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Old Juzek bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jhenley2, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. jhenley2


    Jan 25, 2014
    I bought a restoration project. I'm about done with it, but unfortunately all I know about it is that it is an old John Juzek Master art. The label looks super old and says made in Czeckoslavakia. Is anyone a Juzek buff around here? my project is on facebook under Josh Henley's busted bass if anyone wants a look at the label.
  2. jhenley2


    Jan 25, 2014
    The information on my facebook is obviously not correct regarding the year. I need to change that.
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Do a search for Juzek. There are a few threads. From what I've learned, Juzek labeled basses were imported by Juzek's NYC company, Metropolitan Music, and sold to the NYC school system and probably others. The business started in the mid 1920's. They were made in large part by Wilfer, in Czech before the war, and Germany after. The Juzek name is a trade name. John Juzek never handmade a bass.

    Master Art was their highest level bass, but the "real" master arts had violin corners, which yours does not. I have a bass with a master art label, and it is also gamba shaped.

    There is also a lot of info on www.smithbassforums.com. Ken Smith knows the Juzeks and their history well.
  4. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    was kept for the best instruments at the time

    it seems that from the 50's on they were violin corners and were commissioned as such - the Better line - from the shops

    earlier ones seem to be both Gamba & violin, round & flat back - they probably sourced basses from various builders and labeled/priced them accordingly

    could be that, until they had the volume to monopolize Wilfer or whoever's shop output they really didn't dictate the form

    I have a very early - possibly 1905 I'm told - that was most likely acquired much later for import to the US as a professional level instrument - BTW this bass is a gamba flatback gold in finish - unlike any other Juzek I've seen
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Does it have a Juzek label and date?
  6. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    I believe Ken Smith mentioned that Metro Music would some times get older basses and put the Juzek label in for import.
  7. jmpiwonka


    Jun 11, 2002
    can someone post a link to the pics?
  8. jhenley2


    Jan 25, 2014
    My project bass is just as you described. a flatback goldish colored Juzek labeled bass. The reason I thought it was from 1910 was because that's what Andy Stetson told me when I bought it from him. When I was in college, I played a violin cornered Juzek from 1957. It was an excellent bass and I miss it. It is in disrepair, but the school won't sell it. Its sad.
  9. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
  10. dennimonroe


    Nov 19, 2007
    There were several luthier shops in Markneukirchen that made basses ordered by Juzek and others. I have one imported by William Lewis & Son. Mostly three levels, carved with premium wood, carved with non-figured wood, and plywood. Many carved back and some flat back. If in good repair these are good basses to play and own. The shoulders are comfortable and overall the bass is easy to handle.
  11. pnchad

    pnchad Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    yes, Hammond Ashley had the bass when I bought it 15 yrs ago

    they said it pre-dates the Met Music Co but was bought in Europe for import - label just says John Juzek of Prague no date