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Vintage basses: refins and tone

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dukeplaysbass, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    OK, I've watched you cats bat around the question of vintage axes and what they're worth (or not).

    This is NOT what I'm asking about.

    I dig vintage axes. Let's get that out of the way.

    I just got a 59 P here. It's got some wear on the body. It sounds HUGE and plays great. I'd like to keep it.


    It's ugly. It's was stripped and stained brown a long time ago and it just hurts to look at. (Original tort guard, btw).

    So, I really want to refin it. Not sure of the color, but that doesn't matter.

    This bass sounds sooooo good -- and I don't want to do anything that might affect the tone.

    Anybody here have DIRECT knowledge of a refin affecting tone? By that, I mean, if you had a bass that you refinned yourself (or paid someone else to do it) and you got it back, did it change the tone at all?

    Please, I don't want to hear about Eddie Van Halen's guitar back in the late 70s and all that -- I want to hear YOUR story about YOUR axe and what the differences before and after were.

  2. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    No difference in tone for me, I used a nitro finish, to replace another worn nitro finish.

    I thought the 59 had the gold PG?
  3. dukeplaysbass

    dukeplaysbass Supporting Member

    They switched in mid-59 from gold to tort.

    What was the bass you refinned?
  4. No difference on a '63 P bass that I restored to its original Fiesta Red.

    BTW...how many screw holes in your tort guard, Tris?
  5. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    61 Fender Jazz:bag:
  6. cripula


    Dec 20, 2006
    I have re-refinned a couple of old basses. In both cases they sounded better after the refin than before. One had been coated in thick poly and the other had been sprayed with some sort of house enamel. Both have very thin coats of nitrocellulose now. They sound great.
  7. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    I've re-finned two 76 Thunderbirds (both were wrecks) to poly, it has no effect on the tone. Go for it :)
  8. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Have you pulled the pickguard or taken a look in the neck pocket to see if you can find a trace of the original finish at all? Even with a strip and stain job you can find a trace of the original finish in the pickup cavity or other spots unless they did some dip stripping technique. As for refinishing in a vintage spec nitro you can do that, and I don't think it will impact your tone in a negative way.
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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