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NBD Long post

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Paulabass, Dec 22, 2017.


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  1. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    My Brubaker Brute MJX-4 just arrived.
    When these came out they were $800 u.s. I got mine on clearance, new for 350 CDN (under 300 u.s.) This is BY FAR the cheapest bass I've ever owned, so we'll go from there, as in- I was not expecting much.
    First impression- Very nice paint job, a really pure white, nicely applied. Curly maple neck with a scarf joint way up past the first fret, AND a volute- indestructable. The bridge is proprietary, and very nice indeed. Chinese tuners, graphite nut :) Brubaker logo MM, and Jazz p/u's. All around good looking beast.
    Second look- And things start going downhill FAST. The frets appear to have been cut off with end nippers and left like that (I can't make this stuff up!). The action was up at over 1/2". Unplayable. First problem, there is no allen wrench made that will reach the truss rod, so the pickguard is going to have to come off, also, quite clearly the p/u's will never go low enough, nor will the bridge, to get the action usable.
    At this point I realize I am going to completely re-engineer this bass from the ground up. Brubaker call their neck joint bolt-thru, in that it extends well under the pickups, so shimming is going to be work.
    Pickguard off, and I see that it is very neatly made, but that doesn't help in that I have to disassemble it. The neck joint is an engineering feat! Close inspection shows it really doesn't work. 2 bolts hold the neck on, and then a too thin to be useful 'tongue' extends into the body, where two small screws that poke right out thru it hold the extension. A very complicated way to accomplish nothing. The shim- I usually use veneer. This was going to be the biggest shim I've ever made, so I used a neatly trimmed piece of tongue depressor! (that's a BIG shim).
    Re-assemble- I notice the pickguard was not scraped after cutting. Nitpicky complaint compaired to the others. I ran a sharp scraper around it, and all good. Numerous scratches in the pickguard- Oh well. You might notice in the pics- They trimmed the neck to fit the pocket- not the other way around- BIZARRE, nice tight joint tho.
    Trim, bevel, and polish fret ends, polish fret (no high frets- a Festivus miracle!)
    Now I can set up as usual.
    Tighten, general setup, notice D'addario strings :) and Duracell battery :) Well made hi quality nut is a bit tight, so a little work there, and some nut sauce.
    Plugging it in- The smooth, very thin neck plays flawlessly, a gorgeous design, and great feel. Scratchy pots cleaned right up (I think this bass had been warehoused a while.) Big surprise- Great pickups, the MM growls like a S.O.B. and will work great for rock. The Jazz sounds like a jazz neck, enough said. Nice preamp (Brubaker logo) with a scary amount of gain. All my clip lights came on and my comp went into overtime. A few more tweeks and this will be a fine bass...for the money, an outstanding bass. LOVE THAT NECK!!!

    If I owned a music store, this, and it's whole shipment would go straight back. No retailer can spend 2 1/2 hours on a Chinese instrument! Out of the box it was a disaster!
    I have been working on guitars, for myself, and numerous stores, for forty years, and consider my skills pretty damn good. I needed them all on this bass. The guy, or girl that only feels competent stringing and putting in batteries would NOT be able to turn this into a bass. The bare bones are good, the rest just sucked.
    If I could not tell that there was a good bass under all the crap, I would give 1/2 a star out of ten.
    DSC_0590. DSC_0591. DSC_0592.
     
  2. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    she (he?) looks good! very nice. congratulations on your new instrument...and a great deal! :thumbsup:
     
  3. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Congrats!
     
  4. Aberdumbie

    Aberdumbie

    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    Lucky that bass found you! Darn nice end result tho!
     
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I wish you had taken some under the skirt photos.

    I would have loved to see how the neck engagement works.
     
  6. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    The finished product sure looks nice, but it sounds like it put you through your paces to get there! Congratulations on the new bass.
     
  7. Paulabass

    Paulabass

    Sep 18, 2017
    Now that I have been playing it for an hour, tweaked a bit here and there, it's quite a fine bass. 7lbs.8oz. Compound radius neck. If someone handed it to me now, I would say it was a much more expensive bass, and a million dollar neck.
    I'll bring it NYE (with a backup of coarse!)
     

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