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Eko 995 (Beatle Bass) pickgaurd issue - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Mark Gastambide, Nov 1, 2018.


  1. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    KIMG0026.JPG I recently acquired a 60's Eko Beatle (violin) Bass. (I had wanted one for years, because it was my first bass guitar, which I ended up having to trade in on my first really nice bass - a Fender Precision in 1980. Always regretted losing it!) It is in pristine shape, except for a few surface cracks on the back of the neck, near the headstock, which I figure can be smoothed and "burned - in" if it bothers me enough. However, there is ONE weird little thing I don't recall being an issue on the one I previously owned. The right end of the pickguard (near the bridge) is so high, that it almost touches the g - string (literally a couple of millimeters away) when the action is set nice and low. So, it would be virtually unplayable, if one wanted to play right next to the bridge. The screws that attach it to the body are both quite a distance from this end of the pickguard, so tightening them would not accomplish anything. I have seen some of these basses with without their pickguad, and am wondering if they were just removed for this reason. Anyway... I am playing the bass more in the "sweet spot" between the pickups, so it's not a HUGE issue. But I am just wondering if anyone has any suggestions I haven't thought of yet?
     
  2. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    I'm a little confused. Do you want the actual headstock (which has no "cover", since the truss rod adjusts at the body end, it just has a plastic "E" logo at the top of the headstock? Or do want the pickup cover? Mine are black w/ square pole pieces, but some of them are white w/ round pole pieces.
     
  3. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Some of them DID have a truss rod cover at the headstock of the bass. The ones I have seen are black. There are photos online. Just Google Eko 995 headstock images. Good luck!
     
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Don't know about you particular bass, but some "Beatle" basses had a pin on the end of the pickguard that fit into a hole in the base of the bridge to keep that end anchored. Perhaps yours has such a thing, but it has slipped out of the hole?
     
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    It looks warped to me. If it is, find a pot it will fit in. Fill the pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Place the pick guard in and let it heat up. Have two smooth firm, flat surfaces big enough to cover the pickguard at the ready. Once the pickguard softens some, remove from the water, sandwich between the two surfaces and weight it down until it cools to room temp..
     
  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Why not post a pic on TalkBass and ask?
     
  7. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't tried re-shaping a pickguard in this manner. I will have to take a look at the rear of it (once removed) to make sure it's sealed. Someone on another post mentioned that the pickguard is a clear acrylic - type material, and that the gold logo is "applied" to the backside, then the entire back is painted brown afterward. If that's the case, I probably better not submerge it. Perhaps heating it with a blow dryer, then flattening it would be safer - in that case. In any case, I plan on removing the silly "thumb rest". It is white - which matches absolutely NOTHING else on the entire bass (I know some of these basses had white control knobs and pickup covers). I plan on painting it black - to match the rest of the parts on this bass.
     
  8. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Haven't seen a pin or the corresponding hole you speak of. Perhaps mine didn't have one to begin with - or it was produced before they realized there was a problem? You got me thinking of possible modifications that would remedy the issue. I'm no engineer, but I am willing to bet that someone has the smarts, skills and tools to fashion something similar to the device you are describing. Thanks! And if anyone has ideas on how to make a retainer like this, I'd LOVE to hear it!
     
  9. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Here's an example. There's a small plastic block glued to the underside of the pickguard. The pin is socketed into the block and fits into a corresponding hole in the base of the bridge.. Pretty easy to make.

    upload_2018-11-2_9-53-58.
     
  10. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Thank you for the pic, Richard! I will have to look closely at the bridge to see if there is enough space in the necessary spot to drill a hole for the pin. I may defer this to a repair shop to see if they can do it. I don't have a drill press, and am a bit leery of trying to drill into a cast bridge without a properly equipped workbench, vices, clamps, etc... I don't think clamping it in my little vice and going at it with a hand drill is a good idea. But it does seem like a viable solution, unless I can be successful in heating and re-shaping it, as was also suggested. Thanks again!
     
  11. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The pin should go into a hole in the wooden part at the base of the bridge - I think I can see that part on your pic. The geometry of your bass may make that unfeasible though.
     
  12. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Ah! That's a bit different. I suppose it might work, if there's a thick enough point on the bridge to drill into. I'll have to have a look when I get home. I guess I would just have to have the block holding the pin be a little deeper, to get down to the wooden level of the bridge base. Thank you for the explanation. Any ideas on what to use for the pin, itself? Something less bendable than a length of coat hanger, I assume? Need something thin, but strong, yet still easy enough to cut to length with a hacksaw...
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    The one in the photo I supplied looks suspiciously like a finishing nail.
     
  14. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    Ahh! Possibly.
     
  15. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    So, I am torn between 2 possible solutions to this issue. As stated, I am not comfortable boiling the pickguard in water because of the way it is made (painted on the backside) to try re-shaping it. And the only thing I have that might heat it a bit is a blow dryer. (I assume baking it in the oven is not recommended!) So, I need to secure it to the bridge or body at this end of the guard itself. I am debating between trying to attach something to the underside and somehow anchor it to the bridge (or under the bridge, without altering it in any way). There IS a space between the wooden base and the metal bridge saddles that I may be able to slide something into... Or, I could carefully drill a small hole through the pickguard (I think it's acrylic, so I am hoping it drills and countersinks without shattering), and into the top of the bass itself with a wood screw (like the screw at the opposite end of the pickguard), using something for a spacer (aquarium hose, or other tubular material). The only worry I have about THAT option is applying upward pressure on the arch-top of the guitar to hold that pickguard down - hoping it doesn't deform the top. Oh, decisions, decisions...
     
  16. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    You could do what Hofner does. They glue a small block to the back and drill a small hole parallel to the surface of the pickguard and perpendicular to the bridge. that small hole then has an alignment pin inserted into it asnd can engage a crack or crevese on the bridge. Very like the one @Turnaround posted above.
     
  17. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    That sounds like the least destructive option, but I am wondering what to use for the block, and how to create something that will line up perfectly. I don't have a decent workspace OR the proper tools to do this job properly, to be honest. And I'm not sure every repair shop would be certain to do a good job either - since it's not something they encounter on a regular basis. More of a MacGuyver -type engineering problem. To create a block that small, I would need a material that could be cut with a small, precision saw or exacto knife. I also do not own a drill press for making a perfect hole in the block, once I have it. This doesn't sound like a hand - held jigsaw, and hand - held power drill kind of job. I really don't want to screw up something irreversibly on this vintage instrument. I'm thinking I may HAVE to take it to a luthier for this seemingly simple job, unfortunately.
     
  18. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Hofner used a small block of plastic and the pin isn't gluded in so it can be adjusted in and out
     
  19. Mark Gastambide

    Mark Gastambide

    Jul 22, 2018
    I found an online photo of the little plastic strap on the backside of those Hofner guards. Dang, that's a cheesy design! Looks like a small nail going into the bridge base, and another actually goes into the neck! And that's what basically holds the pickguard in place. I was surprised. I am attempting a similar fix at the moment. I positioned a penny (with Gorilla Super Glue) to the backside of the pickguard, so it sticks out just enough to catch under the bridge adjustment screw on the treble side. I have to let it set up overnight before attempting to put it on the bass. I am a bit skeptical about it holding, though. Quite a bit of upward pressure is going to be exerted on it when it is in place. I'll have to see how it holds when I re-attach it tomorrow evening. Wish me luck!
     
  20. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    How is the pickguard attached to the body now? Two screws with standoff/spacers underneath? I'm seeing one screw next to the EKO logo. Is that one of them? If so, could you just trim down the height of the standoffs, and lower the whole pickguard down a little closer to the body?
     

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