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For Sale/Trade Bernie Goodfellow Classic - Price drop!

Discussion in 'For Sale: Europe & International' started by Ophiothrix, May 21, 2018.


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  1. Ophiothrix

    Ophiothrix Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2016
    Glasgow
    Price:
    1700
    Currency (EU and Intl):
    BGP
    Strings:
    4
    Fretless:
    • Y
    My Location:
    United Kingdom
    Ah, I'll be really sad to see this one go.

    This is my Bernie Goodfellow fretless that I snapped up locally about a year ago - it's a fantastic bass that I absolutely love, but most of my recent and all of my future projects revolve around P-basses in dive bars so this guy is sitting largely unplayed. I've always hated the idea of great-sounding instruments sitting around gathering dust like giant paperweights, so the time has come to release this one back into the wild.

    Now to shamelessly crib from my own NBD thread last year;

    Bernie Goodfellow was one of the group of post-Alembic British luthiers that sprouted around the late 70s into the 80s, made up of people like Bernie, Rob Green of Status Graphite and Chris May of Overwater. Part of me strongly suspects that the whole industry originally consisted almost entirely of supplying basses to Mark King and John Entwistle, but I imagine there were a couple of other clients along the way.

    IMG_1024. IMGP1991.

    This particular example is most likely from the mid-80s - Bernie made about 150 basses under his own name through the 80s that were mostly this kind of shape, but came in a number of different configurations. The neck pocket identifies mine as number 68;

    IMG_1036. IMG_1037.

    Mine has a really pretty birds eye maple top and back, a mahogany core and I think a 5-piece maple/walnut neck with what must be an ebony board. The hardware is mostly brass and custom-made, with carved walnut keys on the machine heads.

    IMGP2003. IMGP2001. IMGP1996. IMG_1022.

    The exotic back is quite unusual on these mid 80s Classics, and I believe it was a custom option.

    The controls are a pickup blend, master volume and treble/mid/bass 3-band EQ. Those soapbar looking things are actually single coils under the moulded resin shells. (I saw some suggestion online that these might be Kent Armstrong pickups, but I'm not totally certain of that.) The solo-ed neck pickup has a lovely warm, classy, smooth tone to it, while the solo-ed bridge pickup has a really grindy buzzsaw edge when you push the mids. The pickup blend plus the powerful preamp provide an amazing range of tones that go way beyond any normal active Jazz bass configuration I've played elsewhere.

    D'Addario tapewounds are my go-to string for almost everything I own these days, particularly on fretlesses where you get a bit of bite back over conventional flats without having roundwounds eat your fingerboard. That said, it came with a set of (I think Rotosound?) flats when I bought the bass, and I could pull a great old-school thud when I dialled back on the treble.

    As far as condition is concerned, I think it's pretty decent for a bass in its mid-30s. The three issues are a dent in the finish on the headstock, a hole in the finish plus some minor scuffs on the lower bout, and some loss of material from the fretline slots at frets 11 and 15.

    IMGP2036. IMGP2032. IMGP2027.

    I think these are all pretty old injuries (none inflicted by me!), and have all been stable for the year I've owned the bass no sign of any flaking of the fretline material or the finish around the spots of damage. The electronics are in perfect shape; I had it looked at by a reputable local shop a little while ago to fix a buzz on the bridge pickup, and they cleaned up the wear and tear on the wiring and preamp for me.

    As far as shipping is concerned, I'd really rather try and hand this thing over in person if it's at all possible, so local would definitely be preferred. Obviously that's a bit of a long shot on here, so I'd be entirely willing to consider various options on request. I'd also be more than happy to travel a fair way to hand this thing over in person, particularly to anyone around Scotland or the north of England. Whatever the option there, it'll come in a good-quality Sandberg gig bag, and I'll throw in the set of flatwound strings that it arrived with.

    I'm pretty open to potential swaps; any flavour of vintage P-bass would be considered, particularly if it's fretless. Passive fretless or fretted 5-strings are also something I'm looking into right now, so that's an option too.
     
    palmann and mikewalker like this.

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