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Bass bummer. What would you do?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bobby King, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    My beloved Jacobus Hornsteiner bass...


    ..had the misfortune of being in this trailer last night.


    Donna Ulisse's van and trailer went into a spin on an icy bridge on I-65 near Indianapolis last night. The trailer detached, rolled and wound up in the median ditch. The van did a 180 and came to a stop without hitting anything, no injuries. We were lucky, everyone's OK! But my bass is not :(
    The neck is broken, separated from the body and with a new crack thru the heel, the headstock is cracked, the bass bar is loose and there's a hole in one of the sides. It's fixable, but would cost a lot of $$. I found this bass on the road less than 2 years ago, it was already pretty beat up but played and sounded great. I got it for cheap ($800) had a new bridge made, and I've been using it ever since. I got a repair estimate of $1250 from Dustin Williams today. I'm pondering whether to fix it or look for a new mistress. What would you do?
  2. Joe Murray

    Joe Murray

    May 14, 2008
    Fairfax, VA
    I don't have anything helpful to add. I'm sorry about your bass, but happy to hear that everyone is safe. Hope you're back up and playing soon!
  3. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    So very sorry to hear about your bass. But very glad everybody is OK.

    IMHO if you were already looking or thinking about a new bass, maybe this is the time.
    But if not,... i must say, you guys look happy together!
  4. Ouch! A real dilemma. A new bass would cost at least that much, but despite the quality of the repair, the bass will never sound or look the same, and you could have recurring problems with it down the road.
  5. I'm about to spend twice $1250 to repair a nice old carved Czech. They aren't making any more old basses.
  6. Then find a nice pogo stick bass to play in the winter.
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Sorry for your loss man :(

    Why wasnt there a saftey chain on that trailer?
  8. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Wow! I'm glad you all walked away unscathed.
    If you were really happy with the bass and the luthier is confident, it could be worth a shot.
    The repairs will be first rate, so it might very well feel and sound the same. What does Dustin think about that? It is not easy to find an instrument that speaks for you, and for $1200, well, you know what's usually out there. If you're not satisfied, you can sell the bass and recoup possibly all, or at least most of the cost.
    Sleep on it. You'll make the right decision. It is either something special, or just another workhorse.
  9. Man that sucks! Sorry to hear about your luck last night. Glad you and the rest are OK. I would take this opprotunity to get a new bass. You had a good run with that one and got your money out of it. It may not have the same tone and feel after the repairs as it did before. IMO, an $800 bass with a $1250 repair bill is a total loss. Write it off and get excited about shopping for the next one. You'll likely find one you like even more! If not, you will still have that one busted up in the closet :/ Good luck sir.
  10. Lethgar


    Jan 22, 2012
    NW Indiana
    I live a bit farther north of Indy and have driven that strech of 65 many a time on icy nights. It's an absolute nightmare. I feel for your loss, and second (third?) the suggestion on using this as a good opportunity to pick up a new bass.
  11. tomshepp


    Jan 11, 2006
    Maynard MA
    Glad to hear all are OK. Any possibility of an insurance claim for the repair?
  12. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Sounds like Dustin is giving you a heck of a deal on that repair. I'd fix it.
  13. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    I'm glad you and yours are OK. My heart goes out to you; it really hurts to have an instrument you hold dear be injured.

    If it's a good playing bass with a great sound and playability (ie better than a $1200 bass) it might be worth it to be repaired.

    From my past experiences and those of my colleagues, an instrument usually sounds better after a major repair of a fully carved instrument as whatever built up tensions in the seams, etc., are released.

    I don't know about a ply instrument though. I'm not sure if the jolt from the accident would initiate separation of the plies or not.

    It might be easier to just replace the neck and neck block than to repair them.

    Hmmm, if the bass bar came loose, there might be damage or warping to the top. If repaired, it might cause aggravation down the road. There might be soundpost damage to the post or where it touches the front and back, as well.

    Once it is opened up there might be other structural damages that could cause you grief down the road.

    I find doing a Pro and Con decision chart helpful when making a major decision, BTW. (Draw a line down a page, write Repair on one side and New Bass on the other side and then subdivide the columns and list all the pros and cons of each and see which would be the best decision. It's something I learned while reading Benjamin Francklin's biography. It takes the emotion out of the decision making process.)

    Any insurance? Maybe you could see if there is something in your home or car policy to cover repairs/replacement.
  14. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Glad everyone is ok. That's some scary stuff and after you realized you were ok I'm sure your heart sank when you saw the condition of the trailer.

    $1250 does sound like a fantastic deal. I've paid several hundred (don't remember the exact amount but it was in the $500 range) just to have the neck re-set.

    Maybe the thing to do would be to see what $1250 would buy you. Then compare. Does $1250 buy you a bass as good or better than spending $1250 to fix the one you have?
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Wow! Sorry for your loss but, as others have said, glad to hear no one was hurt. You've gotten some good advice here supporting either choice. You're the one with all of the details and the attachment to the bass. Please let us know what you decide. By the way, do you carry insurance? If that's of interest for the future, there's good information here about companies. I use Clarion and they're great.

    Sorry, bejoyous, I've always considered the following to be double bass myth #644:
    If this were so, then we should all have the tops and backs of our carved basses popped every so often.
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Definitely fix it for that price. A great deal and it means you'll have all of $2.5k in the bass, still a great deal. If it doesn't work for you after the repairs, sell it.
  17. MollyKay


    Sep 10, 2006
    Southern PA
    Bass Hobby'ist

    Exact same words out of Lonnie's mouth. You have a pretty big smile holding that bass. Dustin will do a great job and it will live another life, these are not throw away basses. I'd go for it if you love the bass. :)

    Glad everyone was okay. Big scary. I hate ice and fog.

    Take care!!!
  18. mlz77096


    Oct 16, 2007
    Houston, TX
    IMO it's not what you paid for the bass, but what is the fair market value before the accident? How apt are you to find another comparable bass and at what price? The answers to those questions should give you a good idea which way to go.
  19. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Horrible situation.

    If you are insured, your company may make the decision for you, unless, of course, you can afford to ignore them and pay yourself.
  20. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    fix it. you won't get much bass for $1500 anywhere and a reputable luthier will make sure it sounds as good if not better than before.

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