The history of ESH

The company was founded in 1987 in Aachen, (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) by three bass-players named Erhardt, Sonntag and Hövelmann. Their initials formed the brand ESH. These three friends were not quite satisfied with the common basses offered on the market at that time.

They wanted to create a new sound- and quality-concept, which was revolutionary even for german noble basses. Success turned the brand from the beginning into the Olympus of the German Bassbuilder scene. The consequent use of a modern and unique piezo systems is – and always has been – worldwide unique.

Of course over the more than 30 years of existing in the market, there also have been changes in the company seats and in the person of the managing director.

The 25th anniversary was splendid celebrated with many guests of Ralf Scholl in Bavaria, who had already established a friendly relationship with Petr Vykydal. They had known each other for years through joint activities for one of the most traditional German musical instrument builders from the South.

For many years they have been working closely together in the field of wood procurement, design, service, as well as the joint purchasing of global suppliers. In 2012, also Petr Vykydal took over the whole company with his company NBE and moved the main production one driving-hour further to the east, to the Czech Republic.

Europe grew more and more, and in Germany the design and development center was also moved from Bavaria to the capital of Germany, Berlin, while the production – still by hand – now located between Pilsen and Prague, in Bohemia, which was historically one of the most traditional areas for musical instrument builders.

Nowadays ESH is built by the most experienced masters in the Czech Republic.


A good and simultaneously flexible sound comes only from a masterly processed instrument. And with the use of high-quality materials only, the player is offered a perfect instrument. ESH basses rely solely on the quality of leading European or American suppliers, and on the wood – with the exception of smaller quantities of controlled exotic woods – usually also on American or European wood.

As a brand with a lot of tradition, we feel uncompromisingly committed to highest quality, and can still offer our instruments at a realistic price-range through worldwide distribution and small series production.

We invest in long-term and trusting supplier relationships and develop all models with German top designers by ourselves.


It is historically linked to the guitar builder of the first hour at ESH: Christof Kost. In the 80’s and 90’s, he designed the successful basses for the company ESH. Like the legendary ESH Sovereign, founded by experience and outstanding woodwork skills.

Kost’s innovative ideas were key to ESH’s reputation on the top of German bass builders. Later, too, he was at the disposal of the firm with advice and action. Some of the most expensive and meanwhile very rare ESH basses from the series ESH Unique carry his signature.

Under Ralf Scholl, the design was reworked after 2007 and modernized, as well as the new Poseidon became a much-respected super bass.

ESH Special

ESH basses are characterized by the innovative ESH-tronic circuit, which has been completely redesigned since its inception with the 2008 model series by Ralf Scholl. One piezo element for each string and adjustable in volume!

The patented neck fitting UltraContact (according to C. Kost) is unique for instruments with screwed necks.

Virtually all models were – and mostly still are – equipped with the ESH-tronic with piezo systems to ensure the most versatile sound possible thanks to the elaborate circuitry.

As a result, the well-known ESH-tronic delivers a precise, yet naturally contoured bass tone.


ESH uses a lot of North American maple, American swamp-ash, and European ash.

The solid tops (in 3A and 4A quality) are accompanied by exquisitely noble woods such as, for example Poplar Burl, Flamed Maple and Quilted Maple.

Where it is unavoidable, we buy tropical wood (Rosewood, Wengé).

At the same time, we ensure uncompromisingly high quality in growth, grain and storage as well as on proven sustainability.

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