Well, I walked into a local music shop this afternoon and stumbled across my latest impulse purchase:
I'm not one to take much interest in heavily modified basses but it really piqued my interest... so I plugged it in and plucked a few notes. Wow. Felt great, sounded great, and was an absolute joy to play. I started looking it over and realized it was a complete mishmash of parts turned into a bass with a serious identity crisis but, whoa, what a great player. I walked out the door with it a half hour later having paid less for it than my monthly car payment, figuring the parts that I was able to identify and date were worth the price and, as we know, the cost of a good 'player' is easy to justify. Awesome. Let's look at some pictures first, then I've got some questions for the Fender gurus.
I'm not too fond of the pickguard and bridge with Graph Tech saddles... or the EMGs for that matter.
hmmm, somewhat translucent reddish thumb rest...
Nice maple neck with some honest wear
Half-decent CAR repainted headstock and vintage logo, graphite nut?
Vintage 'F' neck plate, no serial, and black gasket...
Some nice finish checking
OK, here's where it gets fun! Vintage reverse tuners, a Fathead, and a Hipshot D-tuner, awesome.
So, from what I know and what I can gather, the neck plate is late '70s to '80s, the thing's been repainted decently, the neck seems late '70s or '80s, the thumbrest is '70s, the pickguard is a newer replacement and probably not Fender, someone monkeyed with most of the hardware, and it sure is pretty to look at. It's drilled in the '57/'62 location for thumbrest instead of the '70s above-the-E location so I don't know what to make of the body. There's CAR paint down to the graphite nut and fretboard lacquer up to it so both had to be done after the nut was swapped out.
I think I'm going to treat it to an anodized gold pickguard, some '57RI pickups and new electronics, and a chrome cover or two. And correct strap buttons. And a vintage-style bridge with threaded saddles.
Now, if anyone can help me date or figure out this thing further based on these pictures I'd be extremely appreciative. I was extremely happy to pull it apart here at home and discover the "H Gastelum" stamp on the neck but unfortunately little else in the neck pocket area. Can anyone check out the electronics cavity route and help date this or confirm that the body is a USA also? How about the extra holes in the neck pocket?
Thanks for reading and possibly helping to solve the puzzle!