Newbie looking for wisdom! *Westone Thunder 1*

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Hey there!
First post here, require knowledge from wiser machine head abusers!!

I've been looking around the Web for information about a bass I have and this seems like one of the better forums to ask..

----To clarify----**I'm not trying to find a buyer** - I realise that would put me in breach of ToS!
I just genuinely need help from the community to get an idea of what I'm actually dealing with, so I can give her to someone I know can properly appreciate her, rather than mis-selling a classic vintage to someone who will abuse or forget her - like I did Sad

Unplayed instruments make me sad

All that being said; I have in my cupboard a Red 
*'84 Thunder 1 Westone Bass* - given to me as a young musician when I had yet to decide:
"Guitar........or Bass?"

I chose Guitar.....

So I have this Bass, unplayed for at least 20yrs (I think its still strung with the strings it came with!) which as far as I was concerned was a bog standard, basic asf Bass Guitar - I was going to Skip it as I'm running out of space and i didn't think it'd be worth any more than a tenner

....but then I happened to catch someone's ad on a website; a Wood Finish Thunder 1 going for *£350*?!

I'd presumed that because the advertisement was for a Wood Finish, rather than painted, *that would be the reason for that Bass' value... BUT then I leaned that Red is a rarer than usual colour for this Instrument? 

I did what further digging and found out that the 9 digit serial number starts with the last number of the year of production... Mine starts with a 4, so I'm guessing it's an '84?

I'm guessing it's a Thunder 1 because that's what the headstock plate says

I've seen some go for lots £££ and some for not so much...

What the hell have I got and what the hell do I do with her?!

Any and all help GREATLY APPRECIATED 
Many thanks in advance for your time, Guys and Gals

Dusty :)
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Comments

  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    edited May 2
    Some pics would help. Solid red or red stained wood?

    1 means passive as opposed to a 1A (Active) and the 1’s tend to go for less. 

    Depending on condition and so on then I don’t see a couple of hundred quid being unreasonable at all. 
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    Guys and Gals
    Now, then. Now, then. The less heard of Savile catchphrases, the better.  :s




    The Westone Thunder 1 is a Matsumoku cult classic. It left the factory with a single, Asian, Precision Bass style pickup. This runs through simple volume and treble roll-off (Tone) controls. No active circuitry and, consequently, no battery compartment. 

    The natural wood finish was the most common. Part of the brief was to demonstrate the quality of the woods and workmanship by not hiding it under opaque paint finishes.

    Red and black are, indeed, rarer than natural. The flip side of this is that it is not always possible to tell what wood has been used unless or until the polyurethane begins to shrink into the grain.

    If the neck is straight and the frets are not worn, the instrument should fetch sensible money. The figure of three hundred and fifty is something that optimistic/greedy Internet sellers try on. They pretend to allow themselves to be haggled down to a more acceptable figure to secure a sale.

    What ... do I do?!
    1. New strings
    2. Lemon oil fingerboard
    3. Set up
    4. Evaluate
    If you have no use for a bass guitar, consider selling.

    If you compose and make demonstration recordings of your own material, keep the bass. Consider investing in a better pickup, pots and jack socket.


    **I'm not trying to find a buyer** - I realise that would put me in breach of ToS!
    Admirable conduct, sir.

    This may not prevent you receiving unsolicited offers from forum members of a certain age.

    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • Thanks for your help guys.. I feel terrible about even contemplating just discarding an instrument but I couldn't be bothered trying to shift it for a return of a couple of quid..

    Obviously, I won't now be doing that as it seems she clearly has posterity and value to the community but is next to useless sat in my cupboard..

    To Answer Bridgehouse's question; she's painted (a very distinct) red..

    In the interest of full disclosure, She has:

     - minor surface scratches (should i clean and T-Cut these?) 

     - 2 small chips in the Headstock
    (3mm wide max, but down to the wood)

     - Few light scratches on the Westone Plate at the Base of the Neck

     - All her frets are fine

     - Her neck is straight

     - She works!

    As I said, I feel terrible having something special that I don't really "care about".. I want what's best for her lol.. It would be great to know she's in loving hands - but I would also (selfishly) like the best price I can get!

    Should I strip, clean and T-Cut her?! - I wasn't sure if its like the antiques market where you *never* clean an item you wish to sell! 

    ......and thanks Funkfingers for possibly the most comprehensive answer I've received in a forum in 18yrs of internet! 
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  • DustisdeadbodiesDustisdeadbodies Frets: 0
    edited May 2
    (Painted SOLID red!)

    I could probably upload photos later but I wouldn't want it to be misconstrued as soliciting for customers!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    (Painted SOLID red!)
    ;)
    I could probably upload photos later but I wouldn't want it to be misconstrued as soliciting for costumers!
    No. It won’t. We like looking at bass porn.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 32818
    I think many of us here would like to see a nice red Thunder 1. I can't remember the last time I did...

    They are a nicely-made, solid instrument from one of the best Japanese factories, albeit with one of the less highly-valued brands.

    As already said, £350 is a little optimistic - but not wildly so. If it's in nice condition then £200-£250 is definitely achievable as it's probably the most desirable colour.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • You guys are awesome, thank you..

    One final question... is there a "preferred" avenue of sale for this kind of thing?
    Like a specialist trader or Website that "good buyers" go to, to find instruments such as mine? 

    Many thanks again, 

    I will upload some photos when I get home :)

    The *least* I can do for you all! 
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    You guys are awesome, thank you..

    One final question... is there a "preferred" avenue of sale for this kind of thing?
    Like a specialist trader or Website that "good buyers" go to, to find instruments such as mine? 

    Many thanks again, 

    I will upload some photos when I get home :)

    The *least* I can do for you all! 
    Basschat forums.

    You have to pay a few quid to advertise, but it will sell there.
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 15022
    You guys are awesome, thank you..

    One final question... is there a "preferred" avenue of sale for this kind of thing?
    Like a specialist trader or Website that "good buyers" go to, to find instruments such as mine? 

    Many thanks again, 

    I will upload some photos when I get home :)

    The *least* I can do for you all! 
    Basschat forums.

    You have to pay a few quid to advertise, but it will sell there.
    And what's wrong with our own Classifieds??

    No "few quid" to pay either.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    TTony said:
    You guys are awesome, thank you..

    One final question... is there a "preferred" avenue of sale for this kind of thing?
    Like a specialist trader or Website that "good buyers" go to, to find instruments such as mine? 

    Many thanks again, 

    I will upload some photos when I get home :)

    The *least* I can do for you all! 
    Basschat forums.

    You have to pay a few quid to advertise, but it will sell there.
    And what's wrong with our own Classifieds??

    No "few quid" to pay either.
    Nothing wrong at all - I’d recommend he list it here too.. however, he did ask for a “specialist” website.. and they are quite specialist over there ;)

    Bass buyers over here are less special. Unless it’s me. I’m really special
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    Basschat forum. You have to pay a few quid to advertise, but it will sell there.
    It might suffice to register and, then, trawl the Bass Wanted ad listings. You find a buyer rather than waiting for buyers to find you.


    TTony said:
    And what's wrong with our own Classifieds?
    @Dustisdeadbodies If forum admin TTony has no objection to you advertising so soon after registering, you might as well go for it. Just check the T&Cs and photograph upload advice.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    Bridgehouse said:
     I’m really special
    Nurse Ratched! He's escaped again. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • DustisdeadbodiesDustisdeadbodies Frets: 0
    edited May 3
    Pics up here gents and......gentettes........did Saville ever say that?

    ......n/m lol 

    imgur(DOT)com/a/5jSiNM9

    I couldn't figure out how to post/embed them here,  neeeeewb.....hope the link doesn't get me into too much trouble!

    Anyhoo....I took some photos with flash some without to give a better idea of the current state of the finish.. almost every single mark and blemish you can see in these pics will rub off with your finger..
    They're from white rubber strips on a bag which she was stored in front of...I think some is tea but the majority 
    are much like when you scuff your trainers on a wood floor, they "roll" off, if anything

    The only real damage is the 3 chips in the paint, altho "luckily" the one in her back is deep enough for me to identify that she is maple bodied
    (I'm a Carpenter!)

    Anyway enough babble.. hope you enjoy the pictures 

    Thanks again for the info! 
    I'll be sure to check in again 

    All love 
    London uk 
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  • DustisdeadbodiesDustisdeadbodies Frets: 0
    edited May 3
    (Deleted)
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 827
    https://imgur.com/a/5jSiNM9











    There you go mate. For future reference, you want to use the attach image button above the editor and drop the jpeg image URL in. 
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    Bridgehouse said:
    We like looking at bass porn.
    I bet that you wish your wife was as dirty as this Westone Thunder 1. ;)
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    Bridgehouse said:
    We like looking at bass porn.
    I bet that you wish your wife was as dirty as this Westone Thunder 1. ;)
    She could also do with some new strings
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    The only real damage is the 3 chips in the paint, altho "luckily" the one in her back is deep enough for me to identify that she is maple bodied (I'm a Carpenter!)
    According to this web page, you are correct about the body wood but incorrect about the presence of a reproductive opening.


    ICBM said:
    If it's in nice condition, then £200-£250 is definitely achievable as it's probably the most desirable colour.
    As is evident from the photographs, this example could do with a thorough cleaning and new strings. Tidied up, the instrument might fetch over £200 but it will cost at least thirty quid get it presentable.

    Some punters will prize the originality of the instrument *as is*. Inveterate modifiers would want to replace the nut, upgrade the pickup and, possibly, the control circuitry. In my opinion, there would be little point expending time or effort if the bass is likely to go to a project buyer.


    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • Wow guys... thank you so much... your help is invaluable and you've given me much to think about

    Many thanks once again :)

    What an awesome community

    All love
    London
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    What an awesome community
    You are too kind.

    Truth be known, the contributors to this thread are all of sufficient age to have been in their late teens or early twenties when the Westone Thunder Bass first appeared. Its ratio of build quality to affordability mattered greatly to young aspirant musicians on a limited budget. Consequently, it holds some sentimental appeal. The incorrigible hoarders on this forum probably still even have original Westone catalogues filed away. 

    In fact, I am quite surprised that THE incorrigible hoarder has not commented in this thread.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3821

    I must admit to being "of sufficient age" to remember these things, although I was purely a guitarist back then.  My brother was the bassist in the family.  He used a Westone (think it was a Thunder 1A) for years until it got stolen.  He's bought a few more since - normally ones that need some work.  He tends to buy them cheap, and do them up.  They are good instruments.

    I've been looking at ads for the Westone Concord recently, as I'm quite interested in getting something medium scale.  It's quite hard to find something of half decent quality in a 32" scale without paying a lot of money.

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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2743
    Interesting looking bass @Dustisdeadbodies. ;IMHO don't clean away the evidence of its age: rust, scratches etc but do replace the strings and get it looked at by a tech and setup.

    And OP, please don't refer to your bass (or guitar) as 'she'. For some reason the use of 'she' to allude to a musical instrument irritates me no end. Thanks.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    What the hell do I do with her?!
    Funkfingers said:
    According to this web page, you are ... incorrect about the presence of a reproductive opening.
    Rocker said:
    please don't refer to your bass (or guitar) as 'she'. For some reason the use of 'she' to allude to a musical instrument irritates me no end.
    It infers that some attempt has been made to copulate with the bass.  :#  The only accessible hole in it is one quarter of an inch wide.  ;)
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 15712
    What the hell do I do with her?!
    Funkfingers said:
    According to this web page, you are ... incorrect about the presence of a reproductive opening.
    Rocker said:
    please don't refer to your bass (or guitar) as 'she'. For some reason the use of 'she' to allude to a musical instrument irritates me no end.
    It infers that some attempt has been made to copulate with the bass.  :#  The only accessible hole in it is one quarter of an inch wide.  ;)
    You could always wrap something around it if it’s too loose a fit.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3323
    You could always wrap something around it if it’s too loose a fit.
    Is this another Dickie Mint reference?
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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