seeking info on a Schuster 3/4 bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by soundsailer, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. greetings all, I humbly seek information on this beautiful bass I am about to buy.

    Here's what I know, I have only seen the same pics I have uploaded here.

    she believes it was made during the occupation,

    she says the label says Anton Schuster, "hand made in Germany" and then "American sector".

    the purfling is painted on.

    should the board and tailpiece be ebony? or is there a chance that they are " ebonized ".

    And how can I tell if it has a carved top or plywood?

    how would I determine it's value?

    It is undamaged, no cracks or repairs, it's been setup with new bridge and strings.

    I am meeting her sunday to check it out, any info would help as I have VERY limited knowledge with upright basses.

    Attached Files:

  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It is plywood.

    Obtain a 3-day trial period from the buyer and take the bass to a luthier/professional bassist near you. Do not buy the bass without a "live" inspection and opinion of someone that knows basses/string instruments. If the seller is not comfortable with this trial period, don't buy the bass.

    How much is she asking?
  3. nicklloyd, thanks for taking the time to respond, it's had a pro setup with new bridge and strings and comes with bow and soft case, she wants $1100
  4. oh and what do you think the odds of the board not being ebony?
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    odds are an older schuster is going to be ebony... however, get it looked at by a third party...

  6. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I'll second everything Nick has told you, do have someone that knows basses have a look before you part with any hard cash.
    I happen to own a Schuster bass. It may be similar to the one you are interested in, or not. But just looking at the photo you have posted it looks like a dead ringer for mine. Best estimates indicate that mine is from the 60's. A German factory bass, plywood with a carved top. The neck is sort of thin, not as thin as a typical Kay bass but thinner than many other basses. The board is ebony, nice wood. Lots of nice flame in the neck, and on the bass's back too. This might be some sort of vennier (sp?) on the back, I'm not sure, but it looks nice! It seems well made and since getting it set up with a new bridge and getting the fingerboard planned about 5 years ago the bass hasn't given me any problems, I used it on a gig in the Mid-East a few years ago, it handled the exstreams of Persian Gulf weather well, just had a seam up once, no big deal, an easy fix. a real solid bass. It's sound IMHO is pretty good, not great but not bad at all. I used it as a student and it was my only "real" bass for quite a while, used it on many, many gigs. About the only thing I don't like about it is that it's not a loud a bass as I wished it could be, but most of the time I used it with amps anyway. If the bass that you are looking at proves to be in good shape I think $1100 is a good deal for you, even if it's fully plywood. Mine, hybrid cost me, $3000. But that was before you could get decent basses from China and Eastern Europe for the same prices and even less. These days the market for German factory basses might be concidered a little soft. But don't just get it because you might be able to make a little bread if you decide to sell it later, get it if you like it, a lot! That is of course if it's in decent condition to begin with.
    BTW, I've seen and heard of basses labeled "Roth" that are more or less identical to mine. But as far as I know, the Schusters and Roths are but one of many brands of "factory" basses that came out of Germany over the years. If anybody else out there has any additional info about these basses I'd be happy to hear
  7. mdcbass

    mdcbass Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Seacoast of NH
    I once owned one with the same label except no mention of American Zone. It was plywood with an ebony fingerboard and played and sounded really nice even arco. I sold it for $1,500 ten or twelve years ago. If you can recognize an ebony fingerboard when you see one, and the bass is in good shape, go for it.
  8. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    I just saw one like mine today at a shop here in Los Angeles.
    A hybrid in good shape on consignment. It's the same as mine except at some point bumpers were added to it. Gary says it's owner is asking $2200 for it. I guess that's about right for a German factory bass these days.
  9. Hey Soundsailer.

    Don't you have this same bass listed for sale in the classifieds here on talkbass for maybe $1250? And didn't you just ask and find out it is probably a half size?

    It caught my eye because I was in the market for a half size.
  10. Mike Carr

    Mike Carr

    Feb 5, 2002
    Hong Kong
    Both my bass and the Schuster I mentioned seeing in LA are 3/4's.
    41..5 scale. Don't know about Soundsailor's bass, but my Schuster is a pretty decent bass all things considered. I don't play it much and from time to time think about trying to sell it, but I like the idea of keeping it around for a spare. Plus, it was my first decent DB, so I'm sentimental about it.