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Please give me your appraisal of this bass...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DLM, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    1976 Fender P-bass with some mods...

    Brief description...(visualize Marcus Miller’s bass)
    1. Natural ash body w/ black pickguard and original plastic thumb rest.
    2. Maple neck/fingerboard with black fret dots.
    3. Original chrome pickup cover over original P-bass pickups.

    Here are the mods or things missing...
    1. Jazz pickup installed at the bridge location--there are now 3 knobs of volume/volume/tone.
    2. Missing original chrome cover over the bridge.
    3. Non-factory Gotoh (I think) bridge with adjustable saddles for height and spacing.
    4. Got a fret job on the neck so frets are virtually new.
    5. Sanded backside of neck so it is bare wood.

    That’s about it. How much do you think it’s worth?
  2. Nothing; it's fiction without pics...;)
  3. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    My guess it's worth between $1000 to 1300. I would ask 1300 and hope to get a bit more than grand if I were selling it. The finish missing off the back of the neck diminishes the value more than anything else. Otherwise, I would think you would be able to get every bit of $1300 maybe more. I understand why the previous owner did it but it hurts the value slightly.

    Question is always how well does it play and sound. I would pay a dime if it didn' t play well and sound great.

    BTW, That kind of cash can probably buy a better bass than this. unless the age and the Fender name plate is important to you. The fact is, the 70's were a terrible period for fender production. Most of those basses have bad neck pocket routes. All the jigs were worn out and the routing was terrible. That means the neck rocks back and forth cause there is too much play in the route. You can buy a P bass body from a company like Warmoth. The route is so precise that almost don't need neck screws to hold the neck in place. For the $1300 you would spend for this you trick out a totally quality version of the same bass with everything on it being top shelf. IMO
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I would think the added J would diminish the value far more than a sanded neck? I can tell you from my experience at a recent guitar collectors show that none of the buyers were interested in an instrument that had been irreversibally altered in some way.
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    To me personally that bass is worth no more than $700. But that's just me. I have several early 70's Fenders, and it's silly what people pay for them anymore. I've had all of mine since the 70's, when I paid, on average, about $350 each for them. The used market seems to have them worth about $1300-$1500 in stock, played shape.

    The addition of the J pup, de-finishing the neck, non-stock hardware all bring it waaay down. You can never "un-cut" the body.

    My devalued .02

  6. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    I'd tend to agree with this as well. The moment the body has been routed, the value of the instrument is cut dramatically.
  7. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    I most generally agree with the fact that the vintage side of this bass has been "killed" by all these mods, especially the J pickup that has been added.

    Basically this bass has nothing more than any Fender P/J on the market today, the 70's vintage argument is knocked down by the mods, and this bass is probably very heavy, as were all mid 70's Fenders with ash bodies.

    Just IMO, of course.

  8. DLM


    May 25, 2004
    Thanks for everyone who chimed in! I agree that these mods (especially the jazz p/u install) diminish the value. For those who haven't provided a $$ appraisal, can you provide one? Thanks!
  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I am by no means an expert, but I can't imagine paying more than $6-700 for this bass. Given the mods, it has no collectors value.
  10. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    You guys are absolutely right. Some how I missed that the body was routed for a J pickup. I think you can hope for $700.
  11. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001
    When you want to get an idea of an instrument's value, a good source is Ebay. It's not definitive by any means, but it'll give you some idea. You've also got to make allowances for the mods on the bass, so it's important to try and find something that's got similar mods.

    Also, go for closed auctions.

    Try this - it's a search I did for 1975/6/7 P basses that have recently closed.

    Precision bass search

    Another good place to look at is www.gbase.com . This is a retailer database of instruments available, mainly in the US. The thing to remember with this is that the prices are top end retail - I'd say it's fair to cut an instant 30% off to get a more realistic used market value. And again, look for instruments with similar properties and modifications.

    Having done all that, I think what the guys have said above is pretty on the mark, with maybe a bit of higher variation on a good day.

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