Old german bass with initials... But who is it?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by fydda, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    Can anybody help me out with this one?
    Is it Günther Krahmer? His 47th bass? 1947?

    It is a strange, but old bass... Very heavy and with "cello" shape. 12cm between the f-holes and 110cm string length.


    All suggestions are welcome...

  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Gunter is around 70 now, so he would have been about 12 in 1947.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Maybe it's the original price?
  4. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    It's at the end, looking at the top, with the saddle removed. The three layers are the end block, the ribs and the outer linings.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    That'd be the exterior lining, ribs, and block.
  6. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    Thank you for all the answers...
    I have now discovered some old german writings beneath the top plate. Hopefully that will tell something about the instrument :)
  7. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    This was a poem that the luthier wrote... It is written in old german and with very hard-to-read handwriting, but I'll try to find out what it says... The only thing I understand is: "Manhheim, 1905"...
    The sad thing is that the maker did not sign his work with other than the poem..


    Aug 26, 2005
  9. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    The poem goes something like this (bad translation from old german to norwegian to english...):

    "In the morning, when the rooster "howls" , you should look at this bass, if you can make it better, you have the premission to laugh ..."

    "Manhheim, 1905"

    There is also one more line I don't understand yet.. All lines are rhyming. :)

    The bass sounds kinda crappy at the moment, but it is very good workmanship and high quality wood. Any suggestions who this might be?
  10. does it go like this?
    "morgens, wenn der Hahn gekrähten,
    sollten Sie diesen Baß betrachten,
    wenn Sie ihn besser bilden können,
    Sie haben das permission, zum zu lachen..."

    Hmm. Basically it means "you better get up pretty early to build a better Bass than this one, and if you can, you have the right to laugh..right?
  11. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    Pretty much... Theese are the words that I understood:

    "früh morgens wenn die hanen krähen
    dann musst ihr diesen bass besehen
    wenn ...?... ihn könnt besser machen
    den dürft darüber lachen

    mannheim august 1905"

    But it's pretty hard to read though. I've had some good help from a "good at reading old german handwriting"-guy.
    I'll post a pic later.
  12. john van lierop

    john van lierop

    Mar 24, 2006
    Hai Amund,
    Your bass may be a Ferdinand Lang. He made several very good Italian copys. I had a Panormo copy from him. The initails may be from an inventory list from a school or opera house.
    john van lierop
  13. Bass Maker's apology written in pencil.

    The fact that the maker wrote in pencil rather than in ink might suggest this "apology" was aimed at future repairmen who might laugh at his experimental design. Also, maybe the English word "crows" is better than the chicken "howls".
  14. fydda


    Nov 2, 2005
    ...bringing this post back on track. Just found out who build the thing.

    After looking through the whole darn Henely Dictionary page for page and looking for every luthier from mannheim, I discovered a guy that has to be the father of this bass. His name was "Dr. Blass" and he worked in Mannheim in 1905. The book says that he was a very proud man and that he claimed to have discovered the secrets of Amati and Stradivarius. Allthough, when his instruments was compared with some Cremonian beauties in a Berlin orchestra, it was a fact that this Dr Blass had to abdicate. :smug:

    Im pretty shure this is the right man. His experimental design and lack of masterous tone combined with high quality wood and great workmanship.

    Comments are welcome. And if anybody has more info about Dr. Blass, I would be happy to know.
  15. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    i still think that bass looks awesome.
    i love how long the body is...it looks so sweet.
  16. ao'connor17


    Feb 12, 2007
    Tivoli, NY
    i dig the tuners, don't like the back (flat backs are my thing)