NBD: Grand Prix Fretless - Kramer plate, wood neck, Bartolini,

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ManyMountains, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. 1) I picked up this bass yesterday and am still trying to find ANY info about it. Nothing from deep google dives, searches and reading on kramerforumz and vintagekramer.com, image searches, reading through archived Kramer catalogs. From what I can tell, Kramer didn't make a lot of basses, didn't use Bartolini pickups, and didn't regularly make use of this particular headstock. The neck plate says has the Kramer logo and 28674, but not country of origin. Can the collective braintrust of TB help me learn more so I can rebuild this bass to it's original beauty?

    [update: Kramer forum users suggest that although it has a Kramer neck plate, it is unlikely a Kramer bass. In which case, Grand Prix is the brand, not the model. Grand Prix were made in Japan]



    2) I bought the bass because I saw a strange craigslist ad for a practice amp, cord and stand for $50, with a free bass thrown in. That piqued my interest. However there was only one grainy photo of the bass. Supposedly there is a crack on the bass but the seller didn't know where. It was parent selling it for their college kid who had gotten it from their friend and it doesn't seem like anyone played bass. The seller was only a couple miles away and the price was low enough to take the gamble.

    Wow, what a find! The bass is in great shape. Beautiful playing wood neck, with perfect condition electronics and Bartolini pickup. Solid construction all around. Good balance. Great tone. The only known issues are a few nicks and a cracked nut (but it still plays ok as is)


    3) This is my first post in a long time. Back in the mid-2000s I was a member and have since lost the login info plus the email address attached to this account. Regardless, I was very grateful for the TB community at the time for turning me on to Schroeder cabs. The overall atmosphere here is warm, knowledgable and helpful - that can't be said of a lot of other forums. So it may be a little belated, but thank you all for the many many wonderful posts throughout the years!

    IMG-20200613-143358-2.jpg IMG_20200613_143355~2.jpg IMG_20200613_143355~2.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nice score! Yeah, get a new nut on that and it looks like you're good to go!
    fraublugher and ManyMountains like this.
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i'm sorry i can't help you with info re: your great find, but let me congratulate you on the deal, nonetheless! i'm loving that great unlined board! i think a little bit of rehab and a little love could make that into a great player! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    fraublugher and ManyMountains like this.
  4. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Man, that's cool. Looks like it will be a fun player with a new nut and strings(?). Nice pickup. Neck looks like it wasn't played a lot.
    fraublugher and ManyMountains like this.
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Don’t you wanna look under the pick guard?
    fraublugher and EatS1stBassist like this.
  6. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    50$ deal "with a free bass guitar thrown in"????
    Man, that proves that sometimes when it's too good to be true, it's even better than what it seems!
    tindrum, dkelley and ManyMountains like this.
  7. Yes, I do! I plan to check out the innards after I replace the nut, before I restring it. I was very pleased that the electronics were fully functional.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  8. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    Great looking bass. The only crack I can see is in the scratchplate at the lower horn.
    A very unique bass.
    ManyMountains likes this.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    That Kramer neck plate is almost worth $50. :thumbsup:
    GIBrat51 likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Congrats, never seen anything like this, but I love the look!
    ManyMountains likes this.
  11. wth

    that's a cool deal. whatever that bass is, even the other stuff is a good deal.

    the bart pickup - so I take it it's passive.... looks like a musicman style?? I guess maybe it's possibly a precision style pickup actually, not sure though. whatever it is - that thing is unique!

    Really curious what that pickup sounds like, and the fingerboard is awesome.

    I think the neck was a refit, to be honest... from another bass, and the body is kramer... but then I don't know if there were kramer precision copies.... so who knows. There were kramer superstrats that looked like strats.... so maybe there were kramer superprecisions??

    but if kramer forum didn't know, then they probably are right.

    the "nut" is ... special.

    And I see it has magical G string winding on the tuner!

    cool mojo ...
    ManyMountains and tindrum like this.
  12. I had a Grand Prix P bass copy back in 87. It was my first bass. I would say that the pickguard and pickup is custom fit to the bass. The neck is original but for some reason there is a Kramer neckplate. I don't think the body is Kramer.
  13. I know this is going back a ways, but do you remember if you bought your Grand Prix new, in a store? The rarity of this brand in the US makes me think they were never distributed here. Also, of the few accounts of people finding a Grand Prix bass in the US - they were all P basses. Those seemed to be more of an entry level instrument. So you're probably right that someone modded this with the Bartiloni pickup (and maybe therefore the pickguard too) and the Kramer neckplate. The neck is in great condition.
  14. I took off the pickguard today to reveal the original pickup cavities and the obvious DIY installation of the Bartolini. During this process, I noticed that the volume pot is push/pull, making the Bartolini a single/humbucker. Pretty cool!

    charlie monroe likes this.
  15. Did you buy your Grand Prix at a store, or was it used? I wonder if these were ever distributed in the US. I took off the pickguard and it was originally a P-bass.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  16. I bought mine at a local music store. They were around in the 80's as a fairly popular Fender copy. They did guitars mostly. The P bass copy was probably their only bass,
    ManyMountains likes this.
  17. TrustRod

    TrustRod Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2016
    Northern California
    Is it heavy? It looks like a maple body.
  18. 9.1 lbs. Finally got around to weighing it.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Absolute score!
  20. Thanks! I had originally planned on flipping this bass, but throughout the year I have played it more and more and really have enjoyed it. It is a keeper! I'ver never played a fretless before. So far, I've installed a new nut, adjusted the action, and made small knife marks for each 'fret' location on the side of the fretboard, as an aid for learning. I picked up a 90's Fender split-coil pup and may install it as well, giving me essentially a MM, J and P fretless.
    UNICORN BASS likes this.