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Looking for Barker Bass owner with some luthier skills

Discussion in 'Barker Bass Forum' started by Lee Barker, Mar 23, 2009.


  1. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Have I got a deal for you. It's a completely unused therefore brand new Graphtech Ghost setup for four string bass, using the Hipshot bridge.

    I want to know what it sounds like but just haven't taken the time to put it into a bass. It takes some work: Excavating under the bridge for the individual peizos (shown in the image) and some electronic work in the cavity. The wire channel from bridge to cavity will likely have to be enlarged too.

    I'll sell this to you at an absurdly low price for the return assurance that you will follow through and tell us all how your Barker has changed sonically when you're through.

    I don't think any of this is irreversible, but from what I understand you'll like the new tonal options you'll get. If your Barker 4 has the Hipshot bridge, that part of the project is a cakewalk. The overall work will not be daunting if you have built or rebuilt a bass or done alterations to one.

    If you're the one, send me a PM or an email and we talk details!
     
  2. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Reading the thread title, I thought you had located a 7 string neck :eek:. Oh well, maybe the next RFL (request for luthier) post ....

    Sorry Lee, you don't want me anywhere near a beautiful Barker holding power tools :rollno: ... sounds like a cool project ....
     
  3. fretster

    fretster Advanced Beginner Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Moraga, California
    Lee, I wish I had not seen this post. What an offer! I've wondered what a piezo pickup would do for the Barker B1. I'm sure it would make the bass even more of a chameleon.

    The fact that you are not willing to trash one of your own Barker Basses for this purpose is probably something I should pay attention to...

    I was also interested in the AGC Filter Preamp. That's a little less intrusive. I was able to install a J-retro preamp and Bartolini pickups in a Fender Fretless Jazz Bass, no problem. But no woodwork required either.

    Let me try carving F-holes into the dining table first. If I can do that, I may be ready to put this pickup into old #86.

    -- Cayford
     
  4. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    You don't scare me at all, Cayford. I've repaired many tables over the years. Just promise me you'll use a chisel, not a Wonderbar.

    Seriously, the original post is pretty clear, but I forgot to add that a battery unit needs to be incorporated. That goes in the back--a luxury of the Barker--and is straightforward but I wish they put a little more flange on them.

    There also is some surgical work in providing wire access for these parts.

    As I think of it, my opinion is it's more challenging electronically than it is from a woodworking/luthier point of view. Maybe that's why I kept sidestepping the project. I'd rather make sawdust than soldersmoke.

    Still, sometimes I stare out the window at the two big pine trees and wonder what that little nipper would sound like....
     
  5. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    Lee, sounds like you need to setup a rough-hewn Barker to use for experiments. Maybe just a neck on a rectangular body. Nothing you'd want to sell, but that can give you an idea of what the finished product would sound like. Heck, just get a cheap P from SX or where-ever and mount it to a tripod. If your experiment sounds good on that, then you know it'll sound good on the finished product!
     
  6. fretster

    fretster Advanced Beginner Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Moraga, California
    So, I'm happy to report that my B1 is now making the journey back up to Oregon, for Lee to get started on this project. We've spent hours on emails and research on pickup wiring and layouts and dimensions and tone controls, and we've worked out a plan for installing the Graphtech Piezo pickups and preamp.

    Part of the deal is that I drive up there myself for the final wiring and soldering part. That should be fun. Especially using the arc welder that Lee uses on all new B1's. I'm sure this project is going to be worth it!

    -- Cayford
     
  7. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Some images of the prep work on Fretster's B1...layout for the excavation for the leads from the Peizo pickups, and the counterbore for the fourth pot.

    The leads for the pickups is a straightforward assignment: get the signal from the individual strings to the summing board, which connects to the little preamp itself (about the size of a package of Listerine breath tapes, not that I need any right now).

    When Fretster worked out what he wanted in the way of controls, we ended up needing a fourth pot. Best place was on top of the stack.

    It will be his privilege to walk you through the possibilities here after he gets tab A in slot A and all that stuff.
     
  8. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.

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