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Garage Sale Score!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Roundwound, Apr 30, 2005.


  1. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    First of all, I give my wife all the credit. She's a garage sale queen, so earlier this week she saw an ad in the paper for a garage sale that included a Fender bass and amp among the items listed. All week she encouraged me to make plans to go to this garage sale this morning. I was very surprised she did this because I just got over a G.A.S. trip recently, accumulating about $1200 in equipment.

    Before I got there, I thought I'd probably run into a Squire or MIM Jazz or P-bass. So I didn't put my hopes up very high, because for years I've been dreaming of scoring a dream bass for a steal at a garage sale.

    We drove over to the house and I walked into the garage and my mouth dropped. At the time I couldn't tell what year it was, but I knew from the logo it was a USA P-bass, and it was an older model due to the way the logo looked (but at the moment I couldn't tell exactly how old), plus the headstock was covered in nitro.

    The guy was also selling an amp in combo with the bass, an old Peavey TNT 100. So I tried both out and everything worked. The strings were pretty old, but I looked at the body and I knew by the grain showing through it was ash. At this point I could barely hold in the excitement.

    I asked the guy, "How much are you asking for both?" He replied, "400." I stood there for second, gathered myself, and said, "400?" He said "yes."

    I briskly walked over to the car where my wife was sitting and signed for her to roll down the window. The first words out of my mouth were, "USA P, Ash body, Badass bridge, vintage, works, $400 for both amp and bass." She actually understood that rant and knew I was ready for a big score. But she said, "Offer the guy $325 and see what he says." I walked back, offered $325, and after a quick counteroffer of $350 I said, "You have a deal." The guy had this thing sitting around for some time and wanted to get rid of it because he and his wife were moving.

    I took it home and spent about 5 hours taking it apart and cleaning it up today. I also found out that this bass was made sometime around 1977-1978, based on the serial number. Although it's a CBS Fender, it was a score. Right now on eBay most '77-'78 P's are listed between $900 and $2000. But this one will never leave my hands.

    Here are a couple pics of my garage sale dream come true. The grin is still on my face.
     
  2. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Sweet score man! Your wife rocks! :D

    What kind of amp did you get with it?
     
  3. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I just re-read it's a Peavy. Sorry.
     
  4. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I got an old Peavey TNT 100 combo (15") with the deal.

    I attached another pic to show nice ash grain on the body. The other pics didn't pick it up.
     
  5. Minger

    Minger

    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    lucky you man...

    Today I was in Massachusets and the people I were with (adults...) went garage sale shopping, but I didn't go...wasn't expecting too much.

    Maybe this is an excuse to go to them now...
     
  6. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    WOW, that bass is beautiful. Looks brand new from the pictures. I want it!!!! For only 350$ (with an amp)??? He could have done better on Ebay.
     
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Cool indeed. Once in a while the opportunities are there, we just have to be there as well.
     
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    You are a very lucky man -- both to get a Brad Johnson-style score like that, and to have such an awesome wife! You've got the kind of luck most bassists only dream about ;).
     
  9. Top Notch score!

    My wife and her best friend have a business they keep supplied by going to garage sales and the like. We have a system where she calls me with any musical instrument finds and does descriptions over the phone. With that, I can give her a yay or a nay on things. That way I can keep the house from filling up with Indonesian Squiers and save room for things like Roundwound found ;)
     
  10. thats just awesome, congrats!
     
  11. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Anyone know the actual name of that color green? By actual, I mean what Fender calls/called it. I wonder if I can find that in solid. :meh:
     
  12. Coutts_is_god

    Coutts_is_god Guest

    Dec 29, 2003
    Windsor, Ont, Canada
    I deal like that will happen to me.

    Someday
     
  13. jiant.

    jiant.

    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    I have a feeling that I'll be going to a lot of garage sales with my mom this summer.
     
  14. matrok

    matrok

    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    That is a fantastic deal. I too dream of a garage sale score like that. I talked to guy last week who found an Ampeg flip top at a garage sale for $20. I plan to do some garage saleing(is that a word?) with my wife this summer.

    Just curious what resources you used to determine the age. I have a P bass that I was told was a 78, but I would like to verify it.
     
  15. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Thanks for the cool comments guys!!!

    To get the approximate date of manufacture, I used these resources:

    http://www.rexc.com/services/datingfender.htm

    Go to the lower right hand part of this page:
    http://www.fender.com/support/

    About the color, I haven't done any serious research yet, but one of my friends who has some knowledge about guitar construction, finishes, etc. said that it's entirely possible the color didn't start out that way (greenish) and probably has changed with age...Maybe it started out with more blue? But I'm going to look into it.

    I played it at 2 services at church this morning and I've never enjoyed playing a bass as much as this. Yes, it's heavy, but I never noticed it when playing because I was in tone dreamland. I've played MIMs, Squires, P-bass copies, and this bass is a mile ahead in many areas. The sound differences (vs. above) with this bass include better warmth and dynamics, excellent range with the tone knob (when at its highest it is very clear but not overly clanky like cheaper basses), stays in tune, and it lives in sustain city (brass nut and badass II bridge help this). The neck is perfect for my hands and feels solid as a rock.

    I'll be getting this bass in the studio pretty soon. I have two projects on the burner and maybe I'll just put out a quick sound file or two out there this week if any of you want to hear it. I also plan to record something for my wife since our anniversary is coming up at the end of the month, but I really owe her big!!!
     
  16. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    That's a good method. Except in the past I never did get a call about instruments. They were typically, "Hey honey, I just found this really cool sweater for our daughter." :crying:
     
  17. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Good question. I plan to crack her open a little later to take a look.

    I looked at the color patterns, held the bass up to the screen (not a very scientific process) and it really didn't match anything. It curiously looks like British Racing Green.

    I am also posting a few pics of the case, which I believe is pretty old, maybe older than the bass itself. I read somewhere that they stopped making that logo on the cases back in the late '50s, but once again I have more digging to do.
     
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think that bass is a bit of a mogrel. The neck might be late 70's but the body I think is 'Emerald green' which would make it early 80's. That jibes with the white pickup covers, which were used during that time period as well.

    The 70's color chart only lists one green...Candy apple (ocean turquoise doesn't count), so we know that's not it.

    The color list posted above is great...if you're trying to identify a mid60's Fender.

    That case is much older from the look of things. Original tweed cases are 50's and maybe very early 60's. Then it was off to a few colors of Tolex.

    A quick poke-around found this early 80's elite P, with a very similar color...

    http://www.guitarcrazy.com.au/FenPBE1983.htm
     
  19. matrok

    matrok

    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    Thanks for the resources. It is indeed a 77 or 78. I've only owned 2 P basses, but I've played quite a few. The necks on this vintage are by far my favorite. I'm not sure what year my other P was, but it was a beauty. The weight did me in though. Hated to see it go.
     
  20. Roundwound

    Roundwound

    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Thanks for the info!

    I cracked it open, and here's what I found (attached pics). I did not find any printed information/dates inside the neck pocket or control cavities. Maybe we can verify the year/era by its routing?

    In addition, the color of the paint in the neck pocket is actually blue in some places. The color there would be preserved vs. the finish on the outside, so if the color has actually yellowed over the years, it could have possibly turned green from age? Or maybe it was repainted? On the back of the body there is a cover plate with an "F" stamped on it. I don't think they made those past the late 70's. There is also a pickguard screw halfway between the pups and the neck pocket...I haven't seen any 1980+ Precisions with the screw in that location, only 1979 and before.

    I also found ebay pics of a couple late 70's precisions with white pups, one for sure stating his are stock. I also have found several early 80's precisions with white pups, too however. I'm pretty sure mine are stock, they are plain white pups with no other identification.

    It's all confusing! :confused: