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My ole G&L SB-1 : revisionist history...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ben Clarke, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    So I'm planning on working my late 80's SB-1 over. Right now, it looks like I've owned it for nearly 20 years, but I want it to look like I've gigged it for 20 years. The neck has darkened nicely (maple board) as they do, and it does show the carelessness of my teenage years as well. I have subscribed to the "dirt keeps the funk" theory with this bass for the last 15 yrs or so, and it shows.

    But recently I've come under the spell of those old Ps like George Porter and Pino have, and I can't spend the bucks for something like that. By SB is black on black with the crinkle finish metal pickguard. I'm after a tort and the Fenders I've seen don't look like they'll fit without extra holes. Any suggestions for a custom if they're not readily available?

    Also, I had a cream Dimarzio J put in back in 88 or 89. The output doesn't quite keep up with the MFD P, and I'm wondering if an MFD J would do better & what a good source would be if so.

    So, to the revisionist part. I want to give it (for lack of a better term) the "Relic" treatment. I've always hated the gloss neck finish & would like to take some off in the wear spots on the back. Also, I'd like to take paint off the body so it looks worn in a natural way. Any suggestions?
  2. tubster


    Feb 5, 2003
    Southwest Spain
    Try the Dudepit G&L forum. Not to take away from the folks here but there is a dedicated and informed group at the G&L section who might well be of help.
  3. Oh please please please don't 'Relic' such a nice bass.
    Chris Rhoades likes this.
  4. HUGE plus one!!!! :scowl:

    I know that we are all on the "Quest for Mojo" ... but you've owned it for 20 years and it already has Mojo -- yours!!!

    I say you should continue to play it and let it age gracefully along with you. Don't beat it up just for cosmetics sake.
  5. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I also am very much in the "don't mess it up" and "it's got your mojo already" camp. That said you can get a pickguard made for it from Jeannies or other places. And if you do and want to make up some on the pickguard send me an email/PM and I'll take that crinkle black one off your hands (it would look great on my burst/maple SB-2).
  6. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I agree with the others here. Let the wear happen naturally. Don't trash a bass's finish just for the sake of doing it. IMHO, of course.
  7. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    I agree... it's your bass, of course, but please don't hurt it!:eek:
  8. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I had a feeling this would happen.

    It already looks rough, people - I'm just going to make it look better. I don't see how removing paint will hurt my bass, especially since there are spots missing already.

    Where's Jeannies?
  9. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member


    But if Chandler does G&L's pickguards they may be a better choice in this case (since they'll be up on the idiosyncracies of G&L pickguards).
  10. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Cool! Thanks Craig.
  11. Any chance we can see pics of what the bass looks like right now?
  12. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    I'll try to get pics tonight.
  13. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    Here's some pics.

    Attached Files:

  14. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    My opinion is that you already have some natural wear on the front near the Jazz pickup, so leave the body as-is, don't relic it out. Taking the finish off the back of the neck would be OK, since it serves to change the playing feel and give it a more satin finish. Slap a tort guard on there and keep playing it to build even more "mojo"
  15. I agree, it looks like its on the way to being nicely worn in already. Personally I wouldn't relic it, but thats just my 2c
  16. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    i'd have to agree with sb69coupe , a tort pickguard on that
    mojo black body would look sweet ...
    don't "relic " that bad boy ...
  17. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    So why not take the finish off and let that natural wood vibrate away without interference from the hard-coat finish?

    Some folks think unfinished wood (or perhaps wood treated with Tung Oil or some other penetrating agent) vibrates more freely. I don't personally have a strong opinion or great insight on this, but it sure seems to me that the overtone series off of the slab will line up differently in the absence of a hard coating that mediates between the wood and open air. Based solely on a hunch, I'd expect the hard coat to emphasize odd-order harmonics, and therefore to sound more insistent, strident or brighter, while an unfinished body would likely transmit greater energy through even-order harmonics. But I could also be entirely full of it on this.

    Will the naked axe sound "better"? Perhaps it will only sound different. But over the years I've seen and heard several stripped Fender and G&L basses, and they (and their players) report believing that they had a a warmer and more organic sound.

    And even if that is not objectively true, who cares if it is a subjective perception that nonetheless makes you feel good about your sound?
  18. morebass!

    morebass! I'm all ears Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I personally don't like the feel of glossy paint or finish as much as natural wood. On the other hand I don't think I have the balls to remove the finish off my basses either. I was thinking about taking steel wool to my p-bass to make it feel better but probably won't.
  19. Hey it's your bass, man...



    actually, I dig it a whole lot the way it is...DON'T TOUCH THAT BASS!!!
  20. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    So, a Crayola Burnt Umber sunburst it is! ;)

    I'm starting to feel like a red tort guard from Chandler will go long way towards the look I'm after. I'm thinking of TI flats, too. I've played DRs on it for years (the ones on there date back to the mid 90s and still have OK attack and bite). My SR5 really fits the bill for a roundwound thing, and a think a vintage 4 would fit in well for what I do, and cause me to play the G&L as more than a backup.

    I did anticipate some resistance to the relicing as there are some pretty clumsy examples out there, but the reasons why not help too. So thanks.

    BTW, if anyone is into vinyl, the double LP of TRY! (John Mayer Trio) is well worth seeking out compared to the CD. Significantly more natural sounding.