Refinish = less value$$??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by simongpaez, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Hello guys what do you think about this? I know it make sense to think about an old and classic fender and if you refinish it of course it looses value , but what about newer and more modern instruments do you think it must be considered as a bass that lost its value??

  2. Boy, what a hard question! If I had only known in the '70s that those mass produced, unplayable C.B.S. Fenders would be in demand and fetching big bucks, I would have bought 'em buy the dozen.
    It's hard to say what now seems common will one day be "collectible". Most of the old classics you refer to were refinished before they were old classics.
    My guess is that a highline instrument will one day be "collectible" therefore a refinish would be a depreciating factor. On the other hand, todays mass produced ones will not be affected as much but still who knows? I've got a red '95 MIM Jazz that has the one piece pickguard/control plate made only one or two years. I want to refinish it 'cause I hate playing a red bass but have second thoughts because of this phenomenon.
    I still have my '64 Lake Placid Blue P Bass which has yellowed to Lake Placid SCUM. It looks like hell but Tony Joe White once told me " Duck Dunn has a hunderd old Fenders but he aint got one like that!"
  3. Fawkes007


    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    You're a pistol.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, ain't it? Just wait another ten years and see how much those 80's Fenders will be fetching.
  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Oh yeah, any instrument is worth less when refinished. There is always a fear that someone is hiding something under that repaint, especially solid colors. Could be a covered up rout job from experimental pickups, or repairs from someone wanting to contour a body differently, or the worst one I've seen, a body cracked in 1/2 then reglued back together.

    Unless I personally know the previous owner, I stay far away.
  5. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    That's a really good question. If you're saying "Hey I have this '95 American Jazz Bass that's been refinished, is it worth less?" Then I'd say that it depends on who's buying it. If the person likes the new look then who knows.

    I'd say as a general rule of thumb, don't refinish.* As some other's here have said - who knows what's gonna be collectable in another 20 years.

    *I say that having refinished two stock basses in my lifetime :D
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Either play it or put it away and wait for it to become a collector's item.

    If I had all the baseball cards when I was s kid, I'd be rich. If I stood in line every holiday season and bought tons ot new Xboxes, iPods, Play Stations, etc and eBay them, I'd be rich.

    Just imagine if Roger Sadowsky told Marcus Miller, :Man, I think it's a bad idea to mod your bass." .....imagine if Geddy never shaved the neck on his Jazz. They would just be a regular 70's Jazz basses.
  7. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Depends on why you're refinishing it. If you have no intention of selling it and don't like the way it looks, it's your bass. For collectible stuff it's usually best to stay original but if collecting isn't your primary focus and you have an instrument you have to use and it looks like crap... all bets are off IMO.

    Maybe by 2015 a MIM will be collectible... who knows? By the same token if you're going to keep money tied up in it for twenty years in anticipation... okay.


    As far as highline basses and collectibility, I'm not seeing that*. As far as investments go, old Fenders make a heck of a lot more sense IME. Buy the highline bass to play it... and hope for the best;)

    *Granted, my buy low, keep or sell high approach has been working like a charm so far.