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" Name That Bass "

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by KSB - Ken Smith, Mar 2, 2004.


  1. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    :cool: I just got this Bass a week ago. It has many flavours from all that have touched it. Later this month it will go out for a full restoration for a year or so.
    What kind of Bass is this? Arnold? Jeff? Common...... give us your two cents.
    All others are welcome to post thier ideas as well.
    Ask questions if you like as to what I might have seen inside that I can't show here or whatever.

    Here is the the link now posted on my 'site; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MysteryBass/name_that_bass.htm

    Let's have some fun with this old relic......

    I don't know how to post pics directly here. Feel free to do as you wish and post the pics of your discussion.
     
  2. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Jacques?

    BG
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Heifetzbass, Do you mean Jaquet?
    The Jaquet family had several generations of makers for 200 years from about 1700 to around 1900. Which member of the family are you referring to and from what period do you estimate the Bass to be from?
    Remember, A major restoration was done around 1850 or so give or take 25 years. The Bass was old then !

    The angle taper of the Back may not be original and could have been done later. This Bass was also slightly bigger from what I can see.
    The Purfling on the Top runs out on each of the 6 Bouts as if it was 'greatly' worn from use and abuse of was slightly cut or trimmed about 5mm or less on each Bout.

    Maybe the Back shrunk and the Ribs were shortened. The extreme curl of the Sycamore could have made the Bass shrink more than usual.
    The Back however is not Purfled on the edges but rather has a faint hint of painted Purfling around all edges which runs out as well. The Back also has a thin Ebony strip inlaid down the center Seam which leads me to believe it was added later to fill the gap from shrinkage.

    This Bass has had many repairs and modifications over it's long life.

    The Varnish is original under the repairs except for some
    touch-up with a reddish tint. The F holes are original and the Neck Block taper seems to be original as the Purfling is still there on the Top. The gentle lower Bout cut is original as well and this and the other features should help find it's origin.

    Of course when the Top comes off and we examine the Blocks and Lining, we should know alot more. By the way, the flames of the Back and Ribs are twice as intense from the inside where there is no Varnish obscuring the figure. The wood is very dark on the inside indicating the Bass is quite old. I can pick it up easily in one hand despite its size as the old dry wood is beyond seasoned !
     
  4. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Ken-

    Of course that is what I meant... :confused:

    I am just brain dead after working with "students" all day. I was just trying to prime the pump.

    I will be watching to see what unfolds.

    BG
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    This is one of the biggest basses that I've ever laid hands on. I am 6' tall and this bass I think was taller than me without and endpin.

    As ken alluded to though it is extremely light for being the size of the freaking Titanic !
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Actually, the height is 77" tall (6ft.5in.). It was probably an 'Eb' Neck and will be reduced to a 'D' Neck ending up around 76" or so after the new Neck graft.
     
  7. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Did that boat come with oars ?
     
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Come on Don, it's not that big. I've seen Basses much bigger than that in the past.

    You gotta get out a little more....... Speak to the wife.......lol

    So....... What kind of Boat do you think it is.......lol.....


    162 views so far and only one guess? .....Plus the boat thing....

    It's not often we see an oldie up here on the forum, is it?

    Go on... take a 'stab' at it.....I mean a 'guess'....

    Where's all of our Double Bass Luthiers I usually see lurking around?
     
  9. Im gonna guess English. Keep in my mind that my guess has absolutely no logic behind it, other than the consideration of very "vague" or "subjective" characteristics and expectations I have when I see Italian, German, Bohemian, etc...

    SO there you go
     
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm not terribly schooled on this, but it looks French to me. The low-slung f-holes I've seen on some Tyroleon critters.
     
  11. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    My initial thinking is that it is Germanic in origin. I've seen that type of back bend on a Kaakstein (Berlin, c.1890), though I'm sure your bass is older. Also the dovetail neck joint is a giveaway, as is the shape (unless it's a cut-down). Could be made in England--don't forget, many of the "English" makers, such as Lott, were German immigrants. I suspect a German/English connection. I'm a little thrown by the long f-holes. I think the maker must have dug Gaglianos! Judging by that lonnnggg upper bout, lots-o-luck getting that thing down to 42".
     
  12. Prescott or one of those guys from that shop? Dearborne...

    .
     
  13. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Dearborn, MI? You mean like Henry Ford?
     
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    So at least we know it's a Bass...lol

    Ray and Rimas, Please tell me what Bass this reminds you of and why you think it can be English or French and from what period.

    Paul, The head and neck are not original at all. Only the Scroll and Replaced 'X'/Cross Bar suggest a USA repair in the 19th century.

    Arnold, Thanks alot for coming up. The Varnish is a beautiful transparent Oil. I haven't seen any Basses other than Italians having a Varnish texture like this.
    And yes, Gagliano does come to mind especially with the type and high grade of wood used and the yellow Varnish.

    The bend at the Top Bout towards the Neck Block may be a modification. The Ribs bending steeply into the Neck Block seems original as the Top Purfling slooks to be un-touched there.
    The Corners are original as well even knowing the the bouts may have been trimmed inwards a bit as the Purfling runs out on all of Upper and Lower the Bouts and the C Bouts only show a little wear. The purfling in an about the corners are intact. All the purfling seem to match where ever it still remains.

    An interesting point I left out before is that this Bass according to the sellers belonged to an old man that came here from Europe around 1920 with the Bass and didn't do anything to it. It looks as if it has been neglected for 80 years as they suggest. If the Bass was repaired in 19th century New Hampshire or Boston then maybe a musician traveling or playing on a Ship had it repaired here and took it back to Europe. Then 50 years or so later someone immigrated to America with it.
     
  15. I think he worked in Prescotts shp, then did some basses on his own......I may be way off bass here because most of these guys put big, outside linings on their basses. I thought maybe there was an exception or someone took them off.
    I think Ken has yet another fine bass by another maker of the Prescott ilk...right Ken?
     
  16. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Don't go by me, really. I was just putting in my 2p.

    The overall shape somehow makes my guess what it was. Although, it looks a bit deep in the ribs as a lot of the french basses that I've been around have that kind of shape but are shallower. That neck joint is pretty industrial looking, so maybe some german flavor there? Hell, I don't really know fore sure.
     
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Paul, See my previous post I just did at the same moment you were posting yours..You cut in front of me with out signaling....lol.....

    This Bass was restored in USA in the 19th century but 'smells' European all the way.... I don't think they would have imported wood like this for a Bass when the have thier own Maple and Spruce in thier back yard.
    The Scroll Varnish is early American and looks similar to my Batchelder and identical to an 1810 'Prescott' Kolstein recently sold. Same identical Button in the back of the Scroll.

    I have seen two (2) Dearborn Basses and this is nothing at all like them. The Dearborns didn't have the outside lining strips like some of the Prescotts did.
     
  18. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    If you are interested in looking for comparison there is a Dearborn for sale on Kolsteins site.

    FWIW
    BG
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Arnold, what do you mean by the shape being a giveaway? Are you referring to the Body and Bouts?

    Could the Neck Block have been altered or replaced? I will examine it closely when the Bass is apart to see if the Block is original or altered.

    The width or the Neck at the Block is 2 3/4" but tapered in under the Fingerboard to 2 5/8". Maybe from the 4 to 3 string change and then back to 4 if that's a possibility !?

    The F holes are 9 5/8" long at the longest point. I think they look a bit Amatise but then again didn't Alessandro Gagliano train with Nicolo Amati and then with Strad. before moving back to Naples?
     

  20. I love when you guys talk like this! :hyper: