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Bass VI Conversion

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by pedrodelawasp, May 20, 2018.

  1. I have started work on converting a Harley Benton short scale P-Bass to a Bass Vi.

    So far I have:
    - Plugged the tuner holes
    - Sanded the headstock back
    - Drilled new holes
    - Painted the headstock face black
    - Glued large washers for the tuners in place (needed a spacer to fit them securely, went for the chunky washers for an 'industrial' look)
    - Glued a maple veneer to the back of the headstock (clamped at present)
    - Routed the body for H/P90/H configuration with a tele HB bridge

    Will be wired with a 5-way and master volume and tone controls.

    Here's some pics!






  2. Wulfensteiner

    Wulfensteiner Inactive

    Mar 24, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    Its just crazy enough to work dude. Keep us posted!
    Leiria likes this.
  3. BONUS CONTENT: I also built a viola inspired body to match to the neck from an Epi EB-O. It has been through a few pup configurations, but I am now settled on a set of Epi T-Bird pups. The body has a two piece Poplar back with a drop top made from Wenge and Mahogony slats (leftovers from previous builds), a plywood scrathplate painted black and a Jazz control plate. I'm loving this bass and it will be accompanying me to the Sonic Rock Solstice and Belladrum festivals this summer (UK)





    GotRoot?, Axstar, ICM and 6 others like this.
  4. Wulfensteiner

    Wulfensteiner Inactive

    Mar 24, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    Glorious, man. Glorious. I'd play the living hell out of that!!
    pedrodelawasp likes this.
  5. Cheers!
  6. Wulfensteiner

    Wulfensteiner Inactive

    Mar 24, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    One complaint. It aint a real complaint, and its pure cosmetic.
    I'd do away with the PG, hiding wires or not lol. I kinda dig the 'exposed components and cable spaghetti' look, I dislike the PG look haha. Definitely looks like a nice player. Kudos.
    pedrodelawasp likes this.
  7. I might do an entirely new body for it one day without a guard. It's heavily chambered, too, so a soundhole of some description could be an option. I'm also keeping a look out for EB-O necks on eBay to do another one!
    Wulfensteiner likes this.
  8. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    Woah, cool! Looking forward to seeing the finished product. :thumbsup::bassist:
    pedrodelawasp likes this.
  9. Wulfensteiner

    Wulfensteiner Inactive

    Mar 24, 2018
    Melbourne, Australia
    And chambered?? Heh. I see F holes in your future, sir.
    Leiria and pedrodelawasp like this.
  10. Here's a quick pic of the reverse of the headstock as I begin sanding/attempting to blend the join from the veneer to the neck wood. I am quite happy with how it's looking so far for a first attempt at this.

  11. Today I sprayed some coats of satin clear on the headstock, drilled the string-through holes in the body and sanded the gloss off, prior to refinishing the body in satin black to match the headstock. After that the next steps will be:

    - install string-through ferrules
    - sand and paint the pickguard
    - shield the cavities and the back of the pickguard
    - assembly and wiring
    - set-up and play!

    No pics today, but will post some more as work progresses.
    Matt Liebenau likes this.
  12. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    I bet that's going to sound glorious :bassist:
  13. GotRoot?, Leiria and Matt Liebenau like this.
  14. ... should've gone with a black P90 I reckon.

    The bridge route is a bit shonky as I decided to move it back around 3mm as I was worried I'd have to set the saddles as far back as they could possibly go to intonate properly, which would cause issues for the strings passing through. So, routed it back a little and glued in a sliver of the ply that I had left over from cutting the pickguard - which requires another rubdown and final coat(s) of satin clear.
  15. The P90 is just a cover. You should be able to get a black one pretty cheap and replace. IMHO the white looks fine in there though.
    83_Silberpfeil and Leiria like this.
  16. I’m pretty sure Warman would be happy enough to do me a replacement cover if I asked them, they’ve been great to deal with. I’m kind of torn between having the off-white pup as a visual statement in the middle position or switching to a black one to blend in overall. I think my eagerness to wire things up and get playing will win out at least initially!
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
    83_Silberpfeil likes this.
  17. Leiria


    May 21, 2015
    I personally feel it would be too much black. There needs to be some sort of contrast to make it look more lively. Plus 2 black pickups plus a chrome one on the neck would look weird IMO. I like how it is now
  18. News!

    Pickup re-think and [nearly, so very nearly] finished.

    I really didn't dig the Steinberger pup, I reckon it needs to be in a matched set and only to be used if you want an ultra clean, neutral sounding pup. So...

    I got a new pair of Warman Mirrorman humbuckers for the neck and bridge positions. The one that was at the neck will be saved over for a future guitar build I have in mind (H in the neck, P-90 in middle).

    Everything was wired and strung up today, besides the high-E string. The Ernie Ball BassVI set has a reputation online, that I now know to be well founded, for being on the short side. The high-E is not long enough to wrap around the tuning post! It's a real shame as the rest of the set plays really nicely and I have no complaint so far of the .90 low-E being overly floppy at all.

    Anyway - PICS!


  19. P.S. String trees/retainer bar will be added at some pint soon.

    I also dub this machine the P-Six.

    ETA: I've only had a chance to quickly run through the various pup selector positions, playing through my Ampeg BA-112V2. All sounding promising thus far - just need to find my way about the fretboard and get used to it being more cluttered than I'm accustomed to!
  20. Leiria


    May 21, 2015
    AFAIK Ernie Ball Bass VI's are for baritone guitars to be tuned like a Bass VI, not an actual Bass VI

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