1962 P-bass restoration project-You won't believe this!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by grinderboy226, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. grinderboy226


    Sep 30, 2003
    My first bass was a Squier P, then a little more than a year ago i opted for a Yamaha RBX-170 which has been my main bass since. I heard as much raving about the "Pre-CBS" Fenders as everyone else, but i never got to try one myself to find out.

    So, just a month ago the owner of this downtown LA pawn shop i've been dropping into regularly, finds out i'm a bass player and says he wants to show me something. He had it laying in a case in his basement below a zillion other things that he recently started going through, and took it out for me to see what it could be worth.

    "Lo and behold", it turned out the beat-up instrument he had gotten "about twenty years ago" was a genuine 1962 Fender Precision Bass! It looked not to be in top condition, and i'm by no means an expert of vintage instruments, but from all that i've heard i figured it had to be worth something. So he said, $500 would get it, or else he might ask a couple of musicians he knew what it's worth and who might be interested in it. Smart as i am, i said "hell no" and quickly went to obtain the money i needed.

    So as i took it home and checked it out with a friend who knows more about instruments than i do, my enthusiasm was sinked. A lot. First off, it was ugly. I'm not a fan of sunbursts on anything else than a Les Paul, but seen close up this one took the prize. It wasn't as beat up as i thought on first sight, but still really in need of a finish job.

    It had AWFUL flatwound strings on it. I didn't even know what it was until my friend told me they were quite popular a long long time ago. Well so was going to church... :p

    He had brought some cheap no-name roundwounds to bring it up to date. But first he had to adjust the bridge because it was set with a totally unplayable high action, that some smart ass apparently though was gonna make him look like a better player. Also, both covers (pickup and bridge) were on, which made us wonder even more about who owned it before (not a very serious player, who tries to play it with both covers on eh? :rolleyes: ) Off they went, leaving visible marks in the finish below where they had been. Hideous!

    So after a few hours of adjustment, stringing and more adjustment, i finally dared to try plugging it in. I'm not gonna tell you any more about that, or what we discovered next, cause i don't want to bore you all with a overly long post-which i notice i already have. But i'll tell you the rest some other time. Now just
    take this as a sign that vintage instruments, even if they're a '62 Fender, are not always a "good buy" or a "safe bet"... there's plenty of junk that's not worht the money and if it weren't for the low price i paid this would surely be one. I'll get back to ya later...
  2. Pet

    Pet Guest

    Mar 8, 2003
    all over
    show me a picture of the body , the headstock, and the serial plate up close if you can. thanks
    Don't refinish it!

  3. $500 for a vintage P in rough, shape is a steal. I would love to see some pictures and if you refinish this bass it will lose value.

    ;) Treena
  4. DON'T REFINISH IT!!!!!!

    OMG, Don't refinish it...please I beg of you, A beat up original finish would be worth A LOT more than a perfect refinish. (also cause I LOVE beat up vintage fenders!)
  5. flywheel


    Jul 9, 2003
    Shawnee, KS
    Is this some kind of joke???

    You cannot be serious about everything you've said in your post. Someone's toying with our emotions! :rolleyes:
  6. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio

    I'm not too sure I buy into your story to start with, but giving the benefit of the doubt.....you would be a complete fool to screw with it.....I don't care how bad the finish is.
  7. The covers are meant to be there while playing. I even think they had to do with the original pickups, reducing hum or something. You're telling me you've never seen a bassist play an old Fender with pickup or bridge covers? Go watch Will Lee play on Letterman, he still uses pickup covers. And whatever you do, DO NOT REFINISH IT! Even if it sucks, some vintage freak will value it amazingly.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    C'mon! It's a bass. You don't want to be seen playing some scuzzed-out old thing on stage. I'd have Wilkins put a brand-new finish on it so it looks good, at least. Then you'd have that pre-CBS tone and a great-looking bass.
  9. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA

    Very first post. Membership started today. Age listed is 17 years old.

    It all looks kinda BSish to me. Pictures would help.

    If you are on the level, you can do whatever you want. But if you modify that bass, later on you will be kicking yourself.
  10. gabu, somethings :oops: ODD.

    :eek: Treena
  11. I think we have a troll.....
  12. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    I think that may well be the only shard of truth in the whole thread, sadly.

    If not, congrats on the find! Post some pics please!
  13. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    This can't be true, A Reputable pawn shop would know the value of that bass if they had it and it sure wouldn't be 500 bucks :eek: Maybe in the 70's. lol,
  14. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If this post is true,

    don't do anything to that bass at all. Bring it to a reputable guitar shop for a "set-up". It would be unthinkable to refinish that bass. Let's see pics.
  15. bassvirtuoso is that you? Maybe Sterlingbassist has returned? :rolleyes:
  16. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    HOLD ON A MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1962 Sunburst P Bass...in a pawn shop in LA for long time. Flatwounds. Unplayable high action.

    Grinderboy...immediately, and I mean RIGHT NOW...you need to remove the neck and check under neck plate. If there is a carved inscription that says "funk machine", filled in with blue pen ink, then you've just found the Holy Grail.\

    Everyone dig where I'm goin' with this?
  17. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Are you talkin' 'bout James J.? Nah, I found his bass a couple of years ago, refret it and refinish it metalic orange. You gotta see it to believe it!!!:D

    keep groooovin'
  18. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN

  19. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Congrats Craig, you took the bait! :D
  20. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars

    If you are yanking our collective chain Grinderboy, bad karma is on the way.
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