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American Deluxe neck/standard body problem

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kernpre, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    so I just bought this p-bass off ebay. $350 got an american deluxe (98 usa)rosewood neck, and what I thought was a deluxe body (usa alder) with duncan quarterpounders. Great deal I figure. All true except, this is a frankenstien with the neck seemingly mated to a usa standard p body.

    Here's the problem. The American Deluxe p-bass has that jass pickup looking thing (I'm a purest, don't approve)and the bridge on those suckers is set much further up on the body than a traditional p-bass.

    Long and short. I can't intonate the sucker with the bridge in the standard positioning. Bought a BadAss II to try and compensate for the distance, but it still isn't enough.

    The only thing to do is to move it up further, but then I have drill holes from original bridge showing. ah well....live and learn.

    just looking for any other suggestions before I punch holes in this thing. It will still be a good bass for the money, save for the ugly holes.
  2. another difference between the two is the P deluxe has 22frets, the standard has 20 ie. the neck length is different.

    the P pickup will be in the wrong spot as regards tone.

    I'd say get a standard P bass neck to fit the body, either Fender or any Fender replacement (warmoth, Mighty Mite, WD etc.), and swap it over.

    but finding a body that the 22fret neck will fit will be difficult.
  3. I don't believe the pup positions will have to be changed. After all, the neck is only longer - it isn't a different scale. 34" same as all P's. The only alteration that needs to be made is to enlarge the neck pocket further into the body (towards the bridge) to allow for the extra frets.

    So, just where do you mount the bridge? Keeping in mind that the neck pocket will have to be enlarged, here's the procedure for locating it before you alter the neck pocket:

    1. Firmly mount the neck in the pocked (as is) and clamp in place gently.

    2. Measure from the 12th fret towards the bridge a total of 17".

    3. Add to that 17" from the 12 fret, the distance of the space of the last 2 frets on the neck (frets 21 and 22).

    4. This 17" (+ fret spacing) is a good start for bridge location. I like to set my saddles to about 75% of full extension and place them at this line. Since intonation from this point will nearly always require lengthening the string, you can be assured that you've got enough adjustment for nearly any intonation setting.

    Hope this helps
  4. Kernpre, you have PM!
  5. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA

    Trying to mate the two pieces seems like way more trouble then it's worth. Everything that you do to make it playable is essentially devaluating your purchase. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by moving the bridge, routing the neck pocket....If you ever wanted to sell it, who'd want to buy a frankenstein P w/ the bridge moved or the neck pocket routed for what is essentially a non standard neck? What good are those extra frets if you can't reach them because the cutaway of the body is made for 20 frets?

    I'd part it out and get get the Am. Precision that you want. You'll at least break even...maybe even come out ahead a bit.

    The 22 fret Fender necks are extremely difficult to come by and you could definitely get a decent price for it.

    Likewise w/ the Hot Rod P body - and pickups always sell.

    Or you could sell some pieces and assemble a bass from the remaining parts.

    Example: I just saw a 20 fret jazz neck for sale today for $75 - you could slap that on there, sell the 22 fretter, be good to go and have enough $$ for ultralight tuners or whatever.

    There are many options before you bust out the drill and the router. Fender already makes them playable... you just need the right pieces, Brotherman.

    just my .02$
  6. It may seem like way too much work for you, but I assure you that this isn't a difficult task for someone that knows what they're doing. After all, the bass in question is already a frankenstein, the pieces have no collector value together, the body (if it truly IS a Fender) has minimal value unless it's pretty old. As far as devaluing the original purchase, that just isn't going to happen. The $350 already paid for the instrument must be worked into the equation. If he sold every part on the bass seperately and got a good price, there still wouldn't be enough to buy an American P. BTW, there isn't any mention of the P body in question being a Hot Rod P. He said it's a standard P with a Jazz pup (which may or may not be in the right place)

    As for screw holes - there are some trick ways to fill and disquise these without screwing with the finish. That way, although there will be a small imperfection in the surface, the old holes will be nearly impossible to see.

    Nah, there's plenty here to work with, and plenty to make an interesting instrument without a lot of extra geeters.
  7. the trouble is that enlarging the neck pocket and moving the neck further into the body means drilling new neck bolt holes, and the neck block will overhang over the heel of the neck.

    keeping the neck mounting the same and moving the bridge towards the neck will mean the p p/up is now closer to the bridge than on a standard P.

    If kempre was in the UK i'd be interested in buying the 22fret neck- to fit on my '92 Precision plus.
    (IIRC Munjibunga fitted a P deluxe neck to his '93 P plus deluxe)
  8. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    Thanks for the input fellas.

    The body is what I believe to be a standard P bass...BUT...it doesn't have holes to string through the body, so perhaps not? It is chrome red however, and looks to be original paint, and I know the mexi's aren't made in this color. Add to the confusion.

    So this is what I did. I simply bought a badass II for the extra length and moved the bridge up about a 1/4 inch. It still covers the orignial holes and intonates as well. So, it is totally playable in that sense, but the question of pick-up placement....hmmmm...It is still 34" scale, but I guess because of the neck length the pick-up would be closer to the bridge. Hadn't thought of all this.

    So...currently it plays great, and intonates, but I haven't spent enough time with it sonically to figure out if it is going to work or not. I did a/b last night with a american standard P. Sounded a little thin, but pretty close to P-ish.

  9. yeah, a US standard ('94 onwards) P body should have strings-thru-body, also schaller straplok buttons, and a small rout in the pickguard and body at the neck pocket for trussrod access.

    I think the neckplate should have "Fender" or "F" embossed on it.

    another problem the 22fret neck might pose is that the balance may be out due to the upper horn now falling short of the 12th fret.
  10. Well everything aside now you've got a unique sound. So perhaps it's not a disadvantage? If you ever get famous you'll drive people absolutely nuts trying to replicate it.


  11. kernpre


    Sep 12, 2002
    True! I finally had a chance to use it last night for a rehearsal. Plugged into a '72 SVT/8x10 rig, it sounded P-licsious. The rig doesn't hurt.

    I think she's a keeper for the short term. Really pretty too, so that doesn't suck.

    Thanks for all the input folks..
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    And I thought I was the only one with a mongrel like that. Ive got a 22 fret P neck mounted on a Squier body. I used a Badass 2 and moved it forward about 3/4". The pickup is a Fender "Original 62" and it sounds pretty good. Its not quite as thumpy as any of my other P's are (I would imagine that has to be because the pickup sits closer to the bridge than P's normally do) but it has a sound thats almost like P meets J.

    When I find my digital camera I'll post a picture.