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8.5 Lbs. 5 String P-Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Wfrance3, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I've searched, schemed, and done the math. I don't think it's possible. I now go to the collective knowledge trust of Talkbass.

    Can I swap out my jaguar body with a lighter one and have an 8.5 lbs. non-neck diving P-Bass.

    I have a VM Jag 5 that comes in at 10.5 lbs. (bathroom scale). It's the 5 string version and it just feels very chooch-like and cumbersome to play. Love the tone, but not the weight!

    Want to keep the VM Jag V slim C neck. Assume I'm willing to go with Hipshot ultralights to make the neck as light as possible. Will be a single split-coil p bass pickup, (1) vol. (1) tone.

    FWIW I've tried the wide strap, I've tried varying my playing position, all the shenanigans that are pretty abundant if you use the search function. After about 40 minutes of playing with this bad boy I end up with sore spot mid-lower back plucking hand side. It seems to be showing up more quickly now, so trying to be ahead of the game.

    What I would like to do is replace the body with something lighter, but i'm afraid that even if I nab a Warmoth unpainted, 3 lbs 10 oz extra light swamp ash body, the bass will load up to the exact same difference once you add tuners, pickups, etc.

    And, there is the ever present fear of the dreaded neck dive. So, I'm throwing down the gauntlet of challenge. Is it possible to do a body replacement and come out on the mark, or am I just stuck with a heavyweight?
  2. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I have a 5lb 4 string so definitely possible. You just have to weigh all your hardware and neck and then get a body that weighs how ever much is left. An extended upper horn (to or past the 12th fret) should keep it from neck diving. Also mounting the strap button on the underside of the upper horn pretty much eliminates neck dive.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    reverendrally and Wfrance3 like this.
  3. Pete Hilton builds 5 strings in that weight range all the time. I've also built pretty light stuff. Here's my recipe...

    Medium scale 32"
    Bolt on neck
    Narrow spacing (15mm)
    Thin body
    Heavily chambered
    Light body core or slab (pine or similar)
    Single PU and passive controls
    Guitar tuners or ultralights
    Wooden or lightweight bridge
    Will_White likes this.
  4. Have you thought about drilling out some wood under the pickguard?

    Will_White likes this.
  5. ddezz


    Apr 5, 2013
    Naples FL & Hartford, CT USA
    Nobody give me anything!
    Or you could join a gym to learn how to hold 1 1/2 lbs more and not spend any money.
    bound'n'blocked likes this.
  6. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    I'm 6'5" 300 lbs of muscle and I still prefer my 5 lb bass to my 12 lb bass. Plus this is talkbass the correct answer is always obtain another bass.
  7. I appreciate the sentiment of this. There is such a thing as gig fitness. However, recent developments have shown us there's no real advantage in playing a heavier instrument. Rather the opposite. Especially, with a number of us managing back and shoulder injuries. Cyclists and tennis players, for instance, all favour lighter equipment. The same goes for basses.
    Beej likes this.

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