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First Parts Bass Build

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by logans59, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    So, I hope this is in the right place...

    I've been thinking about doing this for a while and I finally have some money so I can. I want to build a fretless p-bass (yes, I know its an oxymoron). A friend gave me his old Squier Affinity P that doesn't work anymore so I'm going to use that body, but I haven't bought anything else and I want to make sure I do this right, so here's what I'm thinking. Please let me know if I have forgotten anything, as well as input on parts I've selected/thinking about

    Black Squier Affinity P bass body - black
    Copper Shielding
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity II Pickups
    pots (?)
    Unlined Fretless Maple neck (warmoth, vintage Fender,?)
    Bridge - Hipshot A, B, Fender Hi-mass, Badass?
    Tuners - Hipshot Ultralight, Fender, Schaller, ?
    Pickguard - probably just white, but other ideas?
    Schaller Strap locks
    input jack (?)
    Chrome barrel knobs
    Maybe some Bridge and Pickup covers, haven't decided yet

    So what do you think? :help:
     
  2. Roaddog77

    Roaddog77

    Nov 11, 2011
    I'd suggest a wiring kit from stewmac.com.

    You also will have to search for a pick guard specifically made for that body or you could make one yourself. I have an extensively upgraded Squire and it's a lot of fun. Just be ready to do some modifying if needed to make things work. I had to do some hacking to get the electronics to fit.
     
  3. If you're going to slap a good quality neck on it, I'd suggest stepping up the quality of the body to something like a Squier CV/VM or a Fender MIM.
     
  4. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    I will probably end up putting a better body on down the road, but since I have this one its what I'm going to use. I might end up just doing an allparts or mighty mite neck to start off and then upgrade later if I fall in love with fretless
     
  5. Roaddog77

    Roaddog77

    Nov 11, 2011
    My original plan for my bass was to put a fretless neck on it but I ended up in a working band and since I only had one other bass I went with fretted bubinga neck with ebony fretboard from Warmoth. Really sweet. I didn't put a finish on it other than some guitar honey. The more I sweat on it and play it the nicer it looks :)

    I originally thought I might upgrade the body one day but I love this bass and I wouldn't change a thing about it unless forced to. My only real complaint is that there aren't a lot of pickguard options for it.
     
  6. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    Ya, I have a Fender Aerodyne P and haven't played another bass that I like as much, but I thought I'd try fretless and thought this could be a fun project to last me a couple of months. My only "gig" is playing at church so I've never been worried about having a backup or anything
     
  7. Roaddog77

    Roaddog77

    Nov 11, 2011
    Right on. I'm currently waiting for a BK40 bass kit from Carvin and I went with an ash body and a lined fretless neck.
     
  8. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    I looked at the Carvin kits, but I'm just not a huge fan of the body shape and I don't really want to have to paint/finish the bass myself. I'm undertaking a lot as it is since I have absolutely no experience with anything like this and I don't want to have to worry about multiple sandings and things like that, maybe one day tho
     
  9. I just bought my second Mighty Mite neck and love them both. The first one was for a partscaster, the second for an Infinity PBass Special. The only issue I had with either was a high nut on the bass neck. They are plastic and you may want to consider replacing it. I just sanded it down from the back and got the perfect string heighth.
     
  10. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    Any more input? Brand preferences for different hardware? Anything?
     
  11. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    I've done a few parts builds. This is what I've found.
    (This is just my opinion, and is not to be taken as gospel.)

    Bridges:
    I have used Fender MIM, Fender MIA Deluxe, Fender Vintage threaded, LQ Badass II, and Hipshot A style.

    I liked the craftsmanship and adjust options of the Hipshot, but it's pricey.

    I feel the Badass is overrated, and didn't care for:
    1. I had to file my own slots in the saddles.
    2. The bridge's mounting plate is thick, which increases height of the saddles. In some cases, this may prevent a lower action.

    IMHO, the Fender Vintage bridge is a simple and effective design. I think that the high mass bridge thing is snake oil.

    Pickups
    There are so many choices, and you really haven't told us what you want, sonically speaking.

    I've used SD Quarter Pounders, and I was happy with them. I've also heard the DiMarzio Will Powers are outstanding as well.

    Wiring Kits
    I use kits like these with cloth wire.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Value-Wiring-Kit-For-P-Bass-US-Spec-Pots-068uf-225p-NOS-Orange-Drop-Capacitor-/130775218574?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item1e72cf798e
    Soldering with cloth wire is easier.

    Tuners
    I've used various Hipshot models on all of my builds. If you look around, you can get a nice set for around $60. I've been happy with all the sets I've used.
     
  12. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    Thanks for the info on the bridges, I was definitely leaning toward either the Hipshot or the Vintage Fender one

    As far as pickups I know I want the SD Antiquity II

    And I was looking at the wiring kits on stewmac.com, the wiring is what I'm the most unfamiliar with and I like that their kits come with diagrams and the option to upgrade to CTS pots
     
  13. The Hipshot "A" is one of the best modern bridge designs IMO.
     
  14. bassgod76

    bassgod76 bass turd burglar

    Mar 13, 2003
    South Florida
    +1
    It is a well-made bridge.

    If you do go with a Hipshot, keep in mind that they make them in either brass or aluminum and they have Fender (5 hole) or regular 4 hole screw mounting versions of the A style bridge.
     
  15. jazz41

    jazz41

    Nov 4, 2012
    Greensboro, NC
    bestbassgear.com has some cool wiring kits

    I'm having good luck with Gotoh 201 that I put on my Warmoth build.

    The jury is still out on the lightweight tuners I have on both of my kit basses. The "regular size" Fender tuners on my Jazz never let my strings out of tune, where as I'm finding that the lightweights aren't quite as reliable. But I do like the weight difference.
     
  16. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    Any more opinions out there? Especially regarding pots - 250k vs 500k, CTS vs others. . .
     
  17. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Dec 21, 2012
    I'll second the Hipshot A bridge. But forget about a bridge cover. Those will likely only fit over a Fender vintage bridge. Pot values are a subjective thing, but you can't go wrong with CTS. I'd go with what the pickup maker recommends as a starting point. Ultralight tuners are very nice, but depending on the balance of how your bass turns out, might not be required. But if you can afford them, and realize you'll never recoup your investment, why not? They are very nice. But at this point, you are talking about a significant piece of change. Why skimp with a Squier body?
     
  18. logans59

    logans59

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kennesaw, GA
    Well, I don't really see it as skimping on the body, because I already have it. I may end up replacing it eventually, but for now its on the bottom of the list. I'm in college and this will be a pretty long term project that I will buy piece at a time.
     
  19. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Dec 21, 2012
    OK...That makes perfect sense, but I had to ask. But to follow up on that information, I would hold off on the ultralight tuners until you have your parts and determine if neck dive is an issue.
     
  20. Hi Logan, If you document your build process I think you would be better posting this in the 'Luthiers Corner' sub-section. If you haven't checked it out already I recommend it. There's tonnes of information about every detail you can imagine in great detail a lot of the time. Good luck in your build :)
     

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