What would you do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by thlayli, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Okay, somewhat hypothetical situation if you want to chew on it:

    Let's say you've got this natural maple '73 P-bass. The frets are worn and consequently buzz like a wasp nest and fret out the string when you attempt to play certain notes... the original pickguard has been replaced because the end of it shattered, and the original pickup stopped working a while back and was consequently replaced with an EMG.

    Furthermore, let's say that you don't like playing it because of the aforementioned bad frets, and because you don't like the contour of the back of the neck. You have a couple other basses, so you consequently haven't even picked this one up in over a year.

    What would you do in this situation?
  2. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Find a way to sell it. Will it really appreciate that much in value?
    EDIT: unless it was my first ever bass which I had bought new back in '73, and it has a sentimental value to me.
  3. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    Stick it under the bed for my retirement fund!!!
  4. Iritan


    Jun 3, 2005
    Wilmington, N.C.
    I personally, would keep going the same way. If I don't like the feeling of what I play, or I don't like to play my bass at all, I won't play it. But it being from 1973 I can imagine the thing has a lot of memories stored in it from it's more glorious days. And it should have sentimental value, therefore, I'd go out, buy a wall hanger for it, and prop that baby up where everyone can see the hardship and glory it's experienced. But I'd probably never play it again.
  5. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Well, my big problem... since there's no reason to hide that it's not exactly hypothetical... is that it's not my bass (belongs to my brother) and somebody one time put it into his head that it'd be worth more to one of those slimy "collector" types with the original parts on it. Which, in turn, is why it hasn't just been refretted or sold.

    Being selfish, I'd rather see him get it refretted (or do it himself/myself) just to keep it around (never know when a P might come in handy for recording), but as for selling... well, that idea that it could be worth something is a notion he can't get out of his head.

    Personally, I don't think it'll appreciate all that much, if any.
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Either get the fret job and keep/sell it as a player, or....well, that's really the only thing.

    It's not gonna be a retirement fund. It's nowhere close to the kind of condition or close enough to stock to pass for an investment grade guitar. At this point you're not going to reduce the value by having a good fretjob done to it.

    You could keep your eyes out for parts that are period correct...and replace them when you can find them until it's sale-worthy at a price you might like...

    Do you have the original pickups? If so, get them re-wound.
  7. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Heh. "good" fretjob definitely meaning "not done by either one of us". :D

    I'm sure we could find the original pickup, being pack-rats that don't throw things away. I'll just have to de-notionify him as to it being anything more than a nice older bass.

    On the plus side... it is my age. It's nice to be able to say I've got a bass my age around.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I think you need to think more clearly about the reasons why you don't like the instrument...

    If it's just because some of the parts are worn out and need replacement, that's not something intrinsic to the instrument, i.e. a defining characteristic that makes it what it is. In which case, simply have the work done on it. It'll make it playable - ifyou choose to play it. And make it more saleable in case your brother chooses to cash out. I agree with BurningSkies - it lost its investment value a long time ago. The remaining value would be either sentimental (if any) or practical - as a player...

    However, you also mentioned that you dislike the contour of the neck. That is an intrinsic quality of the instrument - and would probably require major surgery to change, if even feasible at all. In which case, maybe you just don't like P basses. And if so, why hang onto it at all?

  9. thlayli


    May 8, 2005
    Cross Lanes, WV
    Exactly. I'll try to talk to him about it, see what he thinks. May be a post elsewhere on these boards about this sometime in the future. This is also, not coincidentally, why I recently ruled out a Warmoth build.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Here's the deal...I have a 1973 Precision. It's all original, but has the condition of a well loved bass of this age...just finish wear. Back in 2000 I paid $700 for mine, and would expect it to be in the $1000-1300 range these days.

    In the condition yours is right now, I'd think it's probably in the $700-800 dollar range.

    By a good fret job, I mean take it to someone who's not just competent, but good. DON'T do it yourself if you've never done one...this isn't an $80 SX. You can do damage to the fretboard by removing the frets poorly. Then you've got a P bass body to sell and some parts. I would hold on to it and start looking for parts...with some investment you could have a decent playing bass for someone.