Molding a Squire deluxe Active V to a VI
I have a Squire Active Deluxe V Jazz bass & am presently trying to convert it to a 6 string. I already purchased a Kahler 7146 tremolo bridge for it (I want to get that Stanley Clarke bad ass vibrato.)
The neck is unusually wide (2.008" @ the nut, ideal 15mm spacing after 5 to 6 conversion.) The problem is there is limited space on the headstock, and I will have to replace the stock Squire Standard Open tuners with smaller GB7 Gotohs, and there are no spacer/ bushings available to gill in those holes.
I have seen the project successfully done on this website & it is supposed to be easy! Pretty labor intensive to make six 17mm dowels to plug up those holes. Maybe stock hardware 11/16" dowels with gorilla glue? I've been advised against this & I don't know why. Gorilla Glue adhering to dampened wood's damn strong! Suggestions?
Also the pickup/Active eq combo give me a very satisfactory Marcus Miller growl (using DR Fatbeam strings.) The J pickups are standard ceramic bars, but apparently the interface between pickups, electronics, & strings gimme what I want. Except it could be beefier sounding, the low b is particularly weak. In lieu of getting new pickups, I will first try using an MXR M108 EQ pedal to deepen & fatten out the MM slap sound, without compromising the mid & hi overtones that define the growl. If possible, for accompanying on folk/pop/rock gigs, using the EQ unit, I might be able to achieve a less funky/ more generic sound using the same Squire bass & DR strings. I have noticed that the combo of single coil pickups & round core (even bright hex core) strings results in a bright, prominent "chiff" when rapidly attacked--particular in the lower register. I have noticed Marcus Miller does turn down his treble & volume when in the accompaniment mode, and does get a decent generic sound free of a distracting chiff attack. (By the way "chiff'or "chif" is a legitimate musical adjective describing the attack made by the initial striking sound of bow horsehairs on a violin string, and/or the attack of a Baroque organ--not a 19th century organ) It also applies to the bright slap bass attack on the lower notes, I wish basstalks' spell checker (or my own androids') would stop changing it to Schiff or chief & give me the correct spelling-- two f's or one!
For a generic pop/folk sound, nothing beats the punchy foundation that traditional hex core strings & a split coil P bass combo can provide. It is a compromise & I hope the MXR EQ will adequately bridge that gap. Also I am a bit concerned about the position of the pole pieces on the ceramic single coils once the position & spacing of the strings change (19mm to 15mm). People on this website who have already made the 5 to 6 string conversion report no I'll effect. I do have the option of taking my Carvin J99a's off my Ibanez SR406, & putting them on my Squire. Then I can put the factory DX6s back on the Ibanez & sell that piece o' crap! Never liked the 406 cuz of the incredibly dull lifeless nonbypassable active EQ, & the neck/string spacing is too wide. Any insight or suggestions that can save me time & labor?
I can really only comment on the headstock thing(and the Kahler, sorta). For the headstock, why not drill it out the holes to the next size you can get a dowel in? Seems much quicker, and you will either have to refinish the headstock or deal with looking at plugs anyway.
On the Kahler, did you get the long bar for it? I think Kahler calls them the vintage length bars. With the extra tension, it may make it easier to use. Plus more lever arm on a trem is never bad.
Keep us posted, and I would personally like to see it as you go.
The next size is 11/16"! According to Warmouth pedants, it has to be the full 17mm! According to them it should be so tight that it has to be pounded in with a mallet. Personally I have lots of trust in dampened Gorilla glue. Those gaps can't be that big! The tremolo bar is 12". The Wammiworld salesman switched it out no charge. Great outfit to do business with.
I have heard great things about Wammiworld too. Seriously considering going through them unless I get a great deal on a used Kahler when I get mine.
Can you enlarge the holes slightly with a file to get them to make it a tight fit rather than using a drill bit? I know they say "it must be done this way", but how many times do you see instruments hold together years done the way professionals say not to? I would personally be nervous pounding anything into a maple neck.
I have made two attempts to do quick replies to Jakes advise. Both times my words vanished leaving message stating that I don't have permission to enter the page. Webmaster??????
Now it's working! Do you mean widen the holes to accommodate 3/4" dowels instead of 11/16" dowels? Maybe. But how much of a gap between 17mm & 11/16"? Once I see those gotohs in the flesh I can determine whether I can fill in just the existing G tuner hole. Drill the new g hole below it, maybe there will be just enough room for the C tuner above it. It would be cool to keep those existing bigass bass side tuners in place. Small tuners for treble strings on the other side--the contrasting cosmetic difference of tuner keys isn't crucial. This project has been already done & there are pics of a white & black Squire Active Deluxe conversions on this website
People ask me why not just buy a 6 string bass. I did once, the Ibanez. Where can you find an affordable 6 string bass with a 2" nut width and a string spacing of only 15". The industry standard is 17mm, too wide for me. I paid $200 used for the Squire. And it gets that Marcus Miller growl right out a the box!
While on the subject of corporations dictating consumer options & tastes. I would sure prefer a 16' fretboard radius rather than a 12". I strive to cultivate a style that utilizes the index finger momentarily barred across several strings (like a capo) as the other three fingers move about. Classic Guitarists make frequent use of this technique. Has anyone seen a classic guitar with a radius? The radius forces the index finger to hook, causing undo tension, wasted energy. I think it would be too pricey having my ebanol fretboard reshaped, refinished & refreted. I'm on a budget!
P. S. S. S
The guy who originally molded his squire & posted pics is DJAV, maybe he can be located & he csm enlighten me
Correction: it was "Shannon" & ' Davcombass" who posted pics of their black & white Squire basses respectively
Can they be found?
You can sand the dowels to fit the current holes. I'd use epoxy or Titebond for gluing.
I would use Titebond I, but the true luthiers will probably suggest using freshly made hot-hide glue.
This thread will probably help as a resource...
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