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Collectibility of an instrument with a replacement body

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CGremlin, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    There have been a few T-40 threads lately, and it got me to thinking - I have an early T that plays well but has seen some hard days in its lifetime. The neck isn't too bad, but the body has some damage on the lower bout and a really crappy replacement jack:


    While the neck can probably be refinished (fortunately, the only marks are on the back of the neck and aren't very deep) and the hardware is decent, I think the body is trashed. So, I'm thinking about getting a period-correct replacement body for it. I've been holding off on doing it because I will know that it's not the original body, but I'm wondering what some of y'all's opinions are on how the replacement body would factor into things if I ever decided to sell it at some point. This is a '78 with a six-digit serial number, but no pinstriping around the TRC. The original rectangular case isn't in great shape either, so I may end up replacing that as well. What say you, TBers?
  2. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    To clarify, the replacement body would be an actual T-40 body, not an aftermarket replacement.
  3. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    In my opinion, that body has got the MOJO. I wouldn't change a thing.
    Every great player has his/her #1, and they all usually look like that or worse.
    CGremlin likes this.
  4. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I would repair the original body. Make up a better plate to mount the jack from brass or aluminum. Neat looking, large enough to support the jack and cover the damage. Leave the little dings and dents alone. If you are worried about sales value, a buyer would rather have an original body with some dings and neat repairs, than a replacement body.

    Or, if you really want to the bass to be a clean keeper, have it restored. Fixing the dings, repairing the damage, and having it repainted aren't a big deal. It'll cost some money, but still less than you'd pay for a mint condition T-40.

    Get an aftermarket case to fit it for practical use, but keep the original battered case in the attic, to go with it if you sell it.
    CGremlin likes this.
  5. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    This was another option I'd considered as well, although I'd probably do the body work myself, stick an aftermarket plate on it, send it out to be painted, and keep it strictly as a player. I didn't pay very much for this one and have two other much more collectible T-40s in near-mint condition, so I don't have a really strong attachment to it. My main concern with a restoration was that the repairs would be unsightly with the natural finish, but if a luthier says it can be done, I'll accept that.
  6. The rock and a hard place here is that obviously it takes a hit in value because it has a few issues but anything you do to correct them will mostly affect the value as well. Unless the dings on the neck affect playing, you want to stay away from a refinish. Repairing the body without refinishing will likely help the value a bit but only if it's an invisible repair which is unlikely. Replacing the body would affect the value as well. Some of these repairs would affect the value a lot others not so much. But a T-40 is worth around $500 these days in good shape? I wouldn't worry about any of that in this case. It's not a high dollar vintage item so repair it in whatever manner makes you enjoy playing it more but keep in mind that those repairs can easily surpass the value of the bass.

    Like I said I would ignore the resale value of a bass like this and get it playing the way you want. A T-40 isn't for value or collecting it's for rocking out. And sometimes it's also for hurting your back.
  7. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, those are great basses, but its no 62' Fender value wise. Attic the old body and swap out everything onto the new minty body. If you sell it, make it buyers choice of new or old body. You might consider shaving down the thickness or chambering a little under the pickguard to lighten up the new body. I nearly bought one back in the Day, but was turned off by the weight.
    jd56hawk and CGremlin like this.
  8. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    Thanks to all for your suggestions - I appreciate it.
  9. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Sure, new body is the way to go. The T-40 is a great bass and despite the three guys who put the same three T-40s on ebay every month for the last three years for twice what they're worth, it's simply never going to be a bass you see locked behind glass at this or that guitar store like a Ampeg Dan Armstrong or Gibson RD Artist...too rare or expensive to let just anyone walk in, grab it, plug it in and wail away on it.
    And if you do sell it eventally for somewhere in the $400 price range, someone will be sure to grab it.
    UNICORN BASS and Bugeyed Earl like this.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Nice, jd56hawk. I wish the D bags that are on E Bay would quit it. I have too many basses but would love another T, i foolishly sold my PAF natural years ago. The fools that keep inflating Peavey prices in general need a good kickin'.
    jd56hawk likes this.
  11. CGremlin

    CGremlin Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2014
    Actually, I do have a T-40 and T-60 that will eventually will be in a display cabinet, but they're a little out of the ordinary and most folks wouldn't care anyway.

    I suppose the same could be said for any brand and the T-40s are of at least comparable quality. There are a very few truly collectible instruments IMO, but the black '84 that's been on eBay forever with a BIN of $780.00 isn't one of them.
    jd56hawk and UNICORN BASS like this.

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