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Building a P-Bass Partscaster - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassplayerdon, May 17, 2011.

  1. bassplayerdon


    Nov 28, 2010
    I'm considering putting together a Partscaster P-Bass. I'm mainly doing this for fun.

    I was looking on eBay, and saw a black Highway One body that caught my eye. The finish is flat, and I'm wondering if it would be easier to maintain rather than a glossy finish?

    I was also looking at MIM P-Bass bodies.

    I guess I'm asking if I should spring for Fender USA made parts over MIM parts for this project. I'm definitely not in a rush to put it together, but over the next few months I hope to have it done.

  2. screaminglucy


    Jul 20, 2009
    TX, USA
    the highway one finish is meant to show wear faster so it sounds like you might be happier with a poly finish like a MIM.

    don't skimp on tuners and remember the neck is the most important part.
  3. bassplayerdon


    Nov 28, 2010
    Thanks for the info. I think I agree with you on the Highway One finish. I've heard that the finish comes off pretty easy. I will probably go with Hipshot tuners.

    I saw a couple of MIM bodies that I liked, but I'm also wondering about Mighty Mite bodies and necks? There is a blue burst color they make that I like, and it would be cheaper than the MIM body.
  4. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    If I were doing the same I would shop long and hard for a Fender neck; not a replacement. Cost could very close and there is a possibility of getting a very nice one. In fact I would part the whole unit to original mfg if such a situation presents itself. I would steer from MIM -> MIJ is available for parts & occasionally VERY inexpensive.
    Actually there is a lot of old Fender items around. Cost is much less outside of eBay and places that want to make money from them. Pawnshops occasionally have very damaged guitars that exist as "borrowed against" & they occasionally just want to climb out from their investment. $200 buys you a MIJ '62 with bent tuning pegs but a good neck. Look LOCAL for parts; often you get a good surprise. Driving to a small town often gets great results.
    You MAY be able to get a lot of Fender parts - and be able to make a more direct comparison. After-market electronics are fine but comparisons are useful.
    If bought used (but working obviously) from another parts-caster maker or from pawn or "mom & pop" music repair where the guy hasn't picked up his guitar for 7yrs or whatever - you could make a very nice instrument for much less than you thought.
    Two beaten damaged Basses for $200 each + odds & ends for $50-100 + some work = a great instrument for $500.
  5. rnilson


    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    What is your reasoning on this?

    Most builders I have talked with usually thing All Parts or Warmoth neck are generally better than a factory fender neck epecially in the consistancy of product area.
  6. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    My reasoning is this: basically overall cost vs parts bought separately. While you may get a killer (individual) neck for $4-500, the partscaster starts costing real $ after several separate purchases. Hunting down a decent Fender, etc may yield a very nice neck @ much lower cost. However I totally agree that consistency is on the side of the Warmoth or individually mfg'd necks.
    Knowing that at some point you will have to make the decision to keep her for life or sell her; if it's several beaters pieced into a nice playable instrument you would have less invested IF you ever sell her off.

    Now realistically, I don't know your situation. You may have some "mad money" and you may also have the desire to never sell her off. I'm only speaking for myself obviously. A good single purchase neck IS very likely to be quality on the trigger. However you MIGHT find a winner from a beat instrument & then you have other parts - saving even more, etc.
    I suppose I always look at a project with the possibility that it may not be the guitar of my dreams of I would need the $ again. An investment for the top-of-the-line [neck] would (possibly) force your hand to keep her or take a (possibly serious) loss. Where as, a "hunt for a good neck" may yield results and keep you in a low budget area in case of financial trouble.
    In this economy, (speaking only for myself) I'd work to contain cost on an instrument that I could never get back my investment. Partscasters just can't return a substantial investment.
  7. This is the guy building the body for my parts P.
    Imcredible price finished in Nitro

    timbo81 | eBay

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