1888 Neuner & Hornsteiner 4/4 flatback 5 string


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This magnificent sounding 1888 Neuner & Hornsteiner 4/4 flatback had a 5 string conversion procedure performed about 45 years ago and a scroll graft slight shortening of the string length before that time. The instrument is very much in balance with itself, feeling remarkably light and lively in its response, through the use of a tailpiece saddle extension and Thomastik Superflexible solo gauge strings on the top four strings and a D’Addario Helicore Orchestra B string. The older scroll graft changed the vibration string length form just a little over 46″ (117 cm) to 44 3/4″ (113.7 cm). This bass is one of only three 5 string instruments in the shop’s history that effectively produced pizz notes in jazz playing all the way down to a low B. When used with a bow, this instruments produces rich and even notes that might remind one of a church organ.

The top is a two-piece plate of quality German spruce with fine grain at the center and medium grain width at the edges.The spruce grain definition is bold and even along the length of the top. The mildly flame figured German maple back and sides are well chosen and even featured, of moderate density. The replacement beech neck was grafted to the original maple pegbox and scroll many years ago to shorten the string length. The current overstand height, achieved with a wedge under the fingerboard, is 29 mm. The original four individual brass tuning machines are original and in fine shape. The attachment point for the A string ball end in the peg box was achieved with a wood dowel inserted above the G string tuner. The 5 string conversion, performed about 45 years ago, involved fitting a ┬ánew nut and wider fingerboard to the 4 string neck.The tailpiece was fitted with a light weight hatpeg tuning machine for tuning the A string. The tailpiece extension was made in a commonly used style that was employed in the 1960s through the 1990s. At some point an outside lining was fitted to the lower bout for better glue mating surface with the top. The wooden endpin is currently set to a height of 4 3/8″ (11.3 cm). Most of the original varnish remains, though extensive top repairs have added some french polish varnish layers. DIMENSIONS are: Top length 47 1/2″ (120.0 cm), Upper bout width 21 1/4″ (54.0 cm), Middle bout width 15 3/8″ (39.1 cm), Lower bout width 28 1/2″ (72.4 cm), Depth at tail 8 7/8″ (22.5 cm), Depth at upper bout corner 8 3/4″ (22.2 cm), Depth at neck 7 1/4″ (18.4 cm), String length 44 3/4″ (113.7 cm).

This instrument has been owned and played regularly by the consigning owner for 45 years, with regular maintenance performed by several top notch doublebass luthiers. The owner is now in his mid-eighties and wishes to continue playing, but with an instrument that is easier to negotiate through doorways and crowded stages for jazz gigs and a few orchestral settings. With Cover.

Price: $40,000