NBD redux

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ELG60, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
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    This started out with a spalted body from Spaltking of Canada. Weight about 4 1/2 pounds. I got the warmoth neck from @mikeddd and the first stack knob control plate custom made by @Gord_oh. I used a Hipshot Kickass bridge I had sitting around and Tomastik Infeld flatwounds which I use on many of my Jazz basses.

    I also had Klein Retro '62 customs wound and built for me. They ain't cheap, and they take a little bit longer to make, being hand wound, but my research yielded them as being the most accurate for that early pre-CBS Jazz bass sound which was my goal. They're out of Texas.

    While my technician/builder, Jeff in St. Pete was doing the preliminary work, sanding, grounding the cavities, and applying the first of what turned out to be about 12-15 coats of tru-oil, I got a wild hair up my @$$ and decided that I wanted interchangeable control plates after seeing a stack knob plate with a series/parallel switch, so I asked Jeff if he could figure out a way to incorporate that ability into the bass.

    Jeff ingeniously came up with using molex connectors...but when I first took possession of it, the solder joints weren't stable enough. We weren't satisfied with the finish either so back it went for round 2.

    He figured out how to stabilize the wiring using hot glue and tiny zipties. He also decided to add threaded brass inserts into which the control plate fasteners would go...machine screws Instead of wood screws so no worries about stripping them out.

    The one remaining sticking point is that @Gord_oh uses factory Fender plates and the other plate obviously is not, since there's a tiny variation in the positioning of the lower retention hole. Theoretically, I suppose that I could swap in just about any control plate that's designed to accept the 4 pickup leads and will fit into the control cavity...Audere Z, John East Retro, etc. come to mind...as long as the retention holes line up, that is.

    Jeff suggested using Tru-oil for the finish. It was his first time using it but both of us had heard that it goes on easy, and is a tough, durable coating which, if scratched or marred, can easily take a re-coating, buff and polish at any time down the line. He said that learning how to apply it was a learning curve. He determined that tru-oil is best applied using various shapes of make-up sponges he confiscated from his wife.

    In any case, I'm heading to GC tomorrow to acquire a factory plate (if it matches up) and Jeff will drill a hole for the phase switch and transfer the control components over...Q.E.D. (theoretically) ;-)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    Rafar, ELynx, Pbassmanca and 9 others like this.
  2. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    I like the idea of inserts for the control plate mounting screws. Good idea.
    Pbassmanca and ELG60 like this.
  3. Beautiful! :) What an unbelievable top on that! Enjoy it!
    Best wishes,
    Pbassmanca and ELG60 like this.
  4. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Yes, Jeff thought of that. I agree. I just need to get another Fender factory plate to match the one you used. The other one has just a slight difference in the lower screw position, but with the inserts, there's no "wiggle" room. ;)
    My local Sam Ash just ordered one for me this afternoon.
    Gord_oh likes this.
  5. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Thank you, Brent. When I ordered the body from Spaltking, I chose it for both the figuring and the weight. It was the best one he had at the time imo, with both spalting and flame.
    Pbassmanca and BrentSimons like this.
  6. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Now that I have it home and can plug it in, there's no hum whatsoever either. At least, not with this particular control plate. Thanks, @Gord_oh .
    Pbassmanca and Gord_oh like this.
  7. Fantastic really! :)
    When I was younger I really didn't like natural wood finishes but I've been drawn to them in my ahem! older years. ;) I was thinking about sending a TB'er an offer on his Spector Euro 4 in poplar burl the other day but someone snagged it before me.
    Take care,
    Pbassmanca and ELG60 like this.
  8. Primary

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