Why in the world would you buy this bass??? (60s Kingston)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ejaggers, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    As you all know, I’m a Mod-Aholic, and can’t leave well enough alone.
    I would at least change the electronics which is cheap.

    I can’t live with that PG and control plate but might leave the tuners alone if they work.
    I hope like hell the PUP is fine or I’d be compelled to have it rewound.

    So, tell me why this bass is a good idea.

    These old ‘60s Japanese Junkers are on eBay selling for way more than they are worth,
    and why would anyone want one anyway?

    Would you pay $100 for this?

    BTW, what color burst is this?


  2. ejaggers


    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    Okay, I got no help from the day crew.
    Night crew can you help me out???

  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I like looking at the old stuff, of all varieties. I have the basses I play and that are reliable on stage. I’m not in the market for a novelty classic like that. IF I stumbled across a nice looking bass of that era, it would depend on cost & condition and, how would it be used.

    If I thought I could flip it, I might buy it.

    I got enough stuff already.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  4. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    If I saw it in a shop for $100, I might take it for a spin, but likely wouldn't in an online sale.
    MattZilla, ejaggers and lizardking837 like this.
  5. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    $100 is really not much for a cool-looking 50 year old vintage/antique wall hanger that happens to make music as well. I'm not into such things and if I was I wouldn't pay much more, but as an affordable, collectible bit of music history it's definitely worth $100.

    I did some work one one or two in the past. Even once fixed up they don't sound amazing but they do function. Every so often you see some indie rocker show up playing one, but they don't seem to do so for long.

    As for the pick guard and control plate, I completely disagree. They are funky and part and parcel of what makes these kind of instruments unique. Take them off and unless you replace them with something equally interesting you've just got a vaguely guitar shaped piece of mid 60's plywood with a crappy pickup.

    As for rewinding the pickup, you're probably better off buying something else...

    ..as in a different bass. ;)
    jackn1202 and ejaggers like this.
  6. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    In my way of seeing it - these basses aren't for "modding" like a cheap Squier. If you are drawn to its design, its look, its history - you may be interested whatever the cost. As far as that goes, everything costs more than one would like - but if you're considering it - modding it takes away from what they inherently offer. A correct set-up is all I would consider doing on a bass like this, as long as the neck was straight and the tr works. I don't know about this specific bass, but I have been pleasantly rewarded by the sound/tone of it's relatives from the same "instrument boom" era. Are they worth the price paid? Yes, if you want it. And I personally don't consider MIJ basses from the 60's as "junkers". As always - YOMV and it is, like mine - an opinion that not everyone shares.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
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  7. Templar

    Templar Supporting Member

    I'm not into them but I get why others might be.

    Kitsch factor
    Retro vibe
    Historical interest
    Some of those old oddballs have a unique and interesting sonic footprint
    Some are just good wall hanger/conversation pieces

    The ones that catch my eye are the exotic looking variations on the Beatle basses. Never owned one but I wouldn't kick one outta bed if the price was right.
    ejaggers likes this.
  8. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I would leave it as is, though maybe shield the cavities. Add black tapes and you have a little thump machine.
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  9. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    One reason to buy a bass like that is because it’s exactly like the first bass you got when you were 12. Holding it now triggers all these intense sense memories; your first kiss, your first doobie, it helps you recapture your youth.
    MattZilla, ICM, ejaggers and 2 others like this.
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    That's a very good point. These cheap instruments launched alot of folks lifetime love of playing music, not to mention the many careers. How many stars have musical bios that start with something like "my parents bought me a cheap _____ from Montgomery Ward but it was all we could afford and I played the heck out of it until I was able to afford _____."

    Also notable is that a surprising amount of early Blues and other music being made by poor people was made on instruments like these. Alot of cats in Chicago weren't able to afford a Fender or Gibson and so something like this from a local shop or the Sears Catalog was the answer for years. And that's on top of many "better" shops around the country not even being open to people of color.
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  11. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    (sound of a door slamming)back of a head seen running away.........muttering "no...no...no no no......"
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  12. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member

    I wouldn't consider this for modding.
    It's an old vintage Japanese something or other that has its own unique vibe.
    Get it working, make it playable, repair what you can internally but keep it looking the same.
    I'd consider something like a Squier or similar for modding (as stated above), but not this.
    Oh, @GretschWretch , waddayah think?
    ejaggers likes this.
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    Why in the world would you buy this bass??? (60s Kingston)
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  14. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    It would have to be an opportune, play-before-you-pay sort of thing. If I ran across it at a local shop and it was comfy to play, frets were good, intonated properly, and sounded good, I would probably pick it up for $100. Maybe throw some tapewounds on it. Might make a nice tubby thump machine. Not something I would spring at and go out of my way for if I saw it on craigslist though.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  15. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    I wouldn't pay more than $50
    ejaggers likes this.
  16. I bought something similar for about $55 a year or two ago. To be honest, it made me smile and laugh a bit. It reminded me how far we have come in terms of introductory level instruments. That feeling was worth it to me. Funny thing, when I cleaned the pots and plugged it in to a real amp, it had a massive old school thump. I can see it being useful in certain situations.
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  17. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Not my cup of tea. I like coffee. You like tea? Hey that’s cool.

    I would never spend a single dime on anything like this.
  18. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    I'd buy it, clean it up, set it up, and play it as is. Looks like a nice little 60s Japanese shortscale. Really short.
    ejaggers likes this.
  19. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    I wouldn't buy it at all. They were cheap, plywood garbage then and they still are. ;)
  20. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    Feb 19, 2019
    i wouldn't give that much for it, but yeah, i'd buy it.. re-plate all of the trim.. cut a new pickguard.. completely rebuild the neck.. replace the electronics with new retro stuff.. and end up with a cool little thumper.
    ejaggers likes this.