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A crazy idea that my friend had.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ricdiculous5487, Mar 26, 2009.


  1. A couple of months back, I had to sell all my bass equipment to help out my family (dad lost his job, mom's hours were cut) and all I have left is an SX P bass with no amp. A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday and began talking about acoutic basses. Since I currently don't have any source of income, I can't afford to buy even the cheapest of ABG's. This where his crazy idea came in.

    He has an old Washburn acoustic guitar that's pretty much useless to him (he quit playing music years ago). He had the idea to convert it into an acoustic bass. He said he would just use a nut from an old neck I have and possibly take off the guitar bridge and swap it for a bass bridge (somehow, he has one of those laying around).

    So before he goes and destroys an acoustic guitar, I want to know if it would actually work. I told I would consult the wise members of the Talkbass community before we decide to go forth with this project.

    I guess desperate times do call for desperate measures. Keep in mind that the guitar is really dinged up, so the idea to sell it is thrown out the window.

    Thanks in advance, gang.
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I wouldn't use just any old bass bridge though, because I think most of them would rip out of the top of an acoustic guitar once you tried to tune up. Look for (or DIY make) the type of old-school tailpiece where it attaches to the butt of the body and wraps up over the top. That kind will work better in that application.
     
  3. +1 & get a damn strong acoustic.....or brace it w/ a cuppla bricks! ;-)
     
  4. ehque

    ehque

    Jan 8, 2006
    Singapore
    Note that acoustics are usually strung through the top, and so even if you remove the old bridge cleanly, you'll still have 6 holes weakening the top at exactly where you need it most.
     
  5. this sounds too risky too me. but, i think you've got a couple other options. 1. just the play the guitar LIKE it's a bass until you have a proper setup or 2. even if the guitar is crap, if it's playable then i bet you could trade it for an amp that's equally crappy, yet usable. try craigslist or freecycle, i'm sure some something will turn up.
     
  6. Limpingbass

    Limpingbass

    Sep 19, 2008
    IL
    I don't think the neck of acoustic guitar would be able to withhold tensions of bass strings.
     
  7. +1, and wouldnt the fret sizes be all wrong, and the scale length?
     
  8. I think that all you'll get out of it is a ruined SX P bass which in all probability is pretty decent. You'd probably be better off looking for the most beat up POS bass amp which somebody wants to give away for cheap and use that until you can afford something better. No matter how crap the amp, it will still sound better than a franken-SX-acoustic.
     
  9. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I did this years ago to a trash guitar - not worth the time.
     
  10. i have seen an acoustic guitar converted to a bass before. Not pretty, but it worked. However i dont know the specifics.

    One thing that comes to mind- would the frets be in the same place?, because wouldnt the scale length need to be different in order to get the required string tension?
     
  11. Hi.

    There has actually been a number of DIY threads about converting old acoustic guitars to basses, mostly in the luthiers corner IIRC.

    Most of the conversions have "worked", i.e. plays like a (very short scale) bass and nothing has broken down. The sound however hasn't been too good, as can be expected.

    To be able to tune the bass in 40HZ E, the E-string has to be quite thick, I'd put a B (130) in there.

    ^ Wadge, what I fail to see is how converting the Washburn to a bass would render the SX unplayable? ;).

    As suggested earlier, swap the acoustic for an amp if Your friend is OK with that. If the amp is only for practising, You'll have an unlimited choices of amps ranging from transistor radios to actual bass amps.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  12. I think that at best the conversion would be time consuming and at worse render you with a pile of useless washburn junk..... for me at least not worth the effort.
     
  13. Thanks for the replies guys, I just got off the phone with my buddy and we decided to search craigslist and freecycle for a trade. So hopefully something good comes out of this. Thanks again for all your input. You saved an acoustic g*itar.
     
  14. RedsFan75

    RedsFan75

    Apr 26, 2007
    Cincinnati
    PM'd ya. I've got a spare practice amp, maybe we can work something out.
     
  15. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford

    Feb 15, 2008
    OH/WV
    I say no go. The post above offered you a practice amp, jump on it. I have an extra one too, if all else goes wrong. PM me too, if you want.
     
  16. superfunk47

    superfunk47

    Sep 9, 2007
    Here's another offer of a practice amp, if the other 2 fall through.
     
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Nice to see what I presume to be a young man being completely stand up and helping his family.
    Good luck to your mom and dad with their work situation.
     
  18. I've seen conversions and alternative acoustic basses and have heard them being used in 'junk bands'. Not friggin Stradivarius' of basses but the sounds were actually decent.

    Check out Dennis Havlena's site. There may be a few worthwhile projects that interest you.

    Here's a vid of him playing a few of his instruments:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLhRtV1xKiM
     
  19. the engine

    the engine Guest

    Man! What a way to start the day! First of all, a guy digs deep and helps his family out by selling off some bass gear! Then two total strangers offer him a practice amp so he can keep his music dream alive! Awsome! Just awsome! I'm gonna go build something...or hug somebody! I'm inspired! I'm in! If you get one of these guy's amps and need some other stuff, get up with me. I can come up with a strap, cable, tuner, some extra srings, all of the above....SOMETHING!
     

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