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Romanian DB on trial, advice needed...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by tandemman, Mar 4, 2008.


  1. tandemman

    tandemman

    Feb 11, 2008
    Belgium
    Hello,
    I'm looking for a new double bass, and after the "Golia incident" (see thread 406022) i'm here to ask some more questions...
    The bass i have on trial (for two weeks max) is of romanian make.
    It is not of the best build quality but it seems sturdy overall.
    It's fully carved.
    The label inside says 1953 but the shopowner thinks it's from an earlier year. (max 10 years old ...).
    No repairs were done.
    The back is made of nice looking wood but it is made of three parts instead of two. There's a seam in the middle but there's another seam in the left lower side (can see supports trough the f-holes).Maybe the piece of wood wasn't big enough... It certainly doesn't look like a repair.
    Is this a common practice or is it a sign of bad work ? I can imagine that this is a weak part and can cause troubles in the future.
    The c-bouts and the lower bouts show some irregularities on the surface. It's not completely flat as you can see on the attached pics. It feels stable :meh: Another sign of poor craftmanship ???
    Apart from that it SOUNDS GOOD !
    Are this kind of Romanian fully carved budget basses (6800$) worth their money or should i keep away from these ?
    Any advice greatly appreciated !
    Regards,
    Francis
     

    Attached Files:

  2. At that age I wouldn't worry about it too much; even if the original thoughts were a little off, if it's made it this far... But that said, I have no problem with basses that have funky abnormalies like those ribs. If it sounds good and seems to be structurally sound go for it! The price seems a bit high, to me anyway.
     
  3. uprightben

    uprightben

    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    I have a 2001 romainian fully carved round back made by Gliga. I love my bass more than is healthy, I'm sure. My bass has the same waveyness to the ribs on the upper bouts, actually a lot more wavey than your pics. My luthier told me that this is really only a cosmetic problem that can happen when bending such wide pieces of wood with heat. My top is also made of four pieces of wood rather than two, "wings" were attached to accomodate the lower bouts. Once again, my luthier said this was "no problem".

    I have used and abused my bass on the road for the past seven years, and the only thing that's ever gone wrong is a side seam opening up here and there, so my opinion of it's sturdieness is high. It has a very nice tone to my ears, bows like a dream, and if you set it up with high action it can be very loud. I have been extreamly pleased with it but, I also paid less than a third of what yours is going for (I think I was very lucky with the deal I got).

    I hope this helps you with your decision, good luck!

    Ben
     
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    These can be fine basses but $6800 US? That seems quite high.
     
  5. tandemman

    tandemman

    Feb 11, 2008
    Belgium
    Hi Uprightben,
    I checked out Gigla's website and the quality he seems to deliver can't be compared to what i have in my hands. Honestly, my bass looks very crappy compared to the pictures on Gigla.ro. I can imagine you must be very lucky with your bass !
    drurb,
    $6800 seems quite high for a romanian bass ? Isn't that the same as saying $80000 seems quite high for a German car ? Porche and Volkswagen are both German cars...
    Aren't there top luthiers working in Romania ?
    Regards and thanks for your input,
    Francis
     
  6. bassist14

    bassist14

    Oct 17, 2005
    Germany
    +1 on volkswagen ;)
     
  7. Machina

    Machina

    Aug 1, 2005
    The instrument must be treated as an individual - do not judge by country.

    I have a Romanian bass, which is of very high quality for what the price was and it's projection and tone is better than many other expensive basses. Just because it says Germany or Italy does not mean it justifies the price or reputation.

    My Romanian instrument was valued at over the $6800 mark, so I would not be so worried about it. I am the first owner of it and I have been extremely satisfied with it. I had the top of the bass removed and reset, upon request from my Luthier, and this made the bass sound even better than it originally had. Like all new instruments it has cracked twice, but it has seemed to slow down.
     
  8. Bigbassguy

    Bigbassguy

    Jun 5, 2017
    I have had my Calin Wultur pormoro for 15 years.
    No problems! Sounds great. 7/8 size.
     
  9. eh_train

    eh_train Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 12, 2004
    Toronto
    Owner, Stand Up Guy Basses (Repair/Sell/Buy upright basses)
    Hi Tandemman,

    I thought $6800 sounded high, but partly because of your description ("It is not of the best build quality but it seems sturdy overall.").

    At the risk of a gross generalization (possibly comparing VWs and Porsches), I've seen/heard many Romanian basses that I like a lot. In fact, I can't think of any I haven't liked.

    Some of the flatbacks built in Reghin (and marketed under Gliga and Carpathian, among other names), have really heavy back bracing and chunky looking neck/body joins. But even these clunky looking models sound fine. IIRC, Calin Wultur makes a wide range of basses, from student to high end.

    Ultimately, it's a cost/benefit decision, but "it sounds good" is hopeful. Good luck finding the right bass for you!
     
  10. Quite useful information, but replying to a thread that is a decade old.
     

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