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How light can a precision be built?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Fergie Fulton, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    My precision weighs just over 12lbs.
    With all the modern materials and technology available today if i wanted an exact looking 57 precision built, what would it weigh and what would be the materials involved to do this?
  2. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    I guess I would use a semihollow body (with a top) and not a solid body one. That way a big % of the weight would be taken away. Warmoth do that and Sadowsky too. Everything else would be the same as any other P bass.
  3. If You want to have it extra light with all that modern tech can throw at it I'd suggest the way the guys at basslab (www.basslab.de) do it. You wont see any wood on the resulting bass but it would be about 5.5 pounds.

  4. Spencer!


    Jun 25, 2006
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Mike Lull's Precisions usually weigh in at around 7.5 - 8 pounds.
  5. You can build a P or a J at around 8.8 to 9 lbs, I've built one of each to prove it.
    Alder bodies, maple or maple and rosewood necks. Lightweight tuners and bridge(Hipshot) and you're there. 12 lbs is a bit much-is that a Warmoth parts bass?
  6. it really depends what you call a precision.

    carbon fibre neck, hollow body, smaller body and headstock, lighter hardware... could all help, but where does it stop being a p?
  7. mulletpbass


    Oct 21, 2008
    try do chambers like sadowsky does.
  8. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Light ash or basswood, lot of routing/chambering, light weight turners will easily deliver less than 8lbs.

    I would avoid Warmoth necks since they are steel reinforced.
  9. The only thing I would add is: If you get the body very light, the bass is going to be very neck heavy and not enjoyable to play. I have a Franken P/J that is 7.5 llbs and I need a 4" strap even at that weight. Normally, Ash bodies are light but expensive. MIM necks are light because they don't have the heavier truss rod and carbon fiber stiffners.
    Light weight tuners help.
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Now that is some serious weight loss. I can't use the link it does not respond and hangs my computer.
    I want the exact size and dims. of a 57 precision, i am not bothered about if any wood is involved, just have it look like a 57 till you pick it up then the weight gets you. That includes hardware and and finish it must look like a 57,.. cost no option.
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    As was said, BassLab makes a J-style that is very light, and looks much like a painted J except for the view from the back of the neck -- unless they have recently added faux wood texture to the options. So a P-style seems like an obvious possibility, since they do custom shapes already, and since you said
  12. Find a nice 8-9 pounder; compared to that 12 pound boat anchor(no offense)it will seem anti-gravity.
  13. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    A well chambered light ash body, ultralite tuners and a heavy bridge will get the weight as low as possible whilst minimising neck dive. The difference between 12lbs and <9lbs feels like so much more. Avoid steel rods in the neck (other than the trussrod) to keep the balance reasonable.

  14. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Alex's post reminds me that David King makes titanium truss rods for his own basses. He might or might not sell them separately -- I thought someone had bought one, but I could be mistaken. They could be an important part of a lightest-possible neck.
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You know, it doesn't have to be as extreme as many of these posters are making it sound. I have a Valenti P bass with a swamp ash body and a maple neck, Hipshot hardware, no chambering, no funny business, no neck dive, and it weighs just under 8 lbs. It looks and sounds like a normal P bass, and did not require any space-age carbon shells etc.

    As long as the neck isn't some super dense material like wenge, and as long as the top horn of the body reaches the 12th fret, it will balance reasonably well. I do agree that using ultralight tuners and a heavier bridge will help.
  16. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I had a 62 RI P that I just sold to a good friend. That bass was about 9.5 pounds and felt light as a feather with nice resonance.

    Keep looking till you find a light one.
  17. This one I built weighs 9lbs. 4oz. exactly. Warmoth alder body and USACG neck w. carbon rods. If anything, it's neck light-USACG necks are very light, which I think is great.
  18. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    That is a work of art, i love the look.
    Thanks for all the advice and yes a lighter bass at about 8-9 lbs is so much lighter than my baby, and the brass scratchplate don't help either LOL.

    I have a semi acoustic that weighs about 8lbs i am using till i hopefully recover from a broken neck, hence why i want to find out how light a precision can be made as 8lbs is still hurting me..
  19. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Oh hey, if it's a broken neck that you're dealing with then you should really look into the "bass belt" I think it's called... there's a couple of threads about it if you dig around, I guess just search on "belt". It would totally solve your neck pain even with the 12 pounder.
  20. DSC_0813.

    Ash Jazz body, maple top, Precision neck, both from Warmoth. Bass weighs 9 lbs even.

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