Bought a bass from a pawnshop for $200

I was at a local pawnshop trying to find a good starter base for me to learn on, and I found this fender.

Anything y’all can tell me about the bass will be awesome! I’m excited to learn bass, and can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Thanks in advance!



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I am not a Fender expert at all, but have you checked the serial number (Fender serial number lookup)? Also, is there another serial number on the reverse side somewhere? If there is, check this one also. But, generally, it is not good to have two serial numbers.

You may want to read through this also:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comments/xttz8u/question_why_fender_jazz_bass_have_a_2_different/
A Fender bass with the same serial number as visible on your headstock is mentioned in that thread. According to Fender this would indicate your bass is from around 1984-1987, but that seems unlikely (but not impossible) by the way it looks.

A first cautious conclusion would be that it is a counterfeit instrument. Getting a real Japanese-made Fender from the 80s for 200 bucks is probably too good to be true. But, again, check whether there is another serial number somewhere on the backside.

And, of course, some people here are much more Fender-savvy than I am :wink:

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If this is not a fake (which is doubtful then you got a hell of a deal.
Agree with @joergkutter that the condition is really too good to be true, but hey, you never know.

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What else could I do to get a definitive yes or no? It would be nice to settle this.

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Match the serial # to a genuine fender, that’s gonna be the easiest way to do it.

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Alternatively I’d ask the question ‘Does it really matter?’

If it plays nicely and it only cost you $200 it’s a great deal. If you wanted to sell it later you’re not going to lose anything.

The cheapest new Fender bass is around $800. So plug it in and enjoy making noise.

If you haven’t already, then consider taking the excellent Beginner to Badass bass course. Lots of us on here have and will all attest to it’s value for money.

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If it is real it’s a 1984-1987 Fender made by FujiGen in Japan and looks to me like it is likely a Duff McKagan model. $200 would be about 20% of its actual value in that condition.

Hard to say if authentic. I did an online search and saw some others in similar condition, and also some that were clearly fakes.

All in all, two comments. First, @Barney nailed it here with:

You got a nice looking bass for $200. Well done!

Second, if it IS real, which it likely is, you got a hell of a deal, unless something is seriously wrong with it, and even then it’s not a bad deal.

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If I remember correctly, that’s the same model that Duff McKagan uses, but it’s not his signature model.

If I remember, the back of the neck should be painted black, which is not common at all on a Fender. This model existed in white or black.

$200 is an incredibly good price.

It looks legit, yeah. I’m almost sure it’s a real one.

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Looks a lot like this one :

3 times the price at reverb. So if it’s genuine (and I’m starting to think so), that’s the deal of the year on the first day of said year. And if it’s not ? Still good (see previous answers ^^)
Go with the bassbuzz course and you’re on for a very, very good start for 2024.

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I’m still not convinced it’s a real one. For one, the truss rod hole hasn’t been painted, and on the real ones, that looks like it’s painted black as well. Also, look at the line between the headstock and the nut. On the real ones, there’s a clear line between the black paint and the fretboard wood. On this one, the headstock is painted right up to the nut. The devil is in the details in cases like this. I’m far from being a Fender expert, so I might be wrong.

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I wonder who would go through all the trouble of counterfeiting for a bass that’s not really worth all that much? We are not talking about a 60s Fender bass here.

Yes, there are some differences. Paint in the truss rod hole seems to be missing and the nut is a different color, but those things could come from wear and tear. The price tag is not one of a guitar store, but of a pawn shop, so that does not give a good indication. Might be a lucky find after all.

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Who knows? But they exist:

If you order more then 50 of them, you can get them for around 100 dollars a piece :rofl:

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Here is a bit more on the/a bass with the same serial numbers as yours:
https://www.talkbass.com/threads/duff-mckagan-signature-bass-knock-off.1465849/

But, yeah, if it plays OK for 200 bucks, it’s all good!

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Well, that’s a nice copy of a $1350 bass :sweat_smile:

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oh crap, you’re probably right @Mike_NL and @joergkutter

@Marshpoc ,maybe open the electronic cavity to show us what’s inside

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As requested!

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I’m not claiming to be an expert but I am leaning towards this being a great deal.

I’m not seeing anything that would mean this isn’t the real thing. There were plenty of imperfections in that time period. Even Duff’s bass had a neck that was so outside of specification, when Fender went to copy it, they said it should have never made it out of the factory.

The only other thing you could check is to remove the neck and see what markings or stickers are in the neck pocket.

As for judging this bass on it’s own merit…
Are their any sharp fret edges?
How does the neck feel?
How’s the intonation?
Does it feel solid in construction?
How does it sound?
Do the knobs work?
Does the truss rod work?
Are you able to adjust it to get the action you want?

If all of that is good, you just got a solid bass for $200 bucks! That’s money well spent.

If the curiosity gets the best of you, call Fender. They’ve been really nice to talk to any time I’ve called.

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Oh, one other thing. The potentiometers have codes on them. If you can find that code, we can look it up to see when it was made. The date should roughly match the date of the serial number. Unless they’ve been replaced. Which I wouldn’t expect of an instrument of this age and condition.

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Well, the knobs don’t seem to be original at least, but plastic knobs might have been damaged or lost on an almost 40 year old bass.

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If its genuine, you got great deal on a great looking bass.

If it is counterfeit, you got a great deal on a great looking knock off bass.

All depends on how you feel about owning genuine vs. knock off. If you like the way it plays and sounds, it’s a good instrument, regardless of make or manufacturer.

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