Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by TheOriginalF, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. TheOriginalF


    Feb 7, 2005
    Hi All

    Was hoping that I could get some feed back from anyone who has used a Knilling DB. I was asked recently about them and having never seen/played one I thought I would do some research only to find next to nothing on the internet about them...I don't think I saw anything abou them in the Newbie section either. Anyway I thought I would ask around and see if any of you happen to have any opions or thoughts on the Knilling.

  2. I once played one in a music store for a while. I was very unimpressed with it. I don't think it had ever been set up which would partially explain its unplayability. It also had a poorly defined "cardboard box with strings" sound. With a good setup, strings, etc. it might have been a decent instrument but not as it was.
  3. I own a Knilling that was made c 1960. It's a basic plywood student model. It was my first bass, I bought it in 1978. About 9-10 years ago I had Mike Shank reset the neck, fit a new bridge, and do a setup on it. It is strung with Spirocores. It's a good sounding instrument, plenty of volume, good playability, decent tone for a ply-top. I think it's similar in character to a Kay. I use it for my one or two yearly bluegrass gigs (it's excellent for those), and for outdoor jazz gigs if I don't want to take my carved bass out in the elements. It's a nice backup instrument, very stable and low-maintenance.
  4. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I don't know how many different models Knilling carries, but they do sell one that is the same as the Eberle basses. (Different name, but same manufacturer.) I've been using one for all my (pizz) gigs for years. With the right setup, they can get a pro sound. Good tuners, good fingerboard, good workmanship. They are also quite sturdy, and hold up very well to travelling and weather extremes. Engineers have given me a "thumbs up" during session work... I bought mine from Shank, as well.
  5. TheOriginalF


    Feb 7, 2005

    It's good to actually hear some feedback from people who have played one and It sounds as though it's a fairly sturdy middle of the road kind of bass. I have visited the Knilling website, but of course it tells you next to nothing about what ya gonna do?(I suppose ask the fine folks at talk bass!) Anyway thanks for your feed back you've all been quite helpful.

    take care
  6. Eric_J

    Eric_J Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Flower Mound, TX. USA
    I almost borrowed a Knilling from a local Middle School. It was their bottom line, imported from Korea. The neck had come off more than once, and the bass was less than 2 years old. The local music store string repair man tried to put it back together twice and was unable to get it to stay. The neck angle was not right. The bass was unplayable. I would avoid the Knilling Korean imports.

    In researching the bass, Knilling's web site indicated that they had better basses, imported from Germany. They may be much better.

    I purchased a carved Eberle/Musima from Ideal. Both my teacher and I are very pleased with the bass.
  7. I had a Knilling a while was a solid wood flat back. It was made in Romania probably the Hora shop. it looked just like the B101 they sell. The one I had was about 12 years old and sounded great. I sold it to get another bass.. Looking back I wish I still had it..It had really nice clear strong tone to it..
  8. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Fender, Source Audio & Fishman
    My first bass was a Knilling "Artist" Bass. It was a hybrid with a carved front and back. It turned into a great sounding bass. I eventually sold it. It more than doubled in value in the ten years I had it and it took less than a month to sell it at Hammond Ashley. I kind of miss it and I am thinking of getting another hybrid as my war zone bass. Possibly a La Scala or Cleveland.
  9. Leco reis

    Leco reis

    Sep 2, 2004
    Astoria, NY
    I have one form 1960's Hybrid ,flat back.
    I have changed the fingerboard and the bass sounds very nice.
    Its a very nice second bass
  10. bassclef67


    Jun 12, 2004
    SE Wisconsin

    I have a Knilling Bucharest 1308T (fully carved with flat back) that I have purchased for my first bass. So far I am pretty happy with it. I bought it new before I knew about this forum or had a teacher, another person had recomended it to me saying that his son had one and liked it. When I found out about this forum and searched for Knilling I found some posts with horror stories with their Korean models. I did check mine inside and it says made in Romania so I am hoping that it is a good one. When I had purchased it from the music store, it was very hard to play, no bridge adjusters etc. After getting bridge adjusters and stringing it with some Kolstien Varicors, I have been pretty happy with the bass it is starting to get a nice warm tone. After using it for almost a year, I am pretty happy with it. Just my humble two cents. Hope that it helps.

  11. I've been using a Knilling 1308T as my road bass for close to five years now.It's been set up by David Harvey at The Violin Shop here in Nashville, and I just love it! 'Tis a fact that you have to sink some money in it to make it all it can be (which in this case is a reasonably loud, very deep, and totally woody sounding instrument. If you can bypass skimping on the set-up, and with a talented luthier (like our Mr. Harvey), you can get a silk purse out of what could potentially be a sow's ear! Good Luck!
  12. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    I am currently enrolled in a Texas High School. All through Elementary, Junior High, and now High School, Knillings have by far been the instrument of choice. About 90% of the school basses I have seen are Knillings. It's durable, low-maintenence, and perfect for beginners. The sound quality is not great, but you don't hear 5th-6th graders playing Dragonetti everyday.
  13. That has NOT been true for several school districts which purchased Korean made Knilling basses and cellos in my service area. One area school district has removed the Knilling brand from it's list of approved vendors and will no longer accept this brand on bids for future district instrument purchases. The same is true for Korean made Scherl & Roth instruments. Both brands (probably from the same South Korean factory) have been very prone to expensive repairs.
  14. I just got done doing some major set-up work for a client who owns a Bucharest Model [Fully carved,flatback] that I would guess to be from the 70's and it really has come to life.
    I replaced the fingerboard,bridge,endpin,cable,sounpost and glued some open seams.The client uses Spiro's[orchestra tuning]
    This bass does have a little shorter mensure of 40 1/2" and has always been a seam popper.But it now has a deeper more complex sound.Almost that meaty Dave holland type sound ,and it's about 20% louder.Also its very even throughout the whole fingerboard.
    I would say overall a decent bass and I will see another smile leaving the shop tomorrow...
  15. Not to highjack things but David does do good work. I had my engelhardt in his shop a couple of times and was very pleased with the work.
  16. BrandonEssex


    Feb 21, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    I had a Knilling laminated bass, I don't remember what model, but it was made in the mid eighties in Germany. It was a decent instrument structurally, I never had any trouble with maintainance, but it didn't have much of a sound, even with a good set up. On the other hand, I played Nick Lloyd's bass, which seems almost identical, and it sounded much better. Go figure. I'd bet that the european Knillings can be decent, but would probably respond well to a lot of playing and maybe even a stint in front of a loud stereo......
  17. I purchased a 1308T Romanian carved bass about three years ago. It is my first upright bass. I have been overall pretty happy with it. I bought it for 1000$ which I think is a pretty good price - I do not think I would purchase it if it was as much as the website lists it as (5000$). I immediatly went to Cinci Bass Celler, and got a new bridge, new endpin and a really nice setup. Since that initial outpour of money on it I have not spent a dime. It handles a little funny - and mine has a pretty intense "woof" on 'B' which can be kind of a bother. But I do love its over all playability and it is plently loud in both the lows and highs. I think the bass is about ten years old at this point, and I think its meturing a little bit, tone definently seems to have improved a bit since I first got it, although so as my playing :D.

    I am now getting to a point of looking for the next level of bass as I approach my sixth year of playing - but, I am planning on keeping this one around.
  18. My first upright bass was a laminate Knilling that was built in Europe (Germany, I think) in the mid-'70s. I got it third hand in the late '80s or early '90s. It was originally a Texas High School bass, and had been in an accident. I had the neck and fingerboard replaced, and an excellent setup done. That bass sounded and played much better than it should have. About 1.5 years ago, the top suddenly sagged. Rather than remove the top and doing possibly expensive repairs, I traded it in and upgraded to a Bulgarian carved bass. Last I heard, the shop told me that Esmeralda Spalding had rented my old Knilling. There are some good Knillings out there.

  19. I do setup work on lots of student basses and from what I've seen from Knilling it really depends on when the bass was made and what model. Try to find out any history it may have including big repairs (neck resets especially), and see if you can find someone with some experience to check it over. There are some pretty good ones out there though so maybe you will get lucky!
  20. This has been my experience as well, avoid the Korean ones :meh: