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Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« on: October 27, 2014, 02:40:24 AM »
Hey All,

I bought this bass a bit ago not really knowing what it was. They guy who sold it to me said it was a "rare" EB but after taking a closer look I think it's a SB-450. It had a pickguard over the whole front and when I took it off it looked like this. Any confirmation that this is a SB? It looks like someone replaced the pickup selector as well as the neck. They also carved out a path for the pickup wires even though there are tunnels that lead to the control panel... I would love to try and restore it to the original look but not sure where I would find the parts (control panel plate, pickup switches and pickup saddles). Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 03:44:06 AM by mhunter360 »

jules

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Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 11:31:18 AM »
Hi,

yes I agree it's a modified SB450. The parts you need are not especially common on ebay, but do come up every few months. You just have to keep looking.

But with the correct control plate the carved path will show. Repairing it and refinishing is, to be honest, simply not worth it from a financial point of view - because of the damage/repair it will only be worth $500 or $600 tops, maybe less, but might cost you a few hundred to get fixed. If money is not an issue, or you can do the work yourself, that's a different matter.

Personally, rather than restoring, I'd consider creating my own custom bass - but don't throw too much money into this!

Let us know what you do with it

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 05:09:50 PM »
Considering it'll only be worth $600 max I'll probably just keep it in it's current state. Maybe get the pickups checked but definitely not spend anymore more money than that. My dream would be to find a SB400 so maybe this will help pay for that!

Thanks for the help, Jules!

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 05:11:02 PM »
Quote from: jules;18303
Hi,

yes I agree it's a modified SB450. The parts you need are not especially common on ebay, but do come up every few months. You just have to keep looking.

But with the correct control plate the carved path will show. Repairing it and refinishing is, to be honest, simply not worth it from a financial point of view - because of the damage/repair it will only be worth $500 or $600 tops, maybe less, but might cost you a few hundred to get fixed. If money is not an issue, or you can do the work yourself, that's a different matter.

Personally, rather than restoring, I'd consider creating my own custom bass - but don't throw too much money into this!

Let us know what you do with it


Considering it'll only be worth $600 max I'll probably just keep it in it's current state. Maybe get the pickups checked but definitely not spend anymore more money than that. My dream would be to find a SB400 so maybe this will help pay for that!

Thanks for the help, Jules!

jules

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Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 08:00:51 PM »
Yeah, that's the problem with certain restorations - you have to keep in mind the cost of the equivalent model in non-restored state. A repaired bass will have to be priced below a non-repaired one. As a fairly good condition SB450 will sell somewhere between $750-$850, it's pointless having more than that invested in it.

Have you seen this? It only sold for $400 CA - which is a crime - the seller had it listed a few times and it didn't sell. It's an SB450, but with some very cool mods: RD style inlaid headstock, block neck markers, new pickups (don't know what). Admittedly theres something going on with the bridge and original controls were missing... But heavily upgraded, yet devalued in price!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3070[/ATTACH]

To be honest, once it's modded, it's modded. So yours could be a good platform for trying a few different pickup/wiring combinations. If it were my bass I'd chose some nice fat pickups, then get a nice dark tortoiseshell scratchplate cut... sort of like an early Ripper...
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 11:12:22 PM by jules »

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 09:39:54 PM »
What pickups would you recommend? I play a lot of soul music and want to emulate the bass sounds from bands like the Dap Kings and Menahan Street Band (Bosco Mann and Nick Movshon). I know Bosco plays a Carvin SB60 and Movshon plays a Gibson SB400 and a Ripper. The SB400 has single coil pickups but the others have humbuckers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev0yILvCdMM

jules

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Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 04:48:00 PM »
Well, this comes down to personal taste really. Do you care what they look like? Chrome? Black? New or vintage?

If, like me, you like tinkering with old guitars, it might be worth buying some used pickups to try, and selling them on if you don't like them. Look out for pickups with a low start price and they should not exceed market value.

To stick with a Gibson theme, a pair of Thunderbird pickups might work well - the Lull reverse engineered 60s style ones are expensive, but would look great (and I've heard good reports about them). Modern day Gibson ones come up fairly often and don't go too high. You could try an EB humbucker (you'll know immediately if you like it) but that will require a bit of routing.

Ripper pickups tend to be expensive...

The Dap Kings are great!

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 08:27:02 PM »
Hey Jules! This wanted to get your opinion on a trade someone proposed to me.

The other person has a Gibson EB-4L and wants to trade for my Gibson SB-450 as well as my Bassman 70 cabinet. There are still pictures of my bass down below and you can see his bass here: http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/4924168757.html

What do you think?

jules

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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 09:39:29 PM »
hi again

well value wise it looks about right - mind you I don't really know what that cab is worth in the US - what do you reckon? In the long run, the EB4 will appreciate more too

if you want to change to a longscale and fancy a bit more low end you'll be happy for sure

the EB4L is a nice bass (my first Gibson bass was an EB4L) but the original pickups are hard to come by - but you might prefer the replacement anyway, to be honest the switch doesn't change the tone that wildly, and the pickup is still in the same ballpark as any other EB. On the plus side it looks unmolested so if and when one does turn up you'll be able to fit it quite easily, should you fancy a restoration.

I'd ask the following questions
1) is it an old Gibson humbucker in there or some other modern copy?
2) is the tone choke etc from the original pickup still present? (I assume it is not in use and the three-way switch does nothing)
3) is it the original Gibson case? (or just any old hard case?)
4) does the truss rod work fine (unbroken)

assuming mostly yes sounds like a good deal

let us know what happens

Weird Gibson SB-450 Bass
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 11:01:49 PM »
He's not interested in either my bass or cabinet anymore but has lowered the price for me to $800. He believes the pickup is modern and can't find any indication that it's a Gibson pickup. The switch isn't connected to the pickup either since it's not the original super-humbucker. The bass was apparently set up last year and there were no comments made indicating any issues with the truss rod.

Worth $800?
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/msg/4924168757.html

jules

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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2015, 09:34:57 AM »
I'd pass - you should be able to find one with the original pickup for around that price if you are patient. It is also missing bridge cover and original control knobs

There are none (except two overpriced ones) on right ebay now, but when they do come up with a low start price they stay mid to high-mid $xxx

 

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