So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)



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So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Bassist_Diver » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:09 pm

About 4 or 5 years ago I decided to drastically downgrade my rig to include just a single bass, as I was gigging less, about to enter grad school, and just wanted something to noodle around with. I (stupidly) decided to sell my Warwicks and stick with a single J bass while pocketing the difference to help cover my tuition and impeding broke-assery. I thought I found a deal on an old Am. Deluxe J bass that was re-finished. It checked all the boxes - active pickups, blocked and bound neck, etc. - plus the seller was willing to ship it for me to try before I buy and he'd pay for return shipping if I was dissatisfied. I played it, it sounded good, so I paid for it and only noodled around with it sparingly while I was in grad school.

Fast forward to earlier today. My shoulder injuries are hitting me something ugly and my hand is cramping up more on the neck, so I'm realizing I need smaller bodied, lighter basses with thinner necks. I load up my J bass and drive to the local music shop to get it appraised. They note the dings on it and the aftermarket nut I installed, then they separated the neck from the body and gave me a look. It was a mix of "are you fucking with us?" and "son I've got some bad news," the latter being what they said. No Fender stamps. Instead, there was an All Parts stamp on the neck and nothing on the pocket, nor was the signature Fender hole under the pickguard and they didn't even know what kind of wood the body was, but it certainly wasn't alder or ash. They asked what I paid, said I got hustled and that they'd give me $100 for it and a free pack of strings out of pity.

I've since looked up the seller and lo and behold his account was banned. I emailed the admin who told me that the user was perma-banned for selling counterfeit instruments and passing them off as the real deal. They said to go through Paypal, but the purchase date is well past the deadline for filing a claim so I'm up a creek.

I'm all kinds of hella pissed, both at him and myself, and can't even find the seller anymore. The guy's Paypal account isn't active anymore, and the bank account I used to pay for the instrument was closed when I changed banks, so there's literally no way I can track this shitbag down. So now I'm stuck with a fake bass that I physically can't play anymore and I don't have the funds to buy one of the basses I truly want.

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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby MechaGodzilla » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:29 pm

An allparts neck is a Good Thing, and even if it doesn't suit you anymore, you should be able to get a reasonable amount for it on its own. Someone will want it for a parts bass. The body/hardware? If you like it, just get any old neck you like the feel of and stick it on there.

I'm sorry you got scammed. Hopefully, you can salvage an instrument you enjoy out of the situation and it will just be a lesson for your future self and others who see this thread.

FWIW I see a lot of people moaning "every time I'm selling a boring-ass guitar [ie. not vintage], people message me asking to pull the neck and take photos and it's lame" - this thread is the reason why people want to see that shit.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Mudfuzz » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:44 pm

What store did you take it to? I've never seen anyone take a bass apart in a store...
Also I have never gotten a good deal selling or trading anything other than tube amps in stores. Consignment is a bit better but can take a long time to move... Parting it may be the best bet... Also post a picture of the grain maybe someone can recognize what it is..
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Ghost Hip » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:30 pm

The guitar centers I worked at always took apart vintage instruments to ensure stuff was legit. Not sure if this old J bass was vintage or not but yeah, pretty common here. I have also been on the unfortunate side of informing a customer's instrument was not exactly what they thought it was.

With that said, if it is a good partsmaster you could definitely get more than a $100 for it. I know it will always be less than what you paid but a good bass is a good bass.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Corey Y » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:28 pm

Other people have more productive things to say, but I will throw in that you couldn't get a bound and blocked Allparts jazz bass style neck for $100 used before shipping. Maybe double that and that would be a good deal. It sucks that the seller intentionally defrauded you, but by the sound of it that bass is still worth a decent amount, even if you just parted it out. Considerably more than you were offered by that shop, at least. If you just sold the body and neck on Reverb or ebay you'd probably net $300 on the low side, without even getting into the hardware and pickups. They might consider it a liability if it has the Fender logo on it and they know it's not real, but that's just a solid reason to never sell your gear to a shop in general. Kind of feels like trying to take advantage of someone in a bad frame of mind or kicking someone while they're down.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Bassist_Diver » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:41 pm

Corey Y wrote:Other people have more productive things to say, but I will throw in that you couldn't get a bound and blocked Allparts jazz bass style neck for $100 used before shipping. Maybe double that and that would be a good deal. It sucks that the seller intentionally defrauded you, but by the sound of it that bass is still worth a decent amount, even if you just parted it out. Considerably more than you were offered by that shop, at least. If you just sold the body and neck on Reverb or ebay you'd probably net $300 on the low side, without even getting into the hardware and pickups. They might consider it a liability if it has the Fender logo on it and they know it's not real, but that's just a solid reason to never sell your gear to a shop in general. Kind of feels like trying to take advantage of someone in a bad frame of mind or kicking someone while they're down.


Yeah, he said if Fender somehow found out they were trying to pass off a parts bass as legit they'd get in a lot of trouble. I wouldn't be surprised if he was just going to give me the $100 then take it home and part it off himself. That's probably the avenue I'm gonna take, but it definitely seems like it's gonna be a long process; since I'm moving this weekend it'll have to wait.

I did tear down the electronics and I think I got lucky - Aguilar single-coil J pickups and OBP-1. I should be able to make a decent amount on those alone. The tuners and bridge might be a bit tricky, though.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby antennafarm » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:24 pm

So, as a bass disconnected from its brand, vintage, and reputation, it played and sounded great, yeah?

I think that's an interesting lesson in and of itself here.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby Corey Y » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:58 pm

antennafarm wrote:So, as a bass disconnected from its brand, vintage, and reputation, it played and sounded great, yeah?

I think that's an interesting lesson in and of itself here.


I totally understand the reaction and emotion of the OP, but the same thing did cross my mind. I already have this opinion in general, because I replaced a Fender P with a parts build (body I built, Allparts neck, Fender guard/hw, Dimarzio pickup) and it sounds and plays as good as the Fender it replaced. Although I have never really bought with investment in mind, I have profited off buying and selling gear a lot over the years, so no judgement in it. I totally understand the disappointment and frustration of finding out you've been intentionally tricked.
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Re: So my bass wound up being counterfeit (rant)

Postby repoman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:14 pm

how much did you pay for it?
got any pictures of it?
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