Advice : Buying bass with crack in finish

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by noeuds, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. noeuds


    Jan 26, 2022
    I am looking to buy a hofner bass and I found a B-Bass Hi-Series in the local ads that has a finish crack. Seller says it is only cosmetic. Should I worry about something [edit: look at something in particular to make sure it is indeed only cosmetic]?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
  2. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Well, you have to worry if he's telling the truth.
  3. Lenny JG

    Lenny JG

    Aug 3, 2019
    Go see it in person, if it truly is only cosmetic then it shouldn't matter unless you don't like it being there.
    AGCurry, Sushi Box FX, noeuds and 2 others like this.
  4. 7dollarbologna


    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    Where is this crack located?
    jd56hawk likes this.
  5. noeuds


    Jan 26, 2022
    It's on the top between the two pick-ups and a bit over the neck pick-up. See pictures.

    Attached Files:

  6. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    Doesn't look too bad, IMO. Not at all.

    Is it being sold new, b-stock, or used? From a dealer or individual?

    If it's a dealer, new, with warranty, and the blemish discount is good, I see no reason not to go for it.

    Others might see it differently.
    Obese Chess, noeuds and JRA like this.
  7. noeuds


    Jan 26, 2022
    Thanks Volker. It's sold by an individual that I don't know personally.
  8. gscroggin

    gscroggin Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    Like @Lenny JG said, unless you see it in person, you're rolling the dice. That said I've done just that in past, with two different acoustic guitars no less. Get the seller to give you multiple pics from multiple angles and as close as possible. Hopefully they are just finish cracks. I'm no Hofner expert but if it's semi-hollow and/or has a veneer, you should definitely get some more reassurances IMO.
    Frankie Fender and noeuds like this.
  9. abarson


    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    To me it looks like the cracks are a result of overtightening the pickup ring mounting screws. Make sure there is no movement of the pickup ring, otherwise the wood might be damaged as well.
    If you are alright with the cosmetics and it's stable, make sure to get a discount for the crack.
  10. noeuds


    Jan 26, 2022
    Thanks, I wouldn't have thought of that.
  11. 7dollarbologna


    Apr 22, 2014
    Downtown Albuquerque
    Desert Eccentric
    I think I’d want a peek inside the body, maybe remove a pickup and get a mirror in there -
    rockdoc11, noeuds and P A U L like this.
  12. Rib 13

    Rib 13

    Jun 20, 2006
    I cant tell from the pics...but there is a difference between a check and a crack.............If its a check (finish only), I have no issues with...however, I do take issues with cracks in bodies (especially a hollowbody)
  13. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Sure looks like an instrument that was taken from very cold to a warm room quickly, and the hollow body wood expanded faster than the finish, causing a finish crack. Somewhat common on hollow instruments, can happen on any finished instrument.
    landrybass likes this.
  14. You're already worried. That will never go away. Pass
    landrybass, Joris 55, pcake and 3 others like this.
  15. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Looks like a lacquer crack to me. Worth a good discount.

    But...I havent seen it up close.
    noeuds likes this.
  16. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    those photos look fine to me, check it in person.

    even to someone with no experience in instrument repair, looking closely at it will tell you all you need to know. splits in wood are a problem, finish cracks are typically a non-thought if you don't mind how they look.
    noeuds likes this.
  17. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    How much are they asking?
    noeuds likes this.
  18. I would think a crack in the wood would be more paralel to the grain of the wood (please correct me, folks, if I am wrong). These look more like cracks in the finish. I am not even sure if you can tell by checking it in person whether it is the wood or the finish, but just to feel on the safer side, see it yourself and decide.
  19. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    I'd say this is definitely a wood crack, not just a finish crack. finish cracks on those look way too different to those, if the lacquer cracks, the line is just white. it's definitely not on the pics (there is a black line under the white one), so it's the wood underneath than snapped as well. I do have a similar Hofner with some lacquer cracks, scratches and even peeling off pieces, none of them look like this.

    unless the deal is too good ($50 or less), just pass. it's a $300 new Chinese bass in poor condition and repairing it is more than it's worth. and at the end you still might end up with an instrument that's worse than a new one, not only in the cosmetic department.
    noeuds and JonathanPDX like this.
  20. noeuds


    Jan 26, 2022
    The bass was sold to someone but thanks for all the information anyway !
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