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Luthiers, is my thinking alright for this upgrade?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Da LadY In Red, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Mods, if this is in the wrong forum, my apologies.


    Hey guys! Lemme getcha up to date. I have an OLP MM2 (Music Man Stingray copy). It's my first and I like it a lot, so I've decided to make it into a full fledged Stingray.

    I already have the Seymour Duncan Music Man Replacement pickup installed, however, it's now time for the preamp/tone circuit to go in.

    This is where I'm going to need your super luthier help.

    Given that the control cavity is far too small to fit either a preamp or a battery into it, I'm going to have to route somewhere. I'm planning on doing this routing in the spot right behind the pickguard.

    Preamp: 2" x 2 1/2" approx
    Battery : Length = 2 1/4"
    Width = 1"
    Depth = 1 3/8"

    This means in the cavity that I'm going to route behind the pickguard is going to have to be as the very smallest L = 2 1/2 W = 3" D = 1 3/8". These measurements are with no grace space and with the 1 of a few configurations. I'm not too sure if my bass is even going to allow 1 3/8" depth plus screws, so having the battery on its side, unscrewed might be an option. Please give advise on how the battery should be placed.

    From there, I will drill a hole entering into the pickup cavity, which has a hole that leads to the normal control cavity. This will allow the preamp's wires to connect to the capacitors/tone pots.

    Here's the next big option. If you would notice, my bass has an input, 2 volume pots, and a tone pot, the SD Music Man Replacements system (as well as the normal Stingray) has a 3 band EQ (a knob for each band of freq) and a volume knob.

    That means that I'm short of a single pot. I have the choice to either get a stacked bass and treble knob, or I could route in the side, making an input jack there, and replace the current input jack's space with the fourth knob.

    I understand it's relatively easy to go about putting a side jack providing I get a jack plate that covers over the routing, as opposed to being flush with the wood.

    For this, I believe one of the square side jack plates from Warmoth be used.


    Now here's for the specific questions.

    Will routing out the section under the pickguard decrease the weight of the bass in such a manner as to completely throw off the balance of the bass? The bass seems really decently balanced at the moment, and I'm worried that taking out all of that wood would take away some major playability, making it neck dive severely or whatever.

    Will having that amount of distance from the preamp to the control cavity, then to the pickup make any problems? I doubt it will cause a little problem if any, but it never hurts to ask.

    What would the best option for placing the battery compartment be? I should have the room to atleast lay the battery compartment up and down, but the screws might make that guesstimate a piece of crap.

    Will routing the input jack be a big issue? I believe it needs to be done, but if anyone could share there experiences on making a side jack, please do!

    Now in general, do I have the right idea? Any major/minor flaqs you can see?

    Sorry for the long post, but I like to go into a bit of detail considering how big of a deal this is to me. Thanks a ton for the help! Believe me, I REALLY appreciate it.
  2. Not likely. The weight of the small amount of wood you're removing will be in weighed in grams. Since the location is near the center of gravity of the instrument, this amount won't have any effect on the balance.

    Again, not likely. If you were running single coils, the extra length of unshielded wire could pick up some hum but you've got a preamp and a humbucker. Nothing much quieter than that.

    I'm an oddball so my approach would be to make a small shallow cavity under the pickguard just deep enough to hold the battery and it's lead placed on it's side. Then cut out a rectangular piece from the pickguard slightly larger than the cavity and put 2 screws in it. Voila'! a matching battery cover for the "under guard" cavity! Pretty slick.

    I do this all the time by using a copper plug for my mounting plate. Search in the "Basses" forum for "Jazzwick" for a pic of my approach. I just sink it into the side of the body with epoxy. After it sets up, I file it down even with the body and polish it up. Drilling for a side jack is fairly easy but I would use either a forstner bit or a spade bit to help with guiding the bit straight into the cavity. An alternate would be to use a Stratocaster style angled plug plate sunk into the back of the body - a newer approach I've seen and like a lot.

    You sound like you're thinking it out pretty well. No matter how you choose, you'll do well in the end.
  3. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I put in one of those sd mm systems, and it had three knobs, bass/treble concentric, mid, and volume.