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Star Bass 1-149 - 1960s

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  • Star Bass 1-149 - 1960s

    I recently purchased this Star Bass to restore. I have spent a few days gathering information about the bass, mainly looking up original parts - the control knobs and machine heads are not original and do not function properly. Thank goodness for the Framus Vintage parts site. However I am struggling to find any string ferrules that will fit, these are 0.5mm in thickness, 11mm inner diameter and 13mm deep. I am also looking for a plain d-shaft ivory/ cream potentiometer knob, as it seems the riffle type potentiometer stem has been replaced at some point. If anyone has any leads as to where I can find these I would greatly appreciate that.

    The bass has a sum of missing binding, which I will replace where needed and colour match. The back and sides need attention in areas, I may take the back off entirely to deal with a severe dent and inspect the inside for any structural issues; to my surprise when I took the electronics out I did not see any bracing or support posts. Even so, the top and back are not sagging and appear to have retained good shape.

    I am a hobbyist luthier aiming to get formal education to level up my skills, and I want this bass to be part of my portfolio to get into luthier school.

    Personally if I were to keep this bass, I would find more reliable tuners, rather than strictly period appropriate tuners, and I would refinish and restore the neck as it has a lot of chipping and crazing to the lacquer and has lost colour in heavily damaged areas. I would also polish up the hardware and try to make it look more tidy in general, including replacing the framus stickers for new, intact ones from their Vintage shop. However, I am aware that some people prefer vintage instruments remain as un-altered as possible. My question to enthusiasts here would be, if I wanted to sell this as a collector's item, should I strictly focus on the practical issues affecting the bass (the structural issues, and non-functional hardware), and leave the wear and tear in situ so long as it doesn't affect functionality ... or should I endeavour to restore it to "excellent condition"? The latter would be my preference, so the instrument has a better shot at lasting far into the future.

    Many thanks for advice!

    Number on the back of headstock: 27774-6SD or 21114-6SD
    Zuletzt geändert von DevinValentine; 22.09.2021, 14:25.

  • #2
    Hi Devin, first of all, I think this is a stunningly beautiful instrument. It appears to have the kind of pickup that was used in 1962, but the serial suggests 65, the "S" being a 5?
    Can't comment too much about the philosophical question, as it's a bit over my head. There seems to be a market for high priced instruments that were brought to "as mew" condition. I like patina, while the gear shouldn't look neglected. If a neck looks worn but feels good to the touch I would leave it be. Then agein, while I am quite persistent with structural repairs, 'm not very clever in asressing cosmetical issues.
    Bushings for guitar size tuners can be replaced by certain rivets/eyelets as used in tarpaulins and tents when carefully widened at the bottom, I hope the vendors of replacement parts don't mind. Maybe there is a size compatible for bass.
    Good luck with your restoration, I think you're very welcome to post more pictures.