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NBD: Lighten Up, Francis!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JimmyM, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    This is my parts PJ, made up of an old Stew-Mac neck mated with a cheapo plywood body that I had routed out under the pickguard as much as possible without it collapsing.

    Parts PJ Overhaul 1.JPG

    Believe it or not, it ain't bad and it sounds just like my proper Fenders. It became neck heavy after routing, and I wanted to paint it black but my wife would never let me, so I made it a play-at-home bass. But then I found out that routing out the body dropped it to 8 lbs, so I got really inspired to drop even more off it, especially on the neck. So today I got new aluminum knobs, a new Fender vintage bent plate with threaded saddles to replace the handscratcher cheap bent plate that was on it, and Hipshot USA Ultralites with a Bass Xtender for the E to replace the 70's style tuners I put on it decades ago.

    Parts PJ Overhaul 2.JPG

    Again, before the hardware mods, it weighed 8 lbs. After all the mods, it weighs a whopping 7 1/4 lbs! I would have been happy losing half a pound, but I'm over the moon about this! That makes two FSO's I've got that weigh 7 1/4 lbs or thereabouts. I love my two real Fenders (both black) but they weigh 8 3/4 lbs each, and they're modded as much as I care to do. So I think I'm going to have to forego my "black basses only" rule and start bringing this one more often, especially when the wife comes out.

    OK, so it's not really new bass day, so sue me. I don't care...I've got two super lightweight PJ's!
  2. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Paint it black!
  3. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    As the owner of an 8Lb 6 oz PJ bass, I approve this message. ;)

    DJ Bebop, EatS1stBassist and JimmyM like this.
  4. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended Supporting Member

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Looks like you've lost 1/2lb in screw holes alone! :)
  5. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Beautiful Plumage... :)
    Andre678, Gringo Basso and JimmyM like this.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Screw holes don't weigh anything...it's the screws :D Would never do it to my real Fenders but I'll dang sure do it to an old cheap off brand replacement neck I've had for years.
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I love a good turd polish... and I mean that as high compliment! I understand there’s good parts involved but the plywood body puts it firmly into turd territory and I love it.
    I had a PW MIK Squier that was king of turds for a while.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh, that body is definitely turdly. Won't get any argument from me. Bought it 20 years ago off Ebay for $80 fully loaded with a halfway decent pickup with too-high polepieces. Been my experimental body, and I never would have tried that routing under the pickguard if it wasn't, so it's good that it's a turd. Yet all 3 of my PJ's and my P have EMG Geezers and they all sound the same, including this one. I honestly couldn't tell one from another in a blind listening test. And that makes me very happy as I like consistency.
  9. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Is it still neck heavy after the Ultralights?
    JimmyM likes this.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not with a strap that has a little grip to it. I've got a couple straps that are slippery and it may still be a little neck heavy to folks who use them, but it's great with a little more grippy strap, and I'm not really bothered by it even with a slippery strap. I suppose I could put a heavier bridge on it to counterbalance it a bit better, but forget that! It's all about total weight for me.
  11. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    There seems to be more wood than needed on the headstock.. Maybe you can trim it down like a tele and save A couple of more ounces. Might look rather cool as well.
    Kubicki Fan, 2tonic and Frodolicious like this.
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Why is your wife attached to that color? Just cuz it's different from the rest?
  13. you devils

    (had to finish the quote)
    5StringBlues and FugaziBomb like this.
  14. ChrisBowsman

    ChrisBowsman Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    I agree with your wife on not painting it.

    My favorite Strats I owned all had what's called a swimming pool route. For those unfamiliar, instead of routing individual pickup cavities under the guard, they take out a huge area to accommodate any configuration. A few weirdos, like myself, think the route contributes to a particular sound.

    I've been kicking around routing out as much wood as possible under the guard on my P, but was worried about making it unbalanced. I think I'm gonna go for it.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  15. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
  16. mexicanyella


    Feb 16, 2015
    Troy, MO
    Your wife doesn’t want you to paint it. That again.

    This came up in the black relic PJ thread too. I think it’s clear what is happening here. You like black. So she’s all “there, there, of course you do, and it goes good with your winter skin!”

    You go on your way, actually skipping and swinging your arms...never suspecting that the reason she doesn’t want you to paint the blue bass is that you actually have blue skin.

    4sight, JimmyM and JRA like this.
  17. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    JimmyM likes this.
  18. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Anybody calls me Francis — I’ll kill you.
  19. LoTone

    LoTone Clean as an Entwistle... Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Quebec, Canada
    As a side-effect, you are kind of reigniting the age old debate, is the wood quality all that important?
    It doesn't sound like it on this instance.
    On the second picture, the back of the neck looks nice, as in, satin nice. Where did that neck came from?
    JimmyM likes this.
  20. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    well, i'm still gonna go with the NBD approach: congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:

    i hate to say this, but: more and more that weight issue has become an obsession for these old bones. i've assembled a small 'collection' of great players, but the 'best' ones (the ones i want to play again and again) are the lightweight axes. so while i preach feel as the only quality that really counts: i may have to add "total weight" to that shortlist of requirements. i'm really into a P-style ax i have right now = 6.2 lbs!

    do you have any pics of the ax with the pickguard off --- how much material/volume had to be removed to arrive at that weight?

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