Passed on a bass, think I made the right call

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ebick, Jan 18, 2014.


  1. ebick

    ebick

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    It was at a guitar show/expo.

    Fender (Mexican) Precision. According to the serial number, 2000-2001. It was fretless, but it seemed pretty clear to me that it once had frets and they were simply removed.

    They guy was asking $250 and wouldn't budge.

    Should I have grabbed this?
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

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    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
  3. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

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    Jun 28, 2009
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    Boston, MA
    +1
  4. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

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    Mar 6, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Plenty of fish in the sea.

    Once anyone starts messing with a bass it's easy to pass.

    This could be major reptile dentistry.
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  6. pfox14

    pfox14

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    Dec 22, 2013
    I would have done the same thing.
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

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    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    Good move.

    When you have to have it, you'll know.
  8. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    A defretted neck is about worthless. The value is just gone. If the rest of it was stock I would have passed to.
  9. Broadstbully22

    Broadstbully22

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    A perfect used mim only sells for around that much. Why spend that on one that may give you fits.
  10. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    If it were a decent de-fret and it played well I would hardly call it worthless. And at $250 that is not so bad a deal.
    Of course if it looks/plays like crapola then pass.
    Really hard to tell without a pic.
  11. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Judging by the way he described it its not really worth much. He said he could tell it had frets, which to me translates to tons of splinters in the rosewood when the frets were pulled.

    I have had MIM necks that were defretted and they brought about $50. You can get a used MIM P bass on craigslist for $250 anyday were I live. I would rather buy a bass with frets and have it defretted myself so i know the quality of the job.

    Like you said though it is hard to tell without photos.
  12. thrasher666

    thrasher666

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    I always thought that, but a friend of a friend once bought a "box of guitar parts" at a tag sale - turned out to be a P-Bass & a Strat, both Fenders, and not cheap ones, either. Some goon bought them new to "experiment on guitars" and pretty much trashed them. I did my best to fix the Strat, and got the remains of the P in exchange. Both necks looked like someone took a belt sander with 18 grit paper to them!! Frets shredded, "scalloped" almost completely through the rosewood board on the Strat, and the maple/maple bass neck was even worse! Might have made a good oar in a pinch!! I ended up selling the neck on ebay for $77.00!!!
    After cleaning all the old house paint off the bodies, I sprayed the Strat body with blue Metallic leftover from my Ibanez RD707 & various motorcycles. The pbass body was primer gray. looked sweet, played ok, but the neck I got (Mighty Mite) was so-so. I parted out the bass, in the end I probably made $100.00
    Probably could have sold that de-fretted neck for around $120.00.
  13. ebick

    ebick

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. From what I could tell, it actually played pretty well. I mean, it felt good, but it was really hard to hear it on a crappy amp in huge room with tons of background noise. As for looks, it looked fine. Not great, not horrible.

    I think if the guy had come down to $200, I'd've bit, but I'm ok that it didn't happen.

    Still rockin my Squier Jag
  14. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

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    Apr 2, 2008
    Location:
    Huntington WV
    My .02, FWIW: you don't need to lose any sleep over passing on that one.
  15. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member

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    Apr 13, 2009
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Jaco's was defretted...just sayin.
  16. Nephilymbass

    Nephilymbass Supporting Member

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    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Fayetteville Ft Bragg NC
    my opinion is no MIM fender in PERFECT condition is worth more than $300 used. fretless conversions are hit or miss depending on who does it. professionally done conversions can turn into good basses. converting a fender these days though would never be something I would do mainly because its so easy to call up warmoth and get a replacement neck. If I saw that bass and wanted it but knew I wouldn't be happy with the neck I would think well it'll costs me such and such to have warmoth build me fretless neck, by then it'd be way over $300 though.
  17. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

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    Nov 16, 2009
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    Pretty poorly as well with a butter knife as rumor states. If it was not Jaco's though it wouldnt be worth nearly as much, being that it was a Pre-CBS neck though makes it valuable but its been so abused that its value comes from being Jaco's.
  18. Bongolation

    Bongolation

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    Nov 9, 2001
    Location:
    California
    No way.
  19. Maxdusty

    Maxdusty Supporting Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Just because it's de-fretted doesn't mean it's worthless. As the op mentioned, it actually played pretty well and felt good. Was the workmanship bad, I don't know and can't tell without a picture or seeing it first hand.
    If done well, I would have paid $200-250 if I were in the market for a fretless bass. It's not always about the resale value unless your intent is to flip it rather than play it. . If it sounds good, feels right then why not- the resale value of the bass becomes less relevant if it's a better player than any of my other options in that price range. Perhaps the seller wasn't budging on the price because he paid money to have the defretting done professionally, who knows, we can't tell without pictures. Just wanted to throw that possibility out there. Obviously, if the de-fretting job was badly done, I'd definitely pass.
  20. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    JOOC, how was this piece presented by the seller? Don't mean to sound presumptuous but the highlighted content above kinda paints a picture of what I've encountered in the past.

    Riis
  21. Rich McCoy

    Rich McCoy

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Actually I am doing a de-fret as we speak:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/defretting-71144/index22.html
    It is the last few posts.
    Wish me luck!!!
    Actually it has turned out really well, a few hurdles left at this point (some chips need filling), but I am confident it will play as well as any fretless Fender with fret markers. The reson I say that is because the last fretless I had was a Fender factory fretless and the fret markers were actually sticking up ever so slightly. I had to give the neck a sanding to get it smooth like it should of been. Sucks getting fret buzz on a fretless.

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