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Ever highly customised a valuable bass (and ruined it's "Value")?


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Hi all!

I'm looking into having a LOT of work done to a high-end bass, which will completely ruin it's value on the second-hand market, but will be absolutely perfect for me. Just wondering if anyone else has made any serious, irreversible mods to valuable equipment in the pursuit of their ideal bass? If so, I'd love to see pictures!

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I've never done irreversible mods but I changed the pickguard on a Fender Masterbuilt once!
If you are really not bothered about ruining it's resale price then go for it if it gives you what you really want.

Can't wait to see some pics on this subject!

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I guess if you're sure the mods aren't available elsewhere,  and that you couldn't access exactly what you want by selling what you have (what is it?!), then I'd just go for it. Justbe confident the mods will give you what you want...

If you have something like a Wal or vintage Fender, it might not make any economic sense,  but it's you that has to play it!

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 Sorry,  just realised I'd not answered your Q. I haven't done it,  but I'd definitely consider it,  although when I've been in that position before I've generally sold/replaced to get what I'm looking for.  

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There was definitely no other way around it. I spec'd up a bass design when I was 17 based on a Pedulla Rapture - I love that they're not a copy of any other design, have their own modern shape, with the fastest neck I've ever played.

As they're as rare as rockinghorse-poo, I finally got one a few months ago (I'm 30 now). In that time some of the hardware I've wanted has stopped being made, started being made again, and is on a LONG back-order list. 

The only downside is the finish I was going to aim for (Olympic white + Tortoiseshell pickguard), I now have on a P-bass, so I'm not going to make any changes until I know how I want it to look as well, as it might as well all get done around the same time. 

I'll definitely be updating you folk on the forums, though!

 

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Practically, the bass I want doesn't exist without compromise in one, if not several areas. Also, work on the bass I have (Including buying it) is cheaper than having one built from scratch. Plus, most of the luthiers I found that could come anywhere close to the price only offer variations on one of their set designs - Not custom work. 

This is purely to see if anyone has done something else considered so sacrilegious, and to see how it turned out.

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No such thing as "sacrilege". It's your instrument and you are free to do as you wish with it. If you are certain you won't want to try to realise the collectible value (which is dependent on fad/fashion and can often change) for it at a later date and it will make it perfect for you, that sounds the way to go. We're not talking about a Strad here, after all.

Bear in mind that we tend to find that our "perfect" changes over time. 

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which Luthiers have you tried? I would suggest contacting @Andyjr1515 as you might find that he can build you the bass of your dreams for less than you would imagine, my bass is being built to a sketch i made on the back of an envelope (well it was a bit of A4 i pilfered from the printer at work but it could just as easily been an envelope) you might have to wait a few months before it's started but if you browse the build threads you will find many beautiful basses made by his fair hands and to a wide variety of unusual and adventurous designs

Matt

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I'm not the greatest fan of custom builds. 

This,  however,  is the one of the occasions when it makes sense to investigate what a luthier can do for you.  

It works in this case because you have very specific requirements that can't be addressed  any other way. 

It will also "preserve" your Pedulla, a bass you waited 13 years to acquire,  from going under the knife. 

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Not exactly ‘high end’, but a US Stingray. 

Had the bass from an 18 yr old, my first proper bass. Years later I started using 60s Ps & Js with flats and decided to go to town on the Stingray after selling some nice basses to fund the Fenders. 

It had extra MM & P pickups, active/passive and coil split for MM pups. All positions sounded really good. 

Sold it a few years later after a tough period. Tried to buy it back but the guy I sold it to stopped communicating and must have sold it on. I kept searching regularly though. The beauty of it being so customised was that when it popped up on eBay last month I spotted it and was the only bidder - and got it back. 

After all the mods, it’s back to original partly for nostalgia reasons but also as it’s just too much for me to tinker with, but it sounded great with them. 

Here’s pics of when I got it back, and now. 

2ADCF836-6037-49A1-9884-2ADC5594D039.jpeg

7B13A638-B7FD-4FA5-B914-8EA0B250FF34.jpeg

05AC0000-6FD4-45E3-A1E5-9B5E8AE26AEF.jpeg

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The stingray reminds me.. About 1983 i had a natural finish stingray like the one above, it had previously been covered in stickers ( mainly peeled off tobacconists shops at night !)  I decided to refinish the body for a change of image, so round at the guitarist's flat it was cleaned up and sprayed a sort of vaguely Lake Placid metallic blue, we then, to assist in drying, hung it over one of those little convector blower heaters...

We return a while later to discover a massive crack where obviously two sections of wood making up the body had separated.  Oops..   Clearly a few F and C words ensued.  My solution, though cynical, was pug it up with car filler, sand and add a few more layers of paint, re-assemble and get the bastard advertised for sale in the back of Melody Maker or whatever asap..  So if you bought a yukky blue Stingray circa 1983 that developed a big split, you'll know why..

That said, I'll happily take it back and refund the 200 quid or whatever it was, so no robbery eh !!  :)

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I think there’s nothing cooler than a modified high end bass. Even if it ruins the resale value. 

I’ve got this to add - although it HAD to be modified because it came without any electronics. But since then it’s been prodded and poked, it’s got a Roland GK system and a few other things here and there. It probably wouldn’t work for anyone else but that’s ok with me! I’ve owned about five other Vigiers from this period and they are all special, but this one’s ‘mine’

 

CF911D9A-2252-4164-9381-CC8C28F40005.jpeg

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