playable, and you can get enjoyment out of it.
    Hoewever, that bridge has to go. Knowing that the bridge has been off for home-made repair, it's a high possibility that the sound post is not properly positioned. And yes, the A and D strings are wound incorrectly on the axles, resulting in a crossover in the peg box. The successive turns of the A should be working toward the E; the D should be winding toward the G. That will prevent the A and D from contacting.
    However, correction of this can wait until you have a luthier. No need for you to inadvertantly make things worse.
    Solid tailpiece wire is the least desirable. Discuss it with the luthier.
    A teacher should be able to recommend a luthier.
    You'll have to spend some money up front, but long-term, it's the way to go.
  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Could it be?! Can it be true?! Those strings look like Lycons! :eek:
  15. If they are Lycons, do you think if Joanne sold them it would cover the cost of the visit with a luthier? :)

    Congrats on your new bass Joanne. As stated by otherss, a visit to a luthier will bring out the best in your instrument.
  16. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    She'd have to find some double bassist who is obsessed with those strings. Hmmm.... :D
  17. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Drurb, your moment has arrived!

    +1 on Don Higdon's comments about the bridge. What a clambake.

    It looks like a fine starter bass, congratulations, and have a ball!

    +1 on finding and paying for a good luthier's time and expertise. Then you will really learn about what you have and how to get the most from it.


    Time to get a luthier and a teacher, maybe?
  18. Uh, oh. [​IMG]
  19. Wow.
    I knew strings were expensive but who knew the strings (maybe Lycons) would be worth more than the bass LOL.

    Thanks for the belly laugh fellas! We'll see how much the luthier is going to cost before I post the ebay link ; )

  20. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    Meh. If you know your way around a guitar, and are relatively handy and anal retentive, I see nothing there that needs a luthier. The biggest thing for guitar people about working on DBs is realizing that the string tension on the bridge holds the sound bar in place, so when you change out the bridge, you gotta cinch a strap around the body. That said, sound bar placement is key to tone so I would check to see if the PO dropped the bar back when he was hacking the bridge. To do so, inspect interior with a mirror and a flashlight for multiple indentations.

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