Pawn Shop Rescue Bass

A few months ago now I saw a used bass guitar in a pawn shop for under $50. It was a kind of "vintage" mid-1970's "Memphis" brand knock-off copy of a Fender Precision Bass. Natural finish with a weathered "yellow-y" look, maple neck, white pickguard. I loved the way it looked & felt, but nothing worked. No sound from the pickups and the neck was cracked. I got the guy to sell it to me for even less than the $50 asking price and took it home. Took it all apart, cleaned it all up, made the pickups work (loose connection) & made it playable. Still had the cracked neck & it turns out the truss rod didn't work so it was shot. Couldn't adjust the "relief" or "action" (height of strings from neck).

So a few weeks later I ordered a replacement neck for it (and new tuners and a new pickguard and new knobs...and flatwound strings! gotta have "flats"). It all came in & I spent a night assembling it all (great fun) and now this "pawn shop rescue" bass is my main bass. It just "feels" right and I love the playability & sound. I REALLY love the vintage look. Here's a picture of the finished product...I'm pretty proud of it:

My other bass and former "main player" is a 5-string Squier Jazz. I still like that bass and I'm not getting rid of it. There are plenty of times when a 5-string is needed, especially with the recent "low tuning" & "alt tuning" craze in music (Eb tuning, "drop-D", etc). But I think I'm figuring out that given the choice, I'm a "4-string guy". I like the extra hand positions of the 5 string, but there's something cool about a simple 4-string precision bass.


  1. Hi there. I came across your blog because of the post about diplopia, but I'm also a bass player. This is a nice bass! I'm going to see a new eye doc soon because my double vision changes from vertical to horizontal. I have mild astigmatism, but I hate wearing the glasses. I think my eyes just get really tired and end up in double vision mode. My doubling is very clear (not blurry at all). I'm going to see what other basses you're playing. I agree about 4 and 5 string stuff. I love a good Jazz or Precision but play 5 string sometimes. Thanks!

  2. hey good luck with your new doc and your diplopia! thanks for the post! Currently I'm playing a LOONEY CUSTOMS (local luthier) custom P-bass. also a 4 stringer and also with flats!


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