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Old 04-06-2020, 12:30 PM
Levi Dover Levi Dover is offline
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Default JM Zimmermann Flatback Bass ID

I recently purchased this bass, and it sounds fantastic. It seems all original, except that it has had a new neck built at some point. (with a nice 41.5" string length and a D heel-stop) The original scroll appears to have been grafted on. I am curious if anyone can help me identify it, or if someone has a bass with a similar label.

There are two "labels" inside, one which is just text stamped directly onto the back, and the other which is an actual label. They are identical, except the actual label has additional text which seems to denote a repair.

The additional text on top translates to "Repair year 1920". The rest of the text seems to indicate that it was manufactured by J.M. Zimmermann, specialist of violin-making, repair and fabrication of various musical instruments of Italian and German style/origin. The workshop is located in Konigsberg, Prussia. There is even the area in Konigsberg where the the workshop would have been.

I have done a bit of research, but I haven't found any information on J.M. Zimmermann. However, the Zimmermann family, notably J.H. Zimmermann in Germany, are known builders of instruments. I believe that for the most part, these were not single-luthier instruments, they seems to be coming out of several different shops in many locations across Europe.

Konigsberg is now Kaliningrad in Russia, but at the time was controlled by the German Empire, until World War II, where it was taken by Allied Forces. So it seem to me that this bass still qualifies as a German bass.

I am curious if anyone has seen a similar bass or label, or has any additional info about JM Zimmermann. What strikes me as different about this bass versus other German shop basses is the absence of outer linings. It seems to resemble a Bohemian or Tyrolean bass more than a typical German bass. (despite not having humped-shoulders indicative of blockless construction)

Know anything about this label/manufacturer?
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Old 04-06-2020, 02:48 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Well, nothing listed of J/M Z.. in the German book or full books of Jalovec. So, who was he or them? I have no idea. Outer linings are extra work so this is lighter construction. East of Saxony into Bohemia or in Russia where time is money, linings outside are rarely seen.

Typical Germanic or eastern Europe style bass.
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