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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. If all the mods he put in the bass are consistent with what I would have done (and want) to a stock off-the-shelf Squier, I wouldn't mind paying a premium for the parts - as long as he doesn't charge me a premium for putting his Brand Name on the headstock. That's of no value to me and i wouldn't do that if I were to do the modding myself.
  2. danosix


    May 30, 2012
    Agreed on the logo.
    Also, the logo smacks of dishonesty to me - it may not be intended that way - but by putting a new logo on it, it implies it is NOT an Affinity, but rather something purpose built, which will tend to make it seem worth more than a modified $180 bass.
  3. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Yes I would and I have! I picked up a Jay Turser JTB-440 Music Man bass. It was ok, but I really wanted a Maple fretless unlined. So off to my luthier I went and $400 later, I had a smoking Jay Turser Fretless with Maple board and had $550 into it. I think I let it go to a fellow TB'er for something like $300 because it just sat..
  4. This is a worthwhile thing to do and since you didn't attempt to change the name or anything, I can see no issue with it.
    I agree 99% with you. Kurt would not be removing Squier from the headstock and that's the only issue I have with it otherwise.

    So I am the 'proud' owner of a pile of partscaster. Bought it from monoprice. In fact I did try to remove their logo from the headstock as I intended to have none. Well it's in there good so it's staying. I have changed my mind about how much an eyesore it is and when the project is finished it will be more a badge of pride, I took a nothing and made it into something. If the subject of this thread keeps the Squier on the headstock then I would feel the same way. That's basically all Fender does with the VM's anyway. All the talk about the wood I really don't think the wood on those is much if any better than a stock Squier.

    So if he is modding these that's one thing, painting them is another. Especially since the paint is mentioned, that's HUGE to some people as you can't get more than 5 colours from Fender, and if you're a girl they try to push you at the 'daisy rock' crap, kids that need short scales that look like crap, parents that have the kind of 'in between budget' that this market would be a sweet spot. But even still if all that was done was sand, prep, paint and it comes out good, that is absolutely worth some money. You are also talking in all these categories someone who wants better pups but is new to playing and doesn't know that yet. Or knows it and doesn't have the ability to mod it themselves. Or in addition to that, I assume each instrument is getting a full setup and that is also definitely worth the money.

    Is it worth it to me? No because I can do all of that myself. But I can see it being worth it if you can convince the buyer of the value of the labour.
  5. Full disclosure: This bass is for sale in the classifieds. I'm not looking for opinions as to whether or not you agree with what's been done, but it serves to illustrate my point. I'm also not shilling it - this is obviously the wrong thread to do that, lol.


    This bass started life back in 2008 as an SX bass. The only thing SX about this bass left is the body, and obviously even that has been heavily modified. So what makes it wrong to put a brand on it? To me, it is literally no different from buying a body from an unnamed or unbranded manufacturer, pairing it with an unbranded neck? The whole story about this bass is on the FS thread, so I won't go into it here, but how is THIS different from having someone make me a body blank, or sourcing the neck from Warmoth (a la Sadowsky)? I'm not trying to sell it as an existing, well known brand, or as something it's not.

    I guess I'm asking 1) what does it matter if the body came from an 08 SX or from a 76 Fender, and 2) what difference does it make if the neck is bought with a paddle headstock from All Parts vs. repurposing a Fender neck? As long as the fit and finish are being addressed/described accurately, what makes using a Squier as source parts inherently bad, vs. buying parts from Warmoth and doing the exact same thing is acceptable?

    Again, for the record, I'm not trying to flip this bass - if it was a 5 I'd keep him - and I'm going to take quite the loss when it sells, both in cash I've spent and time I spent finishing it.
  6. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    Do you happen to live in a LARGE city in VA? If so I know what you are speaking of and NO...........I would not buy those "custom basses" they are not very custom...........
    Thumpinshelton likes this.
  7. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Oh yea, I got this little beauty. Musician Friend cleared them out for like $150!! This one has custom paint, dual Wilkensen pickups and switches to split each coil!! About $400 worth of work on a $150 bass still probably only worth about $150
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Modded Basses - Would you spend more than the sale value for one?

    I don't do that usually ... but I do mod my own basses ... 4 to 5 bass conversion

    I take perfectly good 4 string basses and turn them into 5 string basses, and people pay me to do it.


    I also build Frankenstein basses and sometimes a I sell one or two of them. When I post this one here I quite often get requests to sell it.

    iriegnome likes this.
  9. Yes, I live in Virginia Beach. All I will say about the second part is that those "custom basses" may not be custom enough for you, but they are very well done by a guy who knows a thing or two, and they are very reasonably priced. He wanted to offer people better playing, better sounding basses at a more affordable price point than a full on "from scratch" build, and having played a number of them I can say that he has succeeded. And judging by the amount of business he's doing in custom builds, I'd say it was a strategy that worked. Which (as I understand it) is fundamentally the same strategy Mr. Sadowsky applied with great success.
  10. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    In this circumstance it would all depend.. The part about "sells them under his bass line name" is what disturbs me about this.. If it was say a Squire modded with a U Retro and it was in good shape.. sure I'd probably be willing to drop more than retail depending on the bass itself... but that quoted part above gives me pause.. Does he leave the original name on the bass or does he remove that? IMO that sounds pretty close to fraud.

    Actually though, it all depends on the bass and the mods. I have bought modded basses for more than a new one would cost though. I bought a modded Brute for $900 .. New and stock it would have most likely cost me $700-$750 ... Used stock ... probably $600-$675.. but given the mods in the bass for me it was well worth it. I got a great bass that I will probably never sell unless I am no longer capable of playing.. The mods were mods that I would not have been able to install because some routing work was done.. and they were done very well... so it all depends.. If it is right though I have no problem doing that.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  11. Let's just say I am a frequent visitor to a large city in VA and I think we are on the same page!
  12. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Me? No. Others, maybe.
    How good is his repaint? If he strips off all electronics and does a professional spray lacquer job, that could be seen as adding value. If it's an amateur paint job, that would disgust me.
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Ah, the 80's. They were charging what the market would bear. It was hardly just Honda.
  14. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Actually, paying list at all is usually folly, because most of the time 'list' is fiction anyway.
  15. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink

    First off. I think I know the guy, but what I was answering is would i buy his refinished basses? That answer is no.............that is my personal preference. Also if pickups and paint are the only thing changed it's kinda ethically edgey to call them you own line..........having said that. A bass is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If you take a refin or upgraded pickup instrument to a music store for a trade in it generally does not add value. If you take and refin a vintage instrument, it loses value............if you paint something like bare wood that was not meant to be painted....ie-Warwick............why would it add value.........to each his own. Buy what you like and play the hell out of it. I might pay more for a Kline airbrush job, but not a solid color refin............but hey, that's just me. Carry on lowenders
    Thumpinshelton likes this.
  16. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    Would this be hollywood?
  17. brotherbassj


    Sep 20, 2008
    Jim Dunlop USA, King Kong Cases, Golden Eagle Energy Drink
    Sav'nbass I was trying to multiquote but your quote was supposed to be in my last post. I'm not insulting said bass refinisher.........I am just saying I would not but one........personal preference..............
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Not in the 80's. ADM (additional dealer markup) was the norm with many brands. I never paid it, it's pretty easy to walk away from, as is list.

    Demand vs. supply can be a huge and very real factor.
  19. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    In 99.99% of cases, not a chance. In the rare case where I really dug the mod, perhaps.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    To the original question, as is usually the case, my answer is "it depends". For example: Would I buy a Squier modified with Wal electronics for the cost of a new Squier? Yes. How about an SX with Lane Poors and a Mike Pope preamp? Duh. For the folks that flat out say no... thanks. That's a large part of why I'm so "lucky" with gear.

    But as mentioned, more often than not modifications have little to no effect on resale value. a few years back a store offered me this bass for $450.

    Fender MIJ 75 reissue. Sunburst. Very clean.
    Bartolini 59J pickups and NTMB preamp. Preamp installed under the pickguard, everything else reversible except the rear battery box which was cleanly installed.
    Badass bridge.
    Dunlop straplocks.

    So I bought it.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    neurotictim likes this.

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