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Gorgeous bass... but $20 for a reason...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by 1stringShy, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. 1stringShy


    Mar 8, 2008
    SO. Here's the deal:

    I have a little brother, and he plays a little cello. Big sis has two guitars, and he started talking about playing the bass (any instrument with six strings, in his universe, is simply a freak of nature). I, being the wonderful person that I am (cue younger brother's snickers in the background) kept my eyes open... and, lo and behold, somebody right down the street wanted to get rid of a bass.

    $20 total. SCORE! Hallelujah chorus ringing in my ears, I happily forked over the cash.

    Too good to be true? You BETCHA. :D The instrument was apparently handmade by the seller's ex's uncle in Mexico (I DID mention that it was only $20, right?), and while it plays decently, there are two long cracks stretching from the top of the neck where the fingerboard ends down into the neck itself (longest is about 3'', maybe 1/3 cm wide at the widest point, where it separates from the fingerboard-at the narrowest it's a hairline fracture, about 1 1/2 to 2'' away from the fingerboard). Dad and I determined that it probably doesn't have a truss rod, explaining the fractures. I'd just buy a new neck, but the current one is glued on, not attached with screws.

    Overall, it's holding together pretty well, but I was wondering if you all had any advice as to how I should go about repairing this. Since I spent so little initially, I'm willing to sink about $200 into the project ($100 ideally, though I'm sure both amounts are laughably naive).

    Sorry for the long post, but yeah. Help=love.
  2. jefkritz


    Oct 20, 2007
    iowa city, IA
    Without seeing it, I would say be happy it plays decently and you got it for only 20 bucks. If you mess with it, you could easily turn a working bass into a nonworking bass. You can get a new bass (read: sx) for about $100 (they're pretty popular around here) and save yourself the hassle. That is if, or course, the current bass breaks or your bro outgrows this one. Otherwise just keep this one. just my $.02
  3. rap138


    May 29, 2007
    south of Spain
  4. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    Also if you mess it up, you could kill the resale value ;)
  5. Howe


    Feb 9, 2008
    go to music man's friend online store fork over 150 bucks can get ya a fender squire affinity :p

    which is seriously a nice 'ol bass.
  6. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
  7. bassnug47


    Oct 7, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    life is good, Dead is better
    i would recomend a SX bass, they run about 100 bucks, and are far better than most squires. fixing that bass would be a waste of money
  8. uethanian


    Mar 11, 2007
    the cracks could just be filled with epoxy or something like that.

    the neck...well if u wanted to go crazy with it, you could take off the fingerboard and route a truss rod in, and most likely make a new fingerboard and put that on...

    it would be good practice...but it'll become unplayable fast if u dont finish what u start.
  9. If he keeps playing for very long he'll start wanting something else anyway. If it holds together and is playable until then you got way more than $20.00 worth out of it. If it falls apart before then, check out the low cost options as above. The longer it's on the bench for repairs (which may or may not help) the longer little bro isn't learning. This is all assuming it's playable now. That's the way it looks from here anyway. Congrats on helping him get started either way.
  10. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    yep. doesn't sound like it's worth the money. If it plays well, i'd just fill what I could with superglue or epoxy, and play it until it breaks, or it seems like he's going to stick with it, in which case you could spend the same couple hundred bucks to buy a new bass that's probably better than that one would be repaired.
  11. somebody needs a squier jazz bass :)

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