2/03/2017

1950s West German-made 3/4 Double Bass





This fully-carved, venerable old bass is a customer's instrument. He brought it in for potential consignment but has decided to bring it with him on an adventure towards Nashville. It's marked "Western Germany" inside and probably dates from the 50s or 60s. I'm not sure what factory made it as the factory labels are missing (there are only fragments of them left), but it does look a lot like a Gotz or E.R. Schmidt instrument. If you know better, let me know!

My only work on it was to glue-up a few seams in some areas where there were numerous old (funky) repairs to attempt the same. This time, hopefully, the repairs will stick. Otherwise, it's good to go and the owner currently has it setup with a set of Helicore (heavier tension) strings which suits the heavily-scooped ebony fingerboard -- something that, apparently, aids when a bow is in use. My own experience with double basses is mostly with a plucked folk and jazz style, so I prefer fingerboards to be straight and the action low, low, low.

Please ignore my basic playing in the above clip -- it takes me some time to get used to a new upright fingerboard and scale.




Clearly, the bass was built with quality in mind. All the wood is solid and the top and back are carved (as opposed to press-arched).









2 comments:

David Richard said...

Nice bass! Can you say, what does something like that sell for?

Jake Wildwood said...

No idea -- somewhere in the $3000-5000 range is my guess.