Trying to figure out what I have (it's old and looks bad)

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by TL23NC, Apr 1, 2018.

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  1. IMG_20180401_141317.jpg IMG_20180401_141255.jpg IMG_20180401_141033.jpg IMG_20180401_141023.jpg IMG_20180401_141229.jpg Hello TB. I'm usually on the BG side since that's what I play but with an upcoming move it looks like I'll finally have to let me old DB go. This was purchased for me by my parents back in the mid-60's from a used instrument dealer. I was told at the time it was at least 30 years old and had been refinished. I think the guy also said it was made in Germany. Unfortunately it fell into disrepair and hasn't been played in a very long time. Missing are strings, bridge, two tuners, saddle and tailpiece (at least). Looks like the neck was repaired. The back had started to separate years ago but seems not to be getting worse. I'm trying to figure out what to do with this beast- is it even worth fixing? I'd appreciate any guidance from the members here.
     

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  2. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Queen City of the Plains
    Krivo Pickups
    Can you post close up pictures of the top? Is there any cracking or warping, or just finish crazing and scratches? And close ups of the neck / neck joint? If a seam is open along the back of the bass, that’s not a big repair. The neck repair (and how stable the repair is) is the more important consideration.

    Assuming the bass is healthy and the neck is stable, and it needs the seam closed / strings / tuners / saddle / tailpiece / adjustable bridge / fingerboard and nut work, you’re probably looking at around $1k. See what you’re local luither thinks.
     
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  3. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    This is an American Standard, one of the most beloved models of vintage American-made plywood basses. You should be able to see a label or a large crayon serial number in the body. James Condino, a regular contributor here, should be able to help you to get this beast back on the road to being a jam session gorilla. Congratulations!
     
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  4. Thanks for your help! I'll take a look at it tomorrow and post pics but I don't think there is any serious warping right cracking of the wood. I know there has been some repair to the neck but that was never a problem in the past. I played the bass for a number of years and never had any trouble with it at all. It's unlikely I would be willing to spend any serious amount of money getting this instrument fixed up, as I'm going to be moving out of state. It's most likely I would sell it locally. Though it would be difficult for me to let it go since I've had it for so long.
     
  5. Steve, I couldn't see a label or crayon on the inside of the bass. I might check in with James since he's around a four-hour drive from here.
     
  6. IMG_20180401_215959.jpg
    I took a few more photos. It's hard for me to tell if there are any structural issues with the wood vs. just cracks in the finish. I also don't know if the neck was repaired correctly. Sorry about the image formats...
    IMG_20180401_215830.jpg IMG_20180401_220112.jpg IMG_20180401_215959.jpg
     

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  7. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    The button area break in the back plate is immediately visible. Not a big problem for James Condino. You might have people fighting to get this bass from you now. Good luck!
     
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  8. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Yup, an old American Standard with an unknown neck repair. Todd and I are in conversation about it so we'll see what becomes of the bass. I have another on the operating table getting the 75 year overhaul and neck shortened that will be for sale soon so maybe this one will jump in on the bench afterwards and get ready for a rockin' summer season. Big sound, but that 43 3/8" scale is a workout!
     
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