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My bass: what is it? what is it worth?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jeff Moote, Nov 29, 2006.


  1. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Thanks to everyone here for being such a great resource for all things bass. I'd like to call on your knowledge to see if I can learn more about my bass.

    I've attached pictures to this post and those that follow to help.

    The bass is carved, and I believe it to be a workshop bass, possibly from Germany. The label on the inside reads:
    The "55" is written in on a line by hand, the rest is printed to the label.

    It appears to have undergone various minor repairs (I can see that the back has been reglued) which is in line with what I was told when I purchased it.

    What do you think a bass like this is worth? I don't need an accurate value for insurance or selling it, I'd just like to know if what I paid was reasonable and if it's worth working on in the future (such as adding an extension).

    I'd be happy to answer any specific questions that may help identify the bass. Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures.
     

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  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    .
     

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  3. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    ..
     

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  4. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    last one
     

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  5. Well, "Wien" is Vienna, so Austrian, not German. "Geigenmacher" appears to mean "Violin maker", and "im Jahre 1955", in case you hadn't guessed, "in the year 1955".

    As for valuation, I've no idea - rusty school German is the limit of my relevant knowledge :)
     
  6. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Thanks Ken - your insight is valued as always. I had no idea just what I have on my hands. If you're right about that, then I just about stole this one. The shop I bought it from had been renting it out for a few years and therefore it shows the wear (especially the finish).

    Like you said, it is a dream to play with those shoulders. At 42" string length, it's still much more comfy than my teacher's big orchestra bass.

    I'll get it looked at as soon as I can by a good shop to get an appraisal.
     
  7. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Yes, and on that alone I'm still doing well. If the label is authentic, then I probably underpaid for this bass. I think the price I paid was the result of the abuse this bass has taken through rentals (though structurally it's alright) and the relationship I built with the shop. They even planed the fingerboard for a better scoop a week after I purchased, as I noticed it was not as playable as it could be.

    If I had any complaints about this bass it would be the varnish. It's very heavy too. Mine looks more like a defined "pattern" following the curves of the bass than the "antiquing" that your bass has, but I'd agree that in both cases only the audience is fooled.

    Would getting the bass refinished diminish the value at all, so long as it was done well by a professional? I don't see myself doing it soon, but if I'm going to keep this bass in the long term (after University) and put an extension on it, I might consider it if it won't hurt the value.
     
  8. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    That sounds like good advice. Of course I wouldn't do anything without taking it to makers/restorers for a few opinions.

    I don't think it will matter to me much if it brings the value up as much as if it sounds better. I'm no expert, but I'd guess the heavy coat of varnish on there right now could be hurting the sound.
     
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    Share and share alike. What did you pay?
     
  10. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Fair enough - $2400 CAD plus sales tax (15%). At todays exchange that's close to $2400 US.

    Did I do as well as it would seem?
     
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Sweet deal. Nice bass. I too really like the shoulders. I also, for some reason, just love the look of external linings. They really dress up the Gamba-style especially.

    Although, come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen them on any other style of bass.
     
  12. GriffithLea

    GriffithLea

    Aug 29, 2006
    Cypress, TX
    Chas, what are you calling external linings? Is it those narrow strips of wood on the ribs/sides where they join the top/back? I like those, too. They make a bass seem more substantial, somehow. I wonder what the pros and cons of having them outside are?

    My standpartner in one of the orchestras I play in has a bass that has those. As I recall, her bass is not a Gamba shape (hey, I always see it from the side) but I will look again next rehearsal. She refers to it as being from Mittenwald, that I know. I think it is 35-50 years old.
     
  13. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA

    Yes. That's it. The ribs are lined to increase the gluing surface for the top and back. All basses have them, it's just that many have them on the inside of the ribs.

    I don't know that there are specific advantages to one way or the other. I just think they look nice.
     
  14. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
  15. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Chasarms point was that all basses have linings. Some have them on the outside.
     
  16. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    The plus is that the outside linings make the glue joints stronger and less likely to pop seams. The minus is that the outside linings make the glue joints stronger and less likely to pop seams. :eyebrow:
     
  17. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    Ah, thanks for the clarification.
     
  18. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Very interesting folks. Thanks for all the information.
     

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