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Mismatched Serial Number Fender Am. Deluxe Precision Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bluejay, Mar 22, 2009.

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  1. Bluejay


    May 12, 2008
    I need your opinions...
    I recently picked up a 1997 Fender Am. Deluxe Precision Bass on eBay. Go figure...the neck and body are severly misalligned to the point that even using the full adjustment to string spacing on the bridge, proper string spacing is not possible. Turns out that it is not the original neck for the body, according to Fender Customer Service. Of course, Fender is not responsible. I don't want to install an aftermarket bridge (e.g. BadAss Bridge). I favor the original design, string-through-body bridge. So...to fix the problem, filling and redrilling holes in the body to relocate the bridge, seems to be the 'solution'. Cost est. $100+.
    ***Question: Given the (undisclosed) mismatched neck and body serial numbers, AND the required surgery to the body,
    How much would this lower the value of the bass?
    Personally, I would never have bid on the bass if the mismatched neck and body had been disclosed...and then, the salt in the wound of a neck misallignment...
    How much less would you consider the value of the bass?
    Otherwise, I like the neck profile, and overall condition is good. I used Buy-It-Now for $750. + shipping.
    The Seller says, "He didn't know".
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oof. IMO $750 was too much even without the issues. I would not drill any holes in the body for bridge adjustment. Instead I would take the bass to a good luthier and have them adjust the neck heel and neck pocket for optimal alignment. That way you won't have to drill any holes, the neck pocket shouldn't look too bad, and the value of the bass won't drop much below the $600 it was worth.
  3. Bluejay


    May 12, 2008
    I hadn't thought of that...but, with the 4 big screws attaching the neck to the body, how will this work? New holes in the neck???
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Depends on the specific way in which it's misaligned. Maybe the existing holes just get enlarged a bit.
  5. Bluejay


    May 12, 2008
    Sounds like a better solution than drilling holes in the body. I'll see what the luthier says.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Considering the mismatched neck and body serial numbers, though, how much would you expect that to affect the VALUE if I resell the bass and disclose the mismatch in an auction description. Wouldn't that turn away many possible bidders and result in a much lower winning bid???
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Back in the late '90s I ordered a J deluxe and when it arrived the shop owner called me and said I could stop by and take it out of the box.

    When I opened the case with the owner looking over my shoulder, the owner said, "Close it up, it's going back." I still took it out and examined it only to find that the bridge and string ferrules had been misaligned quite a bit toward the treble side.
  7. So, it has the Deluxe body but a Standard neck? Is the neck dated '97? Any idea what year the body is?
  8. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    Any pics?
  9. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Hard to say how much, but it would certainly affect the value. First you're going to have to pay to have it fixed and then still end up with a mutt bass that is going to take a hit on bidding if it's disclosed. I know I wouldn't want it and there will likely be other similar basses up for bid on eBay since it's a common bass.

    If it hasn't been too long, open a dispute with PayPal and get your money back.
  10. Tumeni Notes

    Tumeni Notes

    Jan 2, 2009
    Depending on the disclosure rules at eBay. I would request a refund for the instrument and return it to the seller (minus the shipping). You purchased a bass guitar that was not advertised correctly.

  11. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008

    Are you saying an American Precision Deluxe P isnt worth more than $600 in excellent condition? Thats a $1500 bass, before the recent Fender hike to 1800+.

    I'm just saying, used Geddys go for $550-600 and they're no where near a much new, made as well or versatile.
  12. The new ones are $1500 basses but the older ones don't get that much. Most of the late '90s Deluxes I've seen sell for $600 to $850 or so, depending on color and condition. The transparent teal green ones seem to snag the higher prices if they're in good shape.
  13. Bluejay


    May 12, 2008
    Well, all things considered, I've taken much bigger beatings on eBay before.
    Then, the guy who sold me the bass seems to be a nice enough guy.
    I particularly like having a treble pickup, a la jazz bass. I occasionally play a Jazz Bass, but don't really like the skinny neck, so I much prefer the P-Bass Deluxe.
    The Inca Silver body with tortoise shell pick guard and maple neck may not sound like a good combination; but, its different...I like it. By the by, this isn't my only P-Bass.
    The seller offered me $50. A dealer friend guessed that it would cost over $100 for a professional luthier to fill the bridge screw holes (glued in wooden screws), redrill new holes about 1/16 inch to the bass side of the body, and refit the bridge. I know, a BadAss bridge would be a simple solution; but I much prefer the string-through-body arrangement.
    So...I'll have a butchered bass, mismatched neck and body serial numbers, be out the cost of repair or attempt the job myself...and the guy thinks $50 bucks should take care of it. The more I think about it, that's kind of an insult. I probably ought to send it back; and I would, except that I really like the neck. Its got a little meat to it, unlike the new stuff. Its a 1997, at least the neck is. The body...???
    Bottom line, I think I'll bite the bullet and compromise at $75, not a penny less. Just on principle. If that doesn't fly, I'll have to get the bass appraised and do a VISA charge back for the whole difference, including the cost of the repair. I have a Guitar Center in town. They are a nationally known outlet. They can appraise the bass...being a big, longstanding Fender Dealer...right???
  14. Bluejay


    May 12, 2008
    This is funny, I see the Seller's post right here on BassTalk...
    Dig it!!! Tell you what, If I didn't like the neck, I'd never even consider the hassle this bass has already put me through. And further, I'm pretty sick of eBay about right now.
    $50. bucks????? Really????
  15. Two things: A GC appraisal isn't worth a cup of coffee and second, I doubt you can do a partial chargeback through Visa. I tried last year and they wound up charging back the entire amount. Talk about a mess.
  16. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    Not taking any sides here, but I'm someone from the school of "If you don't like it, open a PayPal dispute and get your money back." That way, he still has his bass, and you still have your money. If the neck misalignment wasn't represented in the auction and no one else on the internet knew, you'll probably be able to find a similar one around the same price. .. That's my $.02
  17. Or better yet, see if he'll accept a return and then refund.
  18. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    I think it's kind of funny that these two threads (you and the seller) are two of the top threads right now and keep coming up on the TB main page.
  19. After reading the two threads and not knowing anything else it seems like the seller is more on the up and up.

    1. You saw the photos on the ebay ad and hit buy it now without further questions.
    2. It sure sounds like he didn't know about it and in the other thread many have mentioned that this common problem goes unnoticed by Fender users all of the time.
    3. I am shocked that Fender customer service told you what color the bass was. I have dealt with Fender customer service before and they couldn't tell me what day of the week it was. You must have gotten the best service rep there. I didn't even know they kept records like that to be honest.
    3. Your tech is wrong it could be fixed at the neck not the bridge which would be easier and cheaper.
    4. Fender necks and bodies don't have "matching serial numbers" so there is not discrepancy there.
    5. The seller does not owe you anything. An ebay sale is what it is. If he disclosed everything to the best of his knowledge then offering to split the difference is a decent offer IMO.

    If you get it fixed go to more than that one tech. The fact that you think GC can help you appraise the bass and then force a refund PLUS the repair cost is scary. Why would you get a refund for MORE than the bass cost you? Guitar Center is not a place you should take your guitar to ever. Find another tech get a good quote and send that to the seller and see what he offers back.

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