Juzek Upright Bass
The Juzek upright basses were made in Prague, Czechoslavakia (Now
known as the Czech Republic). Jan Jusek imported factory instruments
and primarily only worked with importing to America. His basses
can really range in level and quality. It really depends
on when they were being made (what the buyers needs were) and how
much money customers were willing to spend. Depending on the
dates, there was plenty of competition with their German neighbors
for the same types of upright basses also trying to work their way
into the American market. The Jusek upright was pretty successful
in a few ways. Lots of his basses were flat back, but he also
made them with a carved back as well. The varnishes ranged
from shiny, heavily applied yellows, to wonderful dark chestnut
brown. The wood and workmanship also ranged in quality, but
in general the quality is dependable. In America, in the 1930,
40's and 50's, the Juzek upright bass was popular for its imported
cheaper (more affordable) price. Some might ask why there
was such a range in quality and style in his instruments.
The answer could be found in that he also "farmed" out
his instruments from other makers in the Schoenbach, but put his
own labels inside.
We often get comparisons with the dependability of these old basses,
to our newer, Wan-Bernadel upright basses.
The 3/4 Czech or German basses while carved basses, were never known
for being projecting, focused basses. What was the attraction? They
were really the first largely available imported bass that gave
a nice alternative to the typical plywood basses that were so predominant.
Now, in the 21st century, it's incredible how much stays the same,
but also changes. China is really the new Czechoslovakia and
Germany! Will the Wan-Bernadel upright basses leave the same
legacy as the Jusek bass? It's hard to say. Here are
some similarities and differences: The Wans in some ways, are made
much better. They all have carved backs and will be way less
prone to cracking over time. (This will be more obvious in 10 or
so more years!) The Wans are more consistent in that the varnishes
have always been high quality. The materials, nicer flamed maple
which was cheaper and more readily available for Wan, will be consistent.
Juzek though, made and imported way, way more basses.
We think with the constant attention to quality, detail and dedication,
the Wan-Bernadels will have a great place in history. Because
all of the 'WB' basses are specially hand made and carved, there
is often a wait-list for them. If you are interested in knowing
more about this
email us and we will be happy to let you know what the status