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To restore or not to restore...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bunker, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Haha, my BB-2000 looks far worse than that! I'd rock it as is.
    bunker likes this.
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    after seeing the pics: i'm with the majority = leave it alone! looks great. looks like some other parts might need some attention though --- good luck on your 'fixer upper'! :thumbsup:
    bunker and eadg98005 like this.
  3. kentiki


    May 14, 2008
    A refin of an original finish always lowers the value.


    As far as I can tell, if you're taking into account the value rather than just want to do whatever to your own instrument, the only time a refin becomes viable is when the bass has already had the original finish removed or has been refinished.

    And this.

    Finally, if you aren't worried about the value, go for it.
    bunker likes this.
  4. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Great looking basses! I love my BB1200, it's the same era as yours but it's a sunburst. One suggestion, I don't think those are the original knobs on the BB1200, mine has Gibson-style speed knobs, that might spruce it up a little for very small cost.
    Here's an example 1979 Yamaha BB 1200 Bass Natural

    EDIT: here's another example with similar knobs as yours, Vintage 1979 Yamaha BB1200 Bass Guitar w/ Original Hardshell Case. I had never seen the green color, either. I'm partial to the speed knobs, but I've owned my BB1200 since 1982, so maybe I'm biased. It was the first "good" bass I ever owned.
    bunker and eadg98005 like this.
  5. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    Thanks again for your replies. I'm with the general consensus to leave as is. If I were to go for a refinish it would be tinted clear as it is now to keep it as original as possible. Thats the plan for the Westone.

    I'll deffo get some more pics up soon including my second longest serving bass, my 1985 Was Custom Mk1 with wedge facings. It's been living with me for the past 19 years but whoever owned it in the past must have played it 10 hrs a day, seven days a week for the first 15 years of its life. And knocked a few nails in with it too. Wal fans might want to look the other way...
    wraub likes this.
  6. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    Yeah I had a feeling they should be the Yamaha speed knobs. Love those original touches.

    Re the holes... I've seen photos with a funky rectangular pick guard in clear acrylic on a contemporary BB1200 and 4 of the holes line up and actually had the screws still in the holes. Two of the others are looking favourite for a thumb rest towards the neck which leave two, directly in line between the pup and neck? Maybe someone added one of those big chrome covers at some point? unexplained??
  7. I have a 1200...almost mint. Were I you, I would find original control knobs and call it a day. BTW, congratulations on having one of the finest "P" basses ever!
    bunker likes this.
  8. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    Good call Sir! My longest standing bass is a MIM precision in Candy Apple Red I bought new in 1993. It was my first 'real' bass and I used it up until around '00 when I got the Wal. The P got loaned to a musician cousin for years and came back all the worse for it. It's in pieces upstairs but that's a project for another day.. Which brings be to the BB.. yeah man!! I've not played a P bass in donkeys years and now its strung and set up it taken me right back! Bit of a step change from the Aria's I've been playing for the past few years in terms of string spacing and as I play finger style the Aria is super comfy. The SB900 especially as I can rest my thumb on the bridge pup where as on the 1000 I'm reaching back a bit further. The BB is easy enough to get close enough to the bridge and still keep may hand balanced. Mind you I've got big hands so that helps.
    eadg98005 likes this.
  9. I’d leave the Yammy alone with the possible extravagant exception of having the proprietary bridge rechromed or replaced with a used one in much better shape. I’m sceptical that you can buff it out as it looks like it’s pitted.
    bunker likes this.
  10. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    I decided to do the brass one on the SB900 instead. A couple of grades of sandpaper, Bridge 1.JPG Bridge 2.JPG Bridge 3.JPG Bridge 4.JPG Bridge 5.JPG some wire wool and finished off with Brasso.
    wraub and Rojd like this.
  11. It’s not that bad, I’d leave it as is, other than cleaning. It’s got a nice patina going on there. Classic.
  12. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Please leave that poor Yamaha alone :D and just play it.. It's a looker imo.

    Great job on that bridge. :)
    Marc DLarosa likes this.
  13. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    BB is done! Those pics are after cleaning. I just stuck a set of strings on and away I've been! Ive not touched the bridge on the BB yet. It's playing like a beaut. Great for slapping on too!
    wraub likes this.
  14. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    As much of of advocate for "leave it as it is/MOJO rules"... if it's beat up, and bothering You. And... You plan on keeping it... do as You will!!! Case in point, my #1, of anything EVER made. My '79 Sabre. Got Her in '88. She had been painted (Like Pepto Bismol, 20190314_184029_2. and not a very good job) PINK!!! Refinished Her myself,and My Cousin, who then owned a body shop, had the poly sprayed.

    Restoration, is making it as close to ORIGINAL as possible (and the "value" is no longer there). If You intend to KEEP it, make it YOURS. Just My 2c.

    You'd have to pry Her from my cold/dead hands...

    So... whatever You decide to do, do Your best. She may be the surprise of Your life, or not.
    bunker likes this.
  15. mc900ftj


    Jan 21, 2014
    I'd just love it as-is.
    Marc DLarosa likes this.
  16. I owned two 1200's back in the day, but they were the sunbursts. Fabulous basses, stout as hell. I'd contact Yamaha in Buena Park and inquire IF the original bridge and the two clear/numbered knobs can still be had. Harder still will be finding the tiny spanner wrench that loosens/tightens the tension on the tuning keys. . . . . . Yamaha amazingly keeps a lot of NOS parts, so you never know.

    BTW, this generation BB is not Matsumoku, but by Yamaha Guitar Craft, the Japanese home of this and its' two brothers introduced at the same time, the remarkable SG2000 solid body guitar, and the SA2000, the best 335 you've never played. Incredible instruments.

    And I'm in the 'clean it up, leave it alone' camp. It just LOOKS funny with Fender knobs . . . . .
  17. StatesideRambler


    Jul 1, 2015
    Good God, I wish people would stop pretending that every bass ever built is a precious museum piece. If the mass produced, commodity instrument you have in hand would make you happier if it had a new finish, new electronics or what have you, then, by all means, make it into the instrument you want! If future value is your first concern then put the bloody thing into a case in the closet with a humidity controller and leave it there.
    Marc DLarosa likes this.
  18. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    First off, your bass is far from beat IMHO.
    Second, What anyone does is their business. While in some cases altering a rare and valuable original might call into question one's sanity, few are in that category.
    Here's one I restored, the finish looked like Donkey dung when I got it and was missing much original hardware.
    Very conservative with vintage flavor without being phony or gaudy IMO. Some I would never touch, This one I opted to.,YMMV.
  19. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    Cheers Copperhead! I always welcome positive comments! Did you attach a pic of yours?
  20. bunker


    May 7, 2011
    So is it sporting an unoriginal bridge? Or just saying mine is too far gone to clean up? Cheers!

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