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Peavey Foundation Project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MglMatador, May 10, 2010.

  1. MglMatador


    May 5, 2010
    I have a late 80's Peavey Foundation with Super Ferrite pickups. I got it new, played it extensively for about 15 years, then graduated on to other basses. I always kept it since I thought it would be hard to part with the first axe. :)

    In any case, I took it out of the case a few weekends ago, put on new strings, and plugged it in. I found that one of the volume pots was extremely scratchy, sound output was much thinner than I remembered. It looks like the bridge pickup is shot (one of the reasons I abandoned it years ago) as I can't get any sound out of it even when connected directly to the output jack.

    Frets are also very worn. This one has a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black body. It looks like a fret replacement is in order in order to get the action to where I am used to it now. I also can't get the action low enough without buzzing (due to the frets), however the neck seems straight.

    So on to my question. I'm considering:

    1) Yanking the frets and filling the frets with styrene, then epoxying the fretboard
    2) Replacing the pickups

    I've looked long and hard for replacement pickups. I was never that happy with the sound of the Super Ferrites, was thinking of Bartolini soap bars, however this bass used a pickup mounting ring and the pickup size is very odd (1.25" by 3.25"), and I can't find anything to replace them while keeping the mounting ring. The routes for the pickups are pretty ugly so I'm looking at having to make some sort of pick guard to go over the holes if I ditch the mountain rings.

    So is this worth it? The bass was very cheap, however it is well made and still feels good (despite the crappy sound). Would this make an interesting project bass given the pickup change? Or perhaps its better to just sell it or leave it as-is as a wall decoration. I would love to have a fretless again (had a Carvin 5 string that was great) but wonder if this bass is worth the effort.

    I'll post pics tonight so you can see what I have to work with, and if I decide to do the project I'll take pics throughout the process.
  2. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    There is some significant interest in the Foundation in other threads on TB, but the price is such that you'd really need to want this bass to make it worth a lot of dollars invested.

    If you can do the work, or want to mess with a project...worth saving a well made USA bass.

    Just pick this one up and am working on a refinish on the Fury behind it. I like the way they feel in my hands. DSCF9541.
  3. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Makes me wish I still had my Dyna Bass still...loved that bass. I don't see any reason not to do it, nice learning project.
  4. Wel your going to sink some cash in you will never seen again but its your first bass so if you think you will use it then go for it!

    Coverting it to fretless wont cost much its basically just your labor, as for pickups i would wait for a good deal here, in the classifieds for something and route the body to fit whatever.
  5. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    if worse comes to worse I'll take it off your hands. I've been wanting to get another foundation since I regrettedly parted with my old 93 model.
  6. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I'd replace the frets.. fretless foundations are cheap.. defretteds aren't worth much at all.
  7. MglMatador


    May 5, 2010
    Ok here's some images:

    1) Front of the bass


    2) Close up of pickup area (you can see I have some work to do with a polishing wheel)


    3) Back


    4) Serial Number


    Serial number (if I decoded correctly) is from '88, which makes sense (that's when I first got it new).

    Still undecided on the pickups. Pots are going to be a PITA to locate, as the hole is at least half an inch deep, and most pots (Bourns, CTS) only have 0.33" threaded shafts. I do have one of the originals left, and it has a threaded shaft that is almost 0.6" long!
  8. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Contact Peavey, they sell replacement parts
  9. I know its hard to tell from the picture, but it really looks like there is still enough fret left to have them dressed. As for the pots, most pots will fit a foundation. Cts pots typically have a small tang designed to bite in to hold the pot in place. If you bend it back there is usually enough thread length. Also, any pot designed for Gibson guitars should be long enough. I don't know of any pickup with the same dimensions as a Superferrite, but there was tber who had Nordstrom Big singles installed in one. I think it was JGSbass if I am not mistaken.
  10. oldrookie


    May 15, 2007
    Avon, IN
    The Foundy I posted above had an issue with the rear pickup. Stopped producing any sound.

    A friend, broadcast engineer with 45 years experience, reversed the polarity on both pickups and it now sounds absolutely great from both pickups. Might give it a try on yours.

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