Polishing a Turd

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassGreaser, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    image.jpeg This thread is to document my results of taking a total piece of junk bass (30" scale length) and doing pickup, electronics, and hardware upgrades.

    Here is the subject being worked on.

    It's my very first bass a Cruise. I've owned it for 20 years, played it for six months before upgrading to a Carvin. The neck it still straight and plays well for being total junk.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  2. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Body is gutted, neck came off and hardware is off.


    The body is soft plywood and looking at the neck I have no idea what it's made of.
    I might sand the finish off the back of the neck to get a better idea.


    Ordered a set of EMGs, knobs, a new bridge.
    Shortie, Hoggles and rojo412 like this.
  3. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive Suspended

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    I used to sell a few of those back in the 90s. They came from VJ Rendano ( I think was the name of the wholesaler). Some had that name, some said cort, some came with no name at all. The were decent for the price, I think I sold em new for around $120. If you want to save some ca$h- these guys have some pretty decent upgrade parts, at a friendly price.
    Custom Guitar Parts and Accessories. Everything you need to play!
    jnsnj, SirMjac28 and BassGreaser like this.
  4. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Interesting project. May I suggest a flashier finish? Maybe something sparkle?
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Compared to the $80 piece of excrement Chinese P-Bass clone I bought my son, that, my friend, does not qualify for turd-dom. Horrendous fret sprout? Check! Neck pocket apparently carved out with a rusty screwdriver and then shimmed with Chinese business cards? Check! Flimsy piece of crap bridge and slippy tuners? Check! Dreadful electronics, badly soldered? Check-em all, Baby! What you have there is a Diamond in the Rough. A very cheap, crappy diamond. I'm now using the aforementioned Chinese P-Turd as an "experimental" test bed for bad amateur luthiery. I can tell you are having fun with this, that's all that counts.
  6. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.

    Rolling on the floor after that one.
    At least you have a since of humor about it.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  7. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I think I need some glasses, cause I read ''polishing a turtle''. Right...
    carsonchilders, NJSouth, PWRL and 4 others like this.
  8. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    My son has since become a damn good Jazz and big-band style bass player, and he can sight-read passably well, a skill I never mastered. He bought himself a Jay Turser Beatle Bass and a Rumble 30 combo amp, great little rig. I think I bought the P-Turd assuming he'd never actually get into bass, glad I was wrong!

    I think Warmouth will build anything you want for a price, but then the neck would be worth more then the whole shebang put together. Down that road lies fiscal ruin and boatloads o' Fun.
    BassGreaser likes this.
  9. Killer Canary

    Killer Canary Guest

    Aug 27, 2015
    What do you think turtle wax is for?:roflmao:
  10. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    Sometimes learning on a turd makes you appreciate something nicer. I will never forget my Encore SG copy that had Fender Bronze wound heavy gauge strings on it. Those strings about killed my 8 year old hands but made me into one powerful player after playing them for a couple years. Of coarse I stepped from an SG copy with strings about a mile off the fretboard to a real 69 Telecaster then a real 52 P bass then a 4003 Rickenbacker. OK yes I lived a cushy gear life then. :D
    IGotGas, hintz and Gilmourisgod like this.
  11. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I have a lot of sentiment for my first bass and my first guitar. The guitar was a short scale nylon string Gianini made in Brazil that I got when I was 7. I bought the most epic pro tuners to upgrade it, and I've toyed with with putting a piezo pickup in it. I'm NEVER going to sell it. Period.

    It's great that you've let your first bass evolve into something substantial even though it's a cheapie.
    BassGreaser likes this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm still polishing my first turd, the '76 Musicmaster. :) Gotta get all the pieces together in one place is most of the work.
  13. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012

    IGotGas and BassGreaser like this.
  14. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks everyone for the input (keep it coming) and interest.

    I think I'll have a new neck made down the road (next two years or so) out of wenge.

    What I like about this bass is that it's small and fits in a Mono guitar sized gig bag!

    I know this won't compare to the Almebic Spoiler I owned, but it will be an interesting "trash" 30" with a hi-fi sound.

    Also, I am naming this bass "White Trash"
  15. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Looks like a nice project. I agree that if it has a strait neck, it's not too bad of a turd, though having a plywood body definitely leans a bit toward turdy-ness.

    With the huge variety of cheap quality parts available, pretty much anything with a stable strait neck though is worth fixing up.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    LowNloud1 and BassGreaser like this.
  16. Neck made of Mahogany?

    Deciphering the logic of some of these replies....:-

    If it only takes a turd bass to become a proficient master.......why bother ever spending over 200 bucks on one?
    bolophonic and BassGreaser like this.
  17. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore?

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    I still play my first bass almost everyday. Beat up, bruised, scarred, melted (yeah I know it was dumb), with 15 year old strings. Love it! Love it! Love it!

    Gonna be played at Christmas service for the opening tune too. She ain't real pretty but she brings it every time without fail!!

    edit: My first bass is among the top three or four in my stable. If it had a low B it could be in contention with my Lakie for the top spot!!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    BassGreaser likes this.
  18. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    It might be. Here is a picture showing an area where the paint chipped off.

    Ubersheist likes this.
  19. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    That control layout is really clumsy looking. What do they do?

    +1 for mahogany neck
    BassGreaser likes this.
  20. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    In stock form it is 1 Master Volume, 2 Tone Controls, and a pickup toggle switch.

    It will be changed to 2 Volumes, and 1 Tone. (Toggle switch will be ex'ed)
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