My Nicholas Tung "Wing" Prototype Bass Restoration

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by feflicker, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. feflicker


    Sep 3, 2006
    I thought some of you would enjoy seeing this, so I am taking the time to post some information and pictures on this bass.

    I bought this bass over a month ago, simply because I was looking at getting a custom bass constructed, and fell in love with it immediately. Loved everything about it, the wenge accent, the top, the headstock, the shape, color, shape, etc. I did some research (a lot of it on this forum) about Tung, and decided I would invest in this project (rather than commission an entirely new bass from scratch-which, btw, I contacted about 6 luthiers and not a single one even emailed or called me back! I guess the custom bass world is hopping right now?).

    This was the starting point (I'm sure some of you have seen this bass before):

    Here's the bass after it was stripped down. Notice the gouging in the top. I elected to not "refinish" this bass, but rather "restore" and "repair" it. I felt it would preserve the original shape and finish and keep the look the same. The luthier used many techniques to ultimately cover this up.:

    There was a small seam where the wood separated a little on the back. Two luthier's said it was not an issue, but I went ahead and had it epoxied to prevent the chance of any future separation:

    The fingerboard was flawless, but we cleaned/scraped it to clean it up:

    Here is the top restore/repair at the halfway point, already starting to disappear! (This thing absorbed a lot of oil, she was thirsty after almost 20 years!)


    Now doing the fretwork (reshape edges, bevel, crown, level, polish, etc.)

    Bass assembled and ready for setup!

    I kept the original bridge and tuners. Just liked the way they looked and they were in great shape, wanted to keep it as original as reasonably possible.

    I elected to replace the original bartolini p4's with a bold decision, Seymour Duncans! I wanted something that was flexible enough to give me the active EMG response and growl, but could also sound smooth and warm when desired. I couldn't make up my mind between EMG DC's and Barts, so I compromised. THESE PICKUPS AND PREAMP DELIVERED. This beast is responsive, and I can get anything from a Les Claypool sound to Victor Wooten, Country, whatever. Extremely impressive configuration from Duncan. These P/U's were built for this bass!

    The finished bass. Plays and sounds INCREDIBLE:
    (For some reason the forum is cropping the image, you can see the whole bass here:
    The finished bass! |

    Just thought everyone would like to hear the story and see this bass looking, playing and sounding the way it should after a long journey, and somewhat infamous past.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Cool. I thought about picking up that bass a few months back. Nice to see it brought back. And a very rare bass.
    feflicker likes this.
  3. feflicker


    Sep 3, 2006
    Yeah it was a little costly, but it took way less time than building a complete custom from scratch...
  4. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA
    Do you still own this gem??
  5. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA
    Do you still own this bass?
  6. I wish there was a single sound clip of any of these basses on the internet lol.
  7. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Registered Loser Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2005
    Altoona, PA
    Take a look at John Myung's Progressive Bass Concepts videos. That's the only place I know of to hear a Tung bass. Of course there's a decent amount of chorus effect!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021