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Lafayette and Lotus basses. (Picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Synth, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. New here, and loving it! Figured this would be the perfect place for opinions / help. :help:

    Okay, so my boyfriend's sister's gave us two basses in... questionable condition. Her neighbor was about to throw them away, but she thought we could salvage them. Both of them only had the E string on them, and they were rather filthy. These pictures were taken after some elbow grease was applied.

    Sorry for using boyfriend's side of the bathroom counter for our photo booth! Mouthwash and hair gel photobombing in almost every shot. :I

    Bass #1 - Lafayette
    The first thing we did when we got this bass was try to look up the company, and we didn't really find too much information. It looks pretty old due to it's wear and switches. It was missing a tuner, so we had to transplant one from boyfriend's electric.

    It did work when we plugged it in. The switchers are both fully functional, as well as both pickups. However, you could fly a plane between the strings and the bridge. The action is terrifying.

    We took it to Guitar Center, and got two different opinions. The guy we took it to originally, who works in the bass section, said that with a new (or shaving down of the original) nut and some truss rod adjustment, we'd have a pretty nice bass. He did fiddle with the truss rod a little, and said that it wasn't stuck, which was a good sign. He also said the neck was surprisingly straight, though not perfectly.

    The other employee who was watching him work on it had a much different opinion. Boyfriend said he really wanted to save it because "you can't just throw out an instrument", to which employee #2 responded "you may want to rethink that policy". So he pretty much thought it wasn't worth fixing up.

    There's also a raised line on the neck about 2 inches long. Looks like someone tried to use clear nailpolish or something to fix a chip.








    Bass #2 - Lotus

    This one doesn't look as old as the Lafayette. We're wanting to strip the paint off of this one and maybe leave it natural. The paintjob on there now was definitely done at home. There's no clear coat, and you can feel all the splatter.

    It does need some wiring work, or possibly new pickups. It made angry sounds when we plugged it in, and not much else. It's also missing a fret!

    We didn't take this one to Guitar Center, but we mentioned it, and were told that Lotus basses didn't have that great of a reputation and might not be worth fixing. We do like the shape of the body though, and would like to fix it up and make it playable.






    So, what do you think? Are these worth salvaging? If so, any tips on what we can do to either to get them working nicely?

    Also, any information on the Lafayette would be wonderful too!
  2. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    I think HIPSTER ALERT ;))
  3. 1. Sell the Lafayette
    2. Use the money from the Lafayette to rebuild the Lotus
    3. Start a synth-pop band
  4. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Missing a fret? Probably got tired removing frets for a fretless neck. WOW! Talk about lazy LOL
  5. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    That's a 1960's Lafayette bass.Don't know what Japanese manufacturer made it maybe Teisco.
    They were sold by Lafayette Electronic stores.Lafayette was a big electronics catalog/chain store that went under in the 70's,They were way cooler then Radio Shack.They carried all kinds of electronic parts,stereo stuff,CB's,etc.They also had tubes,musical instrument speakers and guitars & amplifiers.(The amps were generally made by Univox.Tube & solid state & usually had Jensen special design speakers.)
    The basses & guitars were not that great though they are cool in a cheesy kitsch 60's way.If you can get it semi playable it be worth keeping.I wouldn't throw a lot of $$$$ into it.There are some collectors that look for this stuff.It is a good example of what folks my age started out on.

    I saw Lotus basses and guitars around a lot in the 80's.They were sold in a lot of pawnshops & mom & pop stores.They were a bottom barrel brand but every now & then you would find one that was decent.Judgeing by that crackle finish I'd bet it's from the 80's.You might be able to get that playable but again,don't throw a lot of $$$ into it.They have zilch value.
  6. Thank you for all that information! :)

    This one, from what we were told, just needs some work done to the nut and some truss adjustments to get it in a playable state. It sounds nice when plugged in, but the action is horrible, haha.

    And it really is quite crackled, even jagged and sharp in some places. The body shape is nice, though, and it does sound pretty decent. We'll see what we can do and update on this one.

    Thanks again!
  7. Haha! Well it's pretty beat up, so we figured it was a casualty, but your idea is probably what really went down.

    We were actually thinking of making it fretless because of the missing one. I've seen a few really awesome posts on here having to do with similar things. :)

    We're probably going to strip the paint on this one this weekend as well. I have lots of reading to do!
  8. slipitin

    slipitin Guest

    Jul 26, 2002
    Stencil some swallows/nautical stripes on them and string them with neon DRs, ...yr done.