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customizing my bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ulyanov, Apr 23, 2001.

  1. I'm thinking about customizing my bass this summer, I can't afford a new one, but I'd like a better sound out of what I have. Also, I just like playing with tools and equipment and stuff. I wasn't sure what forum it went under, so I just put it here. I have a Yamaha RBX260 fretless, and I want to get a new pickup, other than that, I don't know what to do. I've heard that a new bridge could help with sustain, and that some people get new nuts and tuners, could anyone help me out? Right now I play with flatwounds, and I like the smooth sound, but I'd like a little more sustain.
  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    More sustain, eh? That's what new bridges are good for, so you might want to get one of those. I'm not exactly sure what the screw layout is of your Yamaha, but there are a few after-market bridges available. I put a Gotoh 201 on my fretless Jazz bass and love it. (You know, this is the umpteenth thread I talked about the 201... I think I should get some compensation from Gotoh for this free advertising... ;) ) Try looking at www.allparts.com or www.warmoth.com . They both sell bridges for decent prices. www.stewmac.com also has a few. Good luck!
  3. Good morning Ulyanov.

    Here's a little trick that you might not have come across.

    A good way to get more sustain is to improve the acoustic 'circuit' between the bolt-together parts of the bass. That is, neck to body and bridge to body.

    Because there are always imperfections in machining, finishing, etc, the mating surfaces of neck heel and body cutout, bridge underside and body cutout are not truly flat. Micro humps and hollows always exist. The trick is to fill them up so making mating the surfaces as flat as possible.

    I've used two-part epoxy resin for this purpose: you know, the translucent stuff sold as an adhesive, not vehicle body filler which is too thick.

    I've smeared oil onto the surfaces to be mated to prevent the epoxy sticking them together, so they can be taken apart later if needed.

    I then apply a few small blobs onto the body cutouts. Then screw down the components which spreads the epoxy between the surfaces. The trick is not to put on to much. You must be careful not to put it too near the screw holes for fear of getting it inside them. Likewise, keep it away from the edges so that it doesn't squeeze out so spoiling the bass's finish.

    The epoxy solidifies so making a soild mass that exactly follows those micro imperfections so allowing string vibrations to be transfered more effectively between the two surfaces. At lease, that, the theory.

    Admittedly, you're going to have to be a bit brave to try it and I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not it's worth it. (Sorry but I can't accept responsibility if things go wrong).


    Rockin John

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