1980s Hondo Fame Series 8200 Fretless Electric Bass Guitar

This is one of those "bought off the back of a truck" instruments that I sometimes get in. I'm a bit of a fan of the better Hondo instruments from the late '70s through the mid-'80s, and this particular model was made in the mid-'80s and appears in the '83 through '85 catalogs. It's a Precision Bass clone, though there's no pickguard and the electronics are mounted from the rear in Gibson fashion.

While the build is very similar to late-'70s Fujigen products, this was probably made at the Samick factory in Korea. Its body is ply mahogany but its neck is mahogany with a skunk stripe and bullet-style truss rod nut at the headstock. It's hard to see but there's an actual indeterminate, rosewood-like hardwood fretboard on it separate from the neck. It was originally fretted, but because I had to plane parts of the board/neck to remove the usual age-related-hump near the neck joint, I decided to convert it to a lined-fretless bass while I was at it. The electronics and pickup are all original and dang if it doesn't sound good. That pickup has plenty of juice and mwah for most folks and a good, round, thumpy bottom-end.

Work included: conversion to lined-fretless board, cleaning, a new bone nut, a set of LaBella Deep Talkin light-gauge flatwound strings (96w-39w, $39 value), and a good setup. The neck is straight, the truss-rod works, and action is set at 3/32" EA and hair-below 3/32" DG at the 12th fret. Most players will find this just a touch low for fretless, but I like the quick feel.

Scale length: 33 7/8"
Nut width: 1 5/8"
String spacing at nut: 1 5/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2 5/16"
Body length: 20"
Lower bout width: 12 7/8"
Waist width: 9"
Upper bout width: 11"
Side depth at endpin: 1 3/8"
Body wood: ply mahogany
Fretboard: rosewood-like hardwood
Bridge: original adjustable
Neck feel: slim-to-medium C, 8-12" radius board
Neck wood: one-piece mahogany (or nato)

Condition notes: it has a ton of light scratches along the edges and a few small nicks and dings here and there. The hardware has minor tarnish and I'm pretty sure the dome-style metal knobs are not original (most of these online seem to have chrome knobs rather than black). They are old, though. Also -- obviously -- it's been converted to fretless.