Replaced fretboard on vintage

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by magnaton, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi there--

    Very little info online about the value drop of an instrument with a replaced fingerboard. Found a thread here that touched on the subject, but it was established that the board was just planed for a refret and so was never fully addressed. So...

    On a vintage P Bass, what would you say the value decreases by if the fingerboard has been replaced? Where would you put FMV on a 3tsb very road-worn, but otherwise original, 1970 P Bass with ohsc in this predicament?

    Thanks much.
  2. MonkeyBass


    Mar 22, 2009
    Denver, CO
    My opinion:
    A bass should be played. If you're not playing the bass because of the fingerboard then get it replaced. If it's fine then don't.
    Basically what I'm saying is that I personally think that a good playing bass is more valuable then the resale price. But I know many disagree.
  3. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini

    Feb 25, 2004
    I agree with the Monkey. If a bass is unplayable it has no value other than an old wall hanging. I don't want a bass that is unplayable. Nothing wrong with maintaining a classic.
  4. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    If the bass is unplayable with the current board, then its value has already tanked. Like the others have said, if that's the case, then replacing it would be nothing but good, and the value (both in money and as a player) would be much more than an unplayable bass. It'll never be worth what an all original good playing bass is worth though.

    If I had to put a number on it, I would say that a replaced board on a 1970 P Bass would devalue the whole bass by 20-25%. But that's just my speculation.
  5. You can also buy a new neck and keep the original to keep it all original if you ever decide to sell it.
  6. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    Where did the OP say the bass was "unplayable"? He didn't.
  7. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    "Original"? That ship has sailed. The OP is implying that the fretboard has already been replaced.
  8. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    A big part of the value of a 1970 P bass is collector value just because it's old. A replaced board is a major detraction from originality, if it's at all detectable.

    If it's a hack job, it better be cheap. Real cheap, like way less than what a good restoration will cost, and then some.
  9. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini

    Feb 25, 2004
  10. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass magnaton.

    First of all, BO (Bolt On) necks rarely get repaired, other than refret, because it's easy to just swap them.

    I'd value a repaired BO neck ~1/2 value of the original one.

    A replaced FB often raises suspicion whether there's something wrong with the neck, especially if the date stamps and decals "got a bit damaged in the repair and re-fin".

    However, the correct decals and date stamps can be a dealbreaker for some folks if the neck hasn't been refinished when the FB is replaced, so I'd say probably 2/3 to 3/4 of the price of an original neck.

    If You're buying, I'd shave off that 1/2 value of the neck from the asking price and see how the seller likes that.
    Assuming of course that the rest of the bass is original and that can be verified.

  11. I agree if its unplayable it's not worth anything to me. I would probably even get a replacement neck if that's what it took to get it playable.
  12. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    Thanks very much for the responses everyone... and the welcome! Sorry if I didn't explain myself properly. The fretboard replacement was already done on this PBass and I was trying to decide if the shop selling it was deducting enough from the fmv of a similar bass with a non-reboarded neck. Full disclosure.. they're asking $2000 for this 1970 with very beat up ohsc. I get the sense that they'd probably sell for a hunderd of two less, but after hearing what you've said I feel like that's still too high. The strangest part about this is that while there is a replaced board, the maple backing under the rosewood slab has divots from the fret tangs? Why would these ever go all the way through the fretboard? The shop is of the opinion that it was probably refretted a bunch, and as the board wore down, the tangs eventually went into the maple part of the neck before being completely re-boarded. Can't imagine a board being played to that extreme, but don't know for sure.

    Here are some pics. Love love the well worn look, and that's why I'm willing to toy with the idea of dealing with a reboarded neck on a vintage piece. Perhaps you can help me try figure out the fret story/ value?




    Thanks again

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Maybe if it had a fretless neck that had been fretted at one point that could have happened. Personally I would probably stay clear of this bass unless tonally it really speaks to you. There are a lot of vintage P-Basses on the market with less question marks. The fret slots on the new board were poorly executed on this one too...
  14. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    You were perfectly clear in your first post. This is Talkbass, confusion is common here, just wade through it.

    You'll prolly never know what happened to that bass, but it's not important. What matters now is what you should "invest" in an altered vintage bass.

    It's your money, but I wouldn't give $1000 for that bass, while others would happily sell a testicle to get their hands on it. Enjoy the quest.
  15. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    $2grand is WAY too much money to be asking for a bass that has had a major repair like a new fretboard. I agree with the above post that said he wouldn't pay more than $1,000 for a bass like this. Significant repairs like this hugely diminish the collector appeal, and unlike a refin, a replaced fingerboard could be an indicator of some serious, still existing neck issue.

    I completely understand the appeal of owning a vintage instrument, but if you're going to pay close to top dollar, you should expect to find an original, unmolested example. Otherwise, just buy a late-model vintage reissue Fender.
  16. Part of the major attraction of an old bass is the mojo i.e. paint worn away, pick guard scratched and warped, AND a worn-in neck. A re-boarded neck will be like new as it will need new frets so it will feel the same as sticking a new neck on. In that case I would agree that you should give this a miss. There's plenty of good basses out there.

    Note: the body looks good though!

  17. magnaton


    Dec 12, 2013
    Thanks a bunch folks.. really really helpful. Templar you really hit the nail on the head with regards to my question-- is it worth investing that amount of money in something like this. The answer appears to be a resounding no...
    Really appreciate it everyone... the quest continues! Haha

    (On a somewhat related note... if anyone is thinking about parting with a late '60's early '70's heavily worn PBass in around this price range please don't be shy about PMing me :)
    Happy Holidays!
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I agree. Keep 'em playable.
  19. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    To pile on; new Fenders are quite nice in vibe, tone and weight. Plus, there are many great deals to be had on new or slightly used ones.

    Great frets, adjustable necks & saddles. Ding free and clean with very nice cases. No questions about pedigree.

    You are looking to be able to play notes with ease and get at the music right?