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Ampeg Big Stud - plywood ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jimfriar, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    Also saw one sitting for awhile at the Guitar Center in Whitehall (Allentown/Lehigh Valley)
  2. richardkimball


    May 19, 2013
    Hope yall don't mind me resurrecting this thread to ask about one of these Ampegs.
    I found one today at a local pawn for $150, but it has a repaired crack behind the headstock.
    Will a Fender-spec neck or other neck fit? What would a good price be in that condition as a project? Thx
  3. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    No, a Fender-style neck isn't going to fit on there without some trimming and modification. Why would you need to replace the neck? If it needs additional fixing, then fix it. These Ampeg Studs are fairly rare and kinda collectable. They aren't fantastic basses, but they aren't junk either. I'd hate to see you turn one into a frankenstein. Buy it if you like it as it is, or walk away.

    I have two of them in my Ampeg collection, a golden Big Stud and a red Little Stud. I paid $100 for the Big Stud in the '80's and $250 for the Little Stud in the '90's. Today, the Studs typically sell for $200 to $500.

    It's an unusual neck. If I remember right, it's made from 11 laminations. The body is something like 22 laminations. The reason why they are heavy isn't so much because because they are laminated. It's because the wood itself is heavy, plus the body is quite thick. I'm not sure what the wood is, but it's about the grain and density of maple. It's built like a tank....but the hardware and pickups are cheezy by today's standards.
    wraub likes this.
  4. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    I'd pass, you can do better for $150 imo
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I really like these basses I've played two of them and I never knew what they were made of? It doesn't matter because they sound great.
  6. I paid $135 NEW w HSC at Sam Goody's (a record store no long gone) back in '76-77. I gave it to a friend for a wedding gift. I've since replaced it & am now actually thinking about selling it. I have a 'cherry/mahogany' finish with a rosewood neck that I'm gonna keep 4ever! Here's a shot of me circa '79 with my 1st one at Kajem Studio (I played through an SVT in a vocal booth split w. direct). I had yanked the bridge cover....and p/u cover, if there was one! KajBass001.

    Attached Files:

    TinIndian likes this.
  8. I got rid of my 2nd gen Dan Armstrong but kept both of my Big Studs, for the record. It's a matter of personal choice. I like the mid-rangy presence when using fx pedals that really brings their sound out. The Jag is still my fave, but I like having an alternative! This shot is from 1980 at Kajem Studio.

    Attached Files:

  9. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Pieces of wood glued together with the grain all running the same direction are VERY different than pieces glued together with the grain on adjacent plies at right angles to each other. The first is a lamination, but definitely not what most would call plywood. The second is plywood. Both have their uses. You don't want a neck (or a structural beam) made out of plywood - it'd be unstable and weak - half of the grain is not contributing at all to strength or stiffness. A laminated neck or structural beam (given the right wood(s)) can be a wonderful thing, though.
    king koeller likes this.
  10. My late 70's Big Stud is still running! I had to stick a screw anchor in the upper horn when the wood stripped from it. That was in the late 80's after a decade of swinging my strap-lok-less bass around! It's held up fine since. Low quality, but durable & unique! Oh, Ron Kayfield replaced the jack with a stereo jack wired for mono. It really holds the plug in tight! Oh yeah, the wood's pretty light & it resonates nicely.
    king koeller likes this.
  11. king koeller

    king koeller

    Apr 20, 2005
    Dayton, Ohio
    I played an Ampeg BIG STUD today at the pawn shop. They wanted $499.00. When you look closely, it's a 1953 Tele-bass, but with 2 pickups, the neck is a single coil and the bridge is a toaster pickup. the bass is heavy as hell but to me that's great because of more sustain. The body is glued layers, of super hard wood, it is not plywood (which would be pine), but layers of maple, oak or Ash. The bass is solid as a rock and the tone with flatwounds is to die for. It featured a 3 way toggle switch for pick-ups, a volume control and tone control. The tuners were the standard japanese closed sealed tuners. very precise. this bass was made in Japan by TOKAI. They are known for there perfect Fender P-bass and Jazz bass copies, so fine and better than USA Fender at the time, that Fender, wanting to sue them said...will you please join our team and become Fender Japan? they said yes. The bass in not junk, Every thing about it say quality to the impeccable neck, rosewood fingerboard, featuring with full binding. I love the chrome bridge cover, but the pickup cover was missing on the bass I tried out. Also on the toggle switch is supposed to be a plastic screw on knob that was missing. This bass is really worth $699. so if I can get it for $499. that's a great deal!!!!KING KOELLER Jazz Bassist ,Dayton OHio

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