PreEB MM Sabre w Mods

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bhunt1, Apr 13, 2014.


  1. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I got a 1980 Sabre w plenty o' mojo, sounds great. Here's pics:
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    As you can see, it has two extra switches, the red and the green ones. The red is a three way, I think it might be series, parallel, single coil, and the green is two way, might be active/ passive. I was thinking about taking it to my local guitar store, which is a Musicman dealer and has a good repair dept. Do you think it is worth trying to get it back to original electronics? It does sound great as is; here's a video I did with it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O39X78lbD1Q

    Btw, I have the original case, it is a lefty like the bass, it is beat up but has some stickers showing the history of the bass. I got the bass from SoCal but I'm seeing St. Paul on the stickers, so it has history:

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    The bass is just freakin' cool!
  2. Hidesert

    Hidesert Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Fe & Sanibel
    Love the mojo. Leave the electronics alone, at least for a while...it would be like "cleaning up" the case by removing those awesome stickers. Bet you could track this back and find previous ownership yhrough TB.
    Did Prince play lefty?
  3. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I hate stuff like that added onto Musicman electronics.
    I have a 1980 Sabre as well but it's all original, and also had to once remove a bypass switch mod done on a preEB StingRay. It was easy with that bass that the control plates can be bought from EB-Musicman. But with yours being a lefty, I would first try to find out if Musicman even has any leftover lefty control plates before trying to undo anything.

    No Prince isn't lefty, and he's a hardcore Jazz Bass fan.
  4. drTSTingray

    drTSTingray

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    I've never even seen a lefty Sabre before - that must be an extremely rare bass and even more so with the original case. Superb.
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  6. vin*tone

    vin*tone

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Ostraya
    The original phase and low cut (??) switches on the original Sabre are pretty useless. I get the urge to return it to stock but really..... If it was mine I'd change the switches to series/pll or single coil.

    Maybe return it to stock before you sell it?.... but you're not missing much. (IMO IME)
  7. bhunt1

    bhunt1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks guys. On musician bass.org, there are 3 lefty
    Sabres listed, all made in early 1980. I haven't taken the neck off this one, but judging by the serial # it may have been made in that same period. The two original switches towards the bridge are pretty useless, but the two added switches do change the tones and have some pretty good tones with them. Doesn't it seem unlikely that Musicman would have a lefty control plate for this model? They stopped making the original Sabre with the switches in the 80s, didn't they?
    I am now researching where this bass came from. It was played by the bassist in the Criminals, an 80s Minnesota band. They played at the Stroh's Winter Carnival in Feb 1988 - the stickers are on the case, and I found the bill with the band listed. I've posted on a few forums to see if I can find anything about them. This bass has a lot of history, and it is wearing it! I'm thinking I might just leave it as is.
  8. smcd

    smcd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    When I saw "mods" in the title I shuddered to think what might have happened. Upon seeing the photo I was relieved. As far as mods go, those mods are light. I wouldn't change anything. As it sounds great, leave it be. I assume you got a discount due to the mods?
  9. vin*tone

    vin*tone

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Ostraya
    The red one is the only added one. White switch is original.
  10. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Nope: besides the red switch, the green switch below would mean the original screw hole has been hogged out and a chunk of wood cut out as well. So restoring would mean gluing a piece of wood back in for a screw to go into.
    And of course there's the LED.
    I guess if you cannot find a left plate from Musicman, you might be able to have someplace like a motorcycle shop weld up the holes and replate the chrome.

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