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Modded Basses - Would you spend more than the sale value for one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Thumpinshelton, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Ok, I want to pose this question to my TB community and am curious of the varying opinions. I have a person that I became friends with and has a regional following in and around his town and he really is one of the nicest guy's you would ever meet. Now, here is where we have had some interesting talks. He has a hobby of taking cheaper basses (the most popular being Squier Deluxe active jazz basses and Squier affinity basses) doing a repaint and throwing various preamps and pups in and sells them under his "bass line name" for at least $200 up to $400 more than what you could buy a new one for at any box store and sometimes even more than that. I am not really sure how many he actually sales, but I personally would never buy one and especially at that price.

    So, would you pay more than retail value for a modded bass?
  2. Ken J

    Ken J Hartford Hot Several Brass Band

    Aug 19, 2011
    Middlefield, CT
    If the mods are what Im looking for in that bass and at a price thats cheeper than I can preform myself. I also look for Basses with mods that I can salvage for other basses.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Well, the FSR Jazz bass I modded is easily worth $800...it sounds better than the MIM Deluxe Jazz basses I've played and the American Deluxe I was planning on buying, so, definitely!
  4. ScarfFace

    ScarfFace Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    La Crosse WI
    If they are features I wanted and couldn't do the modding myself, then sure! I hope that he is clear about what components went into making these basses though. I would want to know that the bass started its life as a Squier Affinity.
  5. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I guess it depends. I would have to play it fist. If I liked how it looked, played and sounded then sure, I'd buy it.
    Polfuste, spanndrew and shawshank72 like this.
  6. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I don't trust anyone messing/modding about on gear.

    I'd only buy a original instrument.
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  7. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    my only luxury mod items were alleva coppolo vintage jazz pickups, but i've gotta say that i'd have no problem dropping them into a 90 dollar affinity jazz if i ended up losing my job or something
  8. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Nope ... I'd rather mod it myself, or even more likely buy a similar bass that has the right features from the start.
    TonyP- likes this.
  9. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Is this even legal? Never mind ethical.
  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.


    A $299 Squier VM is worth more than $299 to me if it has high end tuners and bridge upgrades, top of the line pickups, maybe a preamp and/or bone nut, better knobs, etc.....
  11. kohanmike

    kohanmike Gold Supporting Member

    I modified an Epiphone Les Paul Express 22" scale guitar to a sub-short scale bass a few months ago. With 30" flat wound strings, nut, bridge, hole caps and string-through ferrels, it cost me $150.87 US. When I got up to my fourth bass a few weeks ago I decided to sell the Les Paul for about $200, and a couple of people were interested, but when I played it again a few days ago, I realized how nice it came out, so I decided to keep it. My brother actually suggested I make more on an order basis and ask $300-400, but I'm not interested, it was fun just for myself.

    LP Bass convert.
  12. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    It would probably have to be the stock instrument for me especially if I was unable to try it before making the purchase.
  13. Robroy


    Jun 21, 2006
    Central Kentucky
    I walked into a Honda dealership in the early 80's. I noticed on the sticker there was a line item called "Markup" next to the standard "shipping", "dealer prep", etc. I asked the sales person what Markup was. He said that the cars were so popular that the dealership actually marked up the price above and beyond MSRP.

    I've never looked at a Honda since.

    Iaccocca, in his book, said that Ford dealerships, in the late 50's, lost their franchises for doing that.

    I never pay more than list - out of principle.
  14. If he's putting $200 to $400 worth of parts and labor into it, and I can't do the work myself, it sounds like a pretty good deal (assuming I'm in the market for a bass like he's modding).
  15. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    No way would I pay more than retail for a modded (should read "used") bass. "Refinishing" means "covering up abuse" in my book. Swapping out electronics is of no inherent value- I have no basis to compare the original to the new ones, so how do I know it's really "better"?
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  16. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    First- He should be upfront about what the bass started out as- a starter to intermediate grade instrument, by the manufacturers own description. Essentially what you are asking is- is there any value to his time to paint, and the money he spent on the additional, better components, and the time and labor to install those components? And he is doing this for the purpose of making money? Let me ask you- if he wants to do this to make money, why would he sell it for less than he bought it?
    ScarfFace likes this.
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I doubt Fender would be happy with that, but that was not your question.

    I wouldn't unless I knew they person doing the work and trusted the quality of the original instrument, the work done, and if those changes were what I would have done in the first place.

    As to Rob Roy's comment, if he put X dollars into the instrument, then the value of the USED instrument, plus the cost of the parts, minus what he could have sold the original parts for, is what the price is - it's not a mark up.
  18. It would have to be exactly what I was looking for.
    Garret Graves likes this.
  19. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    He isn't marking up the bass due to popularity, it's due to upgrades. In the car sales world, it would be more like the equivalent of going with power windows, automatic transmission, and air conditioning.
  20. Probably not unless he did some interesting finishes. For example I'd be willing to pay if he could do a mim Jazz 5 with a fretless Warmoth neck in a silver sparkle/silver flake finish to match my stingray.
    Garret Graves likes this.

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