Vintage Guitar and Bass forum

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« on: November 23, 2015, 04:49:55 PM »
Hey Folks:

I’m a newbie here accept some browsing the site for info. I’m looking for valuation (appraisal) and trying to determine exactly what it is I have. I’m “considering” selling, but have not made up my mind on this just yet?

I’m “pretty certain” its a 1969 Gibson Les Paul Recording Bass. I say “pretty certain” because I’m at a big disadvantage for a couple reasons…

1)   I was never into gear at all. I’ve always been a plug-n-play kinda guy. Give me a bass, an amp, and I was good to go.
2)   I bought the bass second hand in 1977. I don’t guess the seller had any reason to lie about the year or model, because it wasn’t anything special at that time.
3)   I’m almost blind, and have no idea where to locate the serial number? ( any help with that? )

I haven’t played in 20 years, so I have no connections where I live. However, I do have a close friend in New England that owns a music school. ( The Real School of Music ) I had him ask his best bass man, and he provided a suggested starting price AND realistic price to settle for.

I’m just looking for 1 or 2 more opinions to see if everyone is in the same ballpark. I am going to take it to my local music store, but I figure you guys probably know best, and don’t necessarily need to hold it in your hands to give an approximate “asking price” & “let it go” price. If a couple of you chime in, I’ll share what my friend told me. Yes, I saw the recent thread about this, and also saw the ebay post going for 4K. I read the replies, so I’m not expecting anything like that. I also saw a couple ads selling hard-shell cases "only" for $200-$400... Really? Is that accurate?

One important note:
The bass has been altered. At one gig I accidently stepped on the chord while rockin' out. This pulled the jack right out, leaving it hanging. Unable to find a replacement face plate, my local tech at the time relocated the jack to the side body AND converted it to XLR. As you'll see, I also didn't pay much attention to what my belt buckle was doing over time. "If I only know what I had"!

Again, I’m not even sure if I’m going to sell, but this is FAR from my area of expertise, so I’m just curious for feedback. Thank you for your hopeful help!  Tom

( You can open pics in a new window for a much larger image )
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 05:39:10 PM by tomroe1 »

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 03:57:38 PM »
What you have is a 1972 Les Paul Triumph bass. The VG Price Guide lists it from $1,700 to $2,125. Watch what they actually sell for on ebay & Reverb. A lot of them get listed for large amounts, but what they actuall sell for is what counts. Yours being altered will lower the price some. That being said, it is the first year of that model, no volute. I have a 1972 & a 1973, the '72 has been my "GO-TO" bass for years.

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 06:29:14 PM »
Thank You SO MUCH George!

I’ve had at least 4-5 different techs look at this over the years. Not one has ever questioned the model or year? The local big music store offered me $350. All these years I never knew what I had, and now you’ve given me enough info to do more research and ebay watching. (I’m not familiar with reverb, but I’ll figure it out)

I was going to buy a new case, but the lowest I’ve seen on ebay is $200. I don’t guess that’s worth the return on investment. I also considered having it refinished, but I know you’d probably tell me I’d get the best sale price if I just leave it “As Is”?

Again, MAJOR thanks George. I trust folks here more than any local shop looking out for themselves. (as they should be) This bass plays so sweet, but if I don’t get into a band soon… it might be time.

The one last question I would ask… do you know exactly “where" on the bass I would find the serial number?
I know that’s important to some.  

Thanks, Tom
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 06:38:00 PM by tomroe1 »

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 12:11:17 AM »
The serial number is just above the "Made in USA" stamp on the back of the headstock, towards the top. You case looks repairable to me. A little glue & shoe polish & it could look better than many cases sold on ebay.
I'll post a photo of my '70 Les Paul Bass & My '73 so yo can see the difference. They started using the three point bridge in '73.

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 04:34:42 PM »
Hey George:

I can not tell you how INVALUABLE your help has been. I'm by no means a hack, and have played with some pretty smokin' musicians in the Boston area. BUT... I just never was bitten by the gear bug. My favorite player growing up was Mel Schacher from Grand Funk. As long as my bass had a volume & tone knob, all I needed was a Fender Bassman or a kickin' Ampeg.

You've "paid it forward" to me like I do on some of the computer forums. For the past 10 years I've been the Director of a men's Barbershop chorus and the lead singer in a barbershop quartet. How I got from playing Black Sabbath to singing Let Me Call You Sweerheart still amazes me, but I'm forever grateful for your guidance. The thought of rehabbing my case never even occurred to me!!!

Thanks again, and just know that you made a big difference in someone's life!  


1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2015, 02:11:03 AM »
Hi Tom,
Thanks for the kind words! Being able to sing like you do is a great gift by itself. I have a hard time singing the Happy Birthday song! My '72 Triumph bass was altered when I bought it. Somebody had changed the two point bridge for a Badass bridge. They had to plug a few holes & did a nasty refine on the front of the bass. It also had a minor headstock repair. When I did finally buy the one pictured, I had myself convinced that I would sell the '72. Like you, I was only offered an extremely low price to buy it at the time & decided for that I would keep it as a trunk bass. I have collected many other Gibson basses since then, & this is still my favorite player. My original thought was that if it got damaged on a job, I wouldn't be out much. The truth is, I'd probably miss it most of all. Think twice before you sell yours, at least take the time to get what it's really worth. Here is the '72.........

1969 Les Paul Recording Bass... I Think???
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 02:37:58 AM »
P.S..... This is my cheapo handle repair. Just a replacement handle, cut the hardware off. Cut the long rivet off of the handle bracket on the guitar case. Buy a couple long screws, (I think mine is a #5). I added a nut all the way to the screw head & an acorn nut for the opposite end. I cut them to length with an electrical crimping plyers with thread shearing built in. I've done this to many of my cases, this case is actually for the '72 Triumph.........


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