P-Bass Kit Build

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shawnzy, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Shawnzy

    Shawnzy Guest

    Jan 30, 2017
    I've been playing bass for years and always wanted to try putting a kit together. I finally decided to bite the bullet and purchased a p-bass style kit from Solo Guitars. It has a mahogany body, maple neck and I believe some kind of engineered rosewood (I wasn't crazy about that but it was cheap enough I guess.)
    I didn't quite take step-by-step photos but here's what I've got.
    I started out by assembling the kit. I was a bit skeptical that it would fit together nicely. It actually went together really well. The neck pocket was snug as a bug, pickup placement was a little off, a couple of the pickguard screw holes were stripped and it had a pretty rough poly finish on the body but not the neck.
    20180903_210921.jpg Next I sanded everything down and put on a couple layers of Duplicolor primer.
    Followed by Duplicolor Perfect Match Paint.
    I ended up putting 3 layers of paint and 3 of clear. 1 can of each was enough. I left it to dry for about a week before putting it back together.
    I also sanded the neck down with fine grit and applied toung oil for a silky smooth finish.
    I wet sanded with 2000 grit and polished with Maguire's compound and polish. I didn't use a grain filler so it is visible in the finish.
    I decided to skuff up the hardware with the sandpaper. I went a little overboard but I like how it turned out, with brass showing though.
    I liked the white pickguard once I assembled it but that's not what I was going for. I ordered a red shell pickguard and Ivory EMG PVA5's. They came with the passive solderless wiring kit, which was a breeze to put together. While I waited for those to arrive I gave the bass a full setup. The nut required quite a bit of work.
    The pickguard took a bit of finessing. I went with the musiclily, which is likely a direct fit for a genuine article. I on the other hand had to re drill every hole.
    P. S The EMGs sound great. I went with their new passive set and they are better than I expected. Classic mellow tone and a bit of growl with the tone turned up. I also noticed a definite output boost. The kit pickups had an ugly mid overdrive thing that happened when the tone was full on which was unusable. The EMGs still drive but it sounds growly and awesome. They get 2 shwings from me.
  2. Nice! Rock it proudly! It's cool to get to take out something and play it that you built yourself.

    Karl_V and Shawnzy like this.
  3. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    Love the painted headstock look. That’s a good-looking outfit.
    Karl_V and Shawnzy like this.
  4. Dynomuttasaurus


    Jul 23, 2016
    Dude, that looks sweeeet. I really appreciate hearing how others are taking on these projects. Music is about making and creating. Sometimes that's the instrument too.

    I just finished assembling a BargainMusician.com telebass last night. My first build. Other than using GFS pickups and wiring harness, I kept to the kit. The stain is emerald with a kona on the sides and fading on the front/back surfaces. I did have to shim the neck pocket. I shimmed the bass side and it seems to show as you can see the E string is a tad closer to the fretboard edge than the G. After stringing it up, I was challenged with the nut and intonation. I think that if I file the nut down (it's crazy high) that should help with the intonation.
    Kit Bass Body.jpg
    Kit Bass.jpg
    Shawnzy, kikstand454 and Karl_V like this.
  5. 20180407_182216.jpg My first Kit build here. she plays well but has her flaws. it was a blast to do and it's fun to play.
  6. Shawnzy

    Shawnzy Guest

    Jan 30, 2017
    That thing looks awesome! I had to file and shape the nut on my kit quite a bit. I used the setup videos by the G&L dude on YouTube. He goes through setup start to finish.
  7. Shawnzy

    Shawnzy Guest

    Jan 30, 2017
    I was real close to getting a Rick kit. Definitely still on the bucket list for me. What finish did you use?
  8. Beetfarm615


    Feb 15, 2017
    I like the bevel you put on the headstock. Totally stealing that:)
    Shawnzy likes this.
  9. @Shawnzy I used a minwax tintable stain after working the body to 220 grit. After that dried I went with A Minwax polycrylic(most will say it's awful) starting at 800gr and up to 2000gr wet sand before cut and polish. The bottom line is the polycrylic self levels well and lays great is tough as nails takes a fantastic shine.
    Shawnzy likes this.
  10. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    nice work! if it plays as good as it looks = you're in business! congrats! :thumbsup:
    Shawnzy likes this.
  11. Shawnzy

    Shawnzy Guest

    Jan 30, 2017
    It plays pretty nice now. I've tweeked it a few times as it sets/as I change my mind. I noticed the truss rod adjustment is less precise than my high end basses. I've been playing a 2004 American Deluxe Jazz as my main for a long time, so the fat neck on this thing is different, but that was kind of the point.
    JRA likes this.