Fablon on back of bass? Ebay dilemma

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassbarbie, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. (Please feel free to move this moderators - not sure where it should go!)

    I embarked on buying a Steinberger bass on ebay recently. After a few emails with the seller I decided to bid, although I did explain I was out of the country at the end of the auction and would only bid on the premise that he was happy to accept a late payment if I won......

    Anyway.... I was the only bidder... (their looks aren't that bad - honest!)...and won..... :)

    On my return he then tells me, "and by the way if you're wondering what the stuff on the back is - it's fablon, to protect the bass from belt scratches, and I've put a stick on logo over the original worn one and it looks O.K " :(

    I feel he should have told me about this before. I can't imagine it will come off easily without stripping the finish or leaving a gooey mess.

    So, should I try and back out of the deal? ( He may be a Talkbasser himself of course!) Has anyone else ever tried to get fablon off a bass? Has anyone ever backed out of a deal?

    I got this news on the same day we buried my ex band member (of over 8 years) and I came down with a virus that's put me in bed for the last 2 days.... so that's kept things in perspective for me!!

    Thanks for listening - your thoughts are appreciated :)
  2. Barb,

    I don't imagine that he could have glued the fabric on with anything that can't be removed fairly easily unless he went so far as to put it on with epoxy or something like it. I wouldn't sweat too hard. Most of the rubber based adhesives sold for sticking together fabrics are dissolvable with naptha. This won't hurt the finish on the bass. I also don't think that pulling off the fabric will hurt the bass. Try a small corner and see if it peels easily. If it does, just come back with the naptha and remove the glue residue. If it doesn't peel off easily, wipe the fabric with the naptha and let is soften the adhesive then try again.

    As for telling you about the bass, I agree that he should have been forthright in it's description. But I've got to wonder, didn't this auction have a pic? I don't bid on anything without pictures. You can NEVER rely on a verbal description to do justice to the item.
  3. ditto
  4. Many thanks for your replies.

    The bass is black so it's very difficult to see the detail in the photos. I asked him quite a few questions, but of course I've never heard of anyone doing this, so wouldn't think to have asked.

    I don't know whether Fablon is an English thing, but it's a plastic material backed with a glue that's usually used for things like covering books or lining shelves. You peel off a backing strip when you want to stick it to something. I've seen it strip paint when removed from cupboards which is why I'm nervous - it's designed to stay in place. Because it's plastic, I don't think you could soak it from the front of the material.

    Also, the stick on logo was not on the picture on ebay. All you can see is the old worn one.

    I contacted ebay customer support, but I think they just want us to sort it out amongst ourselves.

    I can appreciate he might have done this with the best intentions, but he should have said beforehand.

    Oh well! I'm still feeling lousy so can't face the confrontation yet.
    Thanks again. :)
  5. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    You should be able to get the fablon off fairly easily,gently heat it with a hair dryer to soften up the glue.
    You can get "label remover" in a spray can from most stationers, this will clean up any glue residue
    without damaging the finish.
    I did this on an acoustic that some clown had "made a scratchplate" with fablon!
  6. is it a US graphite-bodied/necked Steinberger or a wood-bodied Steinberger Spirit?

    if it was a US cricket-bat Steinberger there wouldn't be any paint to possibly get stripped off with the fablon.
  7. Thanks Paul A. Nice to know it can be done. It turns out the logo is also fablon too and of course that's on the front - even worse!

    To answer The Mock Turtle Regulator - the Steinberger is an original US XP2 which is more of a triangular shape than the cricket bat shape (XL2) but they were made around the same time and it has a wooden body with graphite neck. So the fablon is stuck on wood with a black gloss finish.

    I haven't parted with my money yet, but I have sent an email of my concerns to the seller. I'm still undecided.

    I was really excited about getting it but then all this has really turned things around. It's a lot of money if I can't sell it on.
  8. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Can you send us a link to the auction? I thought all of the early Steinbergers were 100% graphite. Have you been to www.steinbergerworld.com yet?
  9. I'll try! I've never done this before....


    Yes I did as much research as I could. I was attracted by the fact that they were quality instruments with small bodies. (I am small!)

    Also I have a Hohner jack headless and it just never goes out of tune, though I find the EMG select pickups too 'muddy' for my taste.

    I believe the XP2 had higher quality EMG pickups
  10. interesting..."EMG passive pickups, uniquely produced for this model".
    as played by JJ Burnel in a Stranglers video too...

    £499 sounds like a good deal- i saw a Steinberger XQ4 (large wood body) going for £599 in a shop a while ago.
    all XL's and other cricket bat all-graphite ones seem to fetch at least £800 here.

    the only problem with them is the bridge tuning mechanism- if this wears out then you'll have a hard time finding spares.
  11. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Cool Bass! I've got an '86 XL2 and I love it.

    It looks to me like the logo is on the pickguard, not the body. I dunno if that's good or bad for your fablon dilemma. I know logos affect collectability, but I say just play it! :bassist:
  12. Many thanks to you both for your input. It has made me feel much better about it. I was just reeling from the shock of it not being quite what was described and perhaps my naivety.

    I do want to buy the bass to play it, not to look at it. My concern was that if I really didn't get on with it, then it might be hard to sell it on.

    I guess my Hohner Jack might be worth hanging onto just for the bridge tuning mechanism should I need it!!

    I think you're right about the logo being on the pickguard - probably a good thing!

    Thanks again. I'll keep you posted!
  13. Well, it all worked out in the end! I am sure I now have a reputation for being a complete pain in the neck.... but the seller unwrapped it all, took the fablon off and sent me some great photos of the shiny steiny! I didn't ask him to do this... he was a good guy after all!

    It's taken some getting used to as the 1st fret is further from my body, but access to the higher frets is great. It hangs quite differently too.

    I don't love the sound as much as my fender jazz, or the neck as much as musicman, but I've now gigged with it and will use this as my main bass for now as its versatile. I can use my amp to get a more growly sound and I change tunings more easily, and I love the small light(ish!) body.

    I have to say without your influence talkbassers I may well have backed out of this deal.So THANKYOU :)
  14. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Cool! Congrats on owning a classic bass!!!