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Is this G&L project worth it? (1985 SB-1)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stevenjm, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI

    I'm thinking about picking this up... i sent him an email asking for better pictures.

    $400 a good deal? Just needs pickups/electronics...

    Plus i was born in '85, but i love that burst with the tinted neck & black guard.
  2. Borzi_4


    Apr 3, 2012
    Ya, I'd get it for sure.
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Yeah I'd get it too if I wanted another P. I'm not an expert on the really early G&L but you might want to inquire if that is an unmodified headstock, I don't remember my old '83 l2k being quite that 'shaved down' looking. I'm talking at the spot where a modern G&L would have a sharp point.

    Still, take it to a G&L shop for real electronics and you'll have a killer bass for sure.
  4. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm not an expert either, but it looks unmodified to me... I *think* the sb-1 and sb-2 had a thinner headstock design than the L1K or L2K.

    You can order replacement parts on G&L's website, so i'm looking at about $80 for the MFD pickup, then $10 or so on new pots/jack.

    The pickguard looks like it might be broke though, so I may need to look into replacing that too if its not sold already.
  5. Crazy talk...

    If the pickguard actually is broken you'll have a hard time finding another one. They were aluminum with black krinkle finish, and next to impossible to find.

    Go check it out, if everything is in order it might be worth $400 plus $100 in fixups.

    If it's been modded in any way, or if the neck has issues, or if it needs a fret job, I'd walk away from it. GL

    btw, the headstock is correct.
  6. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
  7. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    If the frets are in good shape and the neck doesn't have a hump, bump, or ski-jump... maybe.

    I see nice "complete" SB-1 basses in the $500-700 range all the time.

    The seller is dreamin' if he thinks "1985 G&L SB-1 needs electronics, putting about $100 into this bass makes it worth $1100, its the body is aged, but still plays great. call or text 414-nine three nine-6422."
  8. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    yea I've seen the $500-$700 before (i knew $1,100 was dreaming)... i'll check it out. They didn't all have the aluminum PG with the krinkle finish, i think this is one with the matte black plastic PG, so i think finiding a replacement will be do-able. I saw another bass from the same year and same finish online with the matte black plastic PG, so i'm assuming this is the same.

    i talked to him about it, I'm hoping i can go check it out this weekend.

    Whats the ski jump thing i've seen mentioned? I'll check for any fret buzz and fret wear and any neck issues.
  9. ubnomnar

    ubnomnar Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    So Cal
    Lot's of threads on the dreaded "ski-jump." I had a 90's ASAT that I couldn't figure out the setup... turned out it had a "ski jump."

    Here's a typical "ski jump" thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f18/fretboard-rise-neck-joint-840645/
  10. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    In 1985, the pickguards were all metal with the krinkle paint. Of course, later on, G&L went to plastic; getting one of those should be easy enough. That headstock is original, BTW.
  11. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    $400 would be a good deal if that bass were complete. As it stands, it's no deal at all.
  12. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I would pass unless you love relics. Pickup and pickguard you're looking at another $150-$200 - you'll need a custom pickguard, and SB1 pickups are hard to find.

    Brand spankin' new from Gearhounds.com, with a hard case, this same bass would be $1050 (with a 6-bolt neck) - your choice of colors. Only $892.50 after their 15% promotion (shipped to your door.)
  13. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    It's fair. If you were to go to Warmoth (for example) and buy a body, neck, bridge, tuners, you'd spend that much, probably more.

    But the neck DOES have to be ib GREAT shape, otherwise it's NOT a good deal. Looks like it might be one of thosr bi-cut necks, I've owned several G&L basses with those, they're GREAT!
  14. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yea I think $400 is just fair, it's not looking like I'd be getting a steal.
  15. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Awesome thanks, I'll for sure look for that.

    I might try a lower offer but G&L doesn't pop up on my local Craigslist ever.

    I'm a touring musician so my stuff gets dinged up no matter how careful I am with it, so the wear on the body doesn't bother me at all.
  16. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    I offered $300... Adding up all of the parts plus shipping, it's looking like less and less of a deal to me since I'll have to put time and money into it before I can even enjoy playing it.
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I'd tooootaly pass.
    Why was it gutted?
    It's not in great shape.
    These regularly trade in the $600 range, in nice, complete shape.

    They're a fine bass, but not that particular one.

    that is the right headstock.
  18. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    word, thanks chef... you seem like a man who knows his G&L.

    I think the guy bought it to fix it up but never got around to it, so he's selling.

    I already told him i'd pass unless he lowers his asking price.

    thanks guys.
  19. "Shipping"? Then it's not local to you, so you can't see it first. Without a hands-on inspection, a bass like that is a disaster waiting to happen. I like crusty old G&L's but now, that thing looks like an overpriced gamble to me. Feelin' lucky? ;)
  20. Stevenjm


    Nov 23, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    my bad... i worded that funny... the bass is local so I would be able to check it out in person before buying. I just meant buying the parts and paying to have the parts shipped.

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