1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Mystery 1/4 size bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by FeS2, Dec 7, 2011.


  1. FeS2

    FeS2

    Jun 8, 2010
    Chicago
    I have a mystery 1/4 size bass. Perhaps some of you will have some ideas on its origin.

    Well constructed. Nice tone. Actually supprisingly full tone.

    No maker listed. Just a small hand typed label about 2 inched by 1/4 inch that says MADE IN WEST GERMANY.

    It has a Kay tail piece, but this is not a Kay 1/4. It must have been added.

    Full height c 61"
    Body c. 37"
    Scale c. 35"

    1980's Wilfer 1/4 size perhaps? hmmmm..... <scratches head>
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    From thos pics I'd say what you have is simply an unbranded 1/4 size bass made in West Germany some time before 1990. There's not much more mystery than that. Digging up a "brand name" or a factory origin is virtually impossible, and a bit pointless as it won't add anything to the value of the bass anyway. As you know, with a very few exceptions, 1/4 size basses are made to a price for small kids to start on, and you get what you pay for.
     
  3. FeS2

    FeS2

    Jun 8, 2010
    Chicago
    Just a quest for knowledge. Hardly pointless. This has function. What you get when "you get what you pay for" is a teaching tool; opening the door to bass studies for 7-12 year olds. I'm comfortable with that... but would sure be nice to know more about it if at all possible.
     
  4. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    100% with you there; of course 1/4 size basses are valuable to the people who need to use them. The point I was trying to make was that looking for pedigree or brand on such an instrument from two wideish photos, with nothing to identify the instrument but a description of the label, and no identifying features, is nigh impossible. It looks like one of any number of makes of 1/4 size laminated gamba bass made in (or imported into) western germany for export to a reseller elsewhere on the planet who may or may not want to put their own german-sounding or italian-sounding label inside. I suppose with detailed photos of the gears, neck joint, button, purfling, f holes, a picture of the label, etc etc someone might be able to recognise it if they have one identical and with a brand label inside. But I'd say that's pretty remote.

    I actually love small basses. They can often be improved out of sight if someone cares to put in the time and effort and yes cash for a good setup and sometimes some inside work. Sadly though they are usually badly setup, hard to play and sound like a foam-lined cardboard box. yours sounds good and has some pretty flame . Thumbs up!
     
  5. It might be worth double-checking that label to make sure it says "Made in West Germany" and not "Made in Western Germany." They mean two different things.

    I've often wondered how a quality-made (assuming such exists) 1/4 sized DB would sound amplified. DBs have only been amped since¬ówhen, the 1950s or 1960s? And I don't suppose hardly anyone has tried amping a 1/4, given that they were made for kids. But what if you had one that sounded very good amped? It would sure beat shlepping around a 3/4 in a taxi or on the subway, wouldn't it?
     
  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    This one came in today.

    Height 61"
    Body 37"
    Scale 35"

    What do you reckon? Close?
     

    Attached Files:

  7. FeS2

    FeS2

    Jun 8, 2010
    Chicago
    Pretty close. In shape and size.

    Differant "patina" on the veneer.

    Someone put some money into this bass. Upgraded nut and fingerboard + properly set up and shaped. (bridge fitting and shape too) Real end pin. Kind of strange that they threw on a Kay tailpice but no harm there.

    It's an interesting instrument. Would be happy to have any (young) student learn on it.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.