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Romanian Double Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Stringingalong, May 1, 2009.


  1. Hi folks
    I have a Romanian pine double bass - bought it back in the early 1980's, in the UK, from a music shop in Leics which has since closed.
    It has a great sound and has served me well over the years, especially when playing classical orchestral.

    I am now thinking of selling it and possibly going for bass guitar for jazz etc. Trouble is, I never see these Romanian pine basses mentioned anywhere.
    Any ideas about who could value this for me re a private sale or maybe who buys/sells such basses - seems like the non antique bass market has been taken over by the Chinese basses.

    Any advice gratefully received
    regards
     
  2. RD

    RD

    Jun 17, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I had a Knilling 1308T as I recall. It was made in Romania. It needed work so I got it fairly cheap. It was a more typical spruce and maple bass. It was a nice enough bass once I got it back from the luthier. The resale value was not too good though, even with the work done on it. I've gotten the impression that Romanian basses are not well regarded, going by the prices they seem to bring when I see them for sale and my own experience. I don't know if my experience was because the bass was Romanian or because it was a Knilling. But, I recall a German made Knilling that had better market-value.
    RD
     
  3. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    I've never heard anything about Romanian pine basses. Are you sure that your bass is made from pine? In Romania the Carpathian region is full of excellent maple and spruce, so i wonder why they made it from pine.
    The Romania basses are not well regarded because for many years the State's factories constructed hundreds of cheap instruments with mediocre or bad craftmanship. They still tend to make very thick top plates and in flatbacks the back plate is supported with very heavy braces. There are certainly exceptions but this is the rule, more or less.
     
  4. caillean

    caillean

    Mar 2, 2008
    east anglia
    I have one which my friend has lent me 'til I sell it - kinda part of the deal! He's asking about £1000 for the whole package, including a Jon Schnieder bow, which is probably a couple of hundred. Hope this helps you gain an idea. I also remember seeing one on ebay a few months ago for about the same price. The problem is, of course, you are going to compete against the cheap Chinese ones, and the place in Germany that sells them for a few hundred ...!

    BUT - WHY ON EARTH are you selling it???????????

    If you are going to play jazz - most jazz bands will fall down at your feet if you play double bass! If you're just sick of carrying it backwards and forwards to practise, then, get a cheapish fretless bass guitar and small amp for that, and use the bass for concerts etc.

    Also, might be worth trying out a bass guitar first - as I found to my cost, it's not as easy to make the change as you first think, even if you take the fretless route first. I still play the bass guitar like the double bass with regards plucking rather than picking and how I place my left hand!
     
  5. JtheJazzMan

    JtheJazzMan

    Apr 10, 2006
    Australia
    Ive just bought my second romanian instrument, a 9k instrument too. They can make great instruments, but a lot of cheap ones too.
     
  6. Thanks for the advice so far people.
    Still feels a bit open ended and I wonder if there is a dealer somewhere to whom I could send photos + possibly sell through. I did this with a guy in Bristol, UK but he appears to have gone out of business too.

    As for why selling the bass - I primarily play sax these days but am also developing a touch of arthritis which makes some of the left hand fingering q difficult, especially on the double bass (thanks for the advice re bass guitar tho).....might eventually end up playing the trombone only! As a composer this 'moving round the band' has had its uses....

    Any further suggestions or ideas very welcome
    regards
    A Stringalong
     
  7. Mikman
    You're probably right about it being spruce rather than pine - they are likely to look the same.
    As I say it sounds pretty good to my ears and a player friend who has used it.
    Now wondering if there is some way of checking out the Romanian starting point, tho that's unlikely to help re valuation.
    cheers
    Stringingalong
     
  8. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    I saw many Romanian basses and i know more or less the prices of them. When i was in UK for my postgraduate studies i had many chances to play with some friends owning Romanian stuff. If you can post some pictures (front,back and scroll) maybe i can recognise some patterns ang help you.
    By the way fill in your profile, just in case that some of the forum know any specialized shop/dealer/luthier near you, in order to help you.
    Mike
     
  9. Sorry for the delay in replying - Bank Holiday here + my wife's birthday!
    I've entered some profile details as suggested and am also attaching some photos of the bass that I had filed away.
    I may need to do some new ones but hopefully it gives you some idea of what I've got. Your interest is much appreciated.
    Regards
    Andrew
    Actually - going to be a delay in sending pictures as I don't know how to shrink them to an acceptable size for posting. As usual Windows no help at all. Will send when I can.....
     
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
  11. bassist14

    bassist14

    Oct 17, 2005
    Germany
    as usual...ok.. but not in this case:

    there is the
    Microsoft PowerToy Image Resizer which you may download for FREE off of Microsoft's PowerToy Website. To Download, click on "Image Resizer" on the panel to your right. You can run the file, install it, and have complete selected, after a few seconds, the (small) program will be installed.

    to resize a photo after installation, simply right click on the image file (whether it be .gif, .png, .jpg, etc) and select: Resize Pictures".




    Edit: i copied this text from mr. smith´s forum
     
  12. Hi folks
    FINALLY managed to get the photos down to the right size Mike and so hope these look OK. I have a decent French bow + accessories, incl stand & soft case to go with it.

    Many thanks to Jake & Bassist 14 for the tips re photos sizing. Sitting my diploma next week.......
    cheers
    Andrew
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Hi...looks just like my solid tonewood late 60`s Reghin bass.
     
  14. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    It's definitely a bass made in Reghin, Romania in the old State factory. Today the two main factories in Reghin (Gliga and Hora) are private enterprises and they both produce this sort of instruments. This variety, with the plain (not flamed) maple in the back and ribs, is the cheapest. They retail around 1.000-1.500 euros today (Thommann, or local shops in Reghin). They are constructed with thick top and back plates and the tend to "choke" the sound. Regraduating of the plates usually improves dramatically the whole situation. I have one in my hands and i plan to start my regraduating venture with it.
     
  15. That's very interesting Mike.
    Looking up 'Reghin' basses has led me into a whole new dimension.

    Could I ask your opinion re this - looking at the Hora website:
    www.hora.ro/pages/bass.htm I see a number of similar basses and it's hard to get an idea of which group mine falls into.
    Mine is not a flatback and as you say, the back is plain, not flamed - but beyond this I'm not sure at all. I did find the bow type!
    cheers
    Andrew
     
  16. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Your bass belongs to the ELITE category, advanced roundback bass with plain maple tonewood. They retail in the given price list for 1.500 euros plus VAT. During the last two years i noticed an improvement in the quality of these basses, since three of them which are in my friends' hands are decent instruments. With a thorough set up they can deliver a warm, rich arco sound.
     
  17. Mike
    fantastic news and many thanks for your help in tracking this information down.
    I'm still very torn about keeping the bass - which to my ears does produce a good rich sound - or letting someone else use it regularly.
    If only the dodgy little finger wasn't a factor! (the years can be cruel)
    Being a 'new' bass , tho I've had it for nearly 30 years, I imagine that it will have slightly less value than a new bass from Romania.
    Have had some enquiries so now it's a matter of weighing up the pros and cons of the situation.
    Am still writing some mean classical & jazz bass lines in my music so the love of the bass carries on whatever happens .....
    regards
    Andrew
     
  18. Hi Andrew...interestingly I`ve gone back to bass from mainly sax (bari), and am loving it. My old Reghin is a little weighty and I might supplement it with a lami`, but it`s fundimentally very sound. Many dealers in the UK, including I believe Hamilton Caswell in Bristol, used to thin down the front of Reghins before selling them as part of their `improved` package, but if yours is old it may well not need it, Mine`s about 40 years old and has a full, warm tone that I believe would be difficult to improve upon. Perhaps mine has already been dealt with, although I can see no sign of it....who knows. If you have a good one and there is half a chance of getting back to playing I should hang on to it. You would be hard put to match it at the price level you`d likely be paid for it.
    All the best......Paul (saxobass....do let me know if you really want to sell it.)
     
  19. Paul
    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    Thinking it over again I find myself still considering selling the bass, allowing someone to appreciate and use it rather than just hanging on. For one thing arthritis doesn't usually improve.....
    regards
    Andrew
     
  20. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I hate to encourage anyone to leave the world of DB, but here's a suggestion if you're serious.

    In a decade or so on this forum, I don't recall anyone saying that they plan to go from DB to EBG, but it seems like once a week or so, someone who plays EBG comes to us asking how to get an upright bass for not too much money. Interestingly enough, they tend to spend a good deal of money on their EBGs and sell them off pretty frequently in the forums on that side. I'm guessing it wouldn't be hard to find someone in the UK to trade you an EBG for your DB, if you think the market and or value is limited.

    Just a thought, you could post a "feeler" over there and see what happens.

    As for jazz on DB, I agree. As for arthritis/nerve/hand pain, I understand. A few years ago, I was wondering if I could successfully switch instruments to something of the non-stringed variety for the same reasons. I have more or less worked through it and love playing DB, but it could have gone either way and still could, I suppose. If you're happy playing sax and feel that DB is not friendly to your physicality, it doesn't sound like an entirely unreasonable decision.

    There are a lot of things that I'd like to do, like boxing or learning to snowboard, that are not a good idea for me anymore. It sucks getting old.
     

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