Juzek is a well-known name in the bass world.
John Juzek's original shop was located in Prague but there were also luthiers located in Schönbach, Czechoslovakia where countless stringed instruments were produced, all carrying the John Juzek label - these were imported in large numbers into America starting in the 1920s. The company's basses from the 20th century have continued to enjoy particular acclaim and respect for their tone and quality. In the 21st century, the company continues - led by members of the Juzek family - to create instruments in facilities in Asia, with strict quality control. The instruments are set up for optimal play here in the USA. A John Juzek bass will be a valued instrument for years to come.
This is a very nice bass.
The John Juzek Series 400/401 Carved Double Bass is hand-crafted by real musical instrument makers.
The 400 model has a fully carved solid spruce top, with "Gamba" style corners, and a maple back and sides with a slight flame. There are NO LAMINATES (PLYWOOD) on this bass, it's fully carved. The real purfling is inlaid by hand. Very well-appointed for a bass in this price range, it's an excellent instrument for collegiate bass students, intermediate and advancing players of all styles, and professional gigging musicians in orchestral or contemporary styles.
The 401 model has everything that the 400 does, but upgrades to much "sexier" looks; enhanced grain on the spruce top, coupled with far more rich flaming on the maple sides and back, give a very high-dollar look and feel to the instrument. While the playability, tone and quality is essentially the same on both models, the woods for the 401 are much more spectacular looking, and they result in a fancier overall look.
The price you see includes the professional set-up, which includes a custom cut, name-brand Despiau (France) adjustable bridge (an upgrade!) and D'Addario Helicore strings. Your brand-new bass is strung up and READY TO PLAY* right out of the box... no luthier trip or extra costs are needed!
The pricing also includes a padded gig bag and a Brazilwood Bass Bow (it's not our own Brazilwood bow, but is a quality, basic bow with real horsehair that is pretty similar to ours). It's a complete package, ready to go!
* Note that the instrument is shipped "bridge down" for safety; it takes just a couple of minutes and no tools or special skills to set the bridge upon the delivery of your new bass. We include a tip sheet ahead of time, to help you get the bass "strung up" upon delivery. It also has details for what to be aware of with the shipping and delivery expectations.
The Set up is done.
Our luthier partners carefully examine each instrument, and do all the setup work, so we can be certain that everyone gets the high-quality bass they expect and deserve. This setup service includes:
- Planing the fingerboard (carving the appropriate "relief" into the board) for low action
- Fitting a quality maple adjustable bridge
- Shaping the nut for left-hand ease of play
- Ensuring optimum soundpost placement
- Playing each instrument to ensure maximum playability and sound
These basses can be used for any style of music.
While you might occasionally see a bass with features that are tailored for a particular style (like a black one with stripes, for instance), basses are rarely made for a specific style of music. It's the choice of strings and set-up that usually sends a bass in one direction or the other. The precise set-up performed on this bass, along with the flexibility of the adjustable bridge, will allow for a nice range of action to suit your particular needs.
As an excellent orchestral bass, you might set the strings at around midpoint, to allow for comfortable play but still allowing you to "dig in" with the bow for aggressive fortissimo sections. Or maybe you play with an acoustic style blues guitarist, so you might set the strings a little lower, to get some fingerboard interaction for a more "raw" sound. For more modern and sometimes jazz sounds we like to get some fingerboard growl (mwah, whine, whatever you want to call it), so lower action and a slightly lighter left hand touch can be the way to go.
We can have any string we carry installed on your bass if you like.
(at extra cost, of course), or you may wish to start with the "included" string and replace them later. The stock strings (D'Addario Helicores) are a well regarded, very common string; and as such are a very good string to "get to know" your new bass with. They're a very "known quantity," if that makes sense, and if you do not have a special favorite in mind, I suggest you start with them. We often recommend players start their play using the stock strings on an instrument that is new to them, to get to know it before investing in a new set. We'll be happy to help you choose your next string, or pass on some suggestions for your consideration if you have a particular style in mind.
What makes these basses an even better value:
- Your bass arrives FULLY SET UP by a luthier - no additional costs are required to optimize the playability or tone. Your new bass can essentially be played right out of the box!
- Your bass includes a quality name-brand maple adjustable bridge (an expensive upgrade at bass shops) already installed and properly fitted to the bass!
- Your bass contains quality components (tuning machines, endpin) so there are no parts you'll need to upgrade.
- Real Ebony fingerboard.
- Includes a nice Brazilwood Bass Bow with real horsehair.
- Includes a padded gig bag.
(nut to bridge)
|Body Depth (top)||8 inches|
|Body Depth (bottom)||8.4 inches|
|Width (top bout)||20.4 inches|
|Width (bottom bout)||26.25 inches|
(heel to saddle)
Note: 3/4 size bass features a "D-Neck"
(meaning that when your hand is "in" the neck pocket, it is in the D position.)
What are "Violin Corners" and "Gamba Corners?"
The corners are the edges of the "C-Bout" - the cutout in the middle of the body to allow for a bow to be used without hitting the body. "Violin" corners are more ornate, traditional looking edges which come to a point, "Gamba" corners are simpler, cleaner corners. They are purely aesthetic and do not affect tone or playability. The photos of the 3/4 sized bass (above) are of the "Gamba" style, which is all we have available for this particular bass.
What is a "Set Up?"
Most basses bought elsewhere come with a "factory set up", which means the strings and bridge have been installed, but the bass has not been optimized for the player. Bridge and nut heights are high, and those components, and the fingerboard, may require some work to make the bass truly playable for that particular bassist. This bass, as detailed above, comes fully optimized with comfortable action - ready to play as soon as it arrives!
What strings come installed on the bass, and can I upgrade to something else?
The bass comes with D'Addario Helicore strings installed. If you are an experienced player and have a favorite string, during its setup we can install, at no cost, any strings that we carry (you just pay for the strings). However, if you're a new bassist, I'd advise you to try the "stock" strings first -- and here's why: since you are new to the instrument, you don't really KNOW what sound you're going to prefer, so you (and we) would be "guessing" at what strings you might like to "upgrade" to. Since talking about tone, and string feel, is a bit like "dancing about architecture," there's a good chance that we may not get it right the first time, and at $120-$250 a set, on average, that's an expensive gamble. We are quite familiar with how the stock strings play and sound, though. So we suggest that you spend a little time with them, since they're included in the price of the bass; you can then come back to me in a couple months, and tell me, "I like how they feel, but I wish they were brighter/darker/more sustain-y/thumpier/etc." Or, "I like the tone, but they're a little too heavy/light/thick/thin/stiff/etc." With the common ground of a string we're both familiar with, we can then move forward and make a more informed decision together about what string you might like better.
Where are they manufactured?
Our basses are made in a true musical instrument manufacturing facility in China. I emphasize the type of facility for a reason, because there are scores of "you spec it, we make it" factories in Asia (and that's where those $400 eBay basses come from). The basses are fully inspected and set up in the USA, by the company that is still operated by the Juzek Family.
There is an understandable hesitation from some people to buy a bass made in China, but I just ask you to consider this: some people can be amazing craftsmen, and some people can make junk - but the soil they happen to be standing on as they do it doesn't necessarily have to be a contributing factor. The important thing to be aware of with foreign factories in any country is to ensure that you're dealing with a company with a reputation for excellent, consistent quality. The Estle Louis basses are truly wonderful basses, even before you factor in the great price. As you might expect from us (if you've shopped with us before), these basses are made by a reputable maker with very high quality control.
Why aren't they full size?
You'll find 3/4 to be the normal bass size; 4/4 is pretty unusual! See my FAQ on Bass Sizes, along with all the other Upright Bass FAQs we offer, under RESOURCES in the menu at the top of the page.
Basses are too large for regular UPS and FedEx delivery services, so they are shipped by freight truck. Sorry, I cannot ship these basses outside of the US and Canada at this time. Costs for shipping a bass in the continental USA usually range between $250-350, depending on location.
However, we SHIP THESE BASSES for FREE in the continental USA (aka lower 48). So you don't have to worry about it!
Basses are almost always IN STOCK and normally are shipped within 3-10 business days of order processing.
I own a 401 model. I have to say dont be fooled by the made in china label. this is a bass that is very well made top to bottom.Me and my luthier where checking it out when I took it for the set up and we both were mesmerized by the voice, the presence and ergonomics of this bass. You want a risk free carved instrument. this is the one.
This is my first double bass. I have owned model 400 for around 5 months. I am very satisfied with the craftsmanship; it is a quality, beautiful instrument. It produces wonderful deep tones with and without the bow; I use a pickup. Even as a novice, I am able to produce nice sound due to the caliber of the bass.