Woo Hoo at the flea market
- From: "DGDevin" <dgdevin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 18:48:41 -0700
So when my wife said she wanted to go to the big antique fair/flea market
this weekend, like a good husband I smiled and said I'd *love* to go because
nothing is more important to me than making her happy including clomping
around an antique show. And that has nothing to do with me getting
pre-approval on occasionally going fifty miles out of our way to visit a
cool guitar shop. Of course after an hour or so of walking around looking
at tables loaded with some of the most bizarre junk imaginable I was about
ready to pack it in. There were some real antiques, some phony antiques,
and tons of just plain old junk. Besides, I refuse to buy anything I can
remember my parents owning when I was a kid, especially something they paid
$2.99 for then that is now priced at $299.00.
Okay, I found a few things, some good woodworking books real cheap (like two
bucks), and a decent little set of open-end wrenches (*not* made in China)
for five bucks. Still, it was about time to hit the road home so I could
crack open a beer and put my feet up.
And then there it was, gleaming in the sun like a marble sculpture from
ancient Greece, an ivory-white Fender Precision Bass. Hang on, something is
wrong here, the price tag says one -- hundred -- dollars. Gulp. Upon
closer examination I realize it's a MIM P-bass. Still, that's an awfully
good price, there has to be something wrong with it. Hmmm, there are
several stickers on it indicating it has been owned by a young person (if
*everybody* has an Anarchy sticker on their guitar, are they really
anarchists?) and I can see one of the strap button screw holes is
stripped--yup, there is some glue left there from the owner using duct tape
to reinforce that strap button. But the neck seems okay, hardly any dings
on the body, what's the worst that could be wrong with it? So of course it
followed me home.
Took a minute to tune it up, so far so good. Time to plug it in.
"I got burned," I call out to my wife. Dammit. No notes, just frazzled
electronics noise. Still, maybe it's just a bad pot, or something. Out
comes the screwdriver, off comes the pick guard. My wife looks on
consolingly. And then she says, "Is there supposed to be a loose wire in
there like that black one that's only attached at one end?"
Aha. A quick search online finds a good P-base wiring diagram, the trusty
Weller soldering gun is fired up, the loose wire is re-attached and
Hallelujah! Boom boom boom boom, nothin' wrong with this baby at all.
I have no doubt the previous owners knew there was something wrong with this
instrument, if I had to guess it belonged to somebody's kid and when it
became non-functional the parents figured disposing of it at the flea market
for a fire-sale price was a good solution. I bet they'd be surprised to
know all that was wrong with it could be fixed in a couple of minutes with a
soldering iron--on the other hand they might just be relieved to have it out
of the house. The truss rod and saddles could use a little more tweaking
than what I did today, and I need to find out how to get these goofball
stickers off without messing up the finish. I might even put in new pots
(they're a little scratchy) and a new jack, plus some Schaller strap locks.
But all things considered I have a MIM P-bass for $100. Too bad it isn't
fretless. Hmmm, there's another antique/flea market in two weeks....
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