Upright Bass For Sale
This Upright Bass Café is a
place that offers a very special blend of instruments: Grown and
aged, some as long as 200 years!
Because of our ever changing menu, we will try to update this
page as often as possible. Here you will find up to date pictures,
measurements and brief descriptions of what is known about each
bass that is for sale which includes upright double basses from
Czech, German, French, English, Italian, Romanian and Chinese
origin. For more in depth details in any particular upright bass,
it is best to call or
email. Please keep in mind that we ship anywhere in the USA.
Looking for something full carved, but under $5,000?
The Wan-Bernadels are famous
and now compete with basses much higher in price. From serious
amateurs to the most dedicated professional bassist....they are
working with a Wan.
We've gone through a lot of double basses this year. A lot
of them not even making it on our web site. Because of the busy
turnaround, it sometimes resembles a 'bass-revolving door': Basses
coming and basses going! We'll try to keep things more current
here, but you can always email us from time to time and ask for
any updates or give us your information about a particular bass,
sound or price you need. Do you need to stay under the $3k range,
and looking at Hybrids? Check out our new link of upright
basses under $3,000.
Trying out an instrument from this page is easy. Because we ship
so many and so often, we are able to cheaply and safely send a bass
for you to try and play for a week. No can ever be expected to
buy a bass without trying it first! Play it at home, in your
own familiar environment. This is really the way to go!
About our new (lower) bass prices.
Recently, we have decided that we need more room! These
basses take up lots of square footage and it's cheaper to sell them
than it is to buy another warehouse or bigger place, right? You
will often see the price slashed and a heavily reduced price follow.
These are priced to sell quickly. No, we're not moving (yet!),
but are hoping to get these basses sold so that when the time comes to
move, we won't have to move so many instruments.
All photos on this page enlarge when clicked.
Emanuel Wilfer bass, 2015
This a nice Emanuel Wilfer bass made in
Germany. Most recognize the old, traditional name of
Wilfer which are still handmade by the original maker
(Emanuel's) grandson, Roland. Roland keeps this multi
generational trade alive along with his uncle today. This is
their Conservatory model. It has a lovely round back, gamba
shaped and some players looking at these photos whom are familiar
with the great, old Juzek basses, might notice a strong similarity!
This is because it was the Wilfer family who made Juzek's basses for
him, which Jusek (a Czechoslavakian), glued his own name labels into
the basses and exported them into American for many, many years.
These are Wilfer's most affordable bass at only $7,000. We
hope those interested in buying a nice Wilfer bass will shop around
and discover our prices are very competitive, as these generally
sell for more, in the $9,000 ranges.
It is proportionately a fun bass to own and play for any sized
player or playing level. It is a normal 3/4 size, but with some
nice, added extras: We chose what Roland calls his 'solo' neck.
It is well proportioned and actually quite perfect in size, for
anyone's hands. It is not small, but certainly a bit smaller
than his regular necks. Another added feature is his 'solo
edge'. The edge is at the very top of the bass top, near the
neck, right where the player's hand slides past going up into the
higher (thumb) positions. Measurements: upper bouts (shoulders) are
only 18 3/4" apart, the lower bouts, 25 1/2", length of back 43" and
the string length is 41". This such a nice size for a bass:
Anyone (short or tall) will enjoy playing it, yet it has a huge
cushion of sound, which proves another point that you can still get a
very big, warm sound, yet an extremely easy bass to play on.
It also has a wonderfully built deep, carved back. We first
set this bass up for Jazz, which we typically like to put Thomastik
Spirocores on. It has a huge, 'growly' sound even before we ever
started to dial it in and tweak. Lots of sustain and just a joy
to have and play. Just recently, we put some arco/classical
strings on it, Passiones (by Pirastro) and happily discovered it makes
a wonderful orchestra bass as well. A
bass...is a big sounding bass and these are the kinds of basses which
allow the player to grow exponentially with a great price!
Currently we have two
of these (identical looking) basses in stock. $7,000.
Herbert Ernest Martin, English, but made in Sidney, 1909
Martin was an English maker that modeled his basses after Fendt.
It has a hand written attribution by the maker, H.E. Martin,
Sidney, 1909. (Also stamped
H E Martin just below the neck button on the back.) Of all the
basses that have come and gone here, this is one of the most
special. Interestingly enough, what we have so far put
together on Martin is that he worked within the Fendt shop in the
late 1800's and then moved (with another well known maker, John
Devereux) to Australia in 1864. It still not only has Fendt's
violin outline, but also has his unique f-holes and will do anything
you ask it to and more! Want to play louder?...then just play
louder! It's not just loud, it's 'full' sounding and this is what
makes this one so incredibly fun to play. It's all there ready
to go. It has a huge dynamic and response range that allows
the player to play anything. We were astonished that a bigger
orchestrabass would play so easy on the quick, soft passages, like
Marriage of Figaro, where the notes just come off effortlessly.
It is a 'fuller' 3/4 size and easily fits into a normal 3/4
medium cover. The string length just a tad over 42".
Here's some measurements: The upper bouts measure 20.5, the
inner (or 'C' bouts) 14.5, the lower bouts, 26" and the back
measures 44.5. So again, still within a normal 3/4 size range.
While measuring the back one can just see the incredible carved back
depth. It is truly a marvel. $45,000 or near offer.
There are more double basses
Gyorgy Baranyai, 2001 (Hungary)
Made by Gyorgy Baranyai in Budapest, 2001.
It is beautifully hand made bass with a lush varnish. One will
almost immediately notice its unique and different shape. It
is modeled and made after a typical Viennese style. One of the
biggest and most well known makers in the 18th century, Vienna, was
Johannes Georgius Thir. Like the
Thir basses, Baranyai modeled his scrolls beautifully the same
unique way and style that makes it very elegant. (We have an
original Thir scroll below for comparisons.) This a
flat back that comes in towards the neck to make it easy to play on,
has a lot of power and a unique, (professional) quality sound.
Now presently has the Spirocore strings for jazz and is in excellent
condition. The bass is of a very professional quality.
If you are a serious classical musician looking for a good
'audition' bass. This one will work incredibly well. It
is very responsive to the touch and easy to play on. Easy for
solos and excerpts, but with a warm, quality sound. Jazz
players, won't loose out on this one either. It has that
special deep power that is very special and an incredible sustain.
I guess a good bass is just a good bass, no matter what genre it is
used and played in! You will see basses by this same maker
around the country for around $13,000, but we are able to offer it
at $9,500. This bass also with the nicer, Sloane
This is a nice, big, German, Mittenwald. It just
came in and will be undergoing some small, cosmetics, but is a good,
healthy (and big!) instrument. It has a carved back with
outside linings on the ribs and a deep, round sound to it.
Here's some measurements: the upper bouts measure 20.75" across with
sloped shoulders, the C bouts (inner) measure 15", the lower bouts,
27" and the length of the back, measure 45.5". The string
length is 42 3/8". It has a new (fat) ebony fingerboard and
bridge. While it is big, it plays 'loose' and actually quite
easy to play. Notice the 'false nut'? Click the
close up of the scroll.) The neck and string length was
actually longer than it needed to be. It order to make it
easier to play, lowering the nut actually brought in the string
length and made it a perfect 'D' neck. (A "D" neck simply
means that when playing with your index finger, the D is right at
the break of the neck...where it should be.)
$8,500 now, $6,500
Rumano Solano, Vincenzo Panormo model, 2005 (Maryland, USA)
This is by contemporary, maker Rumano Solano who lives and
makes basses in Maryland. The upper bouts measure 21
1/2" across, the lower bouts 27 1/2" and the length of the back is
43 1/2". The string length is a mere, 41 1/8".
Interestingly there is a gradual deepening of the ribs from the neck
area that joins the bass body where the ribs are only 7 1/2" and
grows gradually wider and wider through to the bottom of the bass
(endpin) that comes out to 10 1/4". For comparison, our own
G.B. Rogeri basses only go out to around 8 3/4", and they are
considered a normally 'full' 3/4 size bass. We measure the top of
the top to the back of the back. While the Rogeri dimensions are
very typical, this just shows how deep this Solano gets towards the
bottom. It is being offered here on consignment and it is in
excellent condition. While this Solano has the ordinary body
length and string length of a regular, 3/4, the wideness and depth
almost between 7/8 and 4/4.
It has Sloane tuners and a very deeply carved back. One of
the deepest backs one will see on a bass! We can easily ship
for an easy trial. Has a nice, deep sound. Owner is motivated
and wants to sell it, was $10k, now $6,950 obo.
Emanuel Wilfer, 'Solo' model, Germany, 2011
We are proud to introduce 2 new very unique and special models by
the maker, Emanuel Wilfer of Möhrendorf (Bavaria) Germany.
There are 3 generations of making in the Wilfer family and
these are hand made, by Rolande Wilfer. This one is his new,
Solo model in which we specially requested a lion's head
scroll. While it is called 'solo' model, is in no way
limited to only solo type, (recital) playing. I think he calls
it his solo model because of the slightly more narrow shoulders and
is physically so much easier to play in the upper registers.
It has a nice, deep orchestra sound and can be played in any type of
genre, whether jazz or classical. It's just a good, well made,
big sounding isntrument. It is a normal 3/4 size with the
upper bouts (shoulders) measuring 19 1/2" across, the lower bouts,
26 1/4" across, the length of the back, 44" and the string length,
41 1/2". A lions head scroll is attractive on a scroll and
also adds a lot of mystique and attention. It is what we call
in that this is another great sounding bass which like other
historic, (old) basses, will get passed down through future
generations of players. How does it play? Again,
it plays 'easy'. It doesn't take much to get the string to
vibrate and physically, with the narrow (solo) type model, very easy
for anyone to play over in thumb positioning. $13,500
(Shop and compare, you will usually see this level of Wilfer basses
starting at $16k.) Wilfer #2, (below) (made with
Wilfer's his old wood). It is $12,500.
Emanuel Wilfer, 'Prague' model, bass, Germany 2011
This bass is Wilfer's 'Prague' model which was specially made for
us at the String Emporium. What's the story on this one? It
was Rolande Wilfer's grandfather's original model of some old,
Bohemian bass that he liked. The deeper ribs, gives this bass
a deeper, cushy kind of sound when playing. It has a jazz set
up currently, and while it is super easy to play and very
responsive, it's got this huge punch to it and very rewarding to
play on. Here are the measurements: the shoulders are 19 1/4"
across, the lower bouts are 26 1/4", length of the back, 44" and the
string length is: 41 1/4" $12,500
Jerome Thibouville Lamy, c.1890.
This instrument, has had a lovely history of being played in some
of the world's great orchestras and fittingly, this is another
'great', bass offered here. It was recently restored and is in
beautiful condition. Although it was used pretty extensively in
professional orchestra settings, it is one of those great basses
that belongs wherever the player chooses to take it. It has a great
punchy, clear spiccato and a well developed range. No weaknesses
here: It has the classic reddish-brown (French) varnish with a
beautiful flat back with the famous, "false" neck button (the French
makers sometimes did this to show off the "regular" violin/cello
outline, but still giving the bass an easier sloped should near the
neck stand to make it easier to play on. Inside, the label reads:
Jerôme Thibouville Lamy, 1890. $24,000 obo Be sure to
click on any photo shown here for a larger, more detailed image.
Juzek upright bass?
Another 'oldie', possibly by Jan Juzek. There is some hand writing
on the directly on the inside back making note of the new top that was
replaced in 1934. Flat back and gamba shaped with a nice low
C-extension in it. Has a nice dark chestnut varnish on it and very
articulate sounding bass. It is in great shape and also has the
traditional outside linings (could be a German bass too.) The upper
bouts are 20 1/2", the lower bouts 25 1/2", the back is 43" and the
string length, 41". SOLD
John Osborne, upright bass, England, C.1920
Here is a great upright bass by John Osborne and is in the true
English tradition, with slightly more broader shoulders (still a
little sloped near the neck for easier playing.) Inside the bass,
the label reads: John Osborne, Farley Street, Leamington Spa,
October 18, 1920.The measurements: 21 3/4" across the upper
bouts, 26" lower bouts, 44 1/4" back, and only 41 5/8" for the
string length. It is a very playable bass. At one point, this was
owned by the great, Monty Budwig (jazz bassist) who passed away
sometime ago and for the past 10-15 years was owned and played in a
major American symphony orchestra. Sound-wise it's clear and carries
well in any setting and is very versatile. (People often ask us:
"What makes a great jazz bass or what makes a great classical bass?"
Well, our answer is simple, "Great basses are just great basses and
one should be able to play a 'great' bass in any genre." This is
such a bass. Be sure to click on any photo shown here for a larger,
more detailed image.
Leon Mortin double bass, Mirecourt, c.1905
A double bass, by Leon Mortin, Mirecourt, France (1905).
One of the most awesome upright basses on the planet for sure! There
is a maker's label inside which reads: Ancienne Maison Vuillaume
Darte et Cunin Leon Mortin. Luthier, Mirecourt 1905),
but we have seen another similar upright, which was made by Leon
Fischesser-Shollet whom lived to Paris in 1905 (the same year
thatitwas made.) The most striking and obvious highlight of it is
the magnificent lion's head scroll carving. It is a good sized
scroll and very detailed.; (Even the back of the scroll has an
incredible array of the back of a lion's mane.) Everything about it
breathes elegance from the scroll, to the perfect curves of the form
outline and violin corners, to the perfect exquisite (Strad) style
f-holes. More so than anything though is the way the it plays. It is
a clear, focused instrument and very responsive which was played in
major orchestras for many years. Beautifully carved back (with lots
of flame!) This is a bass which you can hear 10 feet away as well as
all way up in the balcony seats.
Be sure to click on any photo shown here for a larger, more detailed
Don't forget, there are
more double basses here too.
Upright bass by Jacquet-Gand c.1860
Another great French bass by Jacquet-Gand
made sometime around 1860. The maker of this upright was more than
likely Gabriel Jacquet (known as Jaquet-Gand for marrying into the
Gand family). See the Wan-Bernadel
upright basses. A
3/4 size bass. The upper bouts measure 20 1/8", the lower bouts
25 3/4", and the length of the back, 44" The string length is 42"
German Upright Bass, C.1890
It has no label, though it's more than likely a
German, upright bass. Circa 1890's. It has a good flat back
construction which tapers off into the neck black. The bass is
covered with a lovely, warm brown amber varnish. The sides and
particularly the back have some nice flaming in the wood grain as
well. All though it's a normal 3/4 bass, it has slightly wider upper
bouts (shoulders) at 20", the lower bouts 26", back length 43" and a
nice string length of 41 3/8". This upright has just recently been
restored and is in fantastic shape. A very special bass!
$7,500 now, $6,500 (See more double
basses for sale at the
More upright Double Basses link.
For more information you can call or email us at