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Questions about Vintage No-name

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Matteran, May 29, 2005.


  1. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Hey, a friend of mine has a Vintage Kingston brand bass. For the past hour I took it all apart, polished it up, and replaced the jack, ordered new strings on musiciansfriend, and have come up with some questions.

    First of all, does anyone know of the brand Kingston? When I took the bass apart, there were no numbers or dates of anything. So I'm trying to find an approximate date still.

    When I first played it, it sounded pretty flat. No brightness at all, but it has an oddly nice vintage thump to it. But really... besides it being kinda cool and vintage (i only have a Tobias Growler, so I always have a modern hi-fi sound) the pickup is horrible. It's got one single coil, kinda in a bridge position, but a little farther away from the bridge than a jazz bass. Now... my second question is... Is the dull sound due purely because of the old vintage (probably ****ty) pickup? Or maybe the old strings, and some other factors?

    It also looks like the bridge was changed... to a really weird type of bridge i've never seen before.

    It also has the same scale as a guitar... so REALLY REALLY short.

    Would this be worth buying for like 50 dollars to keep around for an occasional song? Or would i do better just buying an SX for the same occasional moments.

    I was able to take this bad picture with my cell phone. But I can get better ones once my digital camera is done charging.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Those vintage Japanese/Chinese types are rather unversatile and loved by some, hated by everyone else. They look cool, usually don't sound very good, but if you like it keep it, if not sell to a trader.
     
  3. yaeh, i have a japanese bass from the 70's and it is a short scale, and it looks similar to that only a jaguar shape, and it is flat as possible, but it is fun to play. i wouldn't pay 50 dollars for it, maybe 20-30. as for the bridge, it looks like a ric bridge to me.
     
  4. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    Kingston's were made during the mid 60's into the early 70's in Japan and intended purly as beginner instruments, nothing more. Lower your expectations!

    I notice this one has had a Rickenbacker tailpiece assembly installed on to it. The tailpiece is probably worth more than the bass itself.

    TD
    :cool:
     
  5. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    These basses are the cheapest of the cheap, I'm talking $39 bucks new with chipboard case. Action higher than the brooklyn bridge and pup covers made of tin. Intended to introduce some one to the instrument and on the same level as Teisco guitars. These basses are about as vintage as a Yugo car is vintage!
     
  6. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    [​IMG]

    yeah, you're right, it is a rickenback bridge...

    Hmm... how hard would it be to defret it? Would it be worth it? Or should I just try the new strings on it, and take it or leave it?
     
  7. vometia

    vometia Formerly cbh

    Nov 1, 2003
    Oxford
    The positioning of the Rickenbacker bridge compared to where the original seems to have been must make for some, er, interesting intonation...
     
  8. Rvl

    Rvl

    Dec 23, 2003
    Aomori Japan
    This bass is similar to the bass that Bill Wyman likes
    His first bass was a super short scale Japanese cheapo
    Says it is the easiest to play and a great sounding bass and used it on many of the early albums
     
  9. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto

    That's actually a Japanese clone tailpiece, not an original Rickenbacker piece. You can see it's missing the string mute.

    TD
     
  10. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Would there have maybe been a cover for the bridge? Maybe that's where why there are those screw holes in the wood, and the screw holes where the mutes would be?
     
  11. It still could be a real rick bridge. The mutes are removable.
     
  12. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Toronto
    The holes on either side in the upper corners of the tailpiece are for the screws that would adjust the mute up and down.

    You can see the pickguard and body showing through where the mute assembly should be.

    The reason that I say this is not a original RIC tailpiece but a Japanese made clone is because the holes where the strings are feed through the tailpiece are round in the photo. On a RIC tailpiece they are oval-elongated. Always have been.

    Plus who in their right mind would put a original RIC tailpiece on a Kingston Bass? I guess stranger things have happened.

    TD