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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by basserman44, Oct 3, 2000.

  1. i just decided that i want to restore an old bass. the only problem is, i dont have one. i would like to get one where i can pretty much start from scratch. i was wonderring where one would go to find such a bass. how much i should pay for one, etc. i would like to find an old fender if possible. thanks in advance.
  2. Pawn shops, Garage sales, yard sales, newspaper,E-bay. Be prepared to pay from 150-300 for a beat up fender.Good Luck!
  3. I am worried that this post won't be taken in the right way but here goes...

    As a first project, please consider doing a restoration on a bass that has little or no collector value. There are multiple reasons. First, this is a difficult project - to restore a bass, not only to playing condition, but to "like new" status. If you haven't done it before, you will be learning on a cheap instrument, not a real collector. Second, an amateurish restoration will do more to devalue the bass, more so than just leaving the old finish. Third, A professional restoration (not just a refinish) will cost in the $1000 - $2000 range. That is why it is reserved for old instruments and it helps maintain their value. If you can do this kind of job well, I guess you should go for it. But when you have to ask about where to get the subject for a restoration, I doubt that you have much experience.

    Reedo35 - Depending on what "beat-up" is you can expect to pay between $500 and $2000 for old Fenders. The market right now is extremely inflated and even mid 70's basses are going for extreme amounts. True vintage instruments are just about out of reach. And keep in mind that original finishes, no matter how crappy, are coveted by the buyers.

    For older Fenders you might want to look at the "Bullet" series or early "Squier" basses for decent projects.
  4. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Like Hambone said, an old Fender will cost ya more than a new Fender. You may want to try a kit bass from Carvin or Warmoth. If you really have your heart set on an old one look for something cheap and not in demand. That way if the project goes sour you won't be out much. :eek:
  5. Well it HAS been quite a while since I've looked around,but hope springs eternal,even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while, and all that..Stranger things have happened.
    But, Basserman, it sounds to me like you just want the experience of fixing up a beat up old bass.Like MJB said,
    if this is your first attempt at restoration and you umm..
    How do I put this? Screw it up, you will feel much less bereaved if it is a no-name, generic bass you got for $75
    bucks than if it was a more valuable instrument.But if you really want to be creative and construct your own individual dream bass,the kit Bass Idea is a good one also.
    BTW, the '68 Fender P-Bass that I play, I got for $250 bucks
    from a pawn shop in Pittsburgh.(10 years ago) I guess I should get it appraised, huh, Hambone? :)
  6. If you don't want to go to the trouble of a true appraisal, just take a look at ebay. In fair condition, I would expect your bass to bring between $600 and $1200. Now, I am well aware that an ebay price is NOT what the bass would be worth to the collector. There are a lot of issues that collectors take into account when assessing a bass like yours. But ebay is indicative of what a sellers market there is with the expansion of nationwide bidding. 10 years ago, when you bought the bass (a great price indeed!) your bass was approaching the edge of where I would put genuine "vintage" instruments - That would begin at 25 years. Now your bass has a bit more age on it and would fetch at least double what you paid and likely more.

    But imagine what a player/collector would do with a bass like yours that had been poorly refinished. He would recognize it's inherent tone characteristics and purchase it solely on that basis paying far less than if the finish were original. Then if the finish were crappy enough, have it professionally redone and raise it's selling value to maybe well above the $1000 mark. Of course, there are lots of details that would affect this scenario but you get the idea.

    The best guy to ask about an online appraisal is Steve Barr from Vintage Bass Trading Co. in CA.


    Steve is a nationally respected purveyor of these things and his word is gospel. He a really neat fellow and even hangs out here with us TB'ers on occasion. You could send him a comprehensive picture set and see what he says. You could also go over to the Fender Discussion Page (FDP) and raise the interest of a fellow named Bill Bolton. Bill is from Australia and is internationally known as a premier Fender expert. To show you how good his word is, Steve Barr refers to him at many a turn. He wrote the gospel on Fender basses.

    Good Luck!
  7. sorry i think i sent out the wrong message with what i'm wanting to do. i'm not looking to resale or anything like that, just fixing up an old beat up bass to make my own, kind of a conversation peice if you now what i mean.and to be like "my" bass that i fixed up. sorry about the mix up. thanx for the posts and keep them coming.

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