Nasty cracks?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fetch Da bass, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. What do you think about this bass. It's a fender 78 Jazz bass. I bought it off the net.. I did see some pictures of it, but now I know why he didn't show me any pictures of the back of the bass....These cracks look kind of nasty to me...I know that wood does not crack like this so are these just in the finish?????? I looked it over fairly good and nothing seems to be cracked beneth the finish,, I hope!!!. Is there any way to know whats going on here without doing a X-ray or stripping the finish off. I was really pissed off when I saw this....... :(
  2. lakerkobe


    Jun 17, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I don't know anything about cracks or chips like that... but what I do know is if a seller sold you that bass on eBay without mentioning them... he is a complete jackass.
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    They are only finish cracks and are cosmetic.
  4. I had a friend that had the same problem in his guitar.... we believe that sudden temperature changes affected it.

    (examples: putting your instrument near of an electric heater, and then change its position to a colder place)

    Sun exposition can affect the finnish as well.

    --------- excuse my english---------------
  5. Here's another picture...It was listed on eBay..... I was the highest bidder, but I did not reach the reserve!! he contacted me and we went from there.....I guess I was the dumb ass in this transaction... Bizzaro thanks... that makes me feel better now, but think I better have this looked at by a luthier....
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I believe this is what they refer to as finish checking.

    It happens as older Nitrocellulouse laquer finishes age.

    Although its fairly normal, and something that often should be expected, he still shoulda mentioned the fact that it was there.

    I wouldnt worry as it shouldnt have any adverse effects, and shouldnt really decrease the resale value by much as most old basses have the same thing.

  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    This is pretty normal for a bass of this vintage. It does look like checking. What was the description of the bass?

    Also, when you don't win and are contacted afterwards, eBay has nothing to do with the transaction... and doesn't offer any protection either.
  8. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Brads right, you have no eBay protection here.

    Its not a problem though. I wouldnt consider it one at least.

    Its important to note that some people believ that the finish checking is part of the reason vintage guitars sound the way they do. It has something to do with the wood "breathing" and the resonance. I dont really buy into that, but I believe that the cosmetic issues of a vintage beast are insignificant compared to the tone.

  9. Thanks. Yeah, I know about the eBay thing. I think eBay frowns upon this kind of transactions. ,,But .. I got this bass at a good price,, I hope! My high bid was $711.00 and thats what he sold it to me for... It's all orignal except for the pickups. It has EMG's that sound wonderful...I'm not a collector so this isn't a issue with me.. I think I am going to put the EMG's in my fretless MIJ Jazz and get some model J pickups for this bass. Any suggestions???

    Thank you guys, You have been very helpful.

    I will post a full frontal picture tomorrow.

  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    $711 for a 78 Jazz in good condition is a very good deal. It's worth more than that.
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Except that Fender stopped using nitro in something like 1968 - ten years before this bass was made. Whatever happened to this bass was not a nitro problem.
  12. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I had a poly finish on a newer Fender and it had more finish checks and cracks than Missisippi Delta!
    Then again it was one of those rediculus "Foto Lame's" which probably contributed to the instability of the wood surface.
  13. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Many basses from the 70s and earlier have those cracks (called checking). They are usually caused by bringing a bass (or guitar) indoors from outside in cold weather, and then opening the case before it has a chance to slowly return to room tempurature. The sudden change in temperature causes the wood to expand, cracking the finish. It was standard in those days to warn people not to open their cases before they could warm up (you other old guys will remember this). The newer finishes are much tougher, and not as prone to crack. I bought a 66 Gibson Melody maker when I was in high school (around '78) that had so much checking that there wasn't a spot on the whole guitar that wasn't cracked.
  14. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    It's just the finish. You got a pretty good deal. I'd take it for $711!
  15. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    From what I have seen them going for, you got yours for a pretty good price.
  16. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Do you have a full picture of the bass? You're teasing us with the shot of the horn.

    IMO, the finish checking adds major character to any bass. A friend of mine did that on purpose to one of his strats.
  17. I agree. It looks like laquer checking. When wood cracks it's going to crack with the grain. The cracks in the photo look like they run accross the grain to me.
  18. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Yeah sorry about that.

    It happens on a bunch of different types of finishes, not just nitro. I just mentioned nitro because thats what i thought was on the bass.

    Newer finishes are supposed to be more resistant to cracking.

    If you havent seen it yet, you could go into a used/vintage guitar store of pawn shop, and check out the older ones. Ive seen a gibson EB-0 bass with finish checking completely covering the guitar, and a few jazz basses with severe chekcing as well.

  19. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000

    those cracks are NICE!!