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Fender Reggie Hamilton Bass Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nervous, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Welcome to the Fender Reggie Hamilton Appreciation Thread. So RHAT Packers unite! This is intended to be a one stop shop for everything these basses are. Does not matter if it's USA or MIM. Show 'em, list your mods, sound clips and vids, likes and dislikes, and so on.

    Have had mind for a few days now and honestly, for all the basses that I have owned (and there have been MANY w/at least 5 J's and a couple P's at one time or another, as well as an assortment of Spectors, Cirrus, Warwick, Yamaha, Modulus, G&L, Ricks, etc.) some costing more than three times what I got this for and this one is really knocking me out. Completely stock MIM.

    I posted this first impression in my NBD thread but I think it's as suitable to kick things off here:

    I have had many different basses, 4's, 5's and a 6er, in the past few years searching for something and they are all gone because often I just wanted to try something else and many just have not seemed right for me. That's the joy in trying them though. Very often I know before I even plug them in and quite honestly my expectations were really quite low on this model despite all the great things I have read because I know from past experiences it's all so subjective.

    But the initial looking over had me liking what I was seeing. Nice solid weight, pristine condition, good quality parts all over. Really liking that. And, this one has that certain brightness and 'zing' that I favor right out of the case (arriving, impressively, still in tune I might add). Played it unplugged for a while to get the feel. The Jazz neck is a bit thicker but that's no bother, similar to the Modulus VJ neck as I recall it. Tweaked a few screws to bring the action down some (and I think there's more improvement there as well) and plugged it into my little Korg headphone unit. Sounded good. yeah, yeah yeah, not bad. Oh, what's the little switch for? BAM! Active mode. The thing comes alive. Big balls, nice range, solid P sound and I always love the blended P/J sound. I once had a NT Czech Spector P/J setup w/ EMG's and it remains top two best sounding basses I have ever had. This really is a fine guitar, import or not and especially in this price range? I can't imagine many better.



  2. bunkmunk


    Dec 27, 2004
    Bellingham, Wa
    I've had mine since this last October. Just a great bass. I got it because I was looking for a kind of swiss army knife of a bass. While it can get all kinds of tones, I'm learning more every day about the voice of its own it has and looking at it less of multiple-basses-in-one bass. Which is probably a better way to approach any bass.

    It really is great. If I want more of a P vibe, I can have it. If I want more of that bridge pickup attitude, its there when I want it. After experimenting with the sounds I can get from blending the pickups, I can season that sound to taste with the preamp. I can add thick lows or scoop the mids or add some top end. I personally like to boost the mids almost all the way up. Adds gain and has a thick sound and I'll adjust the bass and treble to taste from there. Tried a few different kinds of strings on it and right now I'm very satisfied with the GHS Pressurewounds. Once these strings broke in I forgot about wishing there was a passive tone control.

    Anyway, that is my experience up to date with the bass. Lovin' it.
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  4. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    I found my used Reggie in a pawn shop a few weeks ago. I beat the guy down 100 bucks and got it for $500CAD. It was a bit of a gamble since I didn't really get to plug it in. When I got home I realized that the P pickup was dead. I installed a Duncan SPB-3 and it sounds amazing with the noiseless jazz. I set the bass up to play in D standard (with a drop C option).

    I own a MIA P, and a VM Squier Jazz and used to have a Lakland 55-02 and Peavey Cirrus. There is something special about this bass it beats them all.

    The action was really high when I got this bass. It took some time to get the setup right.

    Regarding the bass missing a passive tone knob, I've created a work-around that can be found here:


    Anyone know where you can get a pickguard ? I'd like a black one :)

    Attached Files:

  5. Interesting passive tone control option. I read complaints about the bass not having them and I must be really odd because I have never use the tone controls on any bass or guitar I have ever owned. To my ears all they ever did was introduce instant muddiness. I'll have to revisit my thinking on this.

    Regarding pickguard options I have found two viable sources so far:

    1) Chandler Music/Pickguard Heaven


    Looks like lots of options and decent pricin and I have been told by them that their #1422 RH PG is made for the MIM model and that the screws should align correctly. I have no first hand experience yet.

    2) The second is Pickguardian,


    They do not stock this and do not currently have a template on hand so you would have to send yours in for to match. Here's the info I received from them:

    "I don't have a template for this model, but I can duplicate your original guard. A Reggie Harris J-Bass guard in standard material (WBW, BWB, etc.) would be $40 plus $7 shipping. Deluxe materials (Glitter, Pearloid, etc.) would be $10 more. Nitro Tortoise would be $20 more."

    Lastly, the action was a bit high on mine as well when I received it and I really don't love the old style truss rod adjustment with the screw in the bottom of the neck. That makes for a royal PITA to make adjustments. That said I was able to get to a buzz free 4/64 on every string across the 12th fret which is better than the Fender Spec I believe. Plays beautifully. I was surprised to find no buzzing anywhere after that so I think I have a good neck.

    The only minor caveat to this is that I think the finish is really brittle. I was putting the neck back on after tweaking the truss rod and the neck came in contact with one of the point at entry of the lower side of the neck pocket. I mean barely touched it and instantly my brand new condition bass had a 1/4" x 1/8 " chip of finish fractured off. I will try to super glue it back on and it is in an area where it will really if ever be seen but that did piss me off. The finish is thick though and it's an unsupported area so be aware and cautious.

    One more thing. I also had a Gotoh 201 bridge that I installed but found that the bridge saddles were so large that in this application even lowered all the way I could not get the action anywhere near good. With the Gotoh installed and saddles lowered as far as they would go it was still noticeably higher than the stock setup when I received it at >1/8" where the stock bridge and the saddles raised very high. I am not sure why that is though because there are a direct drop in replacement unless the neck pocket on this particular model is routed a bit deep than the others (although it does not appear to be). Why would there have been such a difference?
  6. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    Thanks for the pickguard info!

    The same thing happened to the finish on my MIM P bass when I removed the neck. I was pissed! I glued the finish back on with 5 min epoxy. I wouldn't use crazy glue... instant damage if you drip it anywhere on your finish. Paint around MIM fender neck pockets seems to be a weak spot.

    Attached Files:

  7. Exactly! Nice fix BTW. I have the epoxy on hand. Just a little dab? How did you address any squeeze out?

  8. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    I just put a little epoxy on the end of a tooth pick and dabbed it on the exposed wood and then stuck the paint chip back on. Lick your finger and wipe off any epoxy that squeezes out and then carefully give it one more wipe with another dry clean finger. The fix has held for over 5 years even after removing the neck a few more times.
  9. Thanks. That's the fix then. Let me know what pickguard route you take and how you like it.

    Added 3/7: I did the 5 minute epoxy repair and it came out awesome, as good as I could have hoped. No mess, squeeze out, finish damage, etc. Just a very slightly visible hairline crack now and I might be able to buff that as well. Instead of a wet finger I used a bit of alcohol to gently and carefully wipe away any excess epoxy before it dried. Thanks for the tip, it was exactly the right method.
  10. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Not sure if you are passing them out but "I want a number"!!...Mine is the SB Custom Shop Reggie V, and am really loving it! I have wanted a "PJ" 5-string for a long time, and am really digging the great fat, warm, round tone...The B-string sounds great too...It weighs in at just under 10 lbs (9lbs, 13ounces)...so it's a bit heavy, but so far it hasn't really bothered me.

    I ordered this bass back in May 2010, and finally got it in late December (7 months from order). I will say I was a bit disappointed with the set up coming from the Fender Custom Shop. The strings were buzzy and a couple were laying right on the neck, like no height adjustment had been made...and the intonation was out.

    But after giving it a good setup and intonation, it sounds and plays great.

    Give me a number please!

    Attached Files:

  11. Please tell me about the neck profile.

    I've really wanted one of these and I may have to go to the GC Mothership in Hollyweird to actually put my hands on a new one.

    What I want to know is the edge profile on the fretboard: is it rounded like the Marcus Miller? If so I am not interested in the Hamilton.
  12. fishtx,

    I saw a post by Reggie H himself talking about the fact that the CS 5's (and maybe the MIM4's - I can't remember) were intended to have Stainless steel strings and the B and E to be taper wound. I wasn't able to find (anywhere) the original Fender strings my Reggie came out with so I went for Sadowsky Blue stainless strings with a TW 130 B string. My bass was good b4 but with these strings it went to the next level.

    I string my Stingrays with EB nickel strings because that's what sounds best on them - and the same goes for my RHCS5 - the strings it was designed to have (or very similar) sound the best.

    Just wanted to share....
  13. frankenp


    Jul 17, 2008
    Halifax, NS
    Wow! Very Jealous.
  14. In an effort for uniquity I have renamed this thread title the (Fender) Reggie Hamilton Appreciation Thread and whose members should fittingly become the RHAT Pack.

    Here's the early list of assigned member numbers:


    #1 - Reggie Hamilton
    #2 - nervous
    #3 - bunkmunk
    #4 - frankenp
    #5 - Rocksolid
    #6 - fishtx
  15. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Great… RH Jazz V is $3400 custom shop.

  16. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Thx Nervous for the number!...And thanks Rocksolid for the info...I have a set of Elixirs (with the 130 TW B) on it right now and it plays, feels, and sounds great to me. But i may give the Sadowsky blues a try...
  17. fishtx - sounds like you have already got it covered. I assume the elixirs are stainless steel?

  18. It definitely feels like a jazz neck, but marginally flatter or thinner for me. A bit like a Lakland 5502 neck but not quite that flat. (I am talking about my Custom shop 5 string here). Not sure how else to describe it really... The finish is not gloss but not really matt like a Stingray oiled neck. I would probably describe it as a satin finish. Whatever it is - I love it...so easy to play.

    Hope that helps!
  19. That's the magic words: 'flatter or thinner'.

    Now I'm going to Hollyweird fir sure. I like the 9.5" 'C' profile and it sounds like that's the way it is - and although Fender's site says it is so, well - there's all sorts of discrepancies on those posted statements.

  20. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses/Genz Benz - RIP/Mojo Hand FX
    Actually I believe the Elixirs are coated Nickel (hex core)...I have just always liked the smooth feel, playability and extended life of the Elixirs, and have used them for years on many different Basses...

    "Edited to add below"

    Your question got me wondering "exactly" what the construction of the Elixir strings was. Here is an official response from Elixir on what their strings are (pulled this from another thread):

    "Thanks for your interest in Elixir® Strings along with taking the time to write. Our bass sets are manufactured with a steel hex-core core wire and a Nickel plated steel wrap wire. Let me know if there are any questions or

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