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Need Info on Wilford

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Mrs.Mac, Jul 31, 2005.


  1. Which would be best to purchase Model 10 or 11 and Why?
    Ready to purchase can't make final decission just yet. Live in Rural area where you don't see alot of finer uprights and since this is an investment as well as a pleasure I would really like opinion from someone who knows.
     
  2. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Do you mean Wilfer? Where do you live? It would help if you'd fill out your profile. From where are you considering purchasing? Have you checked out descriptions at Lemur Music and elsewhere? Given described differences, what parameters are important to you? Tell us more.
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I consider Wilfers to be nice NEW Basses but NOT High End or even High End New at all. The Necks are often set poorly straight from the shop. I would recommend a Shen Top of the Line Bass that should run much less than a Wilfer, made as good or better and the Neck set is correct.

    High End New is usually a Handmade Bass in the 20-30k range U$D. Real High end is Vintage in the 50-100k range. For Jazz playing it is less than half for a great Bass but Bowed Basses for Orchestra are in a seperate class.

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    A lot of the Wilfers that I have seen have had some of the most spectacular, beautifully flamed wood that I have ever seen. That doesn't necessarily mean they are the best to play or produce the nicest sound. Personally I find them to be overpriced.

    I urge you to play a bass before you buy it. Every Wilfer is very different. I'm sure that if you found the right one, it would be a great instrument.
     
  5. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    ..assuming the neck is set properly! I'd consider Ken's advice carefully.
     
  6. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I owned a Model 12, bought new. I sold it to get a couple of Arnold Schnitzer and Wil de Sola's basses, models New Standard Cleveland and an S&D. I think between $4K and $12K, these are consistently the best sounding new instruments. And you can be sure of not getting a dud. www.newstandardbass.com or search for New Standard Bass in these forums.
     
  7. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yes, I agree on Arnolds Basses. I have played several at his shop and his Fully Carved model is great. Having two Shens of my own though made me think of them first. Arnold is also a Shen Dealer. Give him a call and ask his advice.

    You have not yet told us where in the world you are. That may alter your plans as well.
     
  8. We are in Alabama. Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I thought this would be an easy gift for my husband but even he can't decide what to buy.
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Check these websites and call them. Both companies are on TB right here.

    http://www.aesbass.com/handmadebasses.htm

    http://www.cscproducts.com/

    A Wilfer is not close to my first choice at all. Older similar German Basses, broken in and just as good can cost less that a new Wilfer.

    Emanuel is the third Generation of this branch of Wilfers and they fall short of eariler basses by Wenzel and Anton Wilfer IMO. I have played Basses by all of them and owned several Wilfers before but none by Emanuell.

    Schnitzer and Shen can do better in price and performance than a new Wilfer and you have someone to talk with other than a dealer/importer.
     
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Mrs. Mac- welcome to Talkbass... what kind of music does your husband play? Is he new to the upright bass?
     
  11. My husband plays a swing/big band bass and has been playing for approx 50 years. He has worked all over the world and has now come home to spend time with his music. He has a Kay bass that has a great setup which was the work of Mr. George Chestnut in Nashville. He has his heart and mind set on a better bass and we are not sure what a better bass is. We live in Central Alabama and work alot and really don't have access to finer instruments. He is also intrested in a Juzek that is in good condition.
     
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    If it's a carved Juzek then it's 99% chance it's a Wilfer. They made all the Juzeks for the last 70 years or so if not more.
     
  13. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    To be honest Mrs. Mac, I think a New Standard bass might be just the ticket for a player like your husband.

    http://www.newstandardbass.com/

    We have tons and tons of players here who use them.

    I know all the info here is probably overwhelming to someone who hasn't looked before... there are so many choices to make. But contacting Arnold Schnitzer... there isn't a better place to look as far as I am concerned.
     
  14. I second the New Standard nomination! Arnold is a great guy and really knows his basses and covers all bases. :bassist: :D
     
  15. I can't specifically disagree with anything said above. However, I think it must be pointed out that there are currently two "Wilfer" companies which are not clearly associated. It is good to be specific particularly if we are characterizing the instrument as having improper neck set or other inherrent flaw. The Emmanuel Wilfer Company is not the same as the Andreas Wilfer Company. I have seen a very good Andreas Wilfer double bass that was priced about $5K a few years ago. These companies appear separately along with some other makers at this link:

    http://www.doublebassguide.com/4_links.html

    Ken, how is it that the neck set on the Wilfers that you are talking about is not proper? Were they off center, bad angle, too short at the overstand;- please be specific.
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Emanuell is the 3rd generation as I mentioned that has supplied Juzek. Andreas is not related to the Juzek models as far as I know.

    As far as the Neck 'stands', The Bridges all felt low on their Basses at the show. I played several in their Booth. I also visited a new Chinese maker and they had the exact same problem. When I pointed this out to a young Chinese women in the booth, she "took notes".

    From what I have played, 6.5" is an average Bridge height with Medium String height. The highest I currently have is 7" and the reach is very comfortable (my Shen 7/8) and 6" is about the lowest it should be. Just pitching the Neck doesnt help when you go up into thumb position, especially with a high shouldered older Bass. Comfort is the Key and there is little or No excuse for a New Bass to be difficult to play with all the knoweledge we have now after 400 years or trying.
     
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'll throw my $ .02 in as well. I'm a jazz bassist and have admired the look of several E. Wilfer's. From a cosmetic standpoint, I speak up for their quality and consistancy. I have been told that they make better orchestral basses than jazz basses, but I played one in a jazz setting one time that I thought was great. So, that's a vote for.

    Here's my vote against. A know several jazz and especially bluegrass and rockabilly bassists who had Kays, "upgraded" to one or more carved basses and then went back to their Kays. I'm not one of those people, I love my century old carved bass, but hearing about a swing band bassist who has a well set up Kay who has his heart set on upgrading to a "better" bass, without playing it and for that matter a few of them first, concerns me.

    Don't know where that leaves you, but hopefully something new to think about. Good luck, let us know what you decide and how it turns out.

    Troy
     
  18. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    A very, very good point as well.

    Kays are well regarded instruments. The prices that they sometimes draw on ebay...!
     
  19. They "felt" low, but did you get a chance to measure them? I'd like to know how it actually compares with the values you've put forward as standards. Does anyone have the actual bridge height of a recent Emanuel Wilfer handy?

    I remember that before I ordered my Bulgarian bass that these were characterized by some on this forum as having a poor neck set also, too low an overstand, etc. and when I got the bass and measured these areas the bridge is 6 3/4 inches high and the overstand is 1 7/16 inches, well within what are considered proper dimensions, so I think it is very important when giving general reviews to be careful to be specific, particularly if we feel a maker is falling short in some way.
     
  20. Mrs. Mac,
    I own a 3/4 Juzek, fully carved from the 40's/50's and a 3/4 New Standard Cleveland laminated, both of which I now consider to be fine basses. I had a great deal of trouble making the E string on the Juzek sound as I wished and these folks on Talkbass remedied the problem. That being said, the New Standard from Arnold Schnitzer is without question superior across the board to the Juzek. Your husband is used to a forgiving laminated Kay in the humidity and heat of Alabama which is not totally unlike the pressure cooker here just outside of Richmond, VA. where I reside. Therefore, one vote for one of Arnold's laminated basses. However, if your husband has been playing for a good while he undoubtedly knows how to take care of a bass and one vote goes to one of Arnold's hybrid (partially laminated/ partially carved) or fully carved basses. The result is the same. Please get in touch with Mr. Schnitzer. I have been the Kay, Englehardt, Juzek, and New Standard route. I don't even feel that I'm going out on a limb by saying that one of Arnold's instruments will be your husband's favorite.
    By the way, I've been wanting one of his carved La Scala's would you be so kind as to give my wife a call and suggest this to her for a possible Christmas present?
    Where is Mike Childree when I need him?
    Jim Henderson