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Anybody know what this bass is?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RBS_Johnson, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. RBS_Johnson

    RBS_Johnson

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    Hey all,
    I was in one of my local antique stores and spotted this bass leaning in a corner. It is definitely old, and seems to be Japanese(the tag says it is, I`m not sure though). At a glance I thought it was a Tele bass. I haven`t tested it yet, but they are asking $125. I think I could talk the guy down, and maybe have him throw in the nifty old strap. I am worried about the dented pickup cover. The pick guard/control plate are metal, and it is a 34" scale.

    So, anybody know what exactly this is? Or even any guesses/info to head in the right direction.

    Thanks,
    Jake

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  2. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

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    I don't have a clue what it is, but if it were me and I wanted a player, I'd spend my $125 on a used Squier.
  3. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

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    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, it's probably a 60's Teisco bass. I think that it's easily worth $125 so if you get it for $100 you're doing great.
  4. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    My guess would be it's one of those Japanese "lawsuit" basses from the late 60's or early 70's, but there are so many, and I don't know them from one another. The headstock looks like the same wood grain as the body. Interesting if the neck and body are the same wood, and a sign of fairly high workmanship if it's a headstock veneer to match the body.

    I'd see if they'd let me look under the neck and in the control cavity for any more clues, but I'd understand if they won't.

    The fret markers are interesting and unusual. You would think those would make it pretty easily identifiable by anyone familiar with that model.

    Edit: I see John had a more specific direction for you to investigate while I was writing mine.
  5. wraub

    wraub

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    Definitely looks like a MIJ bass, looks like 60's for sure. Teisco, Kay, and several other options are likely.
    Body is probably ply, in something like mahogany. Definitely looks funky, hopefully in a good way.

    Try to pay no more than $100. Possibly less if you can.
  6. squirefan

    squirefan

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    I usually like to be a purist and keep things original, but if that bass is salvageable set-up wise, I'd modify it. In which case I wouldn't worry about the dented P/U.
  7. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

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    John K Custom Basses
    that inlay pattern is fairly common on the teisco guitars and basses from the 60's.

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  8. SteveV74

    SteveV74

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    An old hagstrom mabye
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member

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    NO. it a Teisco.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    Agreed. Either a Teisco or a close Japanese cousin. The tuners are also a clue - they're nothing like Hagstrom tuners, they're typical of a Japanese-made bass of the 60's.
  11. SteveV74

    SteveV74

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    Oh well, shot in the dark
  12. RBS_Johnson

    RBS_Johnson

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    Thanks guys, you all are awesome as usual!

    John, it looks like that is the bass. This one has had the guard cut it seems, and the lower portion plus the thumbrest painted black with a rattlecan. The foam mute in the bridge cover is still there.

    It needs a set up badly, but I seldom get used basses that don't. Hopefully the truss rod will adjust it out well enough. It could use a bit of fret work, but will be ok I think. It plays pretty well in it's current shape.

    squirefan, while I enjoy modding instruments, I particularly love the sound of the pickups they put in basses of this era. A dead pickup would be a deal breaker unless I got a heck of a deal on it.

    -Jake
  13. Stealth Fighter

    Stealth Fighter

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    If you are referring to me, I'm not necessarily a Squier fan, although I do own one that I bought just to satisfy my curiosity. I understand where you are coming from with these old instruments. I would really like to find a replacement for my first bass. It was an early '60s Cortez, and I really liked the tone it had. I hope it works out for you.
  14. RBS_Johnson

    RBS_Johnson

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    Ha, Stealth Fighter, I was referring to the comment made by the user squirefan a couple down for you. For the record, I love some Squiers(such as the VM series).
  15. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch

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    These are variations on a theme, with John's bass being a little bit more elegant, based on bridge cover (if it were there) and tuners. The better ones also have a five-bolt neck. Your bass does appear to have the valued "gold-foil" pickup, only with the gold foil missing.

    Although no definitive proof has surfaced, consensus is these are Teiscos, based on the second-generation P-bass. Since I have been running my eight(!) of these across the
    bench in turns to get them all giggable, if yours is stock, I can tell you to expect:

    1) construction will be solid mahogany;
    2) the stock pickup will be warm and woofy, with just a suggestion of Fender but closer to Gibson without the mud;
    3) wiring may be *far* from factory spec, even if the stock pickup has survived;
    4) file work at the string anchors may be necessary to keep the strings on the tailpiece;
    this is the only serious design flaw of the instrument;
    5) neck work -- a fret dressing and back bow clamping -- may be required; I lube the truss rod and clamp the neck while I am getting the wiring sorted out.

    In spite of all these caveats, if the bass you are considering had the top center dot markers and the five-bolt neck, I would offer $125 for it without blinking.
  16. squirefan

    squirefan

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    Yeah, I've considered changing my user name to eliminate confusion between Squire (as in Chris), and Squier (as in Fender).:meh:
  17. Major Softie

    Major Softie

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    Yeah, these suffer from great subjective taste - some are huge fans, some (as shown here) see no point in them at all.

    If these are what you're into, it looks like a pretty cool example to me.
  18. RAYAR

    RAYAR

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    The pick-up cover should be able to be removed and the dent removed if you know how to work with sheet metal. Easy to mess it up if you don't.
  19. capnjim

    capnjim

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    Funny no one has mentioned the strap....look and see if its an "Ace". It might be worth more than the bass. The bass might be "worth" 100$ but its never going to be anything but a slight novelty. It wont sound or play very well no matter what you do to it.
  20. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Supporting Member

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    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Teiesco for sure and yeah the strap if Ace is worth as much as the bass.

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