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Bassitar type thing... Project

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pedrodelawasp, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Hello everybody.

    I've got a bunch of things kicking about in the house that I'm thinking of throwing together to see what happens. Here's the idea:

    - take an old Jim Deacon Les Paul copy and rip the guts out
    - take an old p-bass pickup and put one half in the neck position, biased towards the treble side, and the other in the bridge position, biased towards the bass side (hoping for a balanced, mid-rangey sound)
    - use a mix of bass and guitar strings, tuning it something like C to C (have done this acoustically, sounds pretty)

    Have also been considering cutting off the wings of the guitar body (besides the control cavity bit) and building up a plywood or masonite body (or even 5mm art board), a la danelectro.

    What do you reckon? Pass on any advice, hints or comments.

    Cheers! :)
  2. jvollrath


    Sep 11, 2008
    Athens, GA
    You should go with the tried and true Local H method.

    Keep the guitar as is. Add a p-bass pickup that will go under the E and A strings only. Wire a second input jack for that. Run one input jack to a guitar rig, the other to a bass rig with an octave pedal.

    I've been around Scott's setup numerous times, it sounds HUGE.
  3. That does sound pretty cool, but it's not really what I'm aiming at. I'm pushing towards a baritone of sorts, using the p-bass pup and particularly heavy strings.

    So far I've ripped out the old electrics, wired up the new bass pup, attached four spare tuners to the head for testing purposes and strung it with a mix of bass and guitar strings (2 of each). The results have taken me by surprise, if I'm honest. It's sounding alot better than I thought it would, really full bodies and throaty. I've also given it a low-fi cosmetic job, scraping off some of the black paint to reveal the silver of a past re-spray underneath and adding some red electrical tape stripes (this actually looks alot better than the description makes it sound). Pics to follow, although it would seem very few people are bothered with this thread, so maybe there's no point... :meh:
  4. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    I'd like to see it.
  5. lowselfesteem


    Jun 24, 2007
    oh, I'm definitely interested. My concern would be whether the bass strings would exert too much pressure on the neck. But it's important for me to add that I don't know anything and that might be a completely irrational concern. I'll bet it sounds cool.
  6. JayM


    Apr 4, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I'd like to see it too.

    Sounds like an interesting experiment.
  7. Gopherbassist


    Jan 19, 2008
    I want to see it as well, it's always cool to see people doing new stuff.
  8. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    More than seeing it, I'd really like to hear that project! Sounds like a pretty cool idea.

    jvollrath, thanks for mentioning that setup, it sounds really cool too!
  9. Thanks folks, I'll borrow my better half's camera and get some decent pics taken. Will also try recording something and popping it up on myspace (I'll probably just do a quick home recording through an A to D box or my pedal board).

    I think the neck will be okay. The strings are being tuned slightly lower than they normally would (D from a bass tuned to C, etc), although doing this over a shorter scale length increases tension, but not too much (I think...). I'm also leaving the body modification for now, don't want to over stretch myself or ruin the thing!

    Will update soon.
  10. You can hear a very quick little improv recording of what i've built on my myspace (address in signature). Here's a low quality picture too... The red electrical tape was just me messing around, I'll get round to filling in the holes for the selector switch and the secong volume and tone pots and doing a proper paint job at some point.
  11. I've decided to bring back the project of building a body in the danelectro hardboard style. However, I'm mainly using junk and scraps for the body, but am feeling confident!

    Have taken the bottom out of some old drawers (substitute for masonite) and am using some pine (or a selection of shelves) to construct the frame. I have canibalised an old strat copy for its rather nice maple neck/board and the jack socket. I've also got a hardtail, top mounting bridge and a loaded strat scratchplate on the way. The overall shape is going to be a combination of the arms of a strat, blending into the end shape of a les paul with a sound hole of some sort in the upper bout. The end product, I hope, will be a fun, odd looking thing, taking start/les paul/hagstrom viking inspiration.

    Pics to follow!

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