93 Stu Hamm Urge (MIM) rebuild

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Pep, Jan 8, 2017.


  1. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    I hope to update this as I progress so others who want to do something similar will be able to use it as a guide.

    I've been looking for a mid scale Stu Hamm Urge Bass for a year or more. I was mainly interested in an American made Urge 1. This bass was going to be my player so I finally decided not to spend the $1500+ for a bass that should be a collector, so i started looking for the MIM version.
    I finally found one last week and purchased it. The original photo is below.
    I set it up and tested it out and it played flawlessly. The tones were very good and the neck was excellent.

    I've been playing a "Vintage Brand" V4 P-Bass clone. I changed the pickup to a Carvin P=Bass pickup and added a Stellartone Tone pot. For what I do the P-bass tone is the sound I'm wanting. I just wanted a shorter scale and the 32" will be perfect for my application. This bass will not use active electronics. It will be completely passive.

    On Friday I disassembled the bass so I could plan out what I wanted to do. Prior to this I noticed the thread by Tom0Blam0 titled "NBD (kinda): MIM Fender Urge EXTREME MAKEOVER EDITION". Here's a link:
    NBD (kinda): MIM Fender Urge EXTREME MAKEOVER EDITION[/URL]
    Tom's "makeover" is very similar to what I had in mind, so it confirmed I was on the right track.

    93 Urge MIM Bass.jpg Body before.JPG Body Chip 1.JPG Body Chip 2.JPG Urge cavity before.JPG

    Upon disassembly I noticed that the white finish wasn't the original color. I found a couple of deep chips under the pickguard that revealed the original Lake Placid blue color (pics below). I've yet to decide whether I will repaint or go with the white.

    Here are my plans:

    (1) Route a P-Bass pocket between the Jazz pickups and install a Bartolini Classic P-Bass pickup.
    (2) Eventually replace the stock Jazz pickups with Bartolinis as well.
    (3) Replace the bridge with a black Carvin Hipshot.
    (4) Bore the body for "through the body" strings using black Carvin string ferrules.
    (5) Disassemble the tuners and have some of the parts powdercoated black.
    (6) Replace the neck string tree with a black one.
    (7) Replace the neck plate with a black one.
    (8) Replace the stacked pots with 3 single ones (vol, tone, & a balance/pan [ for the Jazz pickups).
    (9) Replace the knobs with "barrel style" black knobs (3)
    (10) Bore for a mini toggle for pickup selection.
    (11) Black powdercoat the jack plate.
    (13) Black strap buttons.
    (14) Black screws for everything.
    (15) Possibly repaint the body and order a new pickguard.

    So far I've received the Bartonlini P-Bass pickup and have ordered the knobs, pickguard screws, string tree, & neck plate.
    I will order the bridge, ferrules, strap buttons, pots, mini toggle, shielding material, and whatever miscellaneous parts I can think of this week. I'll also do some minor routing of the cavity to accommodate the updated electronics and layout the P-Bass pocket.

    I'll update as I make progress.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  2. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    UPDATE: All parts have been ordered and should be here by Friday. I disassembled the tuners and sent the mounting plates, tuning keys, and collars to the powdercoater. Should have those back by Friday as well.
    I ordered a Stellartone Bass Eleven Tone Switch. If you're not familiar with them, they have detented stops in 11 positions from deep bass to very bright. That allows me to get the exact tone I want every time.
    I'll wire up the electronics this weekend so they're ready to mount.
    I hope to have the bass routed and ready to start assembly by Tuesday of next week.
     
    Marshall Guiton and irjason like this.
  3. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Well I've received all but 5 parts (powdercoated tuners, volume pot, blend pot, tuner screws, 4 more pickup screws).
    In the first two photos you can see the P-Bass pickup holes laid out. You can also see the new Carvin bridge. Layout P-Bass pickup.JPG P-Bass pickup laid out.JPG
    In the third photo you can see the connectors. I'm going to attach these to the pickups so if I want to change them out I won't need to cut wires or unsolder and resolder. connectors.JPG
    In the last photo you can see all the parts I've received so far (bridge, string ferrules, string tree, Bartolini P-Bass Classic pickup, neck plate, connectors, knobs, Stellartone 11 position tone pot, and mini toggle). parts.JPG
    The powdercoated tuner parts will be ready tomorrow. If everything goes right the bass ought to be ready to play by next weekend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  4. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Well the neck is pretty much done. I got the tuners back from the powdercoater today. I assembled and mounted them. I will remove them later in the week, lubricate them and then remount them with black screws.
    I like the way they turned out. Whatcha' think?

    Tuners back.JPG Tuners front.JPG
     
    Crusher47, JIO, Aaron Mc and 5 others like this.
  5. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Today was a day of rest. I'll make the wiring diagram tomorrow, a cardboard template and hopefully start soldering.
     
  6. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
     
  7. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Another delay. Incorrect parts, Reordered and could possibly be here tomorrow.
     
  8. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Well I suppose everyone is wondering what's taking so long. It's a few things.

    (1) I'm debating on whether or not to strip the body and have it repainted.
    (2) I ordered a Hakko soldering station and it hasn't arrived yet. I want the connections to be near perfect.
    (3) I'm going to order new J-Bass pickups to replace the originals, but haven't decided which ones. The J-Bass pickups in this bass are both the shorter neck size so pickup selection is somewhat limited. it's was either Bartolini or EMG, but this bass is passive and the EMGs are active, so it'll be the Bartolinis.
    (4) I send the pick guard to WD Music to have them make a white pearloid one for when I decide to refinish it. They're sending the original one back as soon as they make a tracing. I should have back it next week.

    I should have the wiring done over the weekend if the soldering station shows up by Friday. I'll probably end up assembling it without the pick guard so I can see how it plays and sounds. I'll post more picks of the soldering, and as I assemble it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
    Marshall Guiton likes this.
  9. I love projects like this, and this one is especially cool, being an Urge. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    Also, what colour were you thinking of refinishing it in?
     
  10. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Either metallic black or dark teal with a white pearloid pick guard.
     
    Marshall Guiton likes this.
  11. Metallic black would be cool, but I think dark teal would look absolutely amazing on this bass. Just my 2 cents.
     
  12. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    I agree and that's what I'm leaning toward.
    I would have the head painted to match if I had someone who could reproduce the decals including the serial number.
    If not it will remain natural.
     
    Marshall Guiton likes this.
  13. If you're going to drill for the string through body. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! use a template in order for them to line out perfectly. You might think you're going absolutely straight when going freehand, but when the drill has gone through, 99% chance one or more of the holes will be out of alignment. While nothing structurally, it is quite a cosmetic issue.

    Body looks fair, I would leave it as it is (unless you plan to go pickguardless).
     
  14. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    I've laid out the holes and started a pilot hole. Using a drill press and clamping the body down. Thanks for the advice. I'll be careful.
     
  15. I suppose it might be difficult to recreate a headstock decal for such an uncommon instrument, but if you find a way to pull off the matching headstock, you will have one gorgeous and unique instrument (not that you don't already!). You might want to dig around a little here on TB, I've seen some very well done repro headstock decals, I bet you could find someone able to help you.
     
  16. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Finding someone to do the decal shouldn't be a problem, but finding someone to do the serial number might.
     
    Marshall Guiton likes this.
  17. Ah, I never thought of that. Yeah, that might be an issue. Do you think the Fender Custom Shop would do it for you? I'm sure it'd cost an arm and a leg, anyway.
     
  18. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    Some one might do it if I can show them that the neck is genuine and belongs to me.
     
  19. Yeah, true. I'm sure as long as they know you're not planning to resell it as something it's not, it wouldn't be a problem. And besides, you're just trying to have the original serial number put back on, there's no harm in that.
     
  20. Pep

    Pep Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Louisville, KY
    It would be very difficult to sell this one as an American original. It's going to be passive instead of active, Bartolini pickups, no stacked controls, retro-fitted Carvin (Gotoh) tuners, and it has fretboard markers whereas the MIA has side-dots only. Not only that, it will have a MIM serial number.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
    Marshall Guiton likes this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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