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Fenderbird

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Big_Daddy, Dec 15, 2010.


  1. Big_Daddy

    Big_Daddy

    Nov 24, 2010
    Central Alberta
    Well, I'd like to put together a Fenderbird for myself, so I'm going to start keeping a lookout for stuff I might need.

    I'm new to the concept of Fenderbirds (...and assembling basses in general, actually). Is it really as simple as buying a Fender neck (aftermarket or all parts) and attaching it to a Gibson/Epiphone body?

    I'd imagine the neck would be a bit wide, so would it require I take a bit off the sides (if that's even possible?)

    I know it's a lot of answers to ask, but any help is appreciated.
     
  2. standupbassman

    standupbassman

    Jul 7, 2009
    you wouldn't want to take some off the sides (there's at least 50x as much work involved). Just route the neck cavity a little bit and it should be fine.
     
  3. Warmoth offers a Thunderbird body, why not go that way?
     
  4. Big_Daddy

    Big_Daddy

    Nov 24, 2010
    Central Alberta
    Probably shoulda figured that I should stay away from fiddling with the neck.
     
  5. Big_Daddy

    Big_Daddy

    Nov 24, 2010
    Central Alberta
    I'm cheap, and I don't mind waiting for the right opprotunity.
    :)
     
  6. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    There was a warmoth one on ebay a bit ago, For a cheap job , buy a local epiphone t bird for cheap , find a neck on here or mightymite P bass neck. There is routing involved and all would depend on what route (no pun intended) you take.

    But there will be blood, i mean routing.
     
  7. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Pittsburgh
    Not to take this on a derail, but what exactly is the purpose of making a fenderbird? Do people just not like the thunderbird necks? I understand Entwistle gave them some popularity but why? At some point did he just decide he didn't like the necks Gibson was making and decided to throw on a P-Bass neck as a random thought and liked it?
     
  8. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007

    Entwistle found the P bass lacking warmth & low end & the Tbird lacking treble & punch (also fragile necks).

    It is the really the combination of a Maple bolt on neck with a MAHOGANY body with Tbird pickups that make it a Fenderbird. It's the best of both worlds. Boutique builders have been using this formula for years (except the tbird pups).

    The Warmoth body has the neck pocket routed too far out so you get extreme neck heaviness & need gorilla arms.
     
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    That is what I always do on a Fender-Bird bass.
     
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    For some of us the p-bass neck fits just right.
     
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    This fender bird started with a mighty mite neck and a body from ebay. The body came with a fender sized neck pocket. I removed some wood so the neck sites 1/2" closer to the bridge and I extended the straplok.
    [​IMG]



    This is a modified t-bird body and a mighty mite neck.
    [​IMG]


    This is a non-reverse epiphone body with a mighty mite neck.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. MrBasseyPants

    MrBasseyPants

    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    It really is as easy as finding an Epi body and a Fender neck added with just a bit of luthier magic to fuse them together.

    There seems to be a lot of Epi T-birds on eBay with broken necks right now. The necks are pretty fragile, and apparently the headstocks like to pop off. I got a brand new silverburst t-bird with a broken neck, and put a Geddy Lee Jazz neck on it...and I think it turned out pretty well.

    [​IMG]

    My first fenderbird is a mashup of parts...it was a bit harder to put together, but it works well and has a more vintage vibe to it....I do think I like the silverburst better though....

    [​IMG]

    ...as far as playability goes...I guess I am a Fender guy. I resisted it for years, but I have been assimilated. I thought the idea of a Fenderbird was intriguing, but had no real interest in Gibson-esque basses. Now that I have a bunch of basses to compare, I do find the t-birds to lack some of the spice that I can get from a P, J, or Stingray....but sometimes this is the sound you want!

    I played my first whole set with my silverburst jazz Fenderbird over the weekend...it had a nice sound...and of course looked great! I'll definitely be using it again, but it just can't do what the others can do...but it feels really good and comfy to me.

    jc
     
  13. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Pittsburgh
    I love that silverburst. I'd eventually like something like that, but probably with a P-neck. Unfortunately I lack the type of skills to make a neck fit into the pocket, but maybe some day I'll get someone to do it for me. My fiance's little brother is quite good with a router.

    Btw, very interesting Rickenfenderbird (fenderbackerbird?) you have there Ric5 :)
     
  14. MrBasseyPants

    MrBasseyPants

    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    To route the neck on the silverbust, the luthier (whom I had never worked with) charged me $40. I thought that was totally reasonable since the bass was brand new....it still had all of the plastic on it. he thought I was nuts, but admitted that it looked pretty cool after he finished it.

    I have a router and I like to tinker, but I had invested about $175 into the body and I wasn't comfortable hacking at it myself.

    jc
     
  15. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Is there a 'correct' distance on where to mount the P-neck into a 'Bird body?

    I understand the neck dive issue, and would want a comfortable playing range.

    What's the sweet spot if there is one for setting the neck?
     
  16. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Wouldn't that change the scale length and ultimately the intonation?
     
  17. Big_Daddy

    Big_Daddy

    Nov 24, 2010
    Central Alberta
    My favorite neck is a Precision neck. It's the neck I've found to be the most comfortable; the one that suits me. I also like the Thunderbird sound. So, like Entwistle, I get the best of both worlds.
     
  18. probert

    probert

    Feb 25, 2009
    Zürich
    Where do you guys get your necks from? I know one can order from warmoth or allparts but a finished neck with + hardware comes really expensive. Do you get it from the bay?
    And even harder to find are those fender necks, because they don't seperatly sell them. It would for example like to buy one Geddy neck for one of my own projects but it's just not worth it for me to buy it from ebay (a fender neck with block inlays costs some 400-600 bucks from what I've seen)
     
  19. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    If you're using an existing body & bridge, that would be determined from 34 1/2" or 34" (depending on scale) from the center of the bridge saddles to the nut.
     
  20. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen!

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    I made mine from an Epi body and Mighty Mite Jazz neck (P bass necks are too big for my hands) and found it far easier to shave the sides and heel of the neck to fit the Epi's pocket. Mine intonated properly and is easy to play, no long reach to the low frets. Much better than the Warmoth body.
    [​IMG]

    And a close up, the end of the heel was trimmed so the fretboard would fit into the body the same as an Epi neck.[​IMG]