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The EH Man
02-04-2008, 01:52 PM
I realize that in the end the decision is up to me, but I'm hoping you guys can give me some advice on a trade I've been offered.
I have been offered a 1959 Fender Precision bass in exchange for my 60's Guild Jet Star bass. I know that dollar-wise this would be an excellent trade since the P is probably worth 10x the Guild but I'm having some difficulty with deciding whether to go through with it.
I've never been a big fan of Fender basses and while I don't play the Guild very often, I do like the feel and playability of it. I would probably play the P bass the same or less. On another point, there are lots of 1959 P basses around whereas there's only what, less than 250 Jet Star basses? The P bass, like my Guild, has had it's finish and decal removed but is apparently all original except for the pots.
Here's what the P bass owner says:

Here is the scoop: I got this a
while back from an old Hippie who go it from a farmer
back in 1971. The pots currently in it are repros but
it has the original capacitor. The wear mark between
the G string and the VOL/TONE knobs is about 1/16-1/32
deep. No big deal. As you can see this Precision has
the Slabboard fingerboard, most coveted by P bass fans
(Holy Grail). The pickups have the black bottom. Plays
and sounds incredible. I have a mid 60's case that
needs 2 latches, otherwise I use duct tape to hold it
shut. RS Guitarworks says that they can refin it in
white, age it and put a decal on the headstock for
$500.00. Awesome bass but I've wanted a Jetstar for
sometime and would be willing to trade this Precision.

Fender bass pics here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/theehman/59PBass

Pics of the Jet Star:
http://ronsound.com/jetstar.html

So, what would you guys do? I don't really have any emotional attachment to the Guild. It's more along the "Hey! Look at this wacky bass! And a guitar that matches!" Maybe the Guild would have a better home with someone who would play it and give it the workout it deserves.
Where could I buy another Jet Star?

fronobulax
02-04-2008, 04:37 PM
De'Armond made a reissue of the JetStar, one of which pops up on eBay every so often. If the look and shape are more important than the originality then it might be worth making a trade. Personally, I can't play a long scale so keeping the JetStar, which I presume is 30.5", would be a no brainer for me. But then the only bass I have ever sold was a no-name starter bass that I played just enough to appreciate a "quality" instrument when one came into my hands.

FWIW I suspect that the JetStar is rarer but also much less in demand. The rarity is unlikely to change but the demand might. Nevertheless there are better investments than vintage instruments if money becomes a driving factor.

krysh
02-04-2008, 05:51 PM
this is hard.

if it was for the money I would do the trade, because you might get another jetstar bass much cheaper, but they are rare as you mentioned.
I had to sell a gibson les paul custom I bought new in 1984 (my first great guitar :wink: ) a few years ago, and still feel sorry about this, so I try not to sell instruments I really like anymore.
since you love your jetstar, I would keep it.
...and what is money against the deep joy playing a loved guitar?

but on the other hand:
when one thing has to go, another one is waiting around the corner - sooner or later :)

hieronymous
02-05-2008, 10:33 PM
Not sure if you've already gone through with the deal, but personally, I wouldn't do it. But that's because I don't really have the connections or the motivation to try and get top-dollar for a vintage instrument. I've got a few nice vintage instruments, but if I were to try and sell them, I would probably sell them to someone at one of the forums that I frequent, for a reasonable price or trade, rather than try and get big money through eBay. And if you have an instrument that's somewhat questionable (no logo on the headstock?!!), then I would think it would be even more of a hassle to sell it.
If you like an instrument, then to me that's way more valuable than a clean vintage piece (which it doesn't sound like the potential trade is).

But that's just me.

gilded
02-06-2008, 02:30 AM
Well, if the P-Bass is worth more money (it is), but you're not absolutely wild about either instrument, then the question becomes what can you trade the P-Bass for that you really want? Let's say someone would pay 3K for the P-Bass (that may be low or high, I dunno). Is there something you really, really want for 3K? If so, make the trade!

The Guilds of Grot
02-06-2008, 03:54 AM
Flip a coin? :wink:

The EH Man
02-06-2008, 01:29 PM
The big question the last couple of days has been "how do I know it's a real '59 P bass?". With no decal and no markings on the neck or neck pocket, the burden of proof is up to the seller (he's never had it authenticated but cites several things such as serial #, pin router marks on body, pickup construction). At this point I'd just about pay to have it shipped to Gruhn for authentication and appraisal.

danerectal
02-06-2008, 07:14 PM
The neck plate's serial number is from '59, but beyond that you're right about not really being able to tell.

The EH Man
02-06-2008, 09:26 PM
Well, I emailed Gruhn with the pics and info I've gotten so far and received a response from Walter Carter. He believes it to be an authentic 1959 Fender Precision bass.

Now for the really hard part....trade or no....

The Guilds of Grot
02-06-2008, 09:49 PM
Did he offer a value?

The EH Man
02-06-2008, 11:29 PM
Did he offer a value?

No. I suspect that falls under the appraisal part so I would need to pay him $50 for that. I told him if I make the trade I'd definitely have the appraisal done.

The EH Man
08-29-2008, 12:31 PM
The trade never happened. The other guy had second thoughts and I never heard back from him.
Now, another guy has offered me a pretty decent sum of money for the bass and I think I'm going to sell. He's planning on restoring it with a new headstock overlay (anyone know where he could get a NOS one?) and a refinish by someone who painted Guilds at the factory. I hate to sell it as I tend to develop emotional attachments to my guitars but I think it's going to a better home. I still have my Thunderbird guitar and Ashbury bass so I'm still in the Guild realm.

matsickma
09-01-2008, 02:11 PM
Well as a point of financial reference...Jay Pilzer (The Guild Guy) posted a pair of 1960's Guild basses less that 3 weeks ago. One was a single pickup sunburst SF Bass w/Bisonic and the other was a sunburst Jetstar Bass with a Bisonic pickup. Both are sold. The Jetstar listed at around $1850 and the SF around $2100. Jay is a pretty reasonable dealer who often sells a bit below list. Both bass guitars were in very good to excellent condition.

M

The EH Man
09-01-2008, 02:57 PM
Well as a point of financial reference...Jay Pilzer (The Guild Guy) posted a pair of 1960's Guild basses less that 3 weeks ago. One was a single pickup sunburst SF Bass w/Bisonic and the other was a sunburst Jetstar Bass with a Bisonic pickup. Both are sold. The Jetstar listed at around $1850 and the SF around $2100. Jay is a pretty reasonable dealer who often sells a bit below list. Both bass guitars were in very good to excellent condition.

M

That was probably the Jet my buyer just missed out on. He figures that if he buys mine for $1000 and puts another 7-800 in it for the restoration he'll be ok. Had a hard time convincing him that the single-coil pickup in mine was original.

The EH Man
09-05-2008, 04:20 PM
Now this buyer has backed out after his wife found out what he was doing. I'm starting to think the Jet Star is cursed or something.

krysh
09-05-2008, 05:30 PM
...I'm starting to think the Jet Star is cursed or something.

why, maybe you are just supposed to keep it.

fronobulax
09-05-2008, 06:38 PM
Now this buyer has backed out after his wife found out what he was doing. I'm starting to think the Jet Star is cursed or something.

I understand that. I live in fear of the moment THE M-85 I hits the market and I have to pull the trigger before I can get Mrs. Fro's blessing :-)