Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Roma Model 390 Double Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Gottasmilealot, Jun 22, 2005.


  1. Gottasmilealot

    Gottasmilealot

    Jun 22, 2005
    I'm considering getting one of these for bluegrass music. I want to stick to a laminated bass due to it being moved around a lot, and due to the humidy changes as a result.

    Anyone have pros or cons concerning this instrument?

    Thanks...

    Keith
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've never played one but I've heard good things about them. Apparently these basses were made in Bulgaria and imported by a guy who died and his son is selling off the stock at blowout prices. I thought it was just a sales gimmick and it still might be but the father did die. They need a setup and a set of decent strings, but they're better than CCB's and comparable in quality to other stuff in its price range, according to a couple guys on rockabillybass.com.

    Mind you, this is all hearsay that that I'm parroting. I was hoping someone else who knew about them would tell you but they never did. So I thought I'd relay what I read over at rockabillybass.com.
     
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, you can prolly buy them at a lot of different places, but the cat at IDEAL is moving some inventory.
     
  4. I thought the Roma models were of Romanian origin. The guy from Ideal has posted and is a registered user here. If you search for bassesonline.com you will find some threads about how he wound up with some fat inventory. His Dad was in the business for years. The Ideal music store here in Atlanta had plywood basses like that starting at $750, back when I first started DB window-shopping. That was maybe 6 years ago. It was a decent sort of downtown, lower price music store, very much the jazzer supply place and they were easy to deal with. After you had been in there a few times the name "Ideal" seemed well,- ideal.
     
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    That'd be our friend "greene", he's a member here. Search on his name, there'll be lots of posts. He's holding the bass "everything must go" sale of which dreams are made.
     
  6. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Hi,
    Let me just first say the basses were made in Romania and not Bulgaria. There are a few people on this site who knew my dad - he was a pretty big player in the string instrument business and represented the Czech music industry for 25 years - any Czech bass that came to the US between the late 1960's - mid 1990's came thru my dad's business Ideal Music. This is no sales gimmick. He worked right up until the day he died and he bought until the day he died. I have hundreds of basses - and thousands of cellos, violas and violins. 99% of everything is European made as my dad was fluent in German and did lots of wheeling and dealing in Germany with Wilfer and Hofner and Semmlinger and a whole host of wood brokers, luthiers etc etc. He did deals where he had wood shipped from Germany to Romania which is how the Roma basses were made.
    I am not now nor have I ever been working in the family business - more on that later. My mom who is now 82 years old does still work in the business which is considerably smaller now however its still a string players wet dream where everything from bass bibs, quivers, stands, tools and every kind of string ... is all there. My situation is simply this and a few on this site have been up to the shop so they can vouch for what I'm saying :

    My dad had operated out of 25,000 sq ft on 23rd St for about 15 years and of course he was operating in that neighborhood for more then 25 years before that - since the late 1950's. When the dot com thing happened and rents went thru the roof his landlord tripled his rent and so he had to find new space. He was up against the wall and over 80 - so he found a 5,000 sq ft space a block away on 22nd St and 15,000 sq ft of warehouse space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and then he died. I'm trying to get off the hook on the Brooklyn warehouse space. Anyone here from New York knows what 15,000 sq ft is costing me. I have hundreds of basses and thats just the least of it - the entire Czech music industry wasn't just string instruments. There was also all the Amati brass and wind instruments as well. And my dad didn't just handle the Czechs - he had a whole lot of other manufacturers that he traded with as well. I've only just finished selling the fluegelhorns ... try and imagine thousands and thousands of crates because that would be what I'm faced with. I have been approached by a number of people many people here would know who would like to take all of the basses off my hands ... and at some point I might just do it but in the meantime I decided to just cut the prices in half and then a little more and sell them directly. It drives dealers crazy and needless to say I know the rumours are flying about these basses but its all very real. I'm selling basses that would normally be a few grand for less then a grand or I have Wilfers that Lemur sells for twice what I'm selling them for. I have to do what I have to do ... which is to clear that warehouse within the next two or three years. Thats how long I figure before my mom decides she'd rather sleep late.

    So if anyone wants to know anything about this they can contact me, go to the web site my email is there etc. I have German Eberle, Romanian Roma, I just found a Benedikt Lang which is German, I have E Wilfers and some Hofners. I have 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 size and I have laminates, hybrids and fully carved. Ever see a Wilfer ply ? Beautiful ... I have lots of these.

    Any other questions don't hesitate to get in touch with me ... As for my own motives - I am not in the musical instrument business. I was a studio keyboard player here in New York and then did some arranging for commercials and then had a successful recording studio in Soho where I also bought the property, and I produced records including a few hits so I never wanted or needed to be in the family biz and I don't need the money (the commercial property in Soho takes care of that) so believe me this is NOT about making a profit which is why ... and the ONLY reason why, the basses can be sold for as little as I'm selling them for. They are worth more then twice what I'm asking. Another words, I'm no dealer, well maybe you could call me a temporary dealer but I like to think of myself (if anyone remembers) sort of the "crazie Eddie of double basses" my dad would be laughing if he knew ...
    Steve

    PS The Atlanta Ideal Music store which is owned by Eli Frisch & family who I know since I was a baby ... was named after my dad's Ideal Music ... they were and I believe still are customers as well as close friends.

    PPS We change all the strings that are on the basses to either hybrids or anything in Pirastro or Thomastik ikn a similar price category. The basses are all also sold with a basic set up.
     
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    God, I'd be dangerous in that warehouse. I'd have to leave the checkbook with the wife.
     
  8. Bud Rink

    Bud Rink

    May 5, 2000
    NYC, USA
    The Ideal music establishment was one of those only in New York kind of places: decor - 0, inventory - 10. :) I bought a lot of items there from Greene's parents over the years, from strings to mutes to rosin to bows. I can only imagine what was behind those doors to the "back room". Greene - is that Benedikt Lang a carved bass? How long did your dad have that in inventory? I have one from around the 50s, I didn't know that shop still produced basses.
     
  9. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Bud,

    When we began moving the inventory, one of my friends upon seeing that back space turned to me and said ... "Oh my God it's the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark" with crate after crate after crate and so on and so on.

    Every six weeks or so I try and get out to the warehouse to pick out what I need ... the Lang I found in another bass carton - either a Wilfer or a Hofner or a Musima so my dad might have just lost track of it. I only took a quick but I think its carved and it must have been there for at least twenty five maybe thirty years. I now have it in Manhattan so I will be able to unpack it and take a closer look. Lang was an apprentice of Lothar Semmlinger the cello maker wasn't he ?

    And yes you described Ideal perfectly ... very light on decor to say the least. The current place on 22nd St. is very much the same.
     
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    It's worth checking out greene's website for the other non-bass stuff as well. Anybody want a pocket trumpet for a decent price? Pretty interesting.

    He even has the old Wittner metronomes, the kind your piano teacher used to have sitting above the keyboard. I've always preferred those over the electronic ones. Nostalgia, I guess. We used to have one that went wonky, beats all over the place, must have been something wrong in the spring winding mechanism. It was hilarious.
     
  11. Bud Rink

    Bud Rink

    May 5, 2000
    NYC, USA
    Maybe the other way around? I think Semmlinger bought out the Lang business within the last 10 years or so. I don't know much about Benedikt Lang other than this entry from Raymond Elgar's Looking At The Double Bass (1967):

    Maybe some of the luthiers have more knowledge of Lang and could chip in if not going too far off-topic. :)
     
  12. philly

    philly

    Nov 20, 2004
    nyc
    ive been to the ideal music loft a few times in the last year. Although I didin't end up buying a bass from them I did buy some odds and ends for a bass I bought from a private sale. Greene's mother is extremely nice and very helpful. She let me play whatever basses were on the floor, at my leisure, and was low pressure to say the least. Well worth the trip, especially if you havent had the chance to try many basses. The basses might require a little more setup after purchase but I still think in the end you'd be getting a bargain.
     
  13. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago

    what is the website address?
     
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    ...and from there, there's a link to the "other stuff" website; brass and wind instruments, lots of fun stuff.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Greene, apologies are in order. I should have known those basses were made in Romania with a name like Roma. Also, I must admit when I first heard the story that it sounded like a good sales pitch, but apparently I was wrong about that, too. I felt really bad about saying that after reading your story. Sounds like your dad was a swell guy who loved music and instruments.

    I think maybe I was a bit confused by someone on Rockabillybass.com getting an Eberle, which I could swear he said were made in Bulgaria. Must have been a senior moment ;)
     
  16. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    Chicago
  17. jstiel

    jstiel Jim Stiel

    Jun 5, 2004
    Lake Orion, MI
    I bought a Wilfer ply and a Roma Hybrid from greene. I also bought a new wood Czech clarinet for my daughter for $150. He is very much for real, very pleasant to deal with and seems to be a very upright kind of guy (no pun intended). I don't know how you can beat these intruments for the money and he's right, the Wilfer ply is a very nice instrument.
     
  18. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    The Benedikt Lang as it turns out is a Hybrid ...
     
  19. Karl Beck

    Karl Beck

    May 2, 2010
    Hi any info on the Roma 396 3/4 fully carved? I cant seem to find any info
    Rich