This ca. late 1940s Pfretzschner “Andreas Morelli” was likely made as a sales sample instrument (from Wilfer?) when Pfretzschner was looking for another small factory to get the contract for making this flagship model. It is the most responsive and best sounding “Andreas Morelli” model bass that I have ever had in the shop. Older repair procedures have included: A scroll graft using a 3-piece sandwich of Maple-Walnut-Maple, A nice C extension with 1 capo, Adjustable endpin replacement, Installation of an Underwood pickup, and some crack repairs. Recent repair procedures have included: Pulling the neck to perform a heel graft, Replacement aged African ebony fingerboard, Building out the C extension to match the new thicker fingerboard, New bridge with added adjusters, Comprehensive hybrid setup for both jazz and orchestral playing.
The spruce top is a fine two-piece section of European spruce, with the finer grain at the center and more medium width grain at the edges. The tap tones are rich and colorful. The mildly figured maple ribs are straight and even in their grain character. A few rib cracks have been professionally repaired. The mildly figured two-piece section of maple used for the carved back plate is of medium-high density European maple with very colorful tap tones. The original Eb neck received a scroll graft, probably when it was owned by celebrated bassist James Aton. The graft is a 3-piece graft of Maple-walnut-maple. The halfplate tuning machines are German-made, from the postwar period. The single capo C extension has been in place since the 1980s. The bridge is made from an Aubert “Luxe” blank, has had adjusters added, and has a final height of 7″. The bridge has had an Underwood pickup fit to it. The ebony tailpiece is older, likely from the 1940s. The replacement adjustable endpin is a smooth functioning replacement. The current string is with a new Spirocore orchestra gauge set. The very pleasing dark red varnish finish has had a few repairs over time. Luthier Jason Brown performed the recent setup work and building out of the C extension. The bass is performing at a top professional jazz level.
Dimensions are: Top length 43 3/8″, Upper bout width 19 7/8″, Middle bout width 14 1/2″, Lower bout width 25 1/2″, Length of back including button 45 1/4″, Rib depth at tail 7 7/8″, Rib depth at upper bout corner 7 1/2″, Rib depth at neck joint 6″, String length 43 3/8″.
This Pfretzschner “Andreas Morelli” bass is a professional level jazz or orchestral instrument that represents the pinnacle of late 1940s German craftsmanship. This bass feels easy to play, despite the longer string length. The tone is sublime and the volume is excellent. With cover.