As I mentioned in a previous post, my son gave me a Squier P Bass for Christmas. To say I was blown away when I received this would be an understatement. I knew that he had to use a few paychecks (he’s in high school and works at a sandwich shop) to get this present for me. I gotta tell you, that’s a lot of love!
In any case, when I first got it, I thought it was just a normal cheapo Squier P Bass, along the lines of Fender’s Squier Affinity product line which sell for less than $200. But this morning, I took a look at the headstock and noticed a “Made in Japan” sticker under the “Precision Bass” sticker. I know a thing or two about Fender instruments, and the MIJ stuff isn’t cheap, even if it isn’t the top-of-the-line.
So I did a bit of digging on serial numbers, and it turns out that this particular MIJ P Bass was constructed somewhere between 1984 and 1987 – assuming I read the serial number lookup correctly. Then in searching for a value for the instrument, I found that people are paying up to $500 for 80’s Squier’s; $2-300 alone for a neck in excellent condition.
Look, value aside, this bass sounds killer. Check this out:
It naturally has tons of thump, and its passive pickups are nice and clear. But not only does it sound great, the rosewood fretboard feels incredible and the C-shape neck is absolutely comfortable. I don’t care that it’s a Squier at all. This is a superior instrument, so I’m blown away even more by the enormity of the gift.
But now that my research has revealed an approximate value for the bass, I’m feeling a little guilty. I know that my son bought it off one of his good friends who needed the money to pay rent, and he purchased it from him for only $200 with a Gator hard shell case. The case alone sells for $100 online. I know about having to sell gear due to financial duress, and my son’s friend certainly had to do this. And I also know how shitty that made me feel at the time. I swore that after I sold my first ES-335 to get some cash to help pay my mortgage, I would never do that again because I never wanted to feel that way ever again.
So I communicated feeling bad for my son’s friend for having to sell his gear, and my son told me to not feel bad and that his friend had a few guitars and basses, but apparently they’re all in Spain with the kid’s folks – the operative word here is “apparently…” So I talked it over with my wife, and I’m going to give the kid a couple of hundred bucks extra so he gets the value for the instrument that he deserves. I certainly have the means to get a bass like this for full price, and after playing it pretty much all day today, I know that it’s definitely worth it.