Yep, I am no longer the oldest in the house! I got my hands on a L-series Fender Jazz Bass. All parts are genuine except the body got a refinish in 1966. The original owner didn’t like the sunburst and spray painted it in an electron green lacquer. Too bad, … but still an exceptional instrument!
Besides the refin it is in a good condition. I like the dark rosewood fretboard, over the years it became glossy and even like an ebony board. The first owner installed a little ‘thingy” at the back of the headstock as a replacement for the strap lock you usually can find on these old basses. I also noticed the type of capacitor used with the electronics is stamped on the back of the headstock. First time I see something like this on a vintage instrument.
It is an L-series serial number and the neck stamp reads: 7 JUNE 1964 A. The seven is code for Jazz Bass (not the day of the month) , the first number indicates what type instrument it is followed by the month and year of production. The “A” indicates it is a narrow neck (measured at the nut). “B” or “C” would be code for “Standard” or “Wide” neck.
I haven’t checked the pickups yet. Over the years the pick guard did shrink a little bit and they seem to be pretty tight around the pups. The guard is still in one piece (no chipping or cracks) and I intend to keep it that way.
I am stoked with this one. A players grade bass with a good sound and a fast playing neck. Slap it away…!
When it comes to guitars there such a thing as seller’s remorse ? Yes there is. Over the past 25 years I acquired many guitars and basses. I sold many of them for various reasons. Sometimes to finance another purchase and sometimes because I was just “stupid” me.
Few times I suffer from seller’s remorse when I see the value of a particular guitar/amp going up, way up. Most times I regret because I got emotionally attached to a particular instrument but my chronic disease called G.A.S. made me do it. Addicted people don’t think reasonably.
On the other hand I was lucky to purchase rare and vintage stuff at almost no cost. A bargain if the seller is desperate to part with his/her gear or in most cases is not aware of the actual value. I had a lucky buy every now and then… Anyway, here are some of my remorses and lucky strikes:
(If I mention any value it is including VAT – 21%)
The Gibson Guitars…
The Gibson ES-335 Natural. I am hunting all corners of the world for this one. I want it back! This ES has the most crazy birdseye top, -back and -sides I have ever seen. It is an “ordinary” 335 from the Memphis factory but the looks are so great. Every picture I took couldn’t capture the beauty of the guitar. It would vary from a white pale color to dark maple. Whoever has it…I want it back. (Sold it at the time for €2500/$2880)
In 2009 I got a couple of Gibson SG Zoot Suits. When hurricane Katrina flooded the Gibson facilities the production of this guitar came to an early ending. These guitars are made of different coloured layers of wood, pressed together and then the guitar is routed out. As far as I know it is the only SG in perfect balance. No neck dive on these rockers. Later on I acquired a pristine “Rainbow” and a “Blue/Red” on Ebay. (I sold these for €850/$980)
Big remorse over the Gibson ES-335 Chris Cornell in Satin Black. In 2013 I bought both the black and the olive drab version of these superb guitars. Shop price at the time was €2200/$2500 (including 21% VAT). After Chris Cornell passed away these instruments tripled in value (or more). In 2019 Gibson did a reissue but only in Olive Green (shop price €3500). Sold the black one for €2500/$2800. I did a review on the 2013 and 2019 Cornells: here
A decade ago I traded a Fender Stratocaster for a vintage Marshall Super Lead (SLP) from 1969. Until 1973 all Marshall amps were hand wired. This one was in excellent condition. The standby switch was replaced in the seventies, just loaded it up with NOS tubes and the beast roars again. Got a free tinnitus with it! Loud as hell. The same period I got a Marshall Silver Jubilee(1987) and a Jubilee (1989) amp head for peanuts. Loud is more cheap! I got all the crunch I need …forever.
Marshall 1987x-pw. The signature amp of the Father of Mod: Paul Weller. A very limited number (about 70 amps) were produced and the profits went to charity. I reviewed this one earlier. Picked it up in the UK for under €1000/$1150.
Coup de Fender!
Fender Telecaster Custom Shop 1998 (1 of 20). These Tele’s were dealer select for Sam Ash Music. The store chain is long out of business. There were only twenty made, each in a different color. I got number one in a purple finish. The neck is made of quilted maple and it has a pearloid pickguard. I keep it in close range as my go to guitar. Bought it second hand for €900/$980. A steal!
Found a Fender Pro Junior (made in US – 1992) at a flea market. Works perfect, only 50 euros.
Remorse: LAG Keziah Jones signature. Made in France, solid body guitar with nylon strings and a piezo pickup. very well suited for jazz or rhythmic chops. Well… it is gone. Sold it for €750/$870…
… to be the owner of a Duesenberg Starplayer TV – Ice Pearl. Picked it up brand new for €2000/$2300 including VAT. Also known as the Ron Wood guitar. Superior German quality and playability. The Duesenberg Trem system is way more stable than a Bigsby. Semi-hollow goodness and whoever wants it shall have to take it from my cold dead hands. I never part with this one. Actual store price is over €4000/$4625.
The list does not come to an end… But if you have an ES-335 in birdseye maple I’ll be on your doorstep soon!
Dealers and manufacturers of musical instruments have to pay fines amounting to millions because of price fixing and price fixing agreements. According to the Bundeskartellamt, fines totalling around 21 million euros were imposed on the companies and their responsible employees. The manufacturers were charged with vertical price fixing and the dealers with horizontal price fixing in several cases.
The dealers in question are Thomann GmbH and Music Store Professional GmbH. The manufacturers, or their distribution companies, are Yamaha Music Europe GmbH, Roland Germany GmbH and Fender Musical Instruments GmbH. The proceedings were initiated in April 2018.
Manufacturers enforced minimum prices!
According to the Bundeskartellamt, there had been agreement between the manufacturers of musical instruments and the retailers to implement the manufacturers’ minimum price specifications. When Thomann and Music Store had fallen below the minimum prices, responsible employees of Yamaha, Roland and Fender had contacted the dealers several times and asked them to adjust their prices. These adjustments were then also made.
“In isolated cases, sanctions such as a delivery stop or a reduction in conditions were threatened or imposed. For some of the products, on the other hand, there was no or only sporadic enforcement or monitoring of the specified minimum prices,” the Cartel Office” said.
Thomann and Music Store had, however, also demanded that other instrument dealers comply with the minimum prices by complaining to the manufacturers. In addition, there had also been indications of price agreements between the two dealers. In 13 cases, there had been agreements on price increases for individual musical instruments or complementary products.
“For years, manufacturers and dealers of musical instruments have systematically worked to restrict price competition vis-à-vis end consumers,” explained Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt. “With the fines imposed, the Bundeskartellamt is sending a clear signal not only to the companies concerned but also to the entire musical instrument sector that infringements of the ban on fixed prices and price fixing will not be tolerated.”
The manufacturers and dealers had cooperated extensively with the Bundeskartellamt in clarifying the agreements – this circumstance had been taken into account when setting the fines. The proceedings were finally concluded by amicable termination.
In 2013 Jason Smith from the Fender Custom Shop created an oddball! A bass guitar with everything from somewhere else. The headstock of a Fender Coronado, the bridge from a Guild, Pickups from a Danelectro… combined with an offset Bass VI body. The Fender Rascal is the “Frankenstein” among bass guitars.
This weird bird was a huge success at the music trade shows and Fender decided to put it in production as part of the Mexican “Classic Player” series. It is a four string short scale bass with lipstick pickups. A bass with guitar pickups? Yes, and the sonic range is awesome! Besides the “normal” five position switch you can expand your tonal range with another two by pulling the volume knob.
I like these oddballs, they look cool, play great and sound fantastic! For the demo I plugged this one into a vintage (1969) Marshall SLP and a 4×12 Marshall cab. To my ears it sounded great. It has a very old skool sound, almost like an upright bass. As Antoine says at the end of the demo: “it is not a slapper bass”, … but for anything else it will do the job and make you look cool!
I am suffering a severe case of GAS! Gear Acquisition Syndrome and I know I am not the only patient struck with this disease. Guitars come and guitars go… as a collector I have a constant flow of gear coming in and every now and then some things have to go. Stay tuned to this site for gear reviews, demo’s and other silly stuff. I’ll post regular updates and items I put up for sale. Please check out Pro Guitar Center on Youtube and social media: