Buying a cracked American P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GeoKinetic, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Hey guys, I've spotted a great deal on an American P Bass, the reason it's such a great deal though is that it has a 2 inch crack on the bottom edge. It's been repaired by the previous owner with epoxy, but it wasn't clamped together for the repair. I'm not worried about the visibility of the crack (you can't see it from the front or back) more so if it's vulnerable to further damage in the future. I feel like this would be worth fixing if it did crack further, but I'd like to know going in. I've attached a picture of the crack. Thanks!

    BassLover668 likes this.
  2. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I would want to be certain there was really hardened epoxy in there.

    Then, I would buy it.

    If there's epoxy in there, it ought to be stable. At which point your options are to leave it or fill it. I'd fill it, probably with more epoxy; I wouldn't mind that particular crack looking like a crack, if you know what I mean. That's mojo.

    You could fill with something opaque, sand it down, and try to make it look like it's not there, but you're unlikely to succeed 100%.
    GeoKinetic likes this.
  3. Thanks for the reply. The seller has assured me that there is definitely epoxy filled in it, but I'll follow up to be sure. Aesthetically I don't mind how it looks at all, my preference is to leave it how it is, gotta love that mojo :p
  4. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Yeah. It's a wide enough crack that if you shine a strong light into it, you might well see the repair and be able to assess it.

    Good luck. Even if there's no epoxy in there, there's no reason you can't be the one who puts some in.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Epoxy isn't the way to go with a repair like that, Tite Bond and padded camps. The bass is certainly playable if it's a great deal rock it.
    JIO likes this.
  6. Rockonjp76


    Aug 8, 2016
    716, NY
    That aint nothin, I'd buy it.
    joebar likes this.
  7. KayXero


    Apr 3, 2007
    Ask yourself "am I willing to eat the cost of this bass". I see any risky purchase like investing in stocks.

    Earlier this year I invested in a company who's product I enjoy, and who's future Im optimistic about given this year's successful new product launch. But this company has had a recently rocky past, despite a distant past that was very good.

    I wanted to finally learn a little about the stock market, but also not get in over my head. So I asked others for some advice and was told to ask myself "how much money am I willing to completely lose?" That answer was only a few hundred bucks. And Ive watched that investment flux between profit and loss through the year.

    TL;DR - Buy it if you would be totally fine with the thing snapping in half four months down the round, without being too upset about it.
    Duder likes this.
  8. pappabass

    pappabass Inactive

    May 19, 2006
    Alabama !! Roll Tide
    Depends on the price. If the price is right buy it. But if it is close to a non damaged one, don't buy it. You will always see the spot & make excuses for it.
  9. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    I don't think that is a "Death" crack.

    If price is right---go for it if it plays as you like.

    I'd strip the back arc of the bass bottom, assess, fill/clamp, then paint to some artistic effect (you know, like a round cookie has a chocolate rim sort of thing or whatever works for you). Make it your own!

    Or rim the back arc with tort.
  10. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    What's the price, what year and what's the rest of it look like?

    I wouldn't let that crack stop me from buying it if the price was right and it was playable.
  11. Usidore T Blue

    Usidore T Blue

    Jun 28, 2017
    How did it get the crack? My concern would be the neck joint, not the crack itself.
  12. Automotive Bondo and a modicum of painting skills would fix that right up, or just leave it as-is and enjoy the well-played vibe.
  13. Aberdumbie


    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    That crack looks like a strap lock failure. I had a strap lock fail on me and had an Ibanez Roadstar fall eight feet onto a concrete floor a bazillion years ago. the entire body cracked. I glued and clamped it and played it endlessly on the road. That was the late 1980's. That bass still plays like a champ today. If it plays well, jump on it.
    GeoKinetic likes this.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    The seller assures the bass was properly repaired (said the hole is filled with epoxy) but didn't know enough to clamp the repair.

    Consider the source...
  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Could be, but the crack doesn't look completely filled in the picture. I"ve fixed instruments (and other stuff) a LOT more smashed than this. I'd get it in an instant if the price is right. First you'd need to get a needle or long stiff wire to probe that crack to see if there actually is epoxy in it. If not that is great because then YOU can put it in and clamp it. If is is but is only filled partway, that is OK too, you just finish the fill job. You want long-time setting epoxy because you need to heat it with a hair dryer so it's really runny and goes in the crack Quick set will start to set up from heat so you don't want that. Usually I just poke the glue down the crack with a stiff wire. I'd fill the whole area right up to the paint level and then sand it smooth and rounded (even fill a couple times if necessary). Since this looks like an impact damage epoxy will permanently lock the wood solid and will never come loose (be sure you do an EXACT mix on epoxy parts using NEW glue... a non-setting bad mix is a nightmare on a repairs like this) Since this is not a joint where strength is needed (like a broken neck) where you want wood parts clean and exactly matched and clamped for max strength. so long as this does not buzz you'll be home free.
    Good luck!
  16. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    How much are we talkin here?
  17. Im actually not buying it from the owner who created the crack, it's been sold to a local shop. It's a 50th anniversary P Bass for about 970. Because it's clear the crack wasn't fixed professionally I was gonna try and convince the shop to drop the price. The rest of the instrument is in good condition, just a bit of wear and tear from use. Unfortunarely there's a chance I might not be able to buy it in the end anyway :/ . Thanks for the all the responses guys, I really appreciate it :)
  18. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    This is too damaged. I wouldn't touch it. Never mind how much this costs. . . . you can find a better bass.
    ThePresident777 likes this.
  19. $970 = no ! you can do better here in the classifieds.
  20. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Unless it's the steal of a century I'd pass. No way in heck I'd spend $970 on a used American Standard that WASN'T cracked! There are scads of USA made Fender basses out there, and you can get a great deal on one that isn't cracked with a hack-job repair if you're patient. I'd probably rather spend my hard-earned money on a nice, used MIM P Bass than a busted up USA made P Bass.
    ThePresident777 likes this.