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Fender VI 6 String Bass ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by macheted01, Jun 27, 2012.


  1. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    I just recently acquired a Fender VI from one of my bandmates. It is his, but I am helping to restore it. Here is a description of it, for those who dont know.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI
    It is more of a baritone, I would say.
    It is in rough shape. I am hoping to find some aftermarket type parts. I have did some searching with no luck so far. If anyone has any leads, please inform me.
    I am looking for a pickguard. I have found some originals on ebay, but too much ? for us. Also, looking for some tuners that may be a direct replacement. I need one pickup, which I think I could find something close for that.
    I will get some pics tomorrow and put them up. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  3. Castagnier

    Castagnier

    Jun 6, 2012
    France
  4. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    Thanks guys. These should help. My mom is french, so she could help me out with that one. I think this is one of the earliest models, but not for sure. I will get some pics in a few and put them up.
     
  5. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Are you sure you're qualified for this?
     
  6. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    HAH!

    To the OP, correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the Fender VI 100% definitely a Baritone Guitar?
     
  7. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    In 61 it was described as a 6 string bass, now, yes a baritone guitar. Am I qualified for this, not sure. If you mean, restoring this myself, probably not. The thing has been sitting in a case, where it would have remained if I did not pull it out. So I figure, I will do it some justice. Or do you mean, it being a baritone guitar, not belonging here on TB. Either way, it is a classic in need of some love.
     
  8. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    fender VI.
    fender VIa.
    As you can see, somebody really botched it up. I will be curious to take that Gibson type EB3 pup off and see what it is. It would be cool to find a tremolo bar that fits this as well. I have a few places to make some calls today and see what kind of parts, I can come up with. My guitar tech friend is gonna see if he has a tuner for it. The whole original switch panel is gone and has been replaced with a 2 way toggle. Since I most likely will have a custom pickguard made through WD, I will probaby just go with a standard three way switch. In any case, this will be fun and will make this better than what it is now.
     
  9. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    The way I took his comment was that you seemed unsure about it. When, it's obviously a baritone guitar. I have no doubt in your qualifications for it! :)
     
  10. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    Yeah, I got it. I looked back and seen that he has "It is more of a baritone, I would say" in bold print. Missed that earlier. Definately know it is a baritone. Just ordered up the strings for it. Easiest part to find. Time to get on the phone and see what else I can find.
     
  11. Castagnier

    Castagnier

    Jun 6, 2012
    France
    According to the pics, and the "strat pickup", your VI is probably a pre 1963 with 3 switches
    Otherwise, 7ender has always quote its VI as a bass, not a baritone guitar.

    - here, all the strings ref for a Bass VI : http://www.wikicure.com/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=Bass-VI-Bander-son-arc

    - the keytuner were Kluson deluxe single line, similar as this one : http://elderly.com/accessories/items/SD9005MN.htm
     
  12. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    Whoa, someone gave you a pre-CBS Fender Bass VI?

    That's in rough shape, BUT, even in nasty shape those can go for A LOT of money. Mint condition ones are upwards of $5k-$10k- depending on the color.

    I would definitely be searching out vintage parts for that puppy and try and get her back to as original as possible. But that's just me...
     
  13. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    If I had a 34" 6 string bass tuned E-e, would it be a baritone guitar?
    The change in scale length doesn't make it a baritone. If it did, then those Gretsch Jr. basses (or any short scale bass) would be 4 string baritones.

    If you were to tune it up to A or B then it would be a baritone guitar, but in it's typical tuning it is a bass

    (I hope I don't sound terribly pedantic)
     
  14. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    Also I agree with this. Clean er up and make it like it originally was, and it'll be HOT
     
  15. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    I wouldn't touch the finish, either...I think that stripped look is awesome, unless you know how to do DIY refins. This was probably originally sunburst paint job because any of the pre-cbs custom color Bass VI's had matching headstocks IIRC.

    And if you got a pickguard for it, you could fit a correct PU where the humbucker is now- it'd just be more like a swimming pool route underneath, but the pickguard would hold it in place fine.

    I saw a real vintage Bass VI pickguard on Ebay (for a 1965, not sure if it'd fit that one, though) and the seller is asking like $700. You might be better off just getting one custom made...not sure what your budget is for this project.
     
  16. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    If I recall correctly, Warmoth makes Bass VI pickguards, and likely a bunch of others do. Shouldn't cost terribly much
     
  17. macheted01

    macheted01

    Sep 2, 2010
    I seen a couple on ebay. Yeah, way out of my league. I am waiting on a call back from WD. Forgot about Warmoth, I will check that out. Castagnier, I ordered up some Kluson's through WD. I also found a Fender Jaguar PUP on WD and ordered that up. It was the closest one that I could find. I did find a wiring schematic for it as well. I will probably go with a 5 way strat type switch. I am just gonna leave the finish the way it is. Would be great to get this back to its original form, but would be pretty costly. If I stumble onto some things on the way that are in my budget, that would be cool. For now, I just want to get er up and running and look a little closer to what it should be. Also, judging from the pup configuration I would have thought this to be the earlier of the models, but the Kluson tuners tell me, more like 65. According to what the fella at WD was saying. Thanks all, for the help so far. I am guessing by next week the guitar will have gone through some changes and I will put up the new pics.
     
  18. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    nice man! Can't wait for some pics! I love me some Bass VI.
     
  19. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Commercial User

    May 3, 2011
    Madison, WI
    It's tuned like a Baritone therefore IS a Baritone. I challenge anyone to tune it down an octave from Factory spec and have anything but horrible results.
     
  20. Having owned and worked with many baritone guitars and the Fender Bass VI and its clones, I can tell you it's all in the string gauge and tuning. That's it. The same guitar can be a baritone or a Bass VI.

    With a heavier gauge, you can tune a Fender Bass VI or clone to EADGBE one octave below guitar standard (or "bass guitar" standard).

    With a lighter gauge, you can do a baritone tuning of BEADF#B, or some players go a step lower to ADGCEA.

    Only the nut slots and set up (relief, action, etc.) will need to be altered. With the proper string gauge, I have succesfully converted both 30" and 28" scale instruments to either baritone or Bass VI tunings.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bass_VI

    Some of my baritones and Bass VI converted from what were once Danelectro basses

    DSCN5846.
     

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