What should I do with this? I picked up an Ibanez RB999 "bean bass" this week from a local shop. $159 Cdn (about $125.00 US). It was an impulse purchase. I am of two minds on this bass: A. Leave it as a beater bass and keep it behind my office door for the odd lunch hour when I want to practice some tunes. B. Fix it up and really mod it. Things it has going for it: - Big, dense, thick tone. Active electronics, they seem quiet too. The previous owner disconnected the single tone control, said it was too harsh sounding. - Beautiful tuners. Satin finish, solid, silky mechanism, really nice. - Solid cast bridge with satin finish has lots of adjustment and is in great shape. - Extremely light. It's as light as my daughter's Fender Cyclone electric guitar. - Truss rod works smoothly. I already adjusted some bow out of the neck and it straightened right out. - Very good tonal variation between neck and bridge pickups, more sounds in the panning control than I've heard on any other bass. - Carved and rounded body top, pretty different from anything that's available today. - strap pegs are solid - The neck feels like a precision with a slightly more pronounced "C" profile. Basically comfortable for me. - seems to stay in tune. Things going against it: - The finish is a metallic pearl that has seen better days. Lots of little dents and dings. Definitely not my favourite colour. - Refinishing would be a lot of work because the whole neck is painted in the same colour too. Lots of refinish and sanding would be required. I'd do the neck natural with a satin finish like my Fender Precision MIA. - Frets on E and A string positions are quite worn up to the seventh / eighth. It doesn't buzz yet though. Refret definitely called for. - Biggest issue I see is that it's got a crack in the headstock which has been repaired. It goes from the bottom right thru the tuner holes to the top. Apparently it was spread 1/16th of an inch and filled with glue and it "seems" to be in good shape. - Between the headstock crack, refret, and extensive refinish, there would be a lot of work to do on the neck. Also, the neck pocket looks not quite as tight as some other guitars, so maybe I'd have to leave the paint alone at the mounting point of the neck to maintain the OD to preserve fit. If I modded it, it would maybe include: - new preamp, current one a bit dark sounding. - refret and redress plus refinish neck OR, be done with it and by a Warmoth or something like that. The neck pocket looks to be standard 2.5" width. - refinish body and stain dark reddish brown trans. If body grain wasn't that well matched, it wouldn't matter with a dark colour like that. OR maybe paint it a solid colour too black or surf green maybe?) So TB'ers, what would you do? Mod it or keep it as a Beater.