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How I finished a body that never sold.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jazzyitalian, Nov 1, 2013.


  1. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    So I bought a body thinking it was new when it wasn't. Because I build basses on the side with my brother, I knew right away that no matter how nice the component would be, that it would have little chance of selling as finished bass simply because it was made from a previously used part.

    That said I put this up for sale in the bass accessories string of the classifieds:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f129/charcoal-p-bass-body-flame-maple-top-rare-color-870216/

    Again, no one wanted it and some felt the routing was too big. Yes, someone did mess with the routings and it was never apparent to me from the original photos which were demonstrably worse than my photo skills. But the widened routes weren't too far out of line and so guess what??? A pick guard is larger than the routes anyway. So the routes would be covered.

    Thus I decided to set out to prove a point, while at the same time building a concept bass that we now call: "Riserva di Famiglia" (Italian for "Family Reserve")


    Okay so in review,....The before pic of the body:
    P1010571.

    The after pic of the finished bass:

    P1020729_zps347879d7.

    I admit my photography skills are lacking. It's been an ongoing problem for me. So I recently took it to a photo studio to have some real pics taken.

    Here is a link to the gallery:
    http://s136.photobucket.com/user/jazzyitalian/library/Buscanti 7024 Studio

    And here is one picture:
    DSC_7571e_zpsa3688a31.


    So what did I do to this body? First as you can see, the pickguard covers the larger routes. So they never were an issue. I used 1400 grit sanded and buffed out most of the swirls.

    My brother installed two Bill Lawrence Pickups and a electronics kit consisting of Vol - Vol - Master Tone and - Master Varitone. What did he just say??? Yep I said a Varitone right at the end with 5 different capacitor ratings an a bypass setting. It's rad and tonally monstrous. The tonal palette is very diverse and expansive. You can't do any better than a Varitone. The caps are the same ratings as the old gibson guitars. That my friends, is true love...:smug:

    The neck has a very nice grain on the back and we put in a custom inlay on the 12th fret.

    Pickguard done by Terrapin Guitars.

    So those are the afters.

    That's all.
     
  2. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    Nice!!!
     
  3. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    VERY NICE BASS! Yes, you think that rout is bad, you should see the Squier P/J I modded, In making the big "bathtub" rout for the P pickup I forgot to tighten the holder for the router and it sort of..er..."got away". But as you so aptly point out a nice P-bass pickguard covers a multitude of sin very nicely!

    Good looking bass!
     
  4. That's a nice looking bass but that pickguard looks really extra-large.
     
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    There's a lot of white background in the picture that may throw off the camera's white balance function.

    Try putting single color background (maybe against a non-white wall, sheet or towel) behind the bass and see your picture taking improve improves. :)
     
  6. Pick guard looks like a standard p bass scratch plate to me. Like the vintage tint headstock for contrast . Varitone is a nice touch . Good job .
     
  7. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Pretty cool, nice work!
     
  8. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    +1 on nice work!!!

    057912
     
  9. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    Thanks Guys-

    To bassbenj: And everyone says pick guards are just there to look pretty and protect the surface. Yep... They should keep on saying that, and we'll just keep covering:)

    EagleMoon: The PG is slightly larger around the controls because when you add a big ass Varitone, sometimes you're left with no choice but to widen the cavity. That in turn causes you to order a specially cut PG and that's also the small price one pays for much improved appointments.

    So when I had the late John Polk at Terrapin cut the guard, I wound up sending him a modified stencil. It all works. This is one of the last Pickguards John did for us before passing away. I miss him dearly.

    Stumbo: You have proven to me that you are NOT a dumbo. :) I am the Dumbo....I'll keep it off the white carpet and put it on a tan sheet. Thanks for the photography advice! It sounds like it's going to work. But now that I think of it, I'm going to take these to a pro for pictures.

    TN Woodman: My man, you have a very good eye indeed. The PG color is vintage white and the headstock as well as the rest of the neck has that same stain coloring. It's called Pecan and it's from the Polyshades line for Minwax. I apply two even coats of this product, and then follow with 8 more clear coats before calling it ready. (A few wet sands in between some of the coats of course.) I liked this color because the neck looks like a halfway roasted Ernie Ball neck. Without the roaster.
     
  10. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Feb 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    P/P. YAY! Any videos/clips?
     
  11. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    I'm lacking the ability to post a sound clip and I wish I could.
    Though I have friends that could help.

    But at the moment I've been having the completed basses photographed. So at some point, I'll have better studio grade pics of this bass and others.
     
  12. grenadilla

    grenadilla

    Aug 22, 2011
    alabama
    I want a varitone now! Could you have one for each pickup? Does it cut the volume any?
     
  13. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    You could put one for each Pickup Vol - Varitone - Vol - Varitone. But you might not have the space to add a Master tone and you don't want to lose that.

    Out put variance will depend on the capacitor configs. But because treble is always louder than the bass tone, you'll always have an out put differential. If you buy a Varitone from Dave Certain you won't have to worry too much. His are pretty level.
     
  14. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    Here are some decent photos of the finished work...

    DSC_7571e_zpsa3688a31.

    DSC_7570e_zpsbf24a36d.

    DSC_7575e_zps0fae1e24.
     
  15. sonicblue62

    sonicblue62 Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    Killer instrument! I can't say I've seen many basses with a P / P pickup combo, but I'll bet it sounds amazing!
     
  16. newyorkiddo

    newyorkiddo I'm actually a cat.

    Jul 10, 2013
    Where did you find that pickguard?
     
  17. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    I had it specially cut by Terrapin Guitars. They have a website and are located in Oregon.

    http://www.terrapinguitars.com/
     
  18. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    It does. The second pickup especially. You still can get that trombone like tone with a bit more output than a traditional Jazz pickup.

    I would never go back to a single. It's like the MM Stingrays. Why buy a single pickup Ray when you can now have one with two pickups?
     
  19. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    The inlay is just a small appointment we started to employ. It's Mother Of Pearl on the outside and abalone on the inside. I just put it on the 12th fret. The inlay comes from Hong Kong and the thickness is 1.5 MM
     
  20. Sweet. That black flamed maple and perloid is a great combo.
     

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