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BASSES: It's a mystery! What kind of bass do I have?
Recent News and Updates
Today is MLK Day...
Today is a federal holiday celebrating the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the United States. All US Post Offices are closed today in recognition of this holiday, so orders processed and "shipped" in our system today will be packed and labeled, but will not actually be physically shipped until tomorrow. UPS is still operating today, so larger items that go by UPS will ship as normal.
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

The four-string is the NEW NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit. We have a limited number of 5-strings left in the original passive design, and those are the last of the traditional 5-strings.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!
McNutt Bass Cradles IN STOCK
The McNutt Bass Cradle is a super Low-Profile Bass Stand that holds your bass securely, at an angle, for easy access. Stable, and surprisingly lightweight, it's portable enough for gigging (it comes with a shoulder bag) and works nice at home, too! Great in a show pit for quick switches between electric and upright, too! Now IN STOCK for immediate shipment.

Recently Added Products
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
The wizard who brought you those great sounding amps (with a similar name) is back! This small combo has the flexibility, hi-fi transparent sound, and great design -- in a portable package -- that you would expect from Jeff Genzler...
• 15.5”W x 15”D x 16”H, 25 Lbs • 175w (350 w/added cab) and 1x10 speaker with array
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
Headway EDB-2 Dual Channel Blending Preamp with Mic Input
This versatile 2-channel preamp can handle two pickups, or a pickup and a mic, with ease, with extensive EQ, notch filter, DI, phantom power, switchable impedance, and much more.
Humi-Doctor - Miniature Humidity/Temp monitor
Humi-Doctor - Miniature Humidity/Temp monitor
You've got to keep your bass in a safe environment to protect it from issues, like popped seams, cracks, and other issues. Check the temperature and humidity level where your bass is quickly and easily with this no-fuss little guy. Clip to the bridge, or use the included velcro to mount on a stand or in your case...
Darned if I know. And, sorry, please don't send me photos. They are unlikely to help unless the builder's name is printed on it somewhere. It may need to be examined by a luthier who has a long history of seeing many instruments.

Seriously, there are a lot of makers out there, and most basses have a pretty generic look to them that prevents immediate identification. I'll assume if you found a brand name on it you've googled it, and if you get zilch back, its true maker may continue to be a mystery. And if the label says Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1709 or some such nonsense, as you'll see in many violins, don't get excited. It isn't one.

It's quite common for factory basses to come unlabeled or with custom labels for a particular music store. That's been done for many years and continues to be a popular practice in all sorts of industries, so stores or sellers have "their own basses" that cannot easily be compared. Also, you'll find appliances, mattresses, etc., with different model names so you can't really tell if Store A has the same mattress as Store B at a better price. Therefore, the name on your mid-20th century bass could be a long defunct regional music store in the midwest. And ain't it funny how all those Chinese basses have German names??

I know there's a certain cool factor about owning an old Kay or Juzek*, but when you get beyond a certain period of time, if the bass sounds good, it is good. Who cares who the guitar player's parents were if he really rocks!?!

*my own "Juzek" bass has no label but has some identifying characteristics -- that could have been imitated by someone, I guess. But I was told it was a Juzek by a couple luthiers, one says pre-WWII, one says post-WWII, and I choose to believe that, regardless of reality. But it really doesn't matter unless I want to sell it to someone to whom it does matter.






The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Mark