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NBD: Double Reverse P

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Arvin, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Greetings, everyone,

    So, new bass. This is a DIY assembly/frankenstein project, one I've had in my head for a few years, and finally got around to doing. It's a "Double Reverse Precision." similar to the iconic bass Leland Sklar has played on thousands of recordings.

    The particulars:

    USA Custom body - lightweight alder, rear routed, right-handed with 2 left-handed Precision pickup routs. The pickup placement on this bass is different from Leland's bass. He put the neck pickup further away from the bridge; I wanted this one to be more "traditional" P sounding, but with the coils reversed. The E/A coil in the neck position is in the traditional P bass location; that moves the D/G coil significantly up toward the neck.

    For the bridge pickup, I had the E/A coil placed in the same position as a 60's Jazz bridge pickup, and the D/G coil toward the neck. So the spacing between the pickups is the same as on a 60's Jazz.

    I stained the raw wood with India Ink, with a lot of very generous guidance and support from TB'er Fretno (he does good work -- check out some of his posts). Ink dries very quickly, so it's a bit tricky to work with. After staining, I sealed it with shellac, then applied about 12 coats of Minwax wipe-on poly, finishing with satin.

    Warmoth neck - Wenge, with ebony fingerboard, 38mm (1.5") nut width, their "standard" contour. This one has steel stabilizing bars.

    Hardware - Hipshot Ultralight tuners, Hipshot string retainer, Gotoh 203 bridge.

    Electronics - EMG Geezer Butler pickups. The DCR of the neck pickup is right at 11.0, the bridge pickup at 11.2; at least with my ultra-cheap ohmmeter. Controls are Volume/Volume/Tone; I used the quick-connect system that EMG supplies with the pickup. I'm not 100% satisfied with the taper of the volume controls, so I may at some point do away with the quick connectors, and rewire with linear taper volumes. I suspect these are audio taper, and I prefer linears with V/V/T setups.

    Sound - Sonically, this thing is amazing. It sounds deep, rich, and full. The neck pickup by itself is very much classic P, but with fuller-sounding D & G strings. With a little treble roll-off, it does very nice P-bass thump.

    The bridge pickup by itself is surprisingly usable. It has a nice Jazz Bass-ish burp, but thicker and more solid sounding. I initially didn't think I'd use it much by itself, but I'm quickly changing my mind on that. It's very responsive to changes in technique and tone control setting.

    With both pickups at 100%, it sounds like a Jazz Bass on steroids. Extremely growly and throaty, with that little scoop out of the middle that Jazzes do. I don't slap much at all, but this setup would be a slapper's dream. And then there's all the "in between" settings. Again, tone control settings change it quite a bit.

    All in all, it's an extremely versatile bass. It does everything from thump to growl, to purr, to soft and mellow. I'm really liking it a lot.

    I'm going to try and get some soundclips recorded and post them, but it may take me a while.

    OK, enough rambling for now... here are some blurry and grainy pics:

    Double P 01. Double P 05. Double P 03. Double P 02. Double P 04.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    That's a no-BS player's bass! Looks as awesome as I bet it sounds.
  3. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Very cool. Like the reverse of a Fender Elite II. Must sound monstrous.
    SirMjac28, Fenris wolf and Arvin like this.
  4. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Oh my that is a Beauty in black ! You did fantastic work on that ! Love it \m/
    Arvin likes this.
  5. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it sounds huge! But it can also do very traditional, vintage-ey stuff, too. Very versatile.
  6. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Thanks so much! As I mentioned earlier, your help with it was invaluable. :thumbsup:

    I really like the deep black of the India Ink. It's hard to see in photos, but the grain shows through a bit, and if the light is just right, it gets a subtle prismatic effect, too. I'm definitely going to do some more ink finishes soon. I have an old hardtail Stratocaster that needs a refin, so it's probably up next in the queue.
    SirMjac28 and fretno like this.
  7. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    Absolutely stunning!
    Great idea on the pups. Would like to try it myself someday.
    How does the wenge neck differ in behavior and tone from the trad maple / rosewood?
    Arvin likes this.
  8. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    I can't really comment on the tone difference; there are enough factors different about the bass that it's too confounding to try and sort them all out.

    However, I noticed a few things right off the bat about this neck: it was about the easiest neck setup I've ever encountered. It's about like comparing the steering column of a new BMW to an old Rambler wagon. Tight, responsive, precise, and a small adjustment makes a difference. The other thing I have noticed is that when I connect to my strobe tuner, it dials right in and stays. There's far less wobbling and wavering in the pitch. That may have nothing to do with the neck and its stability, but I don't know what else it could be. Maybe someone with more knowledge of physics can chime in.
    PaperbackRyder likes this.
  9. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Here's another pic I meant to include; it shows off the fingerboard a little better.

    embellisher and Shawn Luckman like this.
  10. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    Beautiful! It even LOOKS comfortable to play.
    comatosedragon, Fenris wolf and Arvin like this.
  11. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Nice choice of pickup placement and woods. I'm a fan of the reverse-P. It provides more even tone from low to high strings and good low end focus. I also like a thicker and more solid sounding bridge pickup than the J but still having that bark. Nice work, bet that sounds great.
    PawleeP, Fenris wolf and Arvin like this.
  12. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Yes, it is! I was concerned about neck dive with a light body and a heavy, solid neck, but it balances perfectly.
  13. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    Thank you. The pickup placement was really important to me; I put one of these together a few years ago, but wasn't happy with how it turned out, so I spent quite a bit more time and effort planning this one. I'm really happy with it.

    I agree completely with your appraisal of the reverse P concept. I'm surprised this configuration isn't more popular.
  14. Tom F

    Tom F

    Apr 23, 2003
    Union County, NJ
    A bass after my own heart. Very nice work! Miss my old double p - yours is igniting the GAS flames.
    comatosedragon, Fenris wolf and Arvin like this.
  15. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    I'm glad I could be of assistance. :whistle:
    Tom F likes this.
  16. bswag

    bswag Guest

    Dec 21, 2013
    Very nice job! A super-clean, no-BS-looking bass. It just hollers "Play me!"
    Black finishes sometimes look a little boring to me, but that "ink" thing is tight! Should look great on the Strat as well.
    Fenris wolf and Arvin like this.
  17. Dude, that bass is sweeet!!!
    Arvin likes this.
  18. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Are you using the stock 250 kohm audio taper pots? If you don't like the audio taper, another variant that I like instead of going straight to linear taper pots is to use a 500 kohm audio taper pot, bridge the wiper to ground (assuming that, being V-V-T, you have it wired like a J-bass with the hot lead to the wiper) with a 500 kohm resistor to emulate a 250 kohm hybrid taper pot, or a 1-meg ohm resistor to emulate a 330 kohm hybrid taper pot.

    They do make quick-connect 500kohm audio taper pots, included in their "HZ Wiring Kit," but I don't know if they make linear taper pots. You would have to contact them directly.

    EMG Pickups / 1 or 2 Pickups HZ (PASSIVE) / Wiring Kits / Wiring Kits / Accessories / Electric Guitar Pickups, Bass Guitar Pickups, Acoustic Guitar Pickups
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
    PawleeP and Arvin like this.
  19. Stunning bass :cool:.
    Arvin likes this.
  20. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I like this bass and the pickup choice + orientation. Lee Sklar's tone on the double-reverse P is great, but I think I would prefer the spacing you have on this bass. Looks great!
    Arvin likes this.

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