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1983 Ibanez MC924 customization advice.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanAdams, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I just got this bass on eBay. I've always wanted one and it is absolutely the most amazing sounding thing I have ever played.

    I never thought that having a 24 fret would be a problem for me, but I realized that I don't have much space between between the neck pickup the the 24th fret to get my fingers under the strings. I have been playing an Ibanez ATK with no neck pickup (and 22 frets) so finger space was never a problem.

    So... I was thinking about removing the last 2 frets and routing out the fretboard, thus making it a 22 fret bass and giving me more finger snapping room. I suspect the truss rod is probably right under there. right? bad idea
    So better yet-
    what If I removed 1/4 of the last two frets, just the part under the G string, then contoured the fretboard just in that small area down the the height of the bass body. The truss rod slot would still be covered by the fretboard
    I love this bass and I expect to own it until I'm dead so I'm not worried about messing up it's value (which remarkably it doesn't really have, but that's another thread :))

    But I would really like it if this bass didn't cramp my playing style.
    So what do you think?

    The close up shows what area I am talking about routing down to the body. It has a maple/walnut/maple neck, neck through construction so I think I would just leave maple showing where I routed through the fretboard.
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    It looks like there is plenty of room; perhaps working on your technique to accommodate the space available would be better than messing with a cool bass like that? :cool:
  3. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    Please don't.
    scourgeofgod and MonetBass like this.
  4. bassie12


    Aug 23, 2008
    Find an Ibanez MC900. Two less frets, two better pickups. Some would argue better construction, too.
  5. Alex J

    Alex J

    Jul 5, 2011
    Wouldn't mess with it if I were you! I've got the same model, but in that deep red colour, and while I struggle to double thumb in the space between the pickup and the neck, popping is easily doable if you're careful enough with your technique.
  6. Doctor_Clock

    Doctor_Clock The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    As a fellow MC924 owner I would recommend against it as well.
    Sometime the bass "You have always wanted" does not suit your style or technique. That is always a sad discovery.
    On the bright side, as many TBer's would agree the main reason for having two or more basses is because they fit different music or playing styles. You now have the chance to try to alter your technique to suit this bass, which will only help you in the long run for other basses to come.
    Congrats on the getting IMO one of the finest production basses of the late 70's and 80's.
    Maybe ask some of these guys they are all Musician Owners
  7. Hnz


    Jul 13, 2010
    The Netherlands
    All of the above!
  8. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Two better pickups? Depends who you ask. I certainly don't think so.

    Those who would argue better construction don't know what they're talking about. The construction of both basses is virtually identical.
  9. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Terrible ideas. Ones that you would regret immediately.
    scourgeofgod likes this.
  10. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Don't do it. Just move your hand a half inch toward the bridge, and you'll be fine.
  11. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Well it's unanimous. Don't do it.
    And I won't, well not right away at least. I'll keep it like this for a month and see if I'm able to adjust.
    The whole reason that I'm even considering it is because I think that it's relatively easy to find these, and I would likely refinish the whole bass If I were to do it. (I have access to pro wood shops)
    The 'polar white' turned metallic yellow is a little... well... interesting :/

    I wasn't looking/waiting for that long, and I found this bass in great shape with it's original hard case for $460. There is several people asking a little more for thier Musicians, and still several more who are holding out for the $1200 which they will never get.
    I've owned many nice basses, I can't recommend anything more than one of these Musicians. Well except the part about me ramming my right index finger into the fretboard repeatedly :)
  12. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I just bought another one on ebay for $300!!!
    finish is screwed (OK, I'm refinishing anyway)
    has a few upside down fender style tuners (I can replace those)
    Now I can go at it and really not fear messing up my nice Musician bass.
  13. Hnz


    Jul 13, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Lookin forward to the pics!

    GO FOR IT, DAN!!!

  14. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Scary part done. not regretting it yet :D
  15. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    The catalog calls this body Ash. I don't believe it.
    The headstock veneer is Ash, but my wood worker buddy can't tell what the body is, so it's probably something cheaper that cabinet builders don't use. Is this what naked Basswood looks like?
  16. Hnz


    Jul 13, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Could very well be basswood. Looks like this:

  17. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    First, congrats on getting 2 very nice basses for less than one typically sells for. I miss my '83 MC940 pretty much every day, and it's been gone for many years.

    Next, I had no problem playing pretty much anything on mine, so I might tend to agree with others above that a technique review may be in order.

    Mine had the Dark Stain finish, and it definitely appeared to have an ash body, typical pronounced grain of ash with the multi-lam neck. Your sanded one does appear to be something more akin to basswood, probably due to it having a painted finish.

    Lastly, while I would never do that to a Musician (which while not an ancient Fender or an Alembic, does indeed have a lot of value), it is your bass and I hope it makes you happy.

    I am still a little jealous. ;)
  18. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    That looks like it could be poplar.

    If it gets you lots of girls then it would be popular.
  19. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    I don't think it's poplar. But I do think the catalog is very misleading.
    So the natural finish ones are better basses.

    At some point soon I will outline my entire rebuild. I don't think anyone will mind what I have done once they see how previous owners had broken and mangled this thing. Sure, I am making a questionable modification, but this bass was BAD.
  20. DanAdams

    DanAdams Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2013
    and by "misleading" I mean LIES!!!!