Fretless 5 Curbow

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by carl h., Apr 17, 2012.

  1. I've been offered a luthite Curbow for $350. It is the burl finish with an ebanol fretboard. It appears to have some warp to the body as the action is a bit higher than I like and the saddles are bottomed out.

    It was strung with rounds and is marked up, but I think it may buff out. There is a small chunk out of the back of the neck on the B string side about the size of a mouse bite near the 20th fret. The serial number is 7 digit beginning with a 9.

    It looks pretty dirty - no case - dust build up is pretty thick and some corrosion on the bridge, but the screws all seem free. Body seems undamaged and "clean" under the dust.

    Is this a decent price?
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    If it were in good/very good condition, $350 would be a decent price, but it seems high for one in the kind of shape you're describing -- especially with the body warp.
  3. IMG_0256e.jpg



    Some general pics of the bass.

    Does this look like a 99 or a 09?

    I'll try and get particular shots of the trouble spots. I'm interested in this bass, but not at this price - especially without a case.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'm not sure whether it's a '99 or an '09--the burl finishes have been around for a while, but I'm not sure when they were doing the matching burl pickup covers.
  5. chilliwilli


    Aug 17, 2005
    $250 if the close up pics look bad. $300-$350 if its not so bad.
  6. gheight.jpg

    Height of G string @ 14th fret. Body warp?

    Factory spec is 5/64" to 3/32". I might be able to counter some of this by working on the relief. I doubt it has ever been adjusted and did look excessive.
    I'm not about to crank on a bass I don't own which may or may not be up to adjusting.

    Bridge shot - nice and clean huh


    Lift off? I can push the bridge back down with the palm of my hand.


    No screw for B string - observe corrosion on bridge

    More of same on knobs - Bass knob and slap switch are both loose


    Damage on neck. It doesn't look like the usual compression type of damage, more like a gouge.


    Roundwound wear.

    I've looked at the range of prices these have gone for in the last few years. It has ranged from a steal @ $25 to $3XX something. I'm not going to pay his asking price, it isn't worth it to me. This looks like a very nice deal for the buyer, but I do not think he'd go for this sort of price, and his is without a case too. Any thoughts on a fair - not insulting - offer for this bass?
  7. Would you buy it at $350?
  8. Immigrant

    Immigrant In Memoriam


    And nothing personal, but I've recently read these types of threads were frowned upon by TB unless the OP had a Supporting Membership.

    I dunno. :atoz:
  9. true
  10. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    You may want to play it first. I have a Cort Curbow around here somewhere; I bought it from a TBer without playing it first, and have never been happy with the way it sounds.
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    They're frowned on when OP is the (potential) seller trying to figure out what they can get for an item since that can work as a sort of "stealth" classified ad, not so much when the post is from someone trying to get feedback on an item they're looking at buying.
  12. The sound was OK on it. Good B string, but the thing was almost impossible to play in tune. I picked up the bass in 98 - upright, and electric in 2009, but before that and concurrent with that I was a professional violinist. I can play an instrument without frets in tune if it is at all possible. This one is very hard to get there with.
  13. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I think you've answered your own question: walk away.
  14. Immigrant

    Immigrant In Memoriam

    Thin Q. I stand corrected.
  15. OK this has me in rescue mode now. I'd like to get it for what it's worth and see if I can make it into a player, but the question is what is it worth on the open market. To the seller it is a $400 bass that he will let me have for $350 - this week. To me it is a $100 bass I'd take a chance on rehabbing.

    Is my number in the ballpark of reality or is his vision of reality less deluded than mine?

    Anyone care to share their unbiased opinion based on my presentation of the facts as I see them?
  16. $350? Dude is on low-grade crack. $200-250 at best, IF he cleaned it and got a setup, including new strings.