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1930's Juzek Bass Questions

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Sep 28, 2020 - 1:39:36 PM
1029 posts since 10/5/2008

Ok, I know this isn't a banjo, but I tried a Bass forum and didn't get much help... I guess I'm supposed to pay for a membership before anybody will answer how much my bass is worth. Anyways, I purchased this Juzek Bass from the widow of a friend who passed away recently. Included in the sale was the original bill of sale from 1938! I can talk about banjos all day long, but I don't know much about basses. I am not going to sell this bass, and have visions of a family band in the future, but I would like to know a ballpark price for this bass, and any other information that could be given.








Sep 28, 2020 - 3:46:41 PM

rcc56

USA

3173 posts since 2/20/2016

Juzek made [and still makes] several classes of basses, from student level instruments to professional grade instruments.

I would need more pictures to accurately assess the grade of your instrument, but it looks like it has a solid top. I'm not sure about the back and sides. From what I can see, it looks like a mid-grade instrument.  The figure in the maple appears to have been painted on at the factory [yes, several manufacturers used to do that]; and the instrument appears to have had some repairs. A very rough guess is that it might be worth somewhere in the $3000 - $6000 range.

I paid off my mortgage playing jazz, "jazz-light," and dinner music on a more or less similar instrument, although mine has a Roth label.  It's not the most powerful bass, but it's a good bass.

Sep 28, 2020 - 4:23:19 PM

1029 posts since 10/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

Juzek made [and still makes] several classes of basses, from student level instruments to professional grade instruments.

I would need more pictures to accurately assess the grade of your instrument, but it looks like it has a solid top. I'm not sure about the back and sides. From what I can see, it looks like a mid-grade instrument.  The figure in the maple appears to have been painted on at the factory [yes, several manufacturers used to do that]; and the instrument appears to have had some repairs. A very rough guess is that it might be worth somewhere in the $3000 - $6000 range.

I paid off my mortgage playing jazz, "jazz-light," and dinner music on a more or less similar instrument, although mine has a Roth label.  It's not the most powerful bass, but it's a good bass.


Thank you!  Do you know how I would go about identifying if it were a student or a professional model?  Also, what pictrues would you want?  I can try to take and post more if it would help folks identify it.  

Sep 28, 2020 - 4:54:36 PM

rcc56

USA

3173 posts since 2/20/2016

A professional grade bass will have a solid, carved top and back. And the best professional models will generally have well figured back and sides.
Mid-grade basses often have a solid top and a laminated back. These are often called "hybrid" basses.
Student models will have a laminated top as well as a laminated back.

If a bass has a laminated top or back, you should be able to see the laminations at the edge of the top and/or back. If in doubt, try and get a close look at a Kay, Englehardt, or Palatino bass. All basses of those brands were made with laminated plates.

If you want, you can try to post clear shots of the edge of the top and the back of the bass where they join the sides.

If you shine a flashlight inside your bass, you should be able to tell whether the figure on the back and sides matches the interior wood. If you can't see any figure inside, then the stripes on the outside were painted on.

And even if your bass is a hybrid, there's nothing wrong with that. My bass is a hybrid with painted stripes, and was good enough to make a living on.

Edited by - rcc56 on 09/28/2020 17:00:30

Sep 29, 2020 - 12:16:17 PM

1029 posts since 10/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

A professional grade bass will have a solid, carved top and back. And the best professional models will generally have well figured back and sides.
Mid-grade basses often have a solid top and a laminated back. These are often called "hybrid" basses.
Student models will have a laminated top as well as a laminated back.

If a bass has a laminated top or back, you should be able to see the laminations at the edge of the top and/or back. If in doubt, try and get a close look at a Kay, Englehardt, or Palatino bass. All basses of those brands were made with laminated plates.

If you want, you can try to post clear shots of the edge of the top and the back of the bass where they join the sides.

If you shine a flashlight inside your bass, you should be able to tell whether the figure on the back and sides matches the interior wood. If you can't see any figure inside, then the stripes on the outside were painted on.

And even if your bass is a hybrid, there's nothing wrong with that. My bass is a hybrid with painted stripes, and was good enough to make a living on.


Here are some pictures of the front and back at the top of the bass.  Thoughts?






Sep 30, 2020 - 8:17:42 AM

rcc56

USA

3173 posts since 2/20/2016

Hard to tell from those pictures because old glue and crud are in the way. Try and find a spot where the edges of the top and back don't have so much gunk on them, further down on the bass.

You have a glue joint coming loose in a critical spot in the third picture, just under where the back covers the heel. This should be attended to immediately. Take it only to somebody who uses hot hide glue for such a repair.

Sep 30, 2020 - 8:42:03 AM

Jbo1

USA

962 posts since 5/19/2007

Does Spokane have an orchestra, either professional or college? If so you might be able to talk to some of their members who might be able to guide you in person, and direct you to a nearby qualified repair person. Good luck with it.

Sep 30, 2020 - 4:09:57 PM

5787 posts since 9/5/2006

the bass violin shop had one for sale made in the 30s for sale they were asking 6800.00
you could call them and may give you some info,,,,they are in greensboro nc. around these parts he is THE GUY for high end basses,, and basses of all kinds

336 272 2877 guy named bob is who runs it ,,, i think

bassviolinshop.com/about-us/

Sep 30, 2020 - 7:12:27 PM
likes this

1029 posts since 10/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Jbo1

Does Spokane have an orchestra, either professional or college? If so you might be able to talk to some of their members who might be able to guide you in person, and direct you to a nearby qualified repair person. Good luck with it.


Spokane does have a professional orchestra, and the bass players daughter is my neighbor! I'm going to have him look it over when I get the chance. 

Oct 2, 2020 - 6:44:52 AM

2159 posts since 2/10/2013

When I saw the word "Juzek", bells started ringing. but I didn't know why. I just remembered that Juzek makes highly regarded fiddles. You might check some fiddler websites for more information. They are more familiar with Juzek instruments than most other stringed instrument players.

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