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Old 01-02-2020, 03:44 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 5,026
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Ok, first off, what sounds best to you and what plays best might not be the same. I am not sure of your experience in DBs to judge the quality of sound but I get that you are more of a beginner player/buyey on the DB, correct?

Juzek brand basses are fair in quality, built for a price. Many of them are in terrible condition and the cost to un-do old repairs and re-repair them is more then the value of the bass. Also, they are usually in my opinion way over priced. They can be good basses but to get them set-up well and with proper corrective repairs can be costly as I said and I don't know if you would be able to tell the grade of work done on the basses inside or out. Each shop has their own style of fixing and often it is at best, done only as good as they feel the value of the bass deserves. This is not acceptable for me. ll basses should be treated equally in the quality of work done but this is not often found.

So, you mentioned a Schnitzer/DeSola model bass. Well, Schnitzer is no longer involved with DeSola but the current 'OHara Fne Instruments' shop IS, which is the former shop of Schnitzer now taking over by his former assistant that did the same work before. Arnold himself didn't do much of the work from my knowledge on those basses.

So, if buying a bass, needing the best quality for the money and the best set-up possible (this is the guy who does MY set-up work on my personal basses) then Kerian O'hara is the guy you should visit. His website shows mainly basses on consignment but he does sell both Shen's and DeSola basses as well.

I was up there 2 weeks ago to drop off my French bass for a C-Extension, examine a re-made Extension on my Uebel and left the bass here 'for sale' after testing it and also to pick up my personal Italian bass I had left there for a minor tweak. While there, Wil DeSola walked in whom I have known for many years. I also tried a newly made/set-up DeSola bass with a travel/detachable neck and nearly bought the bass on the spot. Not that I needed it but is was THAT Good.. I loved it. So, Kerian is the guy I would see for a bass and what ever the price range is at his shop will be the best value you can find and the best set-up work you can get east of the Sun!

That's my advise.

Just a note here on buying shop basses with Juzek lables. First off, beweare of the ones being sold as or labeled as 'Master Art' models. I see them listed everywhere and not a single one IS a Master Art model bass. I know first hand about these basses and models. The MA is a violin model with high figure woods and single machines. The Varnish is an even colored Amber and not shaded or dark color. I have owned 2 of them, one pre-war and one post war. Two different generations of Wilfers, Anton from 1936 and Wenzle post war with no date.

Juzek basses as compared to a DeSola for set-up 'might' need the neck re-set and a new thicker fingerboard and also a new higher bridge at that point. That work alone is about $3k or so for that correction. So, the DeSola basses partially designed by Arnold Schnitzer originally have their necks set and installed in the shop at O'Hara's I believe and not in Germany at a factory so it is the same quality work as on a 50-100k instrument as far as the neck-set, angle and playability. The cost to correct a bass not set as good, is expensive. So, give Keiran a call.
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