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Should I buy this?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Michael Case, Nov 19, 2002.


  1. I have an opportunity to purchase a carved Mittenwald from 1969 for around $500.00, now the thing is the bass is a bit of a "fixer upper" if you get my drift. There is a crack on the top, on the bottom of the ribs there is a crack, on the upper and lower bouts the seams have seperated. The bass hasn't been played or cared for in quite a while.
    I was wondering, would it be a good deal at the mentioned price? How much would it cost to get an instrument in this shape playable, and would it be worth it? I can only assume it would sound good, considering it's unplayable at the moment.
    Thanks in advance,
    Mike
     
  2. ...OH MY GOD.....buy it...fix it...
     
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    You say that there are two cracks and open seams as well? On a carved bass? Run! Do not.. I repeat-do not buy this bass. In fact, e-mail me the guy's number so I can verbally thrash him for trying to take advantage of one of my TB brethern.
     
  4. It's been sitting in a school, not an individual, I offered to buy it because I thought it may end up being one of those crazy kind of deals. It has sat in a storage room for about 3 years, with no one even thinking about it. I feel like it's almost a shame to let it rot. I also thought to buy it because I can't take home lost puppies anymore my landlord doesn't allow it, no matter how noble the idea.
     
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    :D If it is what you say it is buy it tomorrow-come see me and I'll buy it for $600 and we'll hang. I'll even buy you lunch.

    But seriously folks, what it would cost to fix I can't say without seeing it. The crack on the top-is it a bass bar crack... a soundpost crack? or just a minor crack? This can make a thousand dollar diff in the repair cost easily. But you should still buy it. A Mittenwald bass that age should bring at least 4-5k in the NY market and there is potential for quite a bit more.
     
  6. The crack on the top is at the bottom F hole on the bass side and runs down to the rib, at the center of the f hole. From what I know (which isn't much) it dosen't seem like a bass bar crack. It seems like it has much potential. I was hoping to put my hands on it and have for an A bass then use my Strunal to knock around on.
    Thanks
     
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'll vouch for Ed's fiddle. If neither of you grab this bass, I'll come up with the cash!
     
  8. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Mike-really, if you don't get it you might wanna give us some contact info.
     
  9. Nobody's asking Mike if he's sure about the bass's heritage? Any guarantee? (Speaking as one who has bought a bogus bass or two)
     
  10. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    CHA-CHINGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  11. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Mike- are you sure about this Mittenwald deal?

    Actually, no matter. Cuz it is obviously a carved bass and 500 for ANY carved bass with 2 cracks is a no-brainer. Whether its a Juzek or a Mittenwald we're just talking how much profit- not if there's gonna be any. Mebbe you could give us some clues about the specifics of the bass.
     
  12. Well, I really don't know too much more than what I have told you guys. It has the little tag inside saying where it's from, that's the best I know. It seems to be a matter of prople not knowing the value of what they have and I intend to keep it that way until I own it. Thanks for the info all I will let you know how it all turns out.
    Mike
     
  13. Not sure if this should be a different thread let me know and I'll edit...

    Anyone have experience with Samuel Shen? I have an opportunity to buy a carved bass approx 10 yrs old.
    Seems quite loud, but with spirocore weichs on it, the tone quality is kind of tough to call
    The price is 3000.00

    Any thoughts?

    Dave
     
  14. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    i didn't know his first name was samuel, but i assume this shen guy is the same that made the shen chinese carved bass i play.

    several good players in oregon own them and use them as their primary basses. they've been imported to portland by a music shop guy named richard moffet.

    each of the owners i know is very happy with the sound of his bass and has passed on more expensive basses since hearing/owning it. each of them is carved - i'm not sure if the guy even makes ply or hybrid basses.

    one friend of mine has had repeated problems with the lower back seam popping and has been in contact with the designer of the basses (not shen himself, from what i understand) to work it out. he has received some free repair work courtesy of the designer or the company or ...?

    they're all big basses - 7/8 - and all fairly new (none more than five years old, i believe. i know nothing about shen's work from 10 years ago.

    it's my understanding that arnold schnitzer knows a thing or two about the basses and perhaps sells them for about the cost you named? out here the ones i've known go for up to twice that.

    good luck!

    sean p
     
  15. I guess I waited to long to pull the trigger. Went to buy the bass today and someone had taken it out on 1 week approval. I'll be surprised if he or one of his students does not buy it.

    Back to the hunt....

    Dave
     
  16. After calling around....
    I've been offered several "factory" instruments. mostly Romanian.
    These include Romanian basses from Robertson's in NM and Altier in CT, and a bass from a Pollish shop from Upton.

    Of these, the Upton Pollish bass sounds most interesting.

    I also have a Samuel Shen 200 series 7/8's to look at locally.

    There is one other bass that has been offered that is not "factory" but from a respected luth and way under market price. Catch is the instrument is 1000 mi away and shipping isn't an option.

    Any opinions welcome.

    Dave
     
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Shipping is always an option or there wouldn't be any Italian basses outside of Italy :)
     
  18. I am considering having the Upton bass shipped in. Unfortunately, the "non-factory, under market value" bass is from a private owner who doesn't want to ship.

    Dave
     
  19. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Have him drive it to the local luthier and then pay that guy to put it in a trunk or something. It could be worked out somehow.