Basses For Sale

Since 2007 I have been rebuilding damaged basses to put them back in playing condition to be sold for low to mid price market. Some of these instruments are laminated, as in classic Kay basses and some are fully carved. I endeavor to make inexpensive, professionally setup instruments within the economic reach of young, aspiring bassists who are functioning with limited funds but need a good playable bass. In the case of Kay basses, I reinforce the top plate with a spruce patch in the center of top, move the neck out and increase the over stand and fit a new bridge carved to be consistent with a new ebony fingerboard. These efforts correct what I consider to be design flaws in Kay basses that prevent them from responding optimally to modern strings with and increase in tension and pressure form the gut strings for which Kay basses were originally designed. The result is a refocusing of the mid-range and more access to the upper register, especially in using the bow. Below are the basses that I have available for sale at this time.


German Flatback bass c. 1900. This instrument has been completely rebuilt. The back was removed, straightened and fitted with new braces. The top was in excellent repair except for a couple of small cracks which have been repaired. A new neck and ebony fingerboard have been installed, as well as new bridge and endpin assembly. The neck was made from a high quality aged German maple neck blank. The instrument has been set up for a balance between optimum playability and maximum output. This is not for a collector but for a player.

This bass is in NYC and can be seen by appointment. Email radiolegs@gmail.com

Asking $8000



1953 Kay C-1 Upright Double Bass. This instrument has been completely rebuilt with the original usable materials retained. The top has been removed and reinforced with a spruce center patch which improves the midrange and punch in the sound. It is not tubby sounding like so many Kays. The neck has been moved out away from the top to put more energy into the instrument resulting in a powerful, complex tone with a lot of bottom. A new ebony fingerboard has been installed and well planed to achieve very comfortable action. It has a new bridge with adjusters and a new Kevlar tail piece wire and a new end pin. The string length is 42” and the setup is professional and very comfortable to play. It has the original Kluson tuning gears and tailpiece both in very good condition. This bass has been rebuilt for a serious player, not a collector. It is a really good 2nd bass for a professional or a 1st bass for a young player with modest funds. Because the overstand is now 1.5" the upper register is readily available and bow angles while playing arco clear the c bouts comfortably. The bass has the original Kay nitro-cellulose lacquer finish. This bass records very well.

Asking $4500

1956 Kay M-1 Upright Double Bass. This instrument has been completely rebuilt with the original usable materials retained. The top has been removed and reinforced with a spruce center patch which improves the midrange and punch in the sound. The neck heel, which had been broken and badly repaired has been reshaped with new wood epoxyed in and reinforced with a wooden dowel. A new ebony fingerboard has been installed and well planed to achieve very comfortable action. It has a new bridge with adjusters and a new Kevlar tail piece wire and a new end pin. The string length is 42” and the setup is professional and very comfortable to play. Because This model Kay has a slightly smaller upper bout and is very accessible in the upper register; in addition, the overstand is now 1.5" and bow angles while playing arco clear the c bouts comfortably. This bass has been rebuilt for a serious player, not a collector. It has great sustain for pizzicato playing and a sophisticated and expressive arco sound. It has exceptional spruce laminant on the top and because the bass was stripped of its original finish and french polished it looks unlike a plywood bass. It resembles the tone of a very nice mid level Juzek bass. It is a really good 2nd bass for a professional or a 1st bass for a young player with modest funds. This bass also records very well.

$5000



American bass - one of a kind. This instrument had been recently restored. The top plate of American spruce which was quite thick has been regraduated. It is a fully carved bass with walnut inlayed purfling; the sides and back plate are hard domestic maple. The bass is finished with a natural lacquer finish. It has been outfitted with a new bass bar, new tailpiece wire, new fingerboard with a purple heart shim under it to improve the approach angle of the fingerboard. The neck shape has been normalized after someone recarved the neck in an uneven, uncomfortable elliptical shape. This bass has a very beautiful arco sound and a powerful sustained pizzicato sound and the note locations seem to feel very natural. It is a hearty, sustantial instrument the would be great as an in house bass in a jazz club or theater. It can be tried out in NYC.

Asking $6000