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Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by kurosawa, Nov 6, 2013.

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  1. This is a SQ-series MIJ Squier P with TI nickel flats, Fralin 5% overwound pickup, Babicz bridge, black-red-black Warmoth pickguard, Angela wiring kit, pickguard shield, handcut graphite nut (gauged specifically for TI flats and cut so only half the string diameter is buried in the nut, also spaced equally between strings, not between string centers), rather fresh home fret leveling/crowning that I'm kinda proud of, Dunlop inset strap buttons, neoprene strap, SKB rectangular molded plastic case (please note it no longer has the Gotoh 201 nor the '62 RI pickup). I thought I'd go to the grave with this magic plank. But I need a divorce lawyer, so all my bass equipment is for sale. $500 plus shipping. My ZIP is 23693 if you want to get a shipping estimate. You will save a bundle if you have it sent to your workplace or other commercial address. My PayPal is kkurosawa@gmail.com

    Here's what I posted on FB about it, written for non-players, but I don't have time to redo it:

    Years ago, there was a huge bass shop online, I mean the inventory was huge, mostly used. The Bass Palace was run by a guy who called himself The Swami. I never got there in person, but there was something really different about the site, and that was the Swami's habit of every once in a while writing in the description "This is The One" or maybe he'd write "Reeks of Oneness" or "Nearly The One" or some such.

    After reading hundreds, maybe thousands of his listings, I finally figured out that he was talking about magic wood. We used to laugh about it at work. There was a guy I always teased about magic wood, and we'd argue about elves who lived in the trees and stuff. But really, haven't we all played basses that were either much more or much less than our eyes and brains told us to expect? Basses where, unlike the majority of basses, the whole was much greater or less than the sum of the parts?

    And I was pretty poor when I was trying to figure out tone wood and this weird site, so I read every posting for months, all basses I couldn't afford, trying to decipher the mystery. And then a MIJ Squier popped up with The Swami's pronouncement of Oneness all over it. I sweated it because even $350 was a big deal. And when I got paid, I bought it. The first thing I noticed was the heinous slop in the neck joint. It was loose as a goose, I'd say a good 1/32", maybe even 3/64" of slop there. I thought, well if this is Japanese, then they have started hiring the handicapped, or illegal aliens or something. And it had a Bart in there. I wasn't familiar with Bart P pickups. But it sounded meaty and loud as hell unplugged, so I plugged it up and yes, it was The One. The years often color our memories brighter, but this was better than my dearly departed blue claydot '63.

    They inactivated my band in July 1991 and when I got to my new band, I was told to get what I wanted in a bass, so after looking at the book I said I needed a 5 with actives, and someone said to order a Ken Smith and I said sure, OK, so I ended up with one of those equal-length-horn neck-through basses he used to make that I ordered sight unseen and in the crush of deadlines. It was the only one they had in stock and we had to go to Saudi and Kuwait the Thanksgiving after Desert Storm and play for the troops who got left behind, so I didn't get my choice of woods, but it was a gorgeous plank anyway and played like you'd expect a $2500 bass to play. Now this is what most basses are like, they play like what you expect. Normally you can buy a US '62 or '57 RI through the mail as I've done and it is what it is, no more or less.

    And most cheap planks are what you'd expect, too. I mean if I'm getting something made of agathis or poplar or basswood or nato, then I figure it's gonna suck to some degree or another, at least in comparison to something that can dish up any sound I want, like alder, or maybe maple over mahogany (I hate poplar; I had a bass with dead spots; I'd gone through a few necks and always the dead spots would drop the fundamental, leaving behind that harmonic an octave or two plus a fifth up, and when I finally threw out the body, I was fine).

    But back to my cheap P. I like it for this example because there's no mystique to its construction. We know what matters. A production P-bass with lateral slop in the neck joint can be "just as good" as a boutique bass where the neck has to be hammered out of the pocket with the heel of the hand. It can be even better if the wood is better, 'cause a bolt-on is a bolt-on, the wood that makes the P sound is what it is, same wood same sound.

    The same quality of bridges is available, the same quality of pickups (this plank now wears an early 70s pickup, but it's nowhere near as good as a '62 RI pickup and if I can find that pickup I'll put it back in), it has Thomastik flats, a Gotoh bridge (I'll guess a Babicz is heavier and put one of those on to fix neck dive), it has a graphite nut (I cut several for different kinds of strings using number and letter drill bits for files to get perfect sizing), the neck changes all the time with the weather but it's part of the sound (one tour I had to take the neck off daily to readjust, that's why I had to shim the neck pocket with some knifemaker's vulcanized fiber material), and there's a Hipshot 3-string retainer on it that it seems the Thomastik A string needs.

    Sorry about the gory detail, but I see some bolt-ons out there going for over 2 grand, and I have access to the same hardware and strings and nut material and pickups that the boutiques have, maybe not figured woods and great paint and a 21st fret, but that doesn't affect the sound, so this is a good example because a bolt-on kills the mystique of builder magic pretty fast. Functionally speaking, for a bolt-on, it all comes down to the plank, the unique piece of wood that nature made without a thought in her mind about what name was going to get put on the headstock.

    So let me say, OK, if you don't believe that accidents of nature can make a few trees noticeably better tone wood than others, then just go by price, weeding out the ripoff models. But if you have played planks that are way better and way worse than you expected, maybe you'll pluck a string on every bass you pass by, cheap or not, just to make sure The One doesn't get away from you.

    PS, http://www.thebasspalace.com is still alive, smaller, but still there.

    Attached Files:

  2. OK, I found the Hipshot B bridge that really ought to be on it instead of the Babicz. It is the real classic tin bridge sound and the Babicz is not, plus it has slots instead of holes for stringing, fast and no wear and tear on the strings being swapped. Have a spare broken-in set of TI jazz flats somewhere, they're part of this when found.
  3. I need to take and post more pics. I told someone yesterday I'd do that and here I am getting ready to wash dishes and cook breakfast for the kids and put them on the bus and drive 2 amps down to Virginia Beach and try to get some bass boxes from GC and get the car inspected and get a tooth pulled, trying to get all that squished into one day plus bass pics.

    Anyway, weight is 8 lb, 1 oz, I forgot that until I saw it on my profile page.

    Reason it's priced like a MIJ Squier with a case and a Babicz and a Fralin is because that's what it is. Someone on here explained pricing very well. Things are priced according to what they ARE, not how they sound.

    I was frantic to get this bass and kept hoping no one would get to it before me. When the Swami says a bass is The One, he doesn't fool around. It took I think it was 3 agonizing weeks for me to get the money but my luck held. At least I got to play it for a while.

    Here are pics of the red vulcanized fiber neck shims that I was asked about. Tight. Might be hard to see the one on the E string side, the color is washed out in the photo.

    Attached Files:

  4. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    If I hadn't just bought an Ampeg V4-B this week, I'd be all over this. I love cheap basses that just kill. If it hasn't sold in a week or so, I might have to jump on it.
  5. OK, and congratulations on the amp!
  6. How do you like the Babicz bridge, I am looking to buy one??
  7. Babicz buids a good bridge. It's bulky. You might not like that. But it's loud. That's always a good sign. And it's very punchy compared to zinc or brass, which in addition sound kind of scooped. Aluminum is nice. It sounds a lot like the bent tin bridge, but of course it offers stability and adjustability. All bridges sustain plenty, including bent tin. I have no idea why people fixate on sustain. What I'm looking for is a bridge that faithfully transmits explosive attack. But my favorite aluminum bridge is the Hipshot B because I hate threading strings through holes. I think that's bad for the strings, at least if you swap them back and forth.
  8. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    1/32" gap in a neck pocket is hardly slop.
  9. Well, it is if you have an old-style neck that needs to be unscrewed from the body to adjust neck relief. In that case, you have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the neck will return to the same position when it's tightened down, or your intonation might be off by just enough to drive some semi-obsessive ears like mine nuts. I was going to have relief for neck adjustment milled into the body and pickguard by WalterW, but I never got around to it. That would have been best. Anyway, the gap is unsightly, and the tiny bit of red liner is like a touch of lipstick on a righteous babe.
  10. Rocktometrist


    Oct 3, 2012
    That was a long story, but what I think I got out of it was...if I join the military, they'll buy me a Ken Smith? I wonder if they need any out of shape 40-year-old dudes with authority issues? :) LOL
  11. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Bass Palace reference bump. Dealing with Bob was always an adventure. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes not. Don't know whatever happened to his right hand man, who was a nice guy and shared in the Swami's religion of oneness.
  12. The Air Force runs its music program differently from the other branches. You audition in ready to hit the ground running. I don't know if it's still good, but used to be they'd pay for private lessons with whomever would accept you. Had a trainee who was restationed at the now-defunct March AFB Band in Riverside CA and they paid for his lessons with Stanley Clarke. See, USAF Bands are fully independent squadrons. Years ago, Col Howard made it so because you can't very well have a jazz band rehearsal with your drummer detailed out to mow the general's lawn and your piano picker washing his car. And sooner or later music quality is gonna take a back seat to someone's pet project.

    USA, USN, and USMC had the Tri-Service School of Music at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base but I think now they're split into an Army and a Navy School of Music roughly collocated. Anyway, you audition in at a lower skill level and undergo 21 weeks of training at those schools.

    I spoke with a USMC band officer and she said her band got the call, dropped their axes and picked up their rifles and went to the sandbox to do sentry duty. All Marines are riflemen first and foremost. Army, too, I suspect. Most bands are at HQ bases with decent hospitals but the Army has or had one in Korea and it's a remote assignment, can't take your family. Navy's got it a bit easier and they had or have cool things like a steel band that works out of NO but they have to put their time in on ships.

    Well we packed up our gear Thanksgiving 1991 and played for the troops over there, and as I was leaving, bands were deploying, and now it seems there's a CENTAF Band over there. Things change, ya know.

    And things are different for the special bands, extra rank, global travel, and most of those work out of DC 'cause there's a lot of ceremonial work there. And they have the best budgets.

    Even though things aren't the same any more with widespread reductions in numbers and money, the military band programs have lasted a lot longer than I thought they would.

    It's a civilized life, or was. Go to work, rehearse and/or do paperwork (yah, it's the government, ya know, and maybe more in the Air Force because those bands are, as mentioned, independent units with their own supply and ops and admin sections). Tour and gig. And when you're off, you're off.

    Wouldn't trade my 28 years spankin' the plank for Uncle Sam for anything else if I could.
  13. Yah, Oneness. I think the Swami still holds a bunch in his stash. I'm guessing they're mostly very old L-1000s. Seems to be his plank of choice. Hasn't offered anything labeled with Oneness recently that I've seen.
  14. Bump. Will probably sell Babicz, rectangular Plastic SKB case, and overwound Fralin separately. That would drop basic bass price.
  15. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    If you were to sell the bass sans the pu, bridge and case, what would you be looking for out of it?
  16. TEMPORARY PRICE DROP: Right now things suck, can't afford to get this tooth pulled, need food for the kids. So I'll sell the bass as described for $400 plus shipping, that's a $100 drop.
  17. *** SOLD ***

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