Luckiest unlucky guy in the world?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Strat, Aug 20, 2013.


  1. Strat

    Strat

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    Hello all,

    I recently had the chance to pick up a Kenneth Lawrence bass for really 1/3 of its value,and probably 1/4 of the price paid by the original owner. I have shown the following pics to Ken btw, but thought I'd share with you all, and ask for some guidance...

    [​IMG]

    See the bass had a pickguard installed, but I bought it anyways:

    [​IMG]


    According to Ken, the bass was finished in January of 2007. Quilted Maple over Ash body with "Grape Jelly" finish. Maple neck with Brazilian Rosewood fretboard "I very rarely acquiesce to doing dot inlays", Blue Fiber-Optic side markers, Nordstrand J pickups, modified Duncan pre-amp.

    Removing the pickguard, and (of course) somebody contravened all laws governing Bass ownership and routed it out. It looks like it was routed to simply move the J50. Why bother making the bumps for the screws if a side by side humbucker with screws on top and bottom was to be mounted? It makes no sense.

    [​IMG]

    I'm super happy about getting this quality of instrument for so low an entry price, and I am very happy that the pickguard was removed without any residue whatsoever...what I need help with is how to resolve this!

    Option 1 is to put a mini-bongo-style black glossy pickguard and leave the single coil.

    Option 2 is to try to put a double wide pickup in front with side-mounting holes. Do these exist???

    Option 3 is to put a pickguard across the entire front (I really do not want to even think about this).

    Option 4 is your suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  2. ddhm

    ddhm

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    I just had a bezel cut (to surround the pick up that had a bad cut) from wood that matched my FB and rawked it.
     
  3. Jaco D

    Jaco D

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    What did Ken suggest?
     
  4. Strat

    Strat

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    Good idea, though I do put my thumbs on the tops of the PUs, does the surround make the "ledge" too tiny to do this?
     
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  6. ddhm

    ddhm

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    Not for me. I'll try to get a pic up for you...before and after if I can.
     
  7. Strat

    Strat

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    I'm waiting for a response. We've talked pre-purchase to verify that this is instrument #305. Now that I have it, and had the pickguard removed, all other setup is not going forward until I resolve this.
     
  8. Strat

    Strat

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    Killer, I knew I could get a few good suggestions on here....
     
  9. 4-stringB

    4-stringB

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    Maybe I'm thinking more like a cabinetmaker than a luthier, but one way, I think the easiest, is to rout the pickup well out to a simple shape, (square, rectangle), and carve an insert to match the hole. Glue that into place, and re-rout for the pup of choice.
     
  10. ddhm

    ddhm

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    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]

    Since your cut out is so much larger, I might just put a couple of MM p'ups in (with bezels) and call it good. If you want to stick with single coils, perhaps a p'up cover (and bezel) is in order?

    Best of luck my friend,
    Dan
     
  11. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    That works, but matching the quilted maple is problematic.

    I thought of the double-wide Jazz, and you could make a cover for it out of two existing covers that might look pretty cool, but that route is uber ugly on one side and the top edge, and I don't think you can cover it.

    I'd consider routing for bigger, matching pickups if at all possible, though I'm unsure if you could fill that chasm. I'd go with a five string pickup if necessary.
     
  12. Konquest

    Konquest

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    Get a double j pickup from Delano. Rout the bad cavity to a clean edge. Have a luthier or good woodworker make a wood pickup cover, perhaps with rosewood to match the fingerboard. It does not need to match the body finish to look intentional and nice. Just do a google image search for "wood pickup covers" to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
     
  13. Strat

    Strat

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    I found this pickup as well: http://www.sgd-lutherie.com/pages/ND3-DLX.html

    I'll measure this and see if a trim ring around both pickups will look good (I'll make paper cutouts. I have noticed that Louis Johnson used a MM style pickup in the neck position, but have never tried it myself. I might stick a PJ combo in...I'm still undecided. For now I'm leavingthe guard off and leaving the cavity open ala Van Halen. It looks so much better than the white pickup cover. I'll get soem pickup measurements tonight and let everyone know what I'll do.
     
  14. Strat

    Strat

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    Hi guys, here are my final 2 choices:

    #1: Music Man-sized pickups front and back. Would be rerouted, and would not require any bezels, as the size of the bad routes is very, very close (inside of dimensions) to the edge of a refit.

    #2: Front double wide J50 (precision deluxe) sized pickup in the front with 1mm thick gloss Carbon Fiber weave pickup bezels around the front and back.

    ANy thoughs?
     
  15. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    MM 4 string pickups arent quite as wide as jazz pickups. But what would work well would be a set of 5 string MM pickupa with blade magnets instead of poles.
     
  16. Strat

    Strat

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    Hi, the route in the body is 48mm wide, which seems to be the same as MM 4 strings. The height of the offending bad route is 97 mm.

    It seems that width-wise I'd be aok according to both Bertolini, and SGD spec sheets. The height of the hole is slightly larger than the height of the pickups without measuring their mounting bumps....so there would be still some reveal....almost 5 mm if the offending bad route bump/top is where the flat part of the pickup goes. BUT, since the pickup goes off the left hand side, there is virgin wood left to cut for the flat part of the pickup, and it looks like the mounting bump lines up!....so I think I could do the whole thing with a 1 mm reveal.
     
  17. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    That would work.

    Personally, I don't see why the pickups have to match. A Nordy J in the bridge and a MM in the neck would probably sound killer.
     
  18. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    I traced this off of my two routing templates. The MM is longer overall if you include the mounting tabs, but you cannot completely hide a jazz rout in a MM cavity.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    Anyone other than Bartolini make a MM fiver pickup without exposed poles?
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Delano, Lane Poor and EMG come to mind.
     
  21. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

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    One of those might mix better with the Nordy than a Bart.
     

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