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Gecko resurrection

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ric426, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I recently purchased a used Warmoth Gecko 5 here on TB that I thought had some potential but needed some work and TLC. I don't know much about it's history, but from what I've been able to track down, I'm at least the third or fourth owner of it on TalkBass and who knows what it's history was before that...

    From what I can tell this is how it was originally built:

    Here's how it was before I received it. Someone had gone to some extraordinary measures to put a Nordstrand MM pickup and preamp in it. It was functional but needed to be cleaned up.

    and here is some of the work I did to it. I didn't document the clean-up and repair I did to the body under the MM pickup shielding, but it was a fair amount of work. The copper shielding covered some rough work.
    I figured that I'd go for a modified Music Man look for the new pickguard in keeping with the current pickup. I was originally thinking about replacing the MM pickup with a pair of Nordstrand Big Splits and making another pickguard, but I'm happy enough with the sound (and money is tight), so I'll leave it as is for now.
  2. You are the first I have seen that uses a ground stud to connect all grounds together, but my curiosity is screaming whats underneath the secret compartment trap door under your pickup?
  3. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I've been using a central lug for grounding for a long time, but the Sadowsky Metros I've seen use a similar grounding technique. I put the lug in first, them paint over the screw to insure a good connection. If I'm using copper foil I don't bother with the lug and just solder the grounds to the foil at a common location. I know there have been endless debates about grounding techniques, but the star grounding has worked for me for a long time and makes changes easier if I play around with the configuration.
    Whomever installed the MM pickup apparently drilled a bunch of holes of varying diameter and depth and probably chiseled out the wood. At some point they then went back over it with a router to clean up the sides and leveled the wood at the bottom. That still left a bunch of various holes going further into the wood which they covered with the copper foil.
    I decided to redo the copper shielding to make a neater job and when I pulled out the old copper, imagine my surprise! I then decided to at least fill the holes with wood filler paste and clean it up as best I could with a router, then cover it all with several coats of shielding paint. You can still see some circular marks from some of the holes, but it's at least stable and neater than it was.
  4. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Very nice work indeed! I like how the new pickguard seems to find a balance between working *with* and working *against* the Gecko body shape -- if that makes any sense at all.

    In fact, I might just want one for one of my Gecko basses, if you'd be up for that. :)
  5. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Snazzy. I like what you've done with it. :D
  6. T-34


    Aug 11, 2005
    France, Paris region
    Good save! This Gecko is much better looking now :)

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