I recently moved to the Shoals area in North Alabama down from Nashville. One thing I dearly miss about Nashville is the plethora of music stores. There is one decent music store I've found in the area, and they only have a handful of basses, but I like to pop in from time to time to see what they have.
Today I'm noodling around on some basses and a guy walks up and asks, "Do you play bass?". I told him I did and he asked "What would be a good starter bass for my girlfriend?". Not wanting to sour my relationship with the one and only decent music store within 120 miles of me, I did want to send him to the Talkbass classifieds, eBay, or Craigslist...plus...he wouldn't know what to look for anyway.
I showed him some of the new Squires they had in stock and a couple of Yamaha RBX basses, then asked him, "What's your budget?" He tells me about $300. Well, the Squires fall into that range, but wandered over the the used rack and took another peek. I am not a four string player, so I pretty much look at the headstock and if there aren't 5 pegs...I don't pay attention to it.
Hanging there on the used rack was a nice 80's model US Peavey Foundation with super ferrite pickups. Price tag said $117.
I plugged it in and played it. Very nice! Nice tone, pots weren't scratchy, neck was straight, tuners worked fine, no fret sprout, only a bit of fret wear, and what looked like a new set of D'Addario Nickel XL strings. The setup was pretty good and I whipped out my iPhone, fired up the Strobotune app and checked the intonation. The A string was a bit sharp, but not bad. Nothing anyone but a professional ear would ever notice.
Thanks to Talkbass, I knew the US Foundations were good basses and the super ferrite pickups were much loved. Hopefully I contributed to the beginning of another devoted fan of the low end. And I hope his girlfriend is hot and posts slutty pictures of herself with the bass.