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Pawn Shop Gems?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jimmy Bones, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    So, I walked into a pawn shop today to see if I could find a beater to tear apart and rebuild, and I think I found not only what I was looking for, but I may have found some other really good stuff too.

    Here is my beater first.

    It's a P body, and a weird neck with low action. Doesn't look like an actual Fender neck or anything, and in fact looks like it may have been a kit guitar - either way it's only gonna cost me $75.

    Full length view:

    Nasty bridge:

    Nasty pickups:

    Nasty headstock (hand sawn?):

    The body is front routed, and there are a number of dings and dents and gouges. I'm thinking of taking some wood putty in there and priming it, then slapping a veneer on it - not sure what yet - and then sunbursting it.

    Actually, I really like the colored curly/quilted maple tops that Schecter and ESP and some others use. might do that.

    I'll probably pop an EMG split pickup in the middle position and rout for an EMG HZ in the bridge position, strip out the electronics and hardware and replace everything. Especially that bridge. I might go for a modular bridge like on my Stiletto, but I am keeping away from that ******** three point bridge Gibson/Epiphone/Maestro uses. Hell, I might even go for one of those neato floating trems. It's a bolt-on, otherwise I might drill for turning it into a string-through body, but I dunno.


    They also had a pretty generic brand bass, a 'Harmony' brand P:

    And what I am most interested in knowing more about for future purchase consideration:

    An MIJ Fender Mustang. Now, it has the split pickup configuration, but man, I have never seen pickups so tiny in my life. What are those?

    So yea.

    Anybody else got any cool pawn shop finds?
  2. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    The Mustang bass is cool, but not for $400

  3. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    What would you pay for it then?
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    That's actually a decent price for an MIJ Mustang.

    The pickups work just fine on mine.
  5. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    how about 395??:smug:
  6. 4 bills for a MIJ sounds good to me btw - I think they're close to $800 new now!

    As for pawn shop finds - they're usually good for finding something to work on as a hobby. Spend a lot of time cleaning it up, replacing parts, and getting it back playable again. In the end the amount of time, effort, and cost to getting it to be "decent" will likely be more than what it would have cost to go to a music store and get one that was already decent - BUT, that's not the point of buying these things.

    I can go to Toys R Us and get a 1/24 scale car that is already painted and assembled and ready to display (or play with). For about 3-4x more, I can buy a model kit, trim plastic pieces, hand paint everything, glue and assemble the whole thing and take a week doing it. The end result will likely still be worse than buying a new one already built - but the joy of the project is worth the effort. Same with basses - as long as you don't expect something amazing at the end of the journey, it's a fun ride. :)
  7. FSSmikey


    Mar 7, 2009
    Miami FL
    there arent any pawn shops that take musical instruments around me.

    at least, i havent seen any.

    i secretly dream of finding a 57 gold top les paul for $50 bucks at some cheesy pawn shop. that would be epic.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Those are the normal pickups for the Mustang. They're basically P pups in smaller housings. They work and sound fine. Since it's an MIJ in a non-exotic color you could also feel fine about routing it for different pups, but really you may not "need to".

    I'd say offer them $350 for it, and it'll be the best bass of the three.
  9. I picked this Charvel/Jackson up last year for 100 bucks, IIRC. I was playing in an 80's band so it fit perfectly. It sounded pretty good...played really well. I replaced the PU's with quarter pounders and added SD preamp...it rocks. I traded it for a T-40, I just couldn't resist.

    Attached Files:

  10. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    I like that Mustang. As already mentioned those pickups are normal. I'm pretty regular at several pawnshops in my area and they are typically prepared to go 15% discount off marked price, so I bet you would get that bass for $350 and IMO would be a good price.

    Although you did mention you were looking for something to mod and not sure if the Mustang would be easiest due to it's small pickups.

    Good finds. :)
  11. Yodhan


    Dec 10, 2007
    I know that this is in the 'Basses' section, but I got a '69 Bassman 100 head and cab from a pawn shop. My high school had a pristine one that they got brand new, but they would never sell it to me. I found this one a little after I graduated in the corner of a seedy shop. The grille was all gold and smoky and the tolex was burned and torn up in places. It was tagged at $300 and I talked them down to $225. I sold it to my girlfriend's dad when I moved to CA because I needed to money. Now that I am back in town, I can play it if I go over there, but he won't sell it to me.

    Here's the only pic I have (sorry for the out of focus, weird angle thing...photography student)

  12. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    I work in a pawn shop that had a few really cool guitars. One of your regulars has a bass in on loan that if it ever defaulted (which is highly unlikely because he never lets anything go), I'd be ALL OVER IT!!! :eek:

    I can't even say what it is...I'm sad that it's not being played right now. :crying:
  13. I aint got pics of mine, but I bought BOTH my children's 6 str acoustic.electrics from Cashies. Daughters - a VERY nice Takamine E140s(or sumthin') A/E -fishman pre. Black w/ with binding & abalone cross inlays. Plays beautifully. $140 -$10 yrs ago
    Son's- a CIMAR(made by Ibanez) A/E copy of a Martin dreadnought. Again- plays very well, & IMO this one sounds a little nicer than the Takamine. $90 about 10yrs ago too.
    My SX-P bass(now modded w/ Dimarzio P pups, Gotoh string-thru bridge & CTS pots) I also got from there-$100 (they retail here for about $250 & up!) This Ch.red played beautifully straight outta the Cashies store- neck joint is tite as.... & played acoustically great from day 1.
    Will try & find some pics. asap.
  14. Once I got a 600w Peavey Mark VIII matched with a Yamaha 610 cab out the door for $400. That's Canadian too, so like 47 cents to most of you.
  15. David S

    David S

    Apr 4, 2004
    Never any basses, but my '59 melody maker and Legend R&R 50 both came from the same pawn shop. Both around $100 in the late 80's.Gibson had a spray can gold paint job (now has a spray can pink one, will change to a real white one this summer), Epi mini humbuckers, 3 added mini switches, and a bigsby. Plays perfect, sounds perfect, has many different sounds. Claimed to be a old studio guys guitar. Legend was in perfect shape, Oak cab, wicker front. Sounds great, but too loud for home use. As soon as it makes noise, it rattles stuff on the walls, or 1= LOUD.

    IMO that is a good price on the Mustang. I would buy it.

    But I love my Mustang.

  16. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    That's a great price on the Mustang. Here's a pickup pic.
  17. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Pawnxchange on Airport Rd, Everett Wa. December 2003.

    I still have the bass and the original receipt!!! The hang tag said "Fender Bass needs work".

    Need work = age tarnished hardware and natural finger wear.

    Pawn shop deals don't come any better!!

  18. Jimmy Bones

    Jimmy Bones

    Feb 24, 2009
    Baxley, GA
    Thanks for the pic.

    Call me a nub if you want, but I have a hard time associating such a tiny pickup with any deep sound.

    As I mentioned before, with that beater P, I'd prolly reroute it for an EMG split and an EMG HZ (kind of in a PJ format) - but that's mostly because my interests, preferences, and taste seem to parallel whatever it is I start with or currently have.

    For example, when I had my EB-0, I was all about Epis and Gibsons. My first cab was an Ashdown combo, and I still have serious GAS every time I see an Ashdown cab in the store. Now I use a stiletto that has dual EMG HZs, and EMG is sorta my current crush.

    I also like those chunky ones that the Stingrays have, or the Warwick Hammerhead's version of it.
  19. No pics, no bass or receipt!
  20. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    If you can get them to put the Mustang down to 350, i think it qualifies as a steal. Even if you don't like the short scale, you can resell it for more.

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