How much for the bass? (not a fish)
July 11, 2014 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Wife bought this (used) bass guitar back in 1988ish. Kramer Spector IV. Never used it. Wants to sell it. Appears to be in very good condition. No clue about the value -- poked around a few forums/sites, didn't find anything particularly helpful. Now turning to Mighty AskMeFi for info on what we can reasonably expect to ask/get for it.
posted by davidmsc to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
is it an NS-2A?

Here's one guy's take. Comments have a guy paying $389 and thinking he scored a great deal.

Here's one for $1,200 on Ebay

Here's one for 1,099

Not a fan of the color of your bass, sorry, will take some off it.

the key is the pickups the Spector pickups if still installed are great. this guy is selling just the pickups for 128.

Also where was it made? does it have a country of origin? Wikipedia says there are Korean and USA models for the 1980s. I would assume the US goes for more.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:45 AM on July 11, 2014

I don't know that instrument in particular (I'm a guitar guy) but is a newish website that has some good tools that might be helpful.

Here's a historical list of Kramer basses with sale price info.
Here's a list of Kramer Spector basses currently listed for sale.

You might also find some valuable information by looking up the instrument's serial #.

Good luck!
posted by EKStickland at 9:49 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

My friend says the differences in price depend on where it was made (Korea vs. USA).

But if it's really sat around since 1988, not being played or periodically adjusted/tuned up/etc., I would take it into a music store and have them look at it. Time isn't always kind to instruments that haven't been maintained. Just be up front with them about it and while you may have to spend a bit of money, they'll be able to tell you if it's still in good enough shape to sell (and maybe even how much it may be worth).
posted by darksong at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2014

Thanks all!
posted by davidmsc at 3:09 PM on July 11, 2014

There's some information here on the original retail pricing for some models.
posted by doctord at 10:47 PM on July 11, 2014

Ahhhh . . . .

I think a little too much attention to the "Spector" part of the name may be skewing some of the results above.

Your pic is labeled "Vintage Spector Kramer IV Forum Bass"

Spector is still around, and they've got a history page that covers their association with Kramer, and a discontinued models page that covers the Kramer-era guitars and basses with pictures. Note that all the instruments on that page have square-ish headstocks with tuning machines on both sides, not the pointy headstock with tuners all on one side like your picture.

Poking around the VintageKramer website linked to by EKStickland, I found this page on the Forum Bass series from the 80's, and these look a lot more like your bass. Quoting the website:
"Forum III
Neck-thru flat-top body design, diamond/dot inlays, rosewood fretboard, Spector pickups and black hardware.

Forum IV
Bolt-on neck, same features as Forum III.

In 1988, the Forum series received some upgrades. [. . .]

The Forums III & IV had bound heads with rosewood boards, diamond/dot inlays, one volume and one tone. The Forum III raimaining a neck-thru flat top and the Forum IV staying a flat top bolt-on version of the Forum III. Colors for the IIIs and the IVs were: black, white, violet, silver, candy red, Flourescent yellow, flourescent pink, midnight blue, and flourescent orange.

The Forum basses made it until the end of Kramer in 1990."
Pointy bound headstock, diamond inlays on the fretboard, Spector pickups, one tone & one volume control - the only thing that doesn't match is the finish color, and it's certainly possible your wife got one that happened to be finished in a non-standard color.

I think you've got a Kramer Forum IV bass, which has Spector pickups, and was made in Japan.

what we can reasonably expect to ask/get for it.

Tough call. These days, for better or worse, ebay pretty much sets the market price for used instruments - even people buying & selling on Craigslist and in brick-and-mortar stores use whatever info they can find there as a price reference.

Doing a "completed listing" search for "Kramer forum bass" doesn't get many results, and prices range from $260 to $760, with the more expensive ones being neck-through and with fluorescent paint jobs. Expanding the search to "Kramer bass" gets more results, but most of the high-dollar ones are the one with necks made of combined wood and aluminum (which was A Thing Kramer was known for), and most of the completed sales went for $500 and under.

I also, interestingly, found that the bass in the "Spector pickups" listing that Ironmouth found appears to have been previously sold a few months ago (the pic from this completed listing sure looks the same . . .) I also think Ironmouth may have misread that listing - I think it's for the whole bass for $128, and the seller is just trying to emphasize the Spector pickups. Usually when someone sells just pickups they take them out of the instrument, and if by some chance they don't, they really really strongly emphasize that the sale is for the parts only, not the whole guitar.

At any rate, I'm sorry to say I don't think you've got anything especially valuable here - honestly I'd throw out a Scientific Wild-Ass Guess that you might actually realistically sell it for somewhere between $100 to $300, maybe up to $500 or $600 if you stumble on a Kramer collector or someone who thinks the very '80s look of the bass is just fantastic.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:16 PM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

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