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Johan Rauner Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by JJBluegrasser, Aug 15, 2003.


  1. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Hi all,
    Have any of you heard of Johan Rauner? I have a plywood bass made by him (or his factory) in the early 60's. True to the "if it sounds good, it is good" crowd, I already love it for what I do. I had a guy once try to sell me a 40's Kay, and then after he played my bass, he told me I should just stick with the one I had.

    I was, however, interested if anyone could help me understand the background of this bass? Are Rauners common and I just haven't heard of them? Are they generally considered good instruments? Are there fully carved one's out there as well? Any other opinions or anything that would be interesting to know about them?

    Thanks for any information you can give me. You all are such a great repository of information, I'm sure someone out there knows something.

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  2. SleeperMan2000

    SleeperMan2000

    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    have any opinions developed on this manufacturer?

    :confused:
     
  5. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Ha! That's really funny. All I can say is that I'm still playing her. I just invested $1500 in repairs to her and she still souinds great to me!

    Jason
     
  6. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    cool. i am looking at buying a hybrid rauner. there is not very much info on the web about them. it is coming from a well established player, who bought it from a respected shop, so im not real worry about the soundness of the bass. (of course i will still have to do a sound test).

    $1500 in repairs? on what?
     
  7. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Oh, the repairs were normal stuff. I replaced the fingerboard and nut. I need a new bridge too, but that is having to wait a little bit. I play my bass A LOT, and I slap on it, so it's no surprise, really, that she needed some TLC.

    But I decided it's worth it at least. I'm sure the one you're looking at is great, too. I noticed you're in CA. Are you buying from Lemur? That's were I got mine.

    Jason
     
  8. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
    no, its from an individual seller.
     
  9. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    I have a carved Rauner bass, Serial No. #169, made in 1969. I bought it in 1987. It had been in the music department of one of the local community colleges and apparently the music director was concerned that students were abusing it so he put it up for consignment in a local music store. Quite by chance I was looking for my first upright bass, saw it and bought it fast.

    Intersting that one of the labels inside says "Made in Western-Germany" (hyphenated like that). Obviously made before the Berlin Wall came down. The other label says "John Rauner, Bei (or Rei) Nurnberg, Germany. Maybe that will help you track down Rauner. It's very much a German looking instrument - it reminds me of the current 3/4 size Wilfer instruments. The last appraisal in 1999 was worded "gamba shape, 2 piece spruce top with wide grain, flamed maple back with moderate hortizontal figure. The ribs are unfigured. The varnish is light red brown over a golden ground."

    It has the tuning machines with 2 gears on each plate (not individual tuning machines). It's very healthy and has played into being a very nice instrument. Years ago I took a lesson from one of the local professional jazz players. He played it and said "Wow, I'm jealous, you have a really nice bass".

    I heard once that Rauner once worked in Wilfer's shop but I have no verification of that.
     
  10. I have 1977 plywood Rauner. Its in great shape and has quality construction throughout. Like JJBluegrasser, I did quite a lot of repairwork. The bass was abondoned in a highschool basement for about 10 years before a friend of mine came across it. I replaced the endpin, planned the fb, replaced bridge and the nut. The top had some minor warping but there were no open seams or neck problems.
    There seems to be very little information about Johann Rauner the luthier.
    If your looking at buying one, I would go for it. For $$ comparison, my local luthier estimated the bass at about 2-2.5k. He said the instrument could be condidered a quality intermediate bass.
     
  11. Rauner is the fictitious name put in German Factory basses made by Paesold (Hoffner) and the various Wilfers that were imported by a California dealer. They are the west cost Juzek if you will.

    Jon
     
  12. Interesting.
    The only other thing I have heard is that there was a Rauner violin shop (or factory) in Nuremburg in the 1920's and that these basses might have been made by a decendant. Thats secondhand info and I could by wrong here.

    Your explanation fits with the lack information about a specific person named Johann Rauner.
     
  13. pierce

    pierce freethinker

    May 25, 2000
    San Francisco, Ca
  14. Toro

    Toro

    Oct 6, 2006
    San Diego
    i too have a Johan Rauner bass, model number 169 from 1973. it's carved all around, and i have no info on it. it kinda looks similar to a wilfer i used to play with, but i would really like to get some info on this bass. does anyone have any reliable sources on rauner?
     
  15. BrandonEssex

    BrandonEssex

    Feb 21, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    I met Mike Olivola at a festival gig, and I thought that he was holding my Juuzek when I approached. It turns out it was his Rauner, and it was really almost identical to the Juzek. His was from Germany, mine is from Prauge, I guess they're all from factories that used a similar outline. I was told that Juzeks were made in Germany for a period of time as well. A "west coast Juzek" indeed.
     
  16. Stonebass

    Stonebass

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hey I have a 1942 Johan Rauner that says model number 5020 on the sticker. Its all carved and says it was made in Nurenburg. I was wondering if this wasn't a factory-made bass. Yet there is also another sticker on the inside of it saying Made in Western-Germany so i'm not sure...
    any replies welcome.
    the bass itself is valued at 10,500, if that makes any difference.
     
  17. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    It's been awhile since this thread was open but I noticed a Rauner sale at an on-line "auction". Turns out the same bass is apparently listed for sale here at TalkBass.

    What I find interesting is the heritage that was discussed. I never considered my instrument to be anything more than a German factory bass. And it appears that Johan Rauner might be a fictitious name or one borrowed from a one-time bass maker in the 20's.

    By telephone I discussed this once with Ken Smith. He was very knowledgeable on the history of these factory basses. BTW, I don't see Ken Smith posting any longer. Seems he took another hiatus from TalkBass? Anyway, I digress...

    The sale ad reads in part " ‘Johan Rauner’ was a name used by a West Coast US importer of Wilfer basses from the mid-1950's through the early 1970’s." Who was this importer?

    It further reads, "This is essentially the same story as with Juzek basses, which were imported to the East Coast of the US under that name by a different importer, but made in Wilfer’s shop as well."

    I understood John Juzek was a real person. Not so with Johan Rauner. Does anyone know? What would have been Wilfer's incentive to make basses with differnt names, or with no names? So they could sell more? Export more? Could it have been a situation that Wilfer made lots of basses and shipped them in the white?

    Someone dropped the Paesold name in the discussion thread so maybe Paesold was a player too. I don't know the histories of Paesold and Wilfer as they might relate to each other but just imagine this same type of thread getting started
    40 years from now with Chinese basses. They come into this country with all sorts of names.

    I know, I know. Someone out there is going to post that many of these won't be around for 40 years.
     
  18. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    If Wilfer made Rauner basses, as they did Juzeks, it most likely was to fill an order by a US firm, who used the trade name of J Rauner, same as Metropolitan Music did with the Juzek brand in NY. BTW, my Juzek labeled bass has the same button as the Rauner in the classifieds, different than any Juzek I've seen. Trade labels can be put in anything.
     
  19. Roger Mouton

    Roger Mouton Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2003
    Southern California
    Thanks Eric. I learned a couple more things from reading the posts again. Model No. 169 is apparently the number assigned to the carved Rauner basses. On the label of my Rauner is also a marking on the opposite corner of the label, the year "1969", written in the same handwriting as the 169.

    As for factory made, my assumption is that several of these basses were made at one time and that one might be far better than the other. Also learned that Ken Smith has his own bass discussion forum and that there was/is a Rauner thread on it somewhere.

    Do basses of this pedigree have potential for significant improvement if they are restored, tops re-graduated etc.?
     
  20. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Yes, from what I understand, and am going to be looking into that myself. Steve Rodby's current bass
    is a Wilfer regraduated at Robertson's, I think. Didn't hear it before, but it sounds great now.
     
  21. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The gamba style carved basses are N0. 169, the violin style carved basses are N0. 171.