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5-string Double Bass by Günter Krahmer-Pöllmann, Mittenwald anno 1976 - #2857

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I am searching for a professional quality 5-string instrument that won`t break the bank to buy. What have you got?

This superb looking, superb sounding Pöllmann is in our opinion a real winner.

It certainly is a stunning looking instrument.

Yes indeed. Günter Krahmer-Pöllmann has used some really choice wood to build this instrument. The maple back and ribs are exquisitely flamed. Wide even-grain lines can also clearly be seen running vertically throughout the timber.

What about the table wood. How good is that?

The spruce table is as excellent as the maple. It features visually prominent grain lines that are remarkably straight and evenly spaced fine to medium-fine apart.

What about all the ornate carving work on the instrument. How good is that?

The carving work to the outside rib-linings and edge work of the table, back, and peg-box is beautifully executed.

Am I right in thinking that the ornate edgework has become a bit of a trade mark?

Yes indeed. In fact the whole instrument is what you would describe as “Classic-Pöllmann”.

Can you point out a few more of Pöllmann`s signature features?

I have already mentioned the exceptionally fine wood and the super-fine ornate carving around the edgework. In addition the instrument features a full swell back and front, deep ribs, outside linings, nicely raked upper shoulders, gorgeous golden-amber spirit varnish over a yellow-ochre ground and of course the “busetto” lower corners.

Yes you are so right. The busetto corners. They really are synonymous with the Pöllmann name.

Indeed they are. In fact generations of bass players have grown up to live and love these rounded beauties.

That brings me nicely onto my next question. How many generations of Pöllmann makers are there todate?

The company is now being run by the fourth generation of master builders. According to the Pöllmann web-site the family tree is as follows;

Hermann Alexander Pöllmann (b-1864, d-1937). Founder of the company.
In 1888 he opened a workshop in Siebenbrunn, near Markneukirchen where he specialised in making cellos and double basses.

Erich Max Pöllmann (b-1897, d-1963). Son and pupil of the founder. An excellent craftsman. Was the first to start the ornamentation on the plates and outside-linings of his instruments. His double basses are renowned for their huge orchestral sound.
1911 - began working with his father.
1920 - moved to Jugelsburg, near Adorf - a small town to the west of Markneukirchen where he opened his own shop in the house of his father-in-law - the violin maker August Ernst Voight (b-1874, d-?).
Worked in Leipzig and Dresden.
1940 - moved back to Markneukirchen.
1944 - awarded master`s degree in lutherie.

Gunter Krahmer-Pöllmann (b-1938). Third generation of master double bass makers. Nephew of Erich Max Pöllmann and the grandson of August Ernst Voight.
1952 - 1959 worked with his uncle in Jugelsburg and was Erich Max`s only pupil.
1959 - awarded master`s degree in lutherie.
1959 - moved to Mittenwald.

Michael & Ralph Krahmer Fourth generation of master double bass makers. The two sons of Gunter Krahmer-Pöllmann. Grew up working in their father`s workshop. Presently located at 17 Elmauer Weg 17, D-82481 Mittenwald.

Does this instrument have an internal label?

Yes. The label reads;

E.M. Pöllmann - Geigenbaumeister. Anno 1976.
8261 Neumarkt-Sankt Veit / Oberbayern.

In the centre of the label there is a caption of a standing lion with a crown on its head holding a double bass.

Where is Neumark-Sankt Veit?

Neumark-Sankt Veit is an old market town located on the river Rott approximately 10km north of Mühldorf am Inn in Upper Bavaria, South-Eastern Germany.

Does the instrument have any other forms of identification?

Yes. It is branded Pöllmann twice. The first brand is on the upper back just below the neck-button. The second is located at the bottom of the bass-side peg box.

Bearing in mind that the label bears the name E.M. Pöllmann. How do you know for sure that Günter Kramer-Pöllmann made this particular instrument?

Günter Kramer Pöllmann`s year of birth strongly suggests that it was he that made this instrument. However just to make absolutely sure I e-mailed Michael and Ralph Krahmer. They were good enough to reply on the 22/06/15 as follows; “Yes, this bass is made by our father Günter Kramer and he lived and worked in Neumarkt-St.Veit (you are right, its near Müldof/Inn) from around 1961 to 1983, then he left us boys and went back to Mittenwald.”

That sure was nice of Michael and Ralph to reply like that.

Yes indeed. Thank you both for your kind assistance.

What condition is the instrument in?

It is in near mint condition. There are a few very minor scuffs and that is all.

Considering that the instrument is fast approaching its 40th anniversary the condition is remarkably good.

Yes agreed.

Have you done anything to the instrument?

We replaced the old worn-out fingerboard, the bridge and the post. In addition we re-profiled the neck so that it produces a “D” with your 1st finger directly opposite your thumb.

Is the instrument easy to play?

Yes indeed. The upper shoulders slope nicely and the string length is a mere 104.5cm.

How does the instrument sound?

Very impressive indeed. There is punch and projection coupled with a deep, dark, tonal quality. The sort of sounds that are the foundation of any orchestra.

How do the B & E strings respond?

They speak quickly and cleanly.

Can you give me a summary?

This “classic” Pöllmann five-stringer has everything that a player can ever want. It is a well proportioned model, it is made with the most handsome of materials, the workmanship is super neat, it is easy to play and the sound is positive and rewarding.

Stats:

LOB (length of back) - 115.0cm (45.27in)
Width across upper bouts - 52.4cm (20.51in)
Width across middle bouts - 36.5cm (14.40in)
Width across lower bouts - 72.9cm (28.92in)
Depth of lower ribs inc both plates - 24.4cm (9.60in)
Body stop - 58.7cm (23.15in)
String length - 104.5cm (41.16in)

Price: £17 000-00 - Convert price with XE.com Personal Currency Assistant

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