View Full Version : Found this on craigslist!

Tom Sheppard
09-19-2011, 08:55 PM
Hello! This is my first post. Any thoughts on this bass? It's in poor health and to my untrained eye, need significant restoration. Stamped Mirecourt on the machines. Thanks for any help/advice.

Adam Linz
09-20-2011, 09:04 AM
Wow, what a find. Cool French looking bass. Looks like it was baked in the attic unfortunately. Which probably means it has shrunk all the way around. You should restore it if you got the scratch and a patient luthier. I mean it would be a haul. Look for Matt Tucker on this forum, I believe he is the one who has been posting a catalog of pics of a bass almost looking exactly the same that he is restoring . You can see what you're in for. Bring that beast back to life!

Ken Smith
09-20-2011, 09:19 AM
Sound Post and Bassbar cracks so a full plaster mold for the Top and all. The Back center seam, cracks, braces.. The Neck is broken in several places including the Scroll and pegbox so it's shot and needs full repairs and a graft. The Varnish is shot. Can be partially restored or re-finished.

Try Jed Kriegel (http://www.smithbassforums.com/member.php?u=117) in the Boston area. He will know what to do. Expect to spend $15-20k minimum on fixing this bass properly. It is an Orchestra bass and needs what it needs. Anything less and it will need more if you skimp or cheat the work needed.

I know of only 4 or 5 Luthiers east of The Delaware River I would trust with this or any Bass like this. Call me if you want the names. Jed is closest to you I think. This is a HUGE job and should only be touched by the best workers that can do Museum grade work.

The repair costs might easily exceed its value here. When this bass is done, if it gets done, it will still have all of that damage under the repairs. I know of another French Bass selling for under $20k, not so different from this but fully restored and in excellent health and still, NO one has bought it. Be careful. Generic Factory French basses may look similar to some handmade ones or famous named ones but at the time of sale, the Price differs greatly. Condition matters as well as the quality of the repairs.

Tom Sheppard
09-20-2011, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Ken I appreciate your advice. I know Jed and will take the bass to him. I'd like to see this bass live on and hopefully be played by someone who will appreciate it.

Ken Smith
09-20-2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Ken I appreciate your advice. I know Jed and will take the bass to him. I'd like to see this bass live on and hopefully be played by someone who will appreciate it.

I would probably do the same. Not all projects are done for profit. Some are just for the music!

Eric Swanson
09-20-2011, 05:25 PM
Hi Tom,

Well, we know that Jed will give you the straight info on whether or not its worth it.

I look forward to hearing/reading what he says...

Tom Sheppard
09-20-2011, 06:33 PM
I've shown the photos to Arnold as well. I'm not surprised by the estimate cost of restoration. At least three people have been in that neighborhood. Doesn't mean I can afford to commission that kind of work though.

I wonder what this would be worth to a qualified luthier in trade for other work? An example is I'd love to have my old Kay improved.

Still I hate to think that this old bass amounts to not much more than high priced fire wood.... not that I would. Shouldn't a noble instrument be treated nobly?

Brian Gencarelli
09-21-2011, 06:50 AM
Hey Tom,

Sent you an email.


Tom Sheppard
09-22-2011, 12:05 PM
Well, it's always an educational experience when I visit Jed. He seemed to like the bass and thinks it is worth restoring. After a hands on inspection, his assessment is right in line with what both Ken and Arnold have said.

I'm leaning on letting him take this in trade for some work on either on my basses. That is a lot of money for me, so it seems right to let the expert give the bass what it needs, and maybe my old kay will turn out to be a real badass.:cool:;) or at least, a lot better than it is now.:rolleyes:

Thanks for all your help and advice.

09-26-2011, 01:07 AM
Great find. I hope to someday find a bass worthy of a restore like that.