Please help me identify this bass?! Japanese? Soviet?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nickbearden, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. nickbearden

    nickbearden Jamestown Revival - Bass

    Nov 13, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Reunion Blues, LR Baggs, D'Addario, Seymour Duncan, Tecovas, A-Designs REDDI Planet Waves Vic Firth
    Hey gang,


    Any ideas on identifying this bass? I have a bass in the collection that I am not sure of who the manufacturer is, and was hoping that someone around here may have some insight as to who exactly made it?

    There are no name tags, numbers, or information on anything that I can see, to help determine. It has been refinished. The pick guard is mirrored metal, and the potentiometers / switches are sealed under a soldered-on metal cap. I am hoping that the switch plate will help give away what definitive bass it is? Other than the re-fin, the rest appears to be stock / original.

    I have done some poking around searching under Tiesco, Japanese Bass, Soviet Bass, Russian Bass, the other usual suspects, and when a brand pops up under those searches, I've gone down further rabbit holes of other models / makes by whacky off-shoot Japanese & Soviet basses, nothing identical yet.

    Sounds great, pickups don't strike me as microphonic, has a pretty warm / fat tone, records beautifully, just wish I knew who made it! :)


    IMG_0735.jpeg IMG_0736.jpeg IMG_0738.jpeg IMG_0737.jpeg IMG_0739.jpeg
    pudge and bobyoung53 like this.
  2. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Burn it, the soviet secret service is definately looking for youre location via glonass right now. btw. what a lovely bass!
  3. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    Has a body reminiscent of an Egmond Typhoon but I reckon it's a Klira, made in Germany. Those rotary controls were quite common in '60s European basses. The 'plate is non-original, obviously, and so might the routing underneath.
  4. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    Did you check the body cavity for microfilms?

    A sentence I’m pretty sure I’ve never before uttered.
    HG1180 likes this.
  5. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    During cold war people in Eastern Europe were building guitars/basses based on rare photos that we could find. One of the first bass guitars in Croatia (Yugoslavia at that time) was extra large because neck scale was estimated by comparing to a bass player size who was holding it on a photo, and he was a small guy :)
    All parts were recycled electronic or invented from scratch.
    knumbskull, RobTheRiot and ajkula66 like this.
  6. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis

    Dec 11, 1999
    It's either a Klira or a Framus bass that was made in Germany. I'll have to check on the model designation but it's definitely one or the other.

  7. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    I think I recognize those screw heads. This could be an early model from the Chelyabinsk tank factory, using spare parts from T34 production. ;)
    gebass6 and Torrente Cro like this.
  8. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    T34 screws, JFC......
  9. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    I remember reading an interview with a Russian musician who said they took apart telephone receivers to make the transducers.
  10. Gunga Din

    Gunga Din

    Jun 22, 2018
    In Estonia, before the Eastern Block came to an end, I spotted an early '70s Jazz Bass in a shop for £100, a bargain. I spoke to my guide about it and he said it was common for guys to wind their own pups and keep the originals from name instruments.
    craigie likes this.
  11. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Certainly German-made, and from the mid-'60s. It appears the refin job began with stripping off some kind of glued-on plastic covering. It could be a bass version of this Fasan "Holiday" guitar:


    But some Fasan, Isana and Klira models were very similar to each other, and even seem to have shared the name "Holiday" sometimes.

    Here's a bastardized bass with the same kind of body and Schaller pickup/pickguard assembly, but what looks like a Höfner 185 neck:

  12. In Soviet Russia,bass identify you!
    craigie likes this.
  13. nickbearden

    nickbearden Jamestown Revival - Bass

    Nov 13, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Reunion Blues, LR Baggs, D'Addario, Seymour Duncan, Tecovas, A-Designs REDDI Planet Waves Vic Firth

    Pickguard is definitely the same here, thank you for including these photos. I think that I saw this photo somewhere online when I was first poking around, and then couldn't find it again! The pickguard is definitely the same. Are you saying that these pickups were made by Schaller? Learn something new everyday, I wasn't aware they made pups too!
  14. Oleg BassPlayer

    Oleg BassPlayer

    Feb 4, 2016
    Check this site, it's in Russian but you may find the bass by pic and see it's name, and get the general meaning of the text by means of Google translate after all: