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DIY kits. Worth it?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PinkHairedFreak, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. PinkHairedFreak


    Mar 11, 2013
    Hey dudes,

    I'm a fairly serious diy-er, and so the thought of diy bass kit is right up my alley. I've recently figured out that I want a hollowbody bass, and have seen kits like this https://www.etsy.com/listing/125050110/diy-electric-bass-guitar-kit-set-in? out there, but I don't know enough yet to know if this is a good price for what you're getting. I'd really appreciate any feedback.

  2. BenBL


    Jun 25, 2012
    I don't know about this but I'm sub'ing it becasue I want to know about this too
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    A DIY kit can be fun ... It is a good way to learn how to make a parts bass.
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'd be hesitant about a Beatle bass model, but I had a Saga DIY P bass kit that I absolutely loved to death. Assembling it and painting it was loads of fun, and the bass was actually pretty awesome once it was put together. I used it for rehearsals AND gigs for about a ten month period with zero complaints. The tuners worked well, the electronics held up and were responsive, and the tone was actually pretty decent. I'd dare say it was a nicer P bass than most Mexican Fender P's I had used in the past, and the whole thing cost me no more than $200 after tax and other supplies I needed to buy to 'finish' the bass.

    If you have some spare time I'd definitely suggest picking one up. They're a lot of fun. If you have a guitar buddy I'd tell him to pick up a DIY guitar kit so you two could work on your projects together. I did that with a friend of mine and it was loads of fun.
  5. Hi.

    I personally have never understood the appeal of generic Strat/P/J/BO SG/BO LP etc. in a kit form. Much easier and safer, not to mention cheaper to buy a ready-to-play cheapo and mod that.
    Unless one can buy it without the often dreadful hardware that is.
    That's an option I've never seen though. IOW, only the wood parts.

    OTOH for something like that "Höfner" clone it could be justified, they're much harder to come by as mod platforms.
    Making a hollw body from scratch is often beyond the abilities of an average DIYer as well.
    I would factor in the price of new PU's though ;).

  6. Agreed. I have a couple of forays into the parts bass build world. If you get high quality parts you can easily spend over a grand on a "project". If you later decide to sell it you're going to take a huge hit. There are so many great high quality production basses to be had that , unless you're looking for something to do, a parts bass generally isn't a practical solution.
  7. PinkHairedFreak


    Mar 11, 2013
    Wow, thank for all the replies.

    I just really like to make things! It would be way more about the experience and having a me-made guitar than anything else. I figured I'd probably want to replace things along the way. I already replaced the pickups in my main bass, and that was fun!
  8. Hi.

    In that case I'd look into making at least the body Yourself.

    IMHO much more rewarding.
    AND IME cheaper in the end if You don't factor in the time.

    A kit instrument may end up looking like "me-made" ;), but deep down You'll know that it was an assembly job.

    Making a neck isn't particularily difficult, but requires quite a bit of tools.

  9. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Makes no sense. The completed instrument can be had for about the same price -- or less -- with some shopping, and will be done better.

    DYI is rarely justified. If you want to do something that makes sense and saves money, learn how to do your own maintenance and setup correctly.
  10. PinkHairedFreak


    Mar 11, 2013
    :cool:Lol! Bongo, I also sew my own clothes, spin and dye yarn, knit my own socks and sweaters, make my own soap... The list goes on. I do it because I value the process, not because I'm trying to save money or anything.

    I am learning to do the other things you mentioned since I like to be self sufficient when possible.
  11. +1 I had got a SAGA Jazz kit and painted in Eddie Van Halen style and it was a blast. That bass was my main bass, over my Rickenbacker and my Musicman Stingray HH. It felt so great, looks amazing, and really had a great sound. It had such a pressence on stage and really became iconic in town. It would still be my main workhorse if it wasn't stolen...:crying:

    Best bass and memory ever!
  12. That's pretty dang cool dude :cool:. That's what I strive to do lol. Being self sufficient is awesome.
    But if you are THAT much of a DIYer and you have some woodworking experience, then you should just try making the bass from scratch. That would be a much more authentic self-made bass
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    The division of labor civilized mankind and freed humans from brute drudgery so that they could advance intellectually and spiritually.

    In 2013, making your own kludgy instruments is just an obscene waste of time to me, and saves no money.

    I'm an outcome-oriented guy, and to maximize outcomes, you must minimize process, which is just the foul, miasmal swamp lying between intention and completion. ;)

    Yes, we're different.
  14. PinkHairedFreak


    Mar 11, 2013
    I would REALLY like to, but I don't have access to woodworking tools. Once I have a wood shop, look out!
  15. Durockrolly


    Nov 26, 2012
    So. Cal.
    Apparently many of you have never just gone out in your garage to work on a project just for the pure enjoyment of it. For some of us, value is not the objective. Working on something that you're passionate about is. There's something to be said about sitting down with that guitar on your lap, whether you cut and shaped the body or just assembled it, knowing how every screw, every wire, every piece of hardware and electronics was installed because you did it! Sure there's better basses you can buy, but that feeling you get every time you pick up and play that one you built and/or assembled is a pretty damn good feeling!
  16. Liam76


    Dec 28, 2012
    As long as you're not sacrificing a mortgage payment or the kid's milk money, I'd say it's worth it. Whether it's cars or guitars, I love projects! Gives me something to think about at work and look forward to coming home to.
  17. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    You said it, brother. +1.
  18. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    My buddy had me do some work on his Soundgear last year. I only needed the neck to work on, so I took it off right there in front of him. He was awestruck, because he had owned the bass ten years but never done any servicing on it (which showed).

    I guess if you want a nuts 'n' bolts lesson in guitar construction then this is the way to go. With a pre-routed body and neck you cannot go too far wrong, though the overall build quality is still determined by your skill set.
  19. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    You're better off scouring ebay and the TB classifieds for all the parts you need, because you'll land stuff cheaper than a kit and much better quality.
  20. drea2304


    Feb 13, 2012
    Central IL
    I've always wanted to do a kit bass but never got around to it. I do custom paint on bikes as a side job. Flamed out hotrod bass would be cool. Let us know how it comes out.

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