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Which German Shop Bass is this?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Eli_Upright12, Apr 14, 2009.


  1. I'll try to get photos up when I have the chance, but I already know its a German Shop bass, I just want to narrow it down to which one, or which ones it might be.
    Here's the back story I am trying out this bass for the next week or so and I'm really loving the way it plays and it definitely has a very full tone. The luthier who I may be buying it through said that it was a german shop bass body that had been sitting "in the white" since the sixties. He then got a hold of it, gave it a neck and finish and made it a bass. For the last two years it has been played by a seriously studying student and has matured quite a bit, but it is still only two years old.
    Here are some distinguishing characteristics that might help:
    1. typical wilfer, juzek, etc purfling crest inlaid in the top of the back
    2. violin corners (I'm not sure how common these are, but it seems that most shop basses are gamba)
    3. has little notches where the break would be if it was a flat back, but it is a round back.
    I I think of anything more I'll add it, thanks for any help.
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    From what you've said, it could be a Juzek Master Art as they had violin corners. Is there an ebony diamond in the center of the back button purfling? Is the maple highly figured? Another feature of these basses.
     
  3. Nope neither of those features, its lightly flamed maple. Another feature that I noticed is it has a lip carved around the edge of both plates, I'm not sure if that helps or not.

    Eric do you think that the violin corners are a hint that this model was one given more attention to detail?
     
  4. any one else have any thoughts? Currently I'm kind of feeling that its overpriced if its "just" a standard issue german shop bass, but it sounds like this might have been one given extra care. Anyone want to chime in on this topic?
     
  5. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Guessing in the dark-- let's see the pics. :)
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Well, at least in the detail of the fancier corners. You would have to get a pro opinion regarding it's construction from a luthier. You should really post some pics. How much is he asking? Many pros play older European shop basses (including me) and they can be very nice. If you are serious about it, why not have it checked out by another luthier for your peace of mind?
     
  7. They are asking 14k, I haven't seen any Juzek or Wilfer shop basses go for that much.
    I'm having a crazy busy week, I think I'll try to get some photos up this weekend.
     
  8. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Seattle
    Does it sound as good or better than other basses in the 14k range? I know a good name (or lack thereof) can affect resale value, which is important, but if the bass sounds better than anything else in that range, don't pass it up just because it is priced higher than most German shop basses. Some of the better quality ones like Morelli can definitely be in that price range.

    I should add that many of the best German basses I have played, including my own, have been no-names. In my opinion, the better German shop basses can be some of the best basses for the money (especially for jazz).
     
  9. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    That's the key. Cincinnati Bass Cellar had a Juzek listed in that range and I know of a Master Art that sold around 13K. But I would be careful and try and play as many basses as you can before you decide. I've heard some really good sounding older shop basses that were bought for less than 10k, too. You have to put the condition in the equation, too. It also wouldn't hurt to make a lowball offer in these economic times.
     
  10. I was thinking of starting with an offer of 10k, the bass is in excellent condition considering it was only assembled two years ago and at that time all the cracks that had developed were repaired. I think that in terms of sound and potential, that if I could get this bass for under 12k I would be happy. It just seems to fit me well, but 14k is a lot of money, especially considering I'm going to college next year.
     
  11. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    Seattle
    That's a good idea. If they don't want to go lower on the price, you should try to get them to throw in other things you need instead: really nice case, strings of your choice, new pickup, etc. That is, things that would cost you a lot, but the shop might be able to get at wholesale.
     
  12. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Why "all the cracks"? Did they happen after the bass was in use the last two years? What kind of cracks?
     
  13. There is one major crack that runs the length of the bass bar, but is stable and was repaired well. Another on the lower ribs. I'm also going to try to take it to a local luthier to make sure everything is sound. I would guess these were cracks that developed when it was "in the white", but I'm not entirely sure.
     
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I think that the bass bar crack seriously devalues the bass. It's not an old Italian or pedigree of some kind. It's a newish shop bass. I would now be even more careful on price with this. There are a lot of nice basses out there without bass bar cracks for <10k. Many have been discussed on this forum.
     
  15. Thanks for the words of advice I'll be tentative when considering buying this bass.
     

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