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NBD - Probably not as exciting to you as it is to me

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wish i was, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    1995 Ibanez TR50 – I know… not a whole lot to get excited about. But I am and I’ll tell you why:

    It represents me growing up as a player - focusing more on what I want than brand/headstock

    I travel a lot for work. Too much, in fact. The only silver lining is that I travel frugally and I ended up saving a bunch of per diem money to pay for anything band-related.

    The last 5-6 months have been particularly bad for travel and I started to build up more in my “mad money” account than I ever had before. It seemed like now was the time to buy my “forever bass”. I gave myself an arbitrary budget of $800 and I sorta figured I’d end up with a MIM Fender Jazz.

    I made a list of what I wanted (P-bass, narrow nut & heel, thin neck profile, etc) and during my travels I’ve made my way into every Guitar Center, independent music store, and pawn shop I could find. I at least fondled every bass I could get my hands on and none of them felt quite right. In fact, none of them felt as good as the first bass I ever owned – a 1995 TR70. Though I’ve played the TR70 in front of people proudly, I never considered it to be anything special.

    Then it hit me: the TR70 gave me everything I was looking for except it is a PJ instead of P. I started thinking of simply upgrading the TR70 until I found the TR50 on Facebook. It looked like just what I wanted and it was dirt cheap, but the trouble was I found it right before I was scheduled for back-to-back trips. I didn’t have time to drive an hour to check it out and buy it.

    I had lunch with a friend the day before I left and told him the story. He has an employee who lives right near the seller. I withdrew the purchase money from an ATM and gave to to my friend, hopeful that his subordinate would agree to help a stranger out. Like I said, it was dirt cheap so I didn’t have any problem buying it sight unseen. I saw it for the first time when I picked it up on NYE.

    It has an ombre rattle can finish, the pickups are wobbly, the pots are scratchy, and I didn’t know that the action could actually be as high as it is – plus it is so, so grimy and dirty. After new pickups and electronics (and possibly a new bridge and tuners) I am sure I’m going to spend way more money on repairs and upgrades than this thing will ever be worth, but I figure that isn’t the point.

    The point is that, to my surprise, I made the conscious decision to dump money into a bass that had everything I wanted instead of going for the bass I pictured “grownups” playing. I’m kinda proud of myself for that. I got what I wanted instead of what I thought I wanted. thumbnail. thumbnail.

    Thanks for reading,

    IMG_0759. IMG_0759. IMG_0759.
    CB3UK, Spidey2112, JeffJ2112 and 16 others like this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    hey man: that's the only thing that counts! glad you scored what you wanted. i think it's neat...and a neat sentiment! congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    slobake likes this.
  3. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    Hear, hear! The internet is a wonderful resource, but it's also a breeding ground for peer pressure, group think, and the like. It's always refreshing to see someone go their own way rather than following the pack. For me, too, what I actually wanted turned out to be different than what I thought I wanted. It took a couple of tries to get there; my two basses were unexpected finds that happen to be pretty much perfect--for me, which is the whole point. Congrats on your find!
    slobake and Aberdumbie like this.
  4. EpicSoundtracks


    Mar 10, 2006
    Oakland, CA
    Lollar Pickups, Dunlop Strings
    any bass that gets played is a good bass. congrats.
    eJake and Old Blastard like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I dig it!

    Man, we used to have a lot of gear snobs around here. These days, not so much.

    That being said, I have two requirements for a bass. The neck has to feel good to me. The tone has to work for me. I, like you, am willing to gamble on electronics if the first requirement is met.

    You'll notice that other bass players respecting my bass wasn't on the list. :cool:

    I rocked a 5 string Ibanez BTB for over a thousand gigs in a band that played soul, funk, R&B and classic rock radio hits. Sometimes a sound guy would look at me funny when I whipped it out of my gig bag.

    Then he heard me play and sing and left me alone. ;)

    Enjoy it!

    I don't know what your came with so I don't know if you have swapped the pickups yet. If not, what are you thinking of going with?

    Maybe @JimmyM has some thoughts? Not sure what he would recommend though....
    fermata and Gluvhand like this.
  6. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    Oh...the stickers on the fretboard...good grief, I never believed anyone actually used those....my my my.
    Oddly likes this.
  7. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    Oh goodness...
    The neck is warped like crazy.

    After this work trip I’ll take it to Elderly and see if there is any hope.

    If they declare it DOA, I’m only out $80. I’d take that chance again...
  8. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    If it is warped, it can likely be fixed. If it is TWISTED, toss it and get a new neck.

    When you take it in for the set-up adjustment, ask them to let you watch and ask 100's of questions. You will never take a bass in to get adjusted again. Really not that difficult once you know how.
    UNICORN BASS likes this.
  9. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    The neck is toast.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Details? Most warped necks can be straightened with some time and patience.
  11. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    It isn’t so much the warping as it is the twisting.

    I watched a couple YouTube videos on DIY fixes.

    I might try a combination of heat and weight just for the experience, but I’m working on a “plan B”.

    The whole thing has only cost me $80 so far, so I’m pretty ok abandoning this idea and finding another bass to try to fall in love with.
  12. Happy Face

    Happy Face Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Portland, Maine
    $80 Tuition payment. But you'll come out of this with a lot more knowledge.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  13. Iamgoodformetal


    Apr 13, 2014
    Buy another and swap the neck. Nothing as satisfying as a good cheap bass.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    If you can get the action correct i think you will find that a twist in the neck won't be such a big deal.
  15. JeffJ2112

    JeffJ2112 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Nowhere Indiana
    Hey, what are you gonna do with that TR 70?
  16. wish i was

    wish i was

    Oct 24, 2014
    Eagle, MI
    Continue to play the hell out of it!
    JeffJ2112 likes this.
  17. JeffJ2112

    JeffJ2112 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Nowhere Indiana
    I'm looking for one mainly for parts to fix up mine(or to use the one I have for parts). Nice little bass. Light and great tone.
  18. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I know a few people who learned the fretboard with the stickers. If it works it works.

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