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Have you ever stumbled upon a gem?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tagruvto, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Tagruvto


    Nov 2, 2011
    I've played a lot of basses through the years. Very happy with my Fender and Ernie Ball
    basses. (I've got at least a half dozen that I use regularly)
    A few years back I got interested in the Ibanez SR 12000E and finally found one used.
    It needed some work on the nut, so it didn't get much play at first. After it came back from the luthier, I started goofing around with it. It soon became my favorite bass for tunes with more complicated melodic runs and for laying down bass chords.
    This is a relatively inexpensive bass on the used market, found mine for $560.00 US.
    It comes stock with the Nordstrand Big Single and IMHO sounds and plays as well as anything I've ever come across.
    Do you have a similar experience with one or more of your basses?
    If so, let's hear about it.
    Ibanez SR1200E.
  2. That Ibanez looks really nice, great score.

    Once in a while I stumble into a nice surprise, too. Like this minty Electra Phoenix I got for a song. The twin reverse EMG P pickups and 5-position rotary knob for various coil/pup combinations offer a buncha sounds, all of them good. A modern sounding bass, and powerful.

    A Babicz bridge and Hipshot Ultralites complete the package. Light weight and perfectly balanced. Nice Korean build and finish. Came with a nice Electra gig bag. Definitely qualifies as a "gem" in my book. :thumbsup:

  3. biguglyman


    Jul 27, 2017
    Rochester, NY
    This Squier. Found it on CL for $120. Great neck, plays beautifully. Improved the sound with a TV Jones Thunderblade. Now it sounds as good as it plays. I think if I had to choose, I'd take this bass over my precision.

    Bugeyed Earl, jamro217 and jhb138 like this.
  4. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    '65 Teisco Del Rey - a total gem in every way.

    MCF, Bugeyed Earl, J_Bass and 5 others like this.
  5. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    My '89 G&L L-2000. Stumbled on it after trying to forget a lost sale. In retrospect, I'm glad I missed it. It was a crappy $40 ABG anyway. This thing is substantially better.
    Luigir, Bugeyed Earl, metron and 4 others like this.
  6. Tagruvto


    Nov 2, 2011
    Wow! These are some real beauties. Hope to see and hear about more!
    jamro217 likes this.
  7. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    1970 Sekova EB3 copy, $60....not working condition...took me about an hour to fix it (sshhh...dont tell anybody that there is a long piece of solder in there used as a grounding wire :D )

    Although it is so NOT me for live play, it has been getting use for session-work -- last two calls were both done on it -- client was looking for warm tone with warm fundamental. (mudbucker was warm to say the least but the bridge pickup added much needed articulation)....

  8. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    My 1976 Ibanez Black Eagle. I had bought the re-issue two weeks prior for about $675 new at Guitar Center. Took it to my local luthier who said he setup one just like at a local shop. Curious, I went to the store to check it out and low and behold, it was a original MIJ Black Eagle!!! Didn't have a price tag and I was able to talk them into buying it for $500! I thought the re-issue sounded great but, this one sounded PHENOMENAL.

    I sold the reissue online for a $100 loss but, well worth it...


  9. Tagruvto


    Nov 2, 2011
    Right on! Two more gems added to the list. :)
    jamro217 likes this.
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    LOTS of them.
    Two of the notables...
    -Around 2002 I randomly came across a mint-condition (still had pickguard film)T-40 in a pawn shop before I even knew what they were. Came here, asked around and immediately went back the next weekend to pick it up.
    -A few years later a friend at GC I used to work practically made me buy a MIJ Squire Bullet bass for $50. The "cost" had been massively de-valued in the store's computer system as part of a sale but it was still tagged with a much higher price. Best $50 I ever spent on bass gear.

    Most of the stumbled-upon finds are long gone as my tastes have changed and moved upwards a bit, but the T-40 is still with me. Took it to a recording session a couple weeks ago and it was great.
  11. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Several. The best was actually purchased for my brother-in-law. MIJ Squier precision, around a 1983 model. Got it for $80. Took some elbow grease, but he records with it now and couldn't be happier. It's the only straight precision I have played and enjoyed.

    jamro217, Raw N Low and jhb138 like this.
  12. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I've never played an original but did check out the RI at GC once. It looked like they reproduced it pretty accurately and if I already didn't have all the J's I will ever need, I'd have considered buying it. Now that you've experienced both, what's you're take on comparing the two? (other than it sounds like the orig sounds better...) Also noticed the tr access went from the hs to the neck-butt.
    jamro217 and Raw N Low like this.
  13. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Make no mistake, the repro is a fantastic bass. The Alnico pickups are punchy and can really growl at times. It's much lighter than the original, despite both of them being made of Mahogany. The biggest difference of the two would is the output is louder on the original with alot more headroom and it weighs more.

    I only got rid of the reissue as I didn't really need two and I wanted to fund my first G&L bass. I've been tempted a few times to buy the re-issue again because Ibanez really did it justice. I've taken a BTB, re-issue, and original to a wedding performance and was really wowed. I played the last song of the night "My Kinda Party" by Jason Aldean with a SVT 4pro and two sealed 410's with no PA support in a natural 200 seat amphitheater. Let's just say it was a life changing moment for me....

    Another reissue came up online for $375 and I kick myself for not picking it up. Now they are starting to demand $600 and up. If you can find either version, I highly recommend it.
    JIO likes this.
  14. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I didn't realize they were made of mahogany - I assumed because the originals were known to be heavy they were ash like 70's Fender J's. The RI I played was marked $500 something. The heavy weight has always stopped me from more than a passing interest but like you said, the RI was average. (about 9+ lbs)
    Raw N Low likes this.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Two gems that I have found were at guitar stores. The Martin was hanging in a display case in the acoustic room at my local GC. At first sight I knew there was something very special about it so I took it out of the glass case and started looking it over for a while, then I sat and played it some. The strings were pretty dead on it so I asked the sales guy to put a new set of strings of my choice on it so I could better evaluate the instrument. I wrote down the S/N and the next day I called Martin and talked a very nice CS rep. She sent me the build sheets of the guitar. This was custom ordered with all the vintage appointments and top grade woods - adirondack spruce, tropical mahogany, BRW, nice full black ebony fingerboard and Stauffer Pyramid bridge, Waverly tuning keys, long diamond volute, etc. I've played lots of Martins over the years but this was the first one to make me take out my wallet.

    The second gem I came across was on a trip to the San Francisco Bay area. We went up to check out Tiburon where Eric Schoenberg has his guitar shop. While perusing the pre-war Martins and Gibsons, along with lots of other fine vintage and new instrument (Voyage Air, several Sexauers) I spotted a guitar I'd never seen nor barely heard of before. And it had some unusual features to it. Eric got the guitar down for me and I played it awhile; then Shari and I decided to walk around Tiburon and have lunch. We found a very nice Chinese restaurant, Lily Kai, where we had great dim sum and an excellent view of SF across the bay. After lunch we walked around Tiburon to see what the "tourista" section was like, and then we headed back to Schoenberg's for a couple more hours. Eric played his version of "Lady Madonna" for us on a Sexauer guitar. We met Bruce; he walked into the shop and we I had a nice conversion about guitars with him. I wanted to spend more time with that special guitar I first saw that morning at the shop so I grabbed it and evaluated it for my needs and see how used to its special features I could get. In the end, I bought that guitar and Eric had it shipped home to me.

    I did find a third gem on that same trip. I learned that the luthier who built the special guitar I bought at Eric's shop lived in Dublin, on the east side of the Bay, so I call him and he invited us over to his home. I was given the wonderful opportunity to play a bunch of different models he builds along with some prototypes and experimental guitars he'd built over the years, and he showed us his shop and demonstrated some of his build techniques to us. I fell in love with his own personal guitar made of maple and giant sequoia. That guitar had several really cool and useful features, and it stuck in my head ever since since that visit. About a year later I called him to discuss a build and he said he had four variations ready to go at the time and sent me specs and photos of the guitars. I now have one of those great guitars, too, so really I have three gems of a guitar that I found and bought in a three year period. :)

    Besides the very custom Martin 000/OM, the other two gems are my Yamamoto MS-12, and Yamamoto Talus VS-12. :)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    JIO likes this.
  16. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Supporting Member

    Not just a Gem but an incredible deal too

    MSRP for $2,700
    Street price usually $1,999
    Used deals usually around $1,600 to $1,800

    Found this on GC used in Shreveport, Louisiana for $999!

    Gretsch Thunder Jet 6128B Electrotune (not Electromatic)
    2017 model

    Picked it up today at lunch break:
    img_7295----. img_7298----. img_7299----. img_7302----.
    Now I am at work thinking about this beauty. What is worse is that I have to attend a Planning Commission meeting tonight for a municipality our firm represents as municipal engineers so I won't get to mess with this until after 9:00 PM tonight! Arrrgh!!!!!
  17. GoLeafsGo

    GoLeafsGo Not Quite Right! Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2013
    Whitby Ontario
    Sweet! That is my Holy Grail, and you got a GREAT price. Sure you will enjoy it.
    B-Mac likes this.
  18. Tagruvto


    Nov 2, 2011
    Wow! Gorgeous!!!!
    B-Mac likes this.
  19. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Simply put...beautiful.
    B-Mac likes this.
  20. I too was really impressed with an SR1200 I played in a store so I went back to buy it. Talk about bang for the buck! And lightweight. I had it PLEKed, although it played fine without it.

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