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Pawn Shop P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bcarll, Sep 11, 2003.


  1. bcarll

    bcarll

    Oct 16, 2001
    Hello All
    Just came from a pawn shop that had a Fender P Bass for sale. Let me describe it to you and then if you will,comment on what you think this really is. Also let me say that I don't know a whole lot about Fender Basses-- just enough to get me in trouble. Anyway here goes -- it is a '59 Fender P copy I would think. Doubt if it is the real thing.It is sunburst in color with Ashtray and Pickup cover in place and also has the brown shell pickguard on it. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard on it with pearl (I think) block inlays and the neck is straight. The chrome hardware has some oxidation on it but looks like it could be pollished off but this kinda tells me that it is not a recent copy anyway. Now for the suspicious things about it. The neck plate has nothing on it. No Fender logo or serial #. It also has no decal on the headstock(Fender)but definitly fender in shape. The neck has that old look with that patina that would indicate some age and it feels good to hold and play(without amp)with strings set low.The finish is even worn off in places on the neck so if it is a replacement it ws done awhile back and very professionly done. A music store decal is on the headstock and after checking around they went out of business in the late 70's so this may date it to that time period. So that's a about it except for the price -- $1400 big ones and that about floored me. He told me that he has had it for quite awhile and needed to move it so make him an offer. I wouldn't feel comfortable paying nearly half that for it not knowing exactly what I was buying so that's why it turn to you fellow members at TB for advice. What do you all think?

    Bob C.
     
  2. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    leave it. you could get a brand new p-bass for that. and you are bomb proof. soudns too dodgy for me. no neck plate and no decal. i wouldnt do it. i would for $500 but $1400 is just way way too much money to risk
     
  3. kernpre

    kernpre

    Sep 12, 2002
    W. MICHIGAN
    Before you spend a dime, bring a phillips screwdriver to the shop and remove the neck and check neck heal for dating. Won't hurt anything provided the neck isn't glued.

    It sounds fishy with no serial numbers, plate, etc...If you could, I would snap digital photos of the neck heal, pocket, control cabity, etc, and take it to a professional for some advice.

    I'd say post the photo's here, because you would likely get great advice. But someone may track it down if it turns out to be a 62 player!

    Do some homework. $1400 is way too much with for a 83 American P with a warmouth neck or the like.
    mj
     
  4. bcarll

    bcarll

    Oct 16, 2001
    thanks for the advice and believe me i won't buy this P BASS without checking it out thoroughly. your advice has helped me tremendously and will keep you posted about my progress. One other thing about this bass -- the truss nut adjustment is at the headstock above the string nut covered with a metal piece. what does this say about the suspicious neck?

    Bob C.
     
  5. I don't know of any P-Bass that rolled out of Fender's factory with block inlays. Sounds like, at best, a replacement neck to me and that means it isn't worth $1,400. I wouldn't give this item any more consideration, if I was you.
     
  6. Looks like you just want to pay for the name... all this "I would but it might not be fender" talk is nonsense. if it's on the shelf at $1400 then there's a reason. If it plays and sounds like it's worth $1400 then where's the problem?:confused:
     
  7. Toasted

    Toasted

    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
    but bear in mind what you can get for $1400 my friend, there are some might mighty fine basses you can pickup in that bracket. does it play as good as say a rik 4003 or a comparable fender MIA P, a musicman stingray or one of the high end warwicks? if not then id rather have the name bass for the same money as a "frankenbass" that plays "as good"

    (ps im sorry if my prices arent quite right, i am in the UK and have problems in my mind sorting USD to GBP :p
     
  8. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    if it's a bound rosewood neck with blocks and a truss rod cover on the headstock, it sounds alot like some of the japanese copies of the 70s jazz basses. what is the name on the headstock?

    it sounds like a body that may or may not be a fender p bass (year unknown) with a non-fender jazz neck copy from the 70s. it sounds cool, and maybe it's a player, but $1400 is crazy. you can get one of those j-bass copies (the whole bass)for $100 on ebay and put the neck on a p-bass body.

    did he claim it was a '59 fender p bass body with original electronics? if not, i'd offer him $150.
     
  9. bcarll

    bcarll

    Oct 16, 2001
    toad
    BINGO!!!! The first neck (ARIA)is the neck on the pawn shop P bass. No logo or name on it though. SO---if this is so---- it seems that it is a p bass body with a japanese neck and the neck did seem to be a jazz neck. Once again the body has the ashtray cover with the Fender logo stamped in it. The label on the headstock is a decal with a music stores name on it that has been out of business since the late '70's so it's quite possible that it is an older Fender Bass but not worth the $$$ that the shop is asking. Am I understanding all this correctly?
    To those of you that offered advice I thank you. If I continue to persue it the next step would be to play it to see what quality tone it has. I tried to get him to let me bring it home to do that but no deal. And he also is not too willing to let me open it up to look for dates.

    Bob C
     
  10. toad

    toad

    Jun 26, 2002
    NYC
    i don't see how you can verify that the body or the pickups are vintage fender without getting at it. even then, it can be tricky. the fact that it's a frankenbass and the dealer's unwillingness to find out the origins himself makes me suspicious of the nature of the body. the ashtray cover with the f was stock only on jazz basses AFAIK and it may be the only thing fender on the whole bass. they can be bought fairly readily. $1400 is a joke. run away from it. there's no point in arguing with a dealer that is set on ripping someone off. if you really like the look of it, you can build what you're describing.
     
  11. bcarll

    bcarll

    Oct 16, 2001
    good advice toad ---- like you said the guy at the pawn shop has had time to check this bass out himself and needs to to put a reliable, fair price on it. His unwillingness to that says a lot. I'll keep searching ------- Bob C