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NBD: IDK! (What is this bass?)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boots_cats, Nov 30, 2018.


  1. boots_cats

    boots_cats

    May 23, 2014
    Help! I just picked up this amazing fretless in a trade, and damned if anyone knows what it is! It's awesome for sure, but curious if anyone has an idea who made it or where it came from? No branding, no serial number other than a date (13-8-89).

    Ebony board, side wings either walnut or wenge (I'm not good with fancy woods) and the neck isn't maple. Bartolini passive pickups, all Gotoh hardware, brass nut. As you see the headstock actually curves backwards at the top, like a paintbrush - it's really cool!

    I got it in Berlin, so possibly made in Germany but by no means certain. 2 owners ago thought it was a Schack prototype, but I'm skeptical.

    Any thoughts/ideas?

    IMG_20181125_213739. IMG_20181126_181753. IMG_20181125_213905. IMG_20181125_213856. IMG_20181125_213914.
     
  2. I certainly don't think it's a Schack. Schack were in full swing by 1989 and this looks a little more 'homemade' than their basses. That brass nut, for instance, looks to have been machined by hand.
     
    Uncle Hanky likes this.
  3. boots_cats

    boots_cats

    May 23, 2014
    Yeah, I'm not so familiar with Schack but just from googling them, I tend to agree with you.

    The nut looks shabbier in that picture than it really is - it's quite tarnished. Homemade is still the leading contender, as far as I can tell.
     
    wesonbass likes this.
  4. osv

    osv Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    The neck looks like oak. I don’t know of any production shops using oak for necks, so I’m guessing home made.
     
    Solarmist and UNICORN BASS like this.
  5. boots_cats

    boots_cats

    May 23, 2014
    What is the disadvantage to an oak neck? I assume there is one, right?
     
  6. osv

    osv Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I really don’t know if there is a disadvantage. Since oak is so readily available, and cheaper than maple, you would think it would be used. Maybe it’s the open grain, or that maple is just that much harder and durable.
     
  7. LouBass

    LouBass Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Ann Arbor Michigan
    There's a lot of oak Chapman Sticks out there. I've never personally understood the aversion to oak in the bass market. Anyway, the bass looks amazing. I think you did well in the trade.
     
  8. UNICORN BASS

    UNICORN BASS

    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    What a wonderful looking bass! Hope it sounds good too. I agree on the neck, nice grained oak.
     
    LoTone likes this.
  9. boots_cats

    boots_cats

    May 23, 2014
    Hahaha, well, you don't know what I traded for it... ;)

    But I think so too, I actually swapped a G&L Tribute 5-string for it. Also a very good bass, but I didn't need 2 active 5-strings.

    It's at the luthier's shop now, hopefully he doesn't discover some kind of crazy problem...
     
    LouBass likes this.
  10. Yep. Wenge, Oak, and homemade is my guess as well.
     
    cmcbass and LouBass like this.
  11. boots_cats

    boots_cats

    May 23, 2014
    Does seem most likely. Well, if there's anywhere that I'd be able to find the builder or someone who knows him/her, it'd be here...right?
     
  12. tb4sbp

    tb4sbp

    May 9, 2017
    North East
    Looks home made but very nicely done
    Good score
     
  13. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    One advantage is you can take it out and hit a few balls with it :)

    No really - that looks like a very cool score. Enjoy!
     
  14. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Or on BassChat.
     
  15. I think the only disadvantage of Oak is for the luthier who is cutting the wood - they don't like the way it splinters. Also it is heavy. But it is supposed to be excellent in terms of stiffness and stability so I think it'd make a great neck if you don't mind the weight.
     
  16. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    The brass nut looks like it is creaming in pain ;)
    Does it need to be replaced?
    Congrats on your awesome score, I hope you learn more about it!
     
  17. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Redding CA
    Nice bass! If it was home made, the person who did it must have known what they were doing. Even the date tag looks professional. Maybe a private luthier? Another possibility on the neck wood could be ash. Oak and ash look very similar.
     
    wesonbass likes this.
  18. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Stunning bass whatever the heck it is!...:thumbsup:
     
  19. BassikBrad

    BassikBrad IndigoBurst Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2018
    Las Vegas. New Mexico
    It's an easy job to polish the nut to look amazing & add a little bees wax to protect it.
    While your at it polish your strings & pickups, the improvement to your sound will be astonishing.
     

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