Should I Buy This Vintage P?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quadzilla, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I was at music lessons for my kids tonight and a guy walked into the music store with a Fender Bass case (vintage). I was playing a Godin on an Ampeg B100R and he walked right over to me and said, "looking to buy a bass?" and I replied that I'm always looking. He proceded to whip out a early to mid 70's P (he said he thought it was a 74 or 76). It was in EXECELLENT shape, hardly a nick or scratch, not even any buckle rash! It had a birdseye maple neck and frett board, and the body was a chocolate kind of brown. Pickguard was black. It had white P pickups with a toggle switch that changed the tone (in addition to the regular volume and tone knobs).

    He said he thought the switch and pickups were not original (I think he said Duncan), but he was not 100% sure. He claimed that he owned the bass for well over 20 years and it just sits in his closet. Here is the kicker, he claims that he bought it from Phil Lesh of The Dead when he was living out in California back then. Something about his sisters friend knowing him, etc. I don't really care too much about that, could be BS, but it was vintage for sure and was in killer shape as was the case for it's age, especially the interior of the case which was a dark rust color.

    He told me he would take $1000 for it. It seemed like a good deal, but I told him I had to think about it and I got his card. Oh, it played like a dream. What do you all think, worth $1K? I really don't have the extra money right now. I'd prob have to sell a few things to pay for it (borrow from saving then replenish). Again, It was excellent, damn near mint. If it's only worth about $1k then why bother, but if it's worth a hell of a lot more, then it might be worth getting and holding on to...
  2. Sippy


    Aug 1, 2005
    I paid $600 for my 70's P-bass.. but would definitly pay 1k for it... Check all the bass forums tho.. make sure there wasn't one stolen.. that seems kinda shady
  3. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    He certainly looked legit. I'd say in his mid to late 40's, knew how to play pretty well but not great. Even gave me his business card for work (not instrument or pawn shop affiliated, worked for a non-profit place). I'll call him tomorrow for the serial #. I should have wrote it down tonight, but didn't. My wife was trying to get me out the door for obvious reasons (I think I was drueling)...
  4. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    [devil's advocate]
    The other day I was at a stop light and some twentysomething guys rolled down their window and got my attention. "Hey, man. We have an extra surround sound system that the customer didn't want anymore. Need one?"

    He's owned it that long and doesn't know what pickups are in it?

    Phil Lesh owned it and there's no buckle rash?
    [/devil's advocate]
  5. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Like I said, I'm not not putting any faith in the Phil Lesh thing, but bottom line and question a early to mid 70's P with original case in very, very good condition (9 out of 10), worth more than $1k?
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think it is. They go for like $2000 on Ebay.
  7. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Thats a good price.
  8. Franklin229

    Franklin229 Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeast USA
    I would not pay more than that for it if the pickups have been changed but it is a good price. Rosewood or maple FB?
  9. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Fret board is birds eye maple like the neck. It's a georgeous neck and FB! One of the most beautiful that I've seen on a non-custom shop Fender...
  10. BS or not, the bass sounds sweet. My only concern would be the validity of his "ownership". Other than that; if you want it, get it. (GAS is serious business!) :D
  11. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    The color is brown or is just a lacquer?
    Might be a walnut Pbass, then it would be a great deal at 1000$
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    That pickup is a DiMarzio Model P, common mod done in the late 70s. $1000 would be top dollar if EVERYTHING else is 100% original. It's not a killer deal, so unless you think it's the greatest bass you ever played in your life, skip it.

    P.S. I severely doubt Phil Lesh ever set eyes on that bass.
  13. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    It's a laquer, but certainly looks 110% original. Very chocolaty/mochaish...
  14. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    Me too. I just figured he was adding in some BS to try and jack up the sale of the bass. I totally ignored it as if I didn't hear that part (prob pissed him off). Anyway, thanks for the info on the pickups. I asked him if he had the original pup and he said no. Aside from that, it looks 100% original and pretty damn mint. I may offer him $700 or $800, but I doubt he will take it cause I asked him last night if he would take less than $1000 and he said he didn't think so. For $700, I'd do it for sure. It did play nice, but honestly, the $350 Godin I was playing last night played at least as good (prob a hair better), but I'm sure that the P is in desperate need of a setup after sitting for all of these years and the strings were almost totally dead...
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A walnut P-bass would have had THREE knobs, gold hardware, a BLACK pickup and say "Precision Special" on the headstock. Yes, that would be worth the $1K.

    There was a brown "mocha" finish that was common on late 70s Fenders...I always thought it was pretty ugly. Custom colors like CAR, LPB, etc. were seldom seen. Black, white, natural, brown and sunburst are all I ever saw.