A visit to Markneukirchen, Germany, the home of many good instrument makers
Let me state right away that I have no connection with Alfred Meyer the bass makers, although I have the same surname, I am not paid by them to advertise their products and I am merely giving what I hope will be an interesting account of my visit to Markneukirchen, Germany.
My father came from a town near Markneukirchen and some time ago I visited there and resolved to have a look round the town which is small and devoted entirely to making musical instruments.
A further incentive was that the bass I play on was made by Eberhart Meinel who I tried to visit but I was told that the firm had gone out of business.
However, I was directed to the premises of Alfred Meyer, who, I was told, are now the premier bass makers in Markneukirchen. I was cordially welcomed and examined and played on six models. All of them were well made and sounded very good. I was very impressed with a five stringer, the model having won a prize. Later that evening I went to a concert given by the Dresdener Staatskapelle. All of the eight basses were five stringers from Alfred Meyer.
There was a copy of a Gaspar da Salo, a ¾ violinform, a ¾ Milano, a ¾ Verona, a 4/4 Alfred Meyer and a 3/4 Dracula, the latter having a carved head of Dracula instead of the usual scroll, and lightning zig-zags instead of the usual F holes. All were easy to play and to “get over”.
Considering that they were so beautifully made the cost (in Euros) was very reasonable. As a professional they offered me a 10% discount and said they would ship to Canada. It was very tempting, but I’m satisfied with my own bass and do not do a great deal of playing now so reluctantly I went away empty-handed but to anybody starting in the profession who needs a good, reasonably priced bass this is one of the places to look.