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Appraisal for a Sting Ray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mattzink, May 1, 2003.


  1. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    hello everyone -
    i'm thinking of selling my 1978 Musicman Sting Ray. (i haven't decided for sure.) here's the deal: all the parts are original. it has active electronics and a preamp. the finish is virutally flawless because a new, sunburst finish was put on it about 4 years ago by a local luthier named Ron Volbrecht. (it was black coming from the factory). the neck has also been shaved, making it highly playable. the maple fingerboard has the usual wear you'd expect for a bass this age.

    in short, this is a player's bass, not a collector's bass. the action is low and it sounds phenomenal. here's what i want to know from you all: how much would YOU pay for this bass if i was to sell it? i can post pics so you can get a better sense of it's condition.

    just curious and thanks - your "estimates" are not legally binding, by the way!
     
  2. I have a Leo-era model as well, natural, all original. I see the originals going for $1500-2000. Sounds like yours is in really nice shape despite the re-fin. I dunno, just as a guess I'd probably look at $800-1000 as a starting point. Hope this helps.
     
  3. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    that does help - thanks! i was thinking about $700-$1000. not sure if i could get a thousand or not, but it would be helpful. anyone else care to chime in?
     
  4. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
    The refin hurts value (even a worn original is worth more than a perfect refin) but I'd say it's in the under $1,000 price range in the current market.
     
  5. Dude

    Dude Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2000
    AZ
    Owner: The Dude Pit Forum (closed) Producer: School of Bass
  6. I forgot to ask the obvious question... why would you want to sell it? (Unless, of course, it's for personal reasons having nothing to do with playing. Assuming that's not the case...) Is there something else you want? Just for the sake of argument... you've actually invested more money in your Leo, making it *less* valuable on the market, to make it more like *you* wanted it to be. Now, if you really want to upgrade to a higher-end bass and have additional cash to throw down, that's understandable. But you've got a damned fine instrument, fixed up like *you* like it.

    Here's a parallel. A number of years ago I picked up a fairly beat 1972-ish Fender Tele Custom for cheap. Being an uninformed idiot at the time (versus the informed idiot that I am today) I decided to refin it myself. Dumb, dumb, dumb. But still, that guitar just *oozes* mojo. A few years later, knowing that I'd already trashed the market value, I had the fingerboard reshaped to a compound radius and refretted, and the bridge pickup rewound slightly hot to keep up with the stock neck 'bucker. The guitar absolutely kills. I'll take that one to the grave.

    Anyway... not trying to lecture, or anything... just offering my perspective... Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  7. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    you make some excellent points. i did "tweak" it to my specifications, and it is a killer bass. i've long said that i wouldn't even think about selling it since i've had it since high school. that is why i had no qualms with doing things like getting a new finish.

    the reason i'm thinking of selling it is that i'm interested in starting to learn the upright bass. i have also purchased an '85 g&l L-1000 that is changing my idea of how a great bass should sound and feel. i'm really starting to dig the wider neck contour of the L-1000, as well as its passive pickup. but wanting to get funds for an upright was the main reason. if i could afford it, there's NO WAY i'd sell the sting ray for an upright. but as i'm a newly wed looking to start a family, i have to compromise a bit. we definitely have other important financial goals, like buying a house as opposed to renting. if i was a bachelor, this would be a much easier decision to make. but my wife doesn't want a room full of basses (like i do). not to blame my wife, i don't mind compromising.

    my biggest fear in selling the ol' sting ray is that i'll really really regret it. i once owned a moonstone eclipse bass and let it go for very very cheap. ($3000 bass that i sold for $300. I'M the idiot!) it played great, sounded great, and looked great. it was a bit heavy, but i let it go. i don't want that to happen with the sting ray. looks like a got some soul searching to do.