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Need info on '56 American Standard Upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dave Harbst, Sep 27, 2009.


  1. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    (I'm new to TalkBass and already posted this, but in the BG section by mistake, so I will re-post it here in DB.)
    .....
    First of all, I'm just getting interested in bass, so I know almost nothing about a bass. I've been a mandolin player for quite a while, but never tried the bass. I have an opportunity to trade a mandolin for a bass, but I'm not familiar with what the bass I'm interested in is worth. So far, this is what I've been told: It's a 1956 American Standard and has recently had all new hardware, a neck reset, new adjustable bridge, adjustable end pin, new tuners, new tailpiece and new strings. The guy who owns it is a bluegrass musician who plays professionally. He claims the bass is a "monster". Any feedback, good, bad or otherwise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. tomshepp

    tomshepp Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    American Standards are, IMHO, and limited knowledge, well respected old American plywood basses. I think they are more rare than Kay basses which are also highly regarded in some circles. AS basses have a rep of having a big sound and are sought after by a lot of bluegrass players. They also can have problems in certain areas. A good luthier will know about all of this.

    All this being said, you should play the bass, have it evaluated by a respected luthier, and then compare that with the value of the mandolin that you are trading.

    I think there was a really nice AS for sale in the classified section here. With old plywood basses, originality of the instrument also affects its value. Best of luck and welcome to TB.
     
  3. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    >>tomshepp
    Good advice. Thanks. I'll proceed with caution.
    DH
     
  4. jlilley

    jlilley

    Aug 28, 2005
    Mill Creek, WA
    I have a '49 American Standard and it is a great bass. Some of the old American plywood basses have some serious mojo going on. If you've got an interest in the low end and the bass checks out, I don't think you'll regret picking it up.
    Check out americanstandardbass.com for more information on these great old basses.
    Cheers,
    John
     
  5. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    jlilly,
    I feel pretty sure the bass is solid and is as described. At this point, I'm more concerned that it is worth what he feels it is, which is $1800, by the way. Just in case I don't continue with playing the bass, I'd like to be able to resell it without losing too much.
    I am still trying to get an idea what that particular model of bass is worth.
    Thanks for you input.
    DH
     
  6. jlilley

    jlilley

    Aug 28, 2005
    Mill Creek, WA
    I don't think you'd have any trouble getting $1800 out of it as long as the condition is good.
    John
     
  7. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    jlilley,
    Yeah, that's what I've been finding in my search for for more info. So I guess all I need to do now is to take the plunge and see what happens.
    Thanks for your input.
    DH
     
  8. tomshepp

    tomshepp Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    The AS in the TB classified section was well north of $1800. I think the asking price was in the $3500. range? If I could figure out how to link it I would. Dave, see if you can find it. It's on page 2. It looks to me to be in about as good and original condition as it gets.
     
  9. PaulKing

    PaulKing

    Apr 17, 2004
    London, UK
    You are looking at a VERY desirable and collectable bass at a pretty decent price. They are desirable for good reason, as they tend to sound good.

    Check Fretwell bass for AS basses sold in the past. On the 'basses sold page' prices are deleted ... but look at the pictures and they all have price tags on, so at least you know the asking price.
     
  10. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    tomshepp,
    Found it and it's just what I was needing to know. The guy I'm working with on this deal is an okay guy and I've had some dealings with him before, so now that I've done some research on the AS bass, I am feeling comfortable with the deal. I'm in PA and he's in TN, so now it's just a matter of conveniently getting the bass. Next month, I plan to visit a friend down that way and will pick up the bass at that time.
    Thanks to you and the other TB guys. I'm new to this site and from what I've read so far, it seems like a good community. I've been a Mandolin Cafe member just about since it started and feel the same about that site.
    Thanks again.
    Dave in PA
     
  11. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    $1800's a great deal on an American Standard, even if you have to put a little extra in if it needs some re-adjustments with its set up.
     
  12. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    Thanks, Phil. I'll be getting the AS next month sometime and am anxious to learn how to play it.
    Dave
     
  13. Bass

    Bass

    Nov 10, 2003
    Canada
    Hi Dave, welcome to TalkBass! Well, some of us here are pretty good anyhow.

    Good luck with the AS bass, sounds like a good deal to me. Especially if he's taking your mandolin on trade.
     
  14. Hey Dave, are you still here? What's the mandolin you're trading? As you know by now, those Am Standards are in demand, and not just for bluegrass.
     
  15. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    Paul,
    Yeah, still here. The mandolin is a Summit F-100S. It's a great mandolin. The deal is done at this point, as I have agreed to the trade. I expect to get the bass within the next month. It's in TN and I'm in PA. I have a trip to Asheville coming up and can pass through TN on the way and pick up the bass.
    Thanks for the positive feedback. The more I talk to people about the AS, I feel that I am making a good move in getting it.
    Dave in PA
     
  16. PaulKing

    PaulKing

    Apr 17, 2004
    London, UK
    You are making a good move.
    Expect to have people offer you money all the time for that bass...
     
  17. Dave Harbst

    Dave Harbst

    Sep 27, 2009
    Paul,
    Before I give it up, I'll make a strong attempt to learn to play it. I'm sure I'll be back to the TalkBass site for some tips from the "pros" out there.
    Thanks for the positive input.
    Dave
     

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