Questions about my first bass: ESP LTD B-50

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MJS888, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. MJS888


    Dec 17, 2015
    I got my first bass guitar today. I was looking at cheap starter basses until I spotted an "Amazon Warehouse" deal on an ESP LTD B-50 (left handed) with "cosmetic damage" for $163 (new ones are going for $250). Turns out the damage is an inch long crack on the tip of the head stock that extends all the way through (from the front to the back). [I attached pics from my low resolution camera phone.] Very little force would be required remove a chunk of the head stock...probably just a matter of time! It is not near the tuners, however. Did I get a good deal? Am I correct in thinking a slightly smaller head stock would not hurt the sound?

    Any idea what it might cost to have a repair shop cut off the damaged section, smooth it out, and touch it up with black paint?

    Before pulling the trigger, I read a review which mentioned the "passive pickups", so I was surprised to discover it has a battery. I'm guessing it is for the "tone boost" control and the bass would work without a battery? Is the "tone boost" knob the one farthest from the neck? What does it do?
    ltd_211549.jpg ltd_211550.jpg
  2. Probably need a battery. A bass can have passive pickups with a preamp. If thats the case it will probably be active pickup only unless it has active, passive switching somewhere. As far as damage That's pretty significant damage, so IMHO it should have had a bigger discount. Don't know what it would cost to fix it. Hard to tell from the photos, but you may be able to glue it back if you can push it into its proper location. If you can and it don't look too bad and you can live with it, regular old wood glue and something to hold it in place like rubber bands while it dries should do the trick. If it doesn't seem likely,do you have any recourse as far as sending it back? If so that may be a better option. If not I would still contact the person you bought it from and ask for more of a discount because you are not happy.

    Edit: I just looked it up and it does have active eq and not an option for passive. The two top knobs are likely the volume knobs for each pickup and the one toward the bottom would be the active tone control.
  3. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    People do worse damage to their basses deliberately trying to "relic" them. That looks fixable with some glue, so I wouldn't sweat it too much. Perhaps the specialists down in the luthier forum could advise you on how to do a proper repair.

    The B-50 has passive pickups and an active preamp. That's what needs the battery. No passive option on those, unfortunately. But overall, it's a decent starter bass at that price, even with the damage. Heck, people gig with those.
  4. MJS888


    Dec 17, 2015
    Since it is Amazon, I believe I could return it but probably not negotiate a lower price. Being a lefty, I am doubtful I could find a better deal.

    I don't think glue would be sufficient because it has multiple fractures and fraying; I can't really squeeze it together. I fear if the damaged part is not sawed off, a larger section could come off when that tip inevitably bumps into something.

    I passed up a good deal on an excellent new guitar because its finish was intended to make it look old and damaged. I found it ugly and embarrassing!

    I removed the B-50 battery (had to pry the battery cover open with a knife after removing the screws) and discovered you are passive option. :rollno: Is it uncommon for decent bass guitars to not require a battery?

    Thanks for the advice. I'll check out the luthier forum.
  5. NortyFiner

    NortyFiner Drunken Sailor Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Portsmouth VA USA
    That depends on how you define "decent". Most people would call a Squier or Fender or Epiphone a decent first bass, and their models are mostly passive (no batteries). ESP LTD is just one of the brands that makes mostly active basses. One isn't necessarily better than another; it just depends on what you want or can afford.
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