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Transylvania six five oh-oh-oh

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Mystery solved.

    The bass pictured on the left has been misidentified by a really big name as French, or northern Italian, probably French, couldn't be German or Czech because the workmanship's too good, yadda yadda yadda. Another big name told me to insure it for a phenomenal amount, but had the courage and integrity to say "I don't know," which should have been the answer of the first guy, because he doesn't know, either. After visiting French luthiers with our man Olivier, even I could figure out that the big name's pronouncement that it was a Mirecourt bass was ludicrous.

    Quite by accident, someone who does know the maker happened to be visiting, and saw it.

    Made in Transylvania, by a guy who regularly puts bogus labels in basses he makes. What's really nuts is, this bass is a killer. Other players stop in their tracks. So why doesn't the guy put in his own honest label and let his reputation build?
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Pretty unbelievable story. At first I would be a little let-down, you know Mirecourt vs. Transylvania, but I think you once again have elucidated a key aspect of choosing an instrument.

    How many times have members of this board answered questions such as, "What do you think about Christophers (put in any other bass)......etc.?" The answer, as you have so adeptly demonstrated, is not in the name IT'S IN THE SOUND!!!!!!!!

    Perfect example of why we don't buy basses via mail order without a trial period. Perfect example of why even the most talented, seasoned players on this board should never be subjected to the "what do you think about ______ bass" questions.

    Thanks for the update and the lesson.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    See what Romanian basses are selling for, and what they're not selling for. The sad fact is that he can probably make more money with a fake label than with a real one. It's like Don, Tim and others have always said: Buy for sound. Buy for condition. Buy because that bass gives you the hot flash. Forget the label.

    And Don, you've made us Romanians proud.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    A true gypsy bass ! Very romantic. I have good memories of that day we were flashing pictures of that blond babe to Parisian luthiers. What we've learn actually is that even the true Mirecourt basses were usually not made by the shop of the label but rather subcontracted to a few specialized shops: too much work and less profit margins, by comparison to cello and violins. Things have not changed that much. You guys don't forget to be nice to your bass luthier.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    And we also learned that it was standard practice for the luthier to subcontract the scroll carving to some furniture makers.
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    David Gage is not the luthier who misidentified the bass.
    When I took it into his shop, I said "Before you do anything, just PLAY it." David drew a slow whole note, and the whole shop stopped working. He played another, and they put down their tools and came over to look. Sprocket grabbed the bow and played a few licks. A nice moment for my ego.
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    That's not a Gypsy bass...it's a...a...a...VAMPIRE bass!!!!!!!!! :)
  8. Must say I admire attitude regarding what is important and was is not. I get the impression
    you are your own judge regarding the bass.
    Just hope you paid a Romanian price ;-))

    Today I always recommend a fourth oppinion as to attribution.
    A few weeks back two skilled luthiers judged my instrument as a 4k fake label.
    Intuition said they were wrong.....and they were !
    I my case the value went from 4k to 60k,
    yes the same very good sounding instrument !

    When will you be pleasing us with a new gallery ?

    PS, mentioned the GREAT bass in the image some time ago. Today I found out it´s a Scarbi.

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