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Repairs to Czech Pylwood

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by gwildar, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. gwildar


    Sep 1, 2003

    i recently got hold on an old czech plywood double bass. I got if for free as the guy a) never played it. b) moving to America c) a friend. It's in pretty poor condition, I've taken it to a professional luthier and the say the repairs are going to cost around £500 ($800). I'll also need a new set of strings and case. I've been playing electric bass for around 10 years now and was looking to pick up a double bass. I was wondering if people think it's worth getting it fixed or should I just look for a new one?
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Uh, it's hard to say with the information you have given us. But, $800 for a professional-playing instrument is a deal.
    What is the condition of the neck? What wood is the fingerboard? Is this a newer Czech plywood, or an older one? What work does your luthier want to do to it? Where are you?
  3. gwildar


    Sep 1, 2003
    Repairs are: shoot finger board, repair the rib bulge - this is the major work. Basically the back is split about a yard long down the seam. Also requires a new nut, and new endpin. Plus refit the sound post.
    The neck isn't in too bad a condition. Though could do with sanding.

    The fingerboard isn't rosewood or ebony. So I'm guessing it wasn't an expensive bass in the first place. My guess it's about 20+ years old. It has a little silver and blue label saying "made in czechoslovakia".

    I'm based in London and the Luthier is a long established, very reputable outfit.
  4. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709
    Assuming your luthier is reputable and honest, I would suspect that he would reject this instrument and tell you if he thought it wasn't worth fixing. So, if you can get a nice sounding DB for about a $800 you have a fair deal. But, you also have a DB with some age on it. That can definitly be a plus. Probably not a steal but never the less. You can expect to spend $120 - 300 for strings, expecially if you are getting guts. A nice soft case will set you back another $175 - 250. Things are starting to add up! Welcome to the world of your new addiction.
    Walt MI/US:D
  5. gwildar


    Sep 1, 2003
    Yes, strings and a good case (waterproof, padded, shoulder straps etc) will add an extra $300. So looking at around $1100 all in.The Luthier said that it was worth doing. Although he did add that in the end it was my call.
  6. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709
    If you haven't committed, maybe get a second opinion on whether it is worth fixing.
    Good Luck
    Walt MI/US
  7. fortress1w


    Aug 25, 2003
    Burlington, VT
    I purchased a Czech plywood about a year ago. I am basically the electric bassist trying to go both ways. I took the bass to a Luthier who did some research for me. It turns out its from the 1920's, its a Strad Copy and it gets the general rating = 7 out of 10.
    When you Say that the wood isnt Ebony or Rosewood, I look at mine and ask myself what is it? Ebony? I am really not sure.

    I bought the bass for about $1500 bucks and there had been some repairs on the headstock as well as the nut. There was a crack at the bottom near the sound post that seemed to seal up nicely as well. All in all it is probably a good investment because my plywood sounds good with a nice maple Despiau bridge fitted to it.