1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Saint Blues bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FretlessFatty, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    I'm seeing a St. Blues bass on eBay:

    Link to eBay listing

    This is one of the original St. Blues basses from the 80s, made in Memphis, TN. It's quite attractive, IMO. What is a fair price on these things? Anyone know how heavy they are? Nut width, anything like that?
  2. You might contact fellow TBer Eric Swaim . He listed a similar pj for sale recently.
  3. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks, Woodman. I'll try to find him... I also found this old thread showing a similar bass for sale here...
  4. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The headstock on the Ebay one is a later version and not the early 80's version like the one on the TB link. Ask for a full front and back shot of the headstock. It should have the long stemmed vintage style reverse tuners (which it doesn't by the small photo of the logo) and the there should be a walnut plug just before the nut. (like the bass on the TB link)
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I read a CL ad form a guy near here recently who was selling a few of them. According to him, Strings n Things was selling a lot of basses they didn't like the fit and finish of. So they started ordering MIJ parts form the same factories that were making ESP and several other brands of guitars. They were assembled in TN. Now, he has been asking $700-$850 for his. But he has been listing them for several months with no luck, so I think I can safely say they aren't worth $750 in my market. (If they were, someone would have bought them, right? Something is worth what another will ACTUALLY pay for it and not a dime more.)

    That all being said, I have no idea if his company history is accurate. But several sellers I have seen over they year claim they play very well. But, then again, when you're trying to sell a bass, it ALWAYS plays GREAT, right?

    Here is one of the listings with part of the history lesson. Sometimes the history part is longer, sometimes shorter.
    And, again, this bass has been listed for several months a NOT sold. He has listed it in several regions of NC. So clearly it is not worth $700.

    I can not speak to its quality or tone.
  6. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks for the input. Makes sense.
  7. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I have one of the Memphis originals in black. It shows it's age but it sounds like a PJ with hot pickups. The only downside for me is that it's very heavy.
  8. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I have owned a couple of these over the years, the people how played back in the 1980's will know these basses, I remember the bass player with Journey holding one in an ad back in the day. They were nice basses, they were comfortable to play, they have the binding on the top outlining the bass, and were all P&J pickups, I liked mine. Now that I do not own any, I can honestly say they are well made basses. In some areas of the country no one may know what they are, therefor they will not bring much money. Players will know these were/are good instruments during that time period, better than anything Fender was making those years. The basses do have a little weight to them, mine was probably 9+ lbs. I hope that helps, feel free to call me if you need more specific questions answered.
  9. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks, Eric. That's the impression I have. Good basses, but probably not the best resale value. Hmmm...
  10. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
  11. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks for the info and link. The ad does say that this is a prototype bass for the new (21st century) line, not the old 80s basses. So that might change things a little, I don't know.
  12. Charley Umbria

    Charley Umbria I'm Really a Drummer Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Rock City, TN
    I'd say the one on e-Bay is a 1980's model. The newer MIK basses have a different headstock (with "Handcrafted in Korea" and a s/n on the back) and a metal jack plate (vs. the plastic one on the `80's models).

    All of the 1980's Blues Kings that I've seen have had one of two different headstocks: a "Tele-style" (like the one on e-Bay and in this article) or what I think of as an "ESP-style" (like my 1984 model, below, right).


    The headstock logo on the e-Bay bass also matches both mine and the one in the article.


    I'm not sure when or why St. Blues switched headstock styles. My bass's s/n is 038XX and it has the older, ESP-style headstock. The e-Bay bass is s/n 05545 and it has the Tele-style headstock, as does the bass in the article, s/n 35304.

    The nut on mine is about 1.635" (IIRC), with a very comfortable neck. Definitely not baseball bat territory. Not surprisingly, it reminds me a lot of the neck on my 1980's ESP 400 series P/J. ;)

    Knowing what I do about these basses, if I didn't already have one, I'd snap it up. They're really a great blend of Japanese and American workmanship. $650.00 is a decent price right now and they don't come on the market very often. If you like passive P/J's, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    P.S. As far as I can tell, the bass in the Craigslist ad linked above is one of the newer ones, but with aftermarket pups and bridge. Beyond that, it's hard to tell...
  13. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks so much. That's helpful. Yes, I really don't doubt that the one on eBay is from the 80s. And the one on Craigslist is, according to the seller, a 21st century one. So two different animals. As for resale value... hard to predict! These aren't super common, nor super well-known, so I guess it's hard to know how much money you'd get back. But everything I'm seeing and hearing makes me think this is a good bang for the buck.
  14. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Hey FF (or any of you guys who might be interested.) I have a copy of an article from 2007 talking about these basses. And they were very sweet, high-quality basses (the early ones - not the newer ones).

    I'll be glad to email the article to any of you who'd like it. Just let me know.
  15. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Just FYI... here's a link to an article about the new version of the St. Blues bass -- the King Blues bass. It's a positive article, not surprisingly. Seems like the new versions of this bass get mixed reviews on TB, however.

    But those 80s versions of the St Blues "Blues King" bass seem to get positive reviews across the board. Only negative I've heard is that the bass might be a little heavy -- and that because it's not such a well-known brand, the resale might be lacking.
  16. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The earliest versions had regular Fender P bass style headstocks. When did they switch to the regular tuners on the basses? (instead of the reverse type Kluson style)

  17. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    Charley Umbria is the one to answer that... I don't know. But I've seen various pictures only of the original 80s St. Blues King with both types of headstocks. It's interesting.
  18. Dluxe


    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I remember wanting one back then but they were scarce!
  19. FretlessFatty


    Nov 23, 2012
    I guess the ones from the 80s are more scarce than ever... Are they all called "Blues King"? Is Blues King the official model name?

Share This Page