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New Bass ... ideas on making it my own?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rockin982, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. rockin982


    Jan 27, 2004
    NJ, USA
    Just got a new bass today. I've been practicing on my dad's old Gibson Ripper, and I wanted my own instrument to start seriously studying.

    I went with a Brice Prestige Z Neck Thru 6-String. I wanted something affordable but playable, and this is what I came up with. I hope it's a good bass ...

    Anyways, I was thinking of a few things I might want to do to it in the future. First off, I would like some new strings. But being relatively new to bass, I know nothing about strings. Any ideas what kind would work well here? I like a nice warm, deep tone with good clarity and sustain, if that helps.

    Also, the entire bass is lacquer-finished. I am thinking about having the neck sanded down and wax finished, like you find on higher-end basses. Is this viable on a neck through bass, and what could I expect to pay for that?

    The other thought was to change the passive/active preamp and pickups for a Bartolini system. I've heard great things about their electronics. Any thoughts?

    Any feedback is much appreciated. (Read: help a new guy out!)
  2. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    word on the street is that bartolini is out of business or someone else is making them. just what i heard...
  3. Matteran

    Matteran Banned

    Jan 1, 2005
    Santa Rosa, CA
    WHA WHA WHA WHA???????!?!!?!?
  4. Soulfinger


    Sep 20, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Before you go investing in a major neck refinishing, go the Lowe's or your friendly hardware store and get a 3M "sanding sponge". It's basically a sponge covered with sandpaper-type material. Give the back of your neck a good sanding, and it'll make your whole world better. It won't be sticky anymore, it'll be all smooth and broken-in feeling. The best part is that it only takes a slight bit of the finish--it's not like your stripping it.
  5. What? Where have you heard this?
  6. well, you could always try it first, and see what you don't like. i hate to be the spoil sport here, but i was going to buy an essex bass just to soup up, but when i played it for the first time, it sounded great!
    so before you make any purchases, give her a try first. you may like it!
  7. Korey


    Oct 29, 2003
    Lexington, KY
    I also bought an SX Jazz bass wit plans to rip it apart and add new electronics, bridge, pups, and when I got it and tweaked the setup it wailed.

    My suggestion, Do some research and find some good strings, and either do the research on setups or take it to someone to get a good setup. A good setup will make or break a $5000 custom, as quick as it will a $150 cheapo.

    (ps I like that bass alot)
  8. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    the price guide options thing for the conklin site says that bartolini's are no longer available. so i thought maybe they just stopped using bartolini's om conklins... then i had a new years gig with another band and the bassist had this nice 62 pbass and asked if he could use my ric because he didnt like the tone of his bass that night. i talked to him for awhile and he said he had planned on getting barts and said they stopped production on them. trip to two local shops said that they were being built by someone else, other one said they stopped making them. but this is all hearsay...

  9. +1 I did the same exact thing to the lacquer on the neck of my wishbass. It changed the feel a whole lot. And Soulfinger is right, most of the finish remains. Feels Great! Remember to sand along the length of the neck, not across it.

    Oh yeah, to remove the dust left behind, wipe it down with a nylon scouring pad and then a soft cloth.
  10. Sounds like great advice, I just have one warning. Even with the sponges, too much pressure here or there and you'll lose the original shape of the neck. But then again for that to happen the sand paper would have to be pretty coarse and you would have to sand a lot. Just a light sanding would do the job. Test it as you go.
  11. pointbass

    pointbass Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I guess it depends on what type of music you're playing .... I first re-strung with Thomastik flats, but quickly put LaBella long scale flatwounds on, amazing tone for my style of music (mostly jazz & funk), but I think most guys here on TB are using either roundwounds or chromes. Whatever you get, just be sure the strings are for a 35" scale. The stock strings are really pretty bad, or at least they were on mine when I got it.

    I agree with Superbass, really, try the bass first before making too many changes. I do a lot of playing in higher volume situations, and I also do a lot of recording, haven't had any problems at all with the stock electronics. I also don't feel any stickiness on the neck ...if anything, exactly the opposite, it's very easy to glide across.....

    Also, some FWIW advice from an older guy :D If you're new to this stuff and you're not familiar with how to properly set up a bass, get it to a tech guy somewhere to do the set up. The SX/Brice stuff absolutely needs to be properly set up to make it playable (that's one of the trade-offs for the low price). You can easily become disenchanted with the instrument if it's not set up right. If you're a hands-on person, there is an excellent sticky on the Forum about bass set up