In goes the Essex, Out comes a Steve Harris Tribute

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Hambone, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Just finished this up for thiSNsucks. Of course everyone wants a Steve Harris P Bass but without Fender making any more, what is a young metalhead to do? You do what SM did and roll yer own - or have a bud roll it for you! ;)


    This was also a chance for me to test an idea that I've had but no subject to try it on. I've wanted to take a standard instrument and build it specifically for "metal" by using threaded inserts for all of the critical connections. Here's where I got my chance. Mostly this would be for sonic coupling but also for strength in the usual week places. End grains are notorious for not holding screws and I've got that solved. The bridge has brass inserts buried deep in the body and is held in place with stainless steel machine screws. Of course the same is true of the neck - like everyone knows I like to do. But I also put the straplocks on with them. They are attached with 1" screws and glued in inserts that will never give up. Try to get that on your standard Fender.


    The neck was bought by TS to replace the rosewood that originally came with the SPB-62. Unfortunately, I had to give it a fret leveling and dressing to get it up to par for the optimum setup but it worked out well. TS is going to really dig the fretjob over the usual SX. It's got Gotoh nickel plated tuners and a deep carved phenolic nut. The neck came unfinished so it also entailed a complete poly clearcoat to get it rock ready...


    The rest of the hardware is pretty much standard for what you would see on the Fender version - Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder Pup and a Quan BA II bridge. I added the custom knobs to match the pickguard. They are black phenolic with setscrews. The electronics are all high quality parts from Guitar Electronics and the entire cavity is shielded. I also made a brass ground plate like the original Fenders had - just for kicks. The bass is topped off with all stainless steel hardware so there won't be any rusting from the sweat this bad boy is going to generate.


    I had a great time working with Henry. He was patient with my delays and worked with me when I had suggestions and bad news. All in all it turned out to be a good project and a superior result.

    This bass kicks major Fender booty!! :bassist: :bassist:
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I know what you mean about the fretjob, i boguiht an SX maple neck and it sucked.
  3. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    You the man!!

    seriously good idea!!

  4. I still have my sig model :D

    BTW Hambone...i dig what you did for the headstock.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    That's an awful nice job!

    I like this idea of building for a type or style of music, both for sound and for build. It's a holistic approach. I've been working in that direction as I play reggae and am always looking for something specific to my use.

    I have a PRS Bass that feels great and has some nice features that could benefit from such a work-up...

    Since you've seen quite a few of these SX basses for upgrade, can you speak to the original build quality of this one in comparison to the others that have passed through your shop?
  6. Neat question!

    This is a mongrel and it showed by the way the necks fit. The rosewoods and the maples must be off of different lines because they didn't fit the same way. Now, they ARE different necks - the maple has 21 frets and an extension while the rosewood only 20 and is flush on the heel. The neck that came with it probably fit better than the maple. Not after I was done with it but initially. That's something everyone should keep in mind with these - the maples have such a thick finish that the finish becomes a dimensional element!

    I can say that this one overall is par for the course. The variance of fit (fit only) amongst all SX basses is small but noticeably lower quality than Fender. I just recently did most of these same mods for Dave Siff on his MIJ Fender P and I had a great chance to do side by side comparisons. Big differences in the quality of the machining of the wood. If the SX guys would just change their bits occasionally it would help immensely to narrow that gap. This particular bass came out to feel very "Fender" which is a combination of weight, slimness, and overall feel. Not all SX's achieve this but that isn't a slam. Most clones in general don't.
  7. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    The sands of time for me are running loooooow....
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Interesting. I know that people have given some widely divergent reports of the SX quality. I know a lot of people here love them, and I've always wondered if like fender, you can get a very different bass depending on the day you ordered it. I would think about doing this kind of retrofit if I didn't already have 3 Fenders and two others. Maybe I'll think about sending my MIJ Jazz Fretless off sometime.
  9. Pruitt


    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Man, that looks swet! Nice job!! :cool:
  10. Wow...I want one,how much did it all cost together?
  11. thisSNsucks


    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Glad to see my bass is getting some great feedback. I really cant wait to get my hands on this thing, I'm sure its going to be as good as it looks, if not better. Just want to publicly thank Allan again for all of his awesome work. He's truely a great guy and gets real involved with the project. His standards are set so high that he wouldnt let me have my bass back until it was as perfect as he could get it. I know it will be worth the wait. So again thank you Allan and if I get any other crazy ideas, I'll be bothering you about it real soon lol.
  12. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    Now you've got me GASing for a Hambone P. :bassist:
  13. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Freakin' Sweet!!!!! LOVE the decal!!!!!
  14. Strange, but I cannot see the images.
  15. ًWoah, thats great man ! Steve Harris is one of my favortie bassists and he influenced my playing style \m/
  16. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    Nice job, but are those roundwounds?
  17. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass