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Checklist for a simple pbass build? Please add to it!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by deepestend, Apr 10, 2015.


  1. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I just put together a jazz bass that I like, but is ultimately a little fussy for me: active pre with all kinds of options, nitro finish, ultralight tuners, etc.. I did it on the side and it took so long that by the end I was way too invested in the project and just wanted it done. It sounds great, but I think that in the end, my takeaway is that I like a really simple, passive bass under my hands.

    That said, I want to build a simple passive P bass, something I don’t have in my arsenal. Here’s my checklist for what I’d like based on what I’ve learned. Please add to it if you have any suggestions or see anything I’m missing.

    BTW, I’m going to get a simple body/neck made by Hilimire guitars ($120 body/$100 neck) and have a friend wind me a hot pbass pickup ($50).

    Here’s the list:

    Must haves:
    • tummy and arm cut
    • no pickguard
    • Rear route for ease of repairs
    • Naturally dark wood/wood the color that I’d want to dye it anyway
    • Shellac and then True Oil
    • Side jack
    • String-thru/ferrules
    • Full headstock
    • Dark Fretboard
    • Abalone fret markers
    • All passive
    • 1 pickup
    • 2 knobs
    • No strap locks, just permanently attached strap.
    • Non-special/ultralight clover tuners
    • No neckplate/use threaded inserts for neck screws

    Must not have:
    • pickguard or tort/too much trouble and never looks right
    • Any dye or stain-- all natural wood
    • Active electronics
     
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Can you get the P-bass pickups routes in the "reverse" position?
     
  3. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I could. Why?
     
  4. ScarfFace

    ScarfFace Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    La Crosse WI
    Putting the P pups in "reverse" gives a little more warmth to the G and D strings and a little more clarity to the E and A strings. Most people that listen to your playing won't know the difference, though.
     
  5. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Interesting to think about.
     
  6. Well....there's not much to add to the above list. Chicken head style knobs?
     
  7. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I think I'd basically like a passive pbass version of this lady:

    CLF60381_600.
     
  8. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    - Medium Jumbo frets (or skinny if you want that vintage vibe)
    - 1.5" Jazz nut (I like the feel of a Jazz neck but the sound of a P)
    - Bone or Graphite nut
    - 21 frets (19 is not enough Leo, 24 is too much)
    - Quality Aluminum Bridge (Brass is better but makes things heavier, I like the Hipshot options)
    - Ground wire to bridge! Shield the pick up cavity
     
  9. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    These are great! I haven't quite figured out the neck dimensions. I have a USACG jazz width neck that I really like, but wish that it were just a little bit wider, but not quite as wide as my G&L SB1.
     
  10. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Most of your wish list items are cosmetic. The "reversed P" pickup configuration is (in my opinion) an improvement in the sound "balance" of the instrument.

    You might change your mind on the "HOT" pickup, too. I went back to a Fender CS 62 pickup, as it sounded the best on recordings. Very full and warm, not harsh at all.
     
  11. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Some are def cosmetic, you are right. I'm looking to streamline a lot of the nonsense to just focus more on playing. That said, what is your ideal pick up resistance and magnet type?
     

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