Roderich Paesold Double Bass, Model 593, c1999
Who is Roderich Paesold? Born in 1891 in the Bohemian “Musikwinkel”
(music corner) close to the district capital of Eger, Roderich Paesold grew up
with musical instruments. His father owned his own string and bow business, and
after his apprenticeship, Roderich himself joined the family business. The
family business was established in 1848 by Roderich‘s grandfather, Johann Carl
Paesold, who produced strings and traded in musical instruments. It became a
flourishing export company at the turn of the century under the trade name “Flügelnell”.
Roderich‘s brother Leopold stayed in the family business together with their
mother. Roderich later founded his own company (in 1919) which specialized in
the manufacture of bows and the export of musical instruments. In 1939, he
travelled to London for business negotiations just as World War II was
beginning. Throughout the entire war, Roderich was not allowed to leave the
United Kingdom, which later proved to be extremely beneficial. After the
war, he settled in the Bavarian town of Bubenreuth and in 1950 he re-established
the family bow making business. Due to his skilled craftsmanship and
entrepreneurial initiative, the company gained a reputation which went far
beyond Germany‘s borders. Many important bow makers studied or worked at
the workshop of Roderich Paesold. In 1968, the company W. Schreiber & Söhne took
over the Paesold company. At that time, Paesold had begun making high quality
string instruments which soon became some of the finest on the world market. In
1981, the Paesold company was integrated into the Boosey & Hawkes group. Thanks
to worldwide sales distribution, Paesold products became available to leading
musicians in all countries. Since December 2004 the traditional Master workshop
has been back in family ownership.
What is this bass? The model 593 double bass is a fully carved double
bass made in the Paesold workshop in Germany under the control of Boosey &
Hawkes. The 593 is the “middle” bass in their lineup, having moderately
figured maple and wider grained spruce with a nicely antiqued Hammerel made
(German) spirit varnish.
What has Upton done to it? After receiving an A+ bill of health, the
entire setup was gone over and brought up to our specifications. A new
bridge with adjusters was cut as the original was too wide for the geometry of
the bass bar and ff holes.
How did Upton acquire this instrument? This was the “back up”
bass of a student (the main bass being a fine Mirecourt made French double
bass). The student was a student at Berklee and studied privately with
Benjamin Wolfe. The student has since moved to Europe and needed to
“unload” one of his basses.
How does it sound? It’s got a sweet, powerful tone that rings very
well while not getting “tight” or “dry” on the open E like so many sweet
sounding basses do. This is a nicely played in instrument that got a very
good bassist into and through Berklee. Arco or pizzicato, this bass will get you
Overall Impressions? This bass is dressed to deceive! When the
owner first took it out of the case, we assumed it was “Wilfer” and easily 25 to
40 years older than it’s label says it is…the only “tell” at first was the
varnish still had the patina of a newer instrument. A peak at the label
said it all…but we could easily see how the removal of the label could easily
fool many a veteran shop owner into thinking this bass is much older than it is.
This bass won’t last long…don’t bookmark it thinking you can save up for it,
it will be gone.