Re: Double Bass

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Posted by Francis X on May 10, 2001 at 00:05:32:

In Reply to: Re: Double Bass posted by Rich Laird on May 09, 2001 at 09:39:38:

: : During a recent tornado my Bass Fiddle got a real bad beating. I need to get a replacement cost for the insurance. It was purchased in Mexico years ago, but I have no earthly idea of the replacement cost. I am sure it is not really high dollar, but I am in the dark. Can someone give me an idea of the cost of an inexpensive Bass Fiddle?

: Kim...

: This may sound a little "off the wall" but...

: If I were you, I would take the major pieces to a luthier for an appraisal. I've never "been there" but I would think a luthier who really knows basses could put a valuation on it just by looking at the top, neck, etc. Bob Gollihur's Web Page has a listing of luthiers all over the U.S. - Call one of those guys and ask what kind of "artifacts" they would need you to bring in.

: Even if the purchase price years ago was not much, I'll bet you'll be surprised at what it's worth today. And who knows? Everybody has little anecdotes about Prescotts being found in church basements and all that - you could have a real treasure there.

: Further, your insurance company isn't going to put much creedance on what a bunch of blowhards like me say on the Internet. But they will likely regard a written appraisal from a bona fide luthier as something to base a replacement value on.

: Also, if you really like the bass - it might still be worth getting fixed, rather than replaced. Again, you need a good luthier to consult with.

: Good Luck

Dear Kim:
I recently purchased an old Mexican doublebass from an elderly gentleman who bought it 20 years ago in Mexico(we both live about 3 miles form the border). It is impossible to give an approximate worth because these basses are hand-made in very small local shops who primary make violins,guitars,bajo sextos and guittarones for Mariachi bands. Most of the time,the makers do not paste a label inside indicating their names. The overal quality of these basses is fair-better than the cheap Chinese makes(Cremona,Palatino,etc),but many times the Mexican basses will lack proper bridges,endpins and tailpieces. Happily,these can be replaced. I paid $300 for my bass,and spent$400 getting it in shape(endpin,tailpiece&cable,nut,saddle,bridge and strings. My bass will fetch about $900 or so because it sounds and plays better than a Chinese bass.

Francis X

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