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Should I tidy up the control plate on this pre-EB Stringray?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lindsay, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. I've just pulled the trigger on a pre-Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray. It's in top condition other than the appearance of the control plate and knobs which are tarnished, probably due to a leaking battery.

    The question is: should I leave it as is or have the control plate and knobs restored?

    If I do have the control plates and knobs restored, how should I go about it (or who should do it) to ensure I retain the maximum value?


    Thanks in advance!
  2. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well the battery compartment is on the back of the bass. No way I can see a leaking battery oxidize the front chrome plate without destroying the finish.

    You can have a chrome plating shop restore the plate and knobs if their appearance really bothers you that much. No it won't affect value...the value is that those knobs are still in place, because they are impossible to find replacements. The plate itself is the same plate used today and can be bought from EBMM for 30 dollars.

    Pretty bass though! late '79 or '80?
  3. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    That looks like extensive sweat damage to me, although I'd expect to see more of the same on the bridge too, so who knows. It's all part of the mojo of owning an old bass IMO and I'd stick with it. If it bothers you I'd replace with new parts because if you ever come to sell it the next owner might like the wear.
  4. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    My 78 was like that... maybe not quite as much... I'd leave it.

    Nice bass btw...
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    I think it looks fine this way. Truely a relic.
  6. If it we I, I would leave it alone. It looks pretty cool. If you MUST have shiny new parts, go ahead and replace them. As long as you keep the old parts, and don't have to do any modifications (like drilling new holes), the bass can easily be "restored" to it's original condition.
  7. DrSmaggs


    Oct 15, 2003
    Endorsing Artist:
    It's a relic... I would leave it be if it was my EBMM
  8. Only thing i would change are the mute pads if they are hard and crumbly!
  9. weekend warrior

    weekend warrior Inactive Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2009
    If it aint broke,dont fix it.
  10. It was sold as a 76 (based on the pots) but the serial number is from 79. It's a closet classic - played briefly then put in away until recently. The neck seems to be straight and the action is low.

    Thanks for the input. I will absolutely change the mute pads.
  11. Completely your decision. If you want to restore the unit to a newish look, then some good cleaner (Flitz), or a new part will get what your looking for.

    If your looking to let the insturment age with grace and show off its mojo. Then from a collectors perspective, leave the patina intact.

    Bottom line in my opinion is it's still a beautiful looking bass either way.
  12. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    id leave it alone as well.
    i love a bass that actually looks played.
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i'd leave it complelety original. IMO, replating them would affect it's value (and its mojo).
    as far as it being a '76, it definitely isn't . the '76's had very small frets in them, so i'd think it's more like a '79.
  14. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I'd remove that thumb rest and leave the rest alone.


    Aug 1, 2010
    I like it... they match the bridge and give it a cool old school vibe (for a Stingray)
  16. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I vote leave it alone, or, store those parts and buy replacements; refinishing the originals can only lower its' value.

    If you don't mind sharing; what's a beauty like that sell for?
  17. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    I would sell myself into prostitution for a year to own that. Dont touch it! If you must, replace those parts and keep the originals.
  18. OldHack


    Jan 3, 2005
    Leave it. think coin collections. Never shine those up. Looks great in my eyes anyways! Congrats on her!

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    A true relic.

    Keep it as it is.
  20. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    No chrome replating won't affect value, vintage MM's aren't scutinized like old Fenders. We have watched countless restored preEB's sell for the exact same as untouched basses for several years now. All that matters is that the original parts are there. Why? because replacement parts markets don't exist for preEB MM's like markets do for duplicate Fender parts. Same way I've seen refinished F Basses sell for same as original.
    Of course I'd leave it as is.

    As far as the year: the 76 to late 78 basses have the serials stamped on the neckplate and have B00xxxx serial numbers. The end of 78 is when the serials were moved to the bridge and B01 numbers, also the bridge got the "MusicMan" script logo. There were also several variations of the string through bridge, and this bass has the last revision where strings go straight in the holes instead of curling under the intonation screws.
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