Project bass for 40 dollars

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GodPlayedBass, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. So i believe this is a samick Greg Bennett CR-13 pj bass guitar, in Canary yellow. Bought it off a friend for 40 dollars. It does not work. The j pickup is rusted and the P pickups just dont work. Might be a soldering issue but idc. Im gonna change the pickups completely. (Any suggestions... ?) Also the bridge is pretty much destroyed. Will hopefully get it working in the next few weeks. Anyone ever own one of these? Screenshot_2020-08-09-20-24-27.png 20200727_223355.jpg 20200727_223943.jpg
  2. That's an awful lot of rust and it's in a funny pattern on the body. It looks like the bass was submerged in water (perhaps a flooded basement). The screws and pole pieces are rusty but the bridge plate isn't. That means the rusty parts aren't the plated ones. Unless the pickups are potted, the water could get in and damage the pickup wire. Just like a car that has a flood title, electrical problems are common and hard to trace. On the plus side, if the body and neck are still in good shape and you don't mind gutting and revamping the electronics, you have a cool, inexpensive, somewhat rare modding platform. The reason I mentioned this is that you always hope to keep the original working parts from a project. You stated you were going to redo it, but the original parts may not be salvageable. Never owned one, but Samick is one of the largest manufacturers in the world. They just don't put their own name on their products. So, Yay!!!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
    GodPlayedBass and Reedt2000 like this.
  3. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I didn't have a Bennett bass, but I did have a semi hollow guitar and I worked for a music shop that sold the whole line. They were always pretty solid. Like many budget instruments the electronics were the worst part. For $40 you've got a nice platform to work from. I'd swap everything except the body, pickguard, and neck (after I strung it as-is and was comfortable that the neck isn't shot :D)
  4. JeezyMcNuggles


    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    That is a 40 dollar masterpiece. At least it will be after about 500 more. Maybe get away with like 300. Depends on the neck.
  5. Bent77


    Mar 6, 2013
    As mentioned, always worry about the neck. But that color pops!

    bridges are cheap, and a used PJ set out of the classifieds should get you in shape!
    gitfiddl, RSBBass, Low8 and 2 others like this.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Before you throw out either pickup... pull the two wires coming from the pickup and hold the bare ends against a plugged-in guitar cable phone jack, one wire to the tip, one wire to the sleeve... and tap on the pickup pole pieces with something metal.

    Pickup Testing.jpg If it makes noise, it's probably still good.
  7. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    the stock pickups probably aren't worth salvaging. I had a Samick a while back, pickups and electronics were okay but I would have changed the pickups had I kept the bass (it was a Samick Greg Bennett Fairlane with two J's), so not really worth trying to salvage them imo, just replace them with something better. Maybe check the classifieds for a good PJ set already wired with pots and output jack. .
    As mentioned above, I'd be more concerned with making sure the neck is still good, is it straight not twisted, can the truss rod be adjusted etc.
    I really do like that color, it's not something you see very often.
    GodPlayedBass and Reedt2000 like this.
  8. I’ve had gear that got that rusty from sweat, when used on long tours. They kept working even if they looked worse. I agree that it could have been in a flood, or possibly was submerged, if it isn’t working.
    Try replacing wires, and everything cheap that you can, before you put money into it.
    GodPlayedBass likes this.
  9. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    You don't have to spend $500 or even $300 to repair this bass:
    o Complete wiring kit (if you can solder) $25 or less on eBay right now.
    o Or a completely wired Jazz harness from china $10 (ebay)
    o $50 for PJ PUPs - Artec Alnico "Big Pole" for instance, and there are others
    o $15 Wilkinson Chrome Bass Bridge

    Total price of parts $65 max......057912
    Revv, B-Mac, Ronzo and 9 others like this.
  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    For $40 it's hard to go wrong.
    Bassdirty and GodPlayedBass like this.

  11. This.
    Ronzo, ejaggers, scuzzy and 1 other person like this.
  12. You could make that into a funky bass. Hook it up!
    GodPlayedBass likes this.
  13. I suggest active EMG pickups if the neck is fine.
    Make it growl!
    GodPlayedBass likes this.
  14. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    EMG GZR P/J set with controls, wiring harness, and output jack, $179.
    GodPlayedBass and scuzzy like this.
  15. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    Samick gear is solid...crummy electronics in lower models. Enjoy. I love a great redemption story!
    Low8 likes this.
  16. So thats how you test pickups!?!? Ive been just wiring up the whole harness and plugging it in and hoping for the best! This trick could have saves me about 2 weeks worth of my time a few months ago. Thank you for sharing this!
    B-Mac likes this.
  17. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    If you need to test pickups regularly make a test cable. Take an instrument cable, remove the jack from one one and solder on two alligator clips.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    As long as the truss rod works and the neck isn’t twisted the battle is almost entirely won.

    Redoing the electronics is easy. You can buy a pair of top shelf pots for well under $20. A Switchcraft jack for $3. A poly cap for about half a buck. Grab a wiring diagram and your soldering iron and put in ten minutes of your full attention. I’d also do some decent shielding. Ordinary household aluminum foil works and is better than nothing if you don’t want to drop money on copper foil or shielding paint. Voila! Now you’ve got much the same tonestack you’ll find in the top shelf basses.

    Pickups will set you back as much or as little as you want to spend. GuitarFetish has some decent ones for small money. Or shop used for one of the name brands. Hard to pick a bad one these days. Fender, Aguilar, Dave Allen, Klein, Lace, Lindy Fralin, Wilde, Nordstrand, EMG, Dylan, Seymour-Duncan, Dimarzio, Bartolini, …they’re all really good. Just depends on which you like best. Figure $100-$150 give or take for top shelf name. Considerably less for GHS.

    That bridge has to go. Easy to replace and doesn’t need to be expensive.

    Tuners are no big deal. Check the hole diameter and find a matching sized tuner to replace it. If the holes are too small for the tuners you want to use, they can be safely and accurately enlarged with a reamer. And if you never used a reamer, you now have a low risk project to learn how on.

    With some work and a little luck you can end up with a really nice bass. But the real value (if this is your first recovery/restoration project) is the experience you’ll gain in various aspects of repair, parts selection, finishing, wiring, and setup. Those are skills that will come in handy throughout your days as a player. And that’s probably the single best justification for taking on a project bass.

    And if the end result turns out not to be to your liking you can always part it out and recoup part or all of your investment. So “win!” either way.

    Luck with your project! :thumbsup:

    Don’t forget to post pix and share your experiences when you’re done. :)
  19. I spell rust M. O. J. O.

    I've done something similar. If everything goes to hell you can pitch it, but if you get it working then it'll be your baby.

    I'd get it strung as quickly as possible to make sure it feels like something you want to salvage.
    GodPlayedBass and Reedt2000 like this.
  20. I took the strings off. They were gross
    Bent77 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 18, 2021

Share This Page