Project bass for 40 dollars

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

  1. I just meant to get the bridge repaired and (new) strings on to make sure it's playable before spending a bunch of money on the pickups and whatever else you need.
    GodPlayedBass and Reedt2000 like this.
  2. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Do not forsage with the pickups, buy some Squire both and the bridge - i think it would be better to change it. Electronics seems ok if pots work.
    GodPlayedBass likes this.
  3. Oh yeah. Its playable. I checked that before I took the strings off. Neck is straight, surprisingly
    Reedt2000 and cheapbasslovin like this.
  4. Fresh Eddie

    Fresh Eddie

    Nov 13, 2008
    New England
    Sweat and beer can definitely cause that sort of rust... especially if you don't clean your bass before putting it away.

    I have been the target of gallons of beer through the years and I sweat like mad. Haha.
  5. electracoyote

    electracoyote Supporting Member

    That's a lot of rust damage, whether from sweat, beer, or water. Either way, it looks like enough to possibly get deep into and alter the wood.

    I used to sell the Bennett line of Samicks in a music store. The sales guys were pretty impressed with the quality to price point.

    Lots of good suggestions here, if the body and neck weren't compromised, good luck with the restoration. Sick color (I like instruments that pop on stage).
  6. Williethump


    Sep 10, 2017
    Good project bass, great color-Tweety Bird bass. Foil up the cavity with aluminum, swap out bad electronics, new bridge, new rounds or flats, gonna sound good. Price is right, cheapest flea market bass I've ever scored was $75 and it rings like a bell. After this project you can step up your bass refurbish game with higher end instruments 'needing a little work'. Always more fun to play a bass customized to your needs and enhanced with your 'sweat equity'. You'll have fun, learn a ton, and have a good toned custom ax for cheap. Good score.
  7. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    That black paint on a control cavity - isn't it by any chance a shielding paint?
  8. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Guitar Madness Pickups on eBay. Inexpensive quality Alnico 5 that sound great!:thumbsup:
    Ronzo likes this.
  9. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If the neck is straight, and the truss rod works, the rest is details.

    With all that rust, I'd be most worried about the truss rod being rusted in place. If that has happened, it's dumpster trash. If it still works, then $40 is a decent bargain - nothing that will earn you a big return if you flip it, but you can probably make a serviceable instrument out of it. And it's yellow. With some black tape, you could be in a Stryper tribute band.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    I don't see anything that I would want to reuse there
  11. Adienn7


    Jan 26, 2007
    If you check the electronics- they work and clean them up.. You can sell them.. Just find out if they are 8k 10k.. Sell each for 10 bucks..
  12. skycruiser


    Jan 15, 2019
    Does that give you more diagnostic info than a DC resistance measurement?
  13. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    No. Just a quick check to see if it's totally dead.

    I've seen instances where the DC resistance readings jump all over the place, but the pickup still made noise.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  14. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    First, 3 things to do.
    1-As others have said, Test the pickups. A pair of banana clips to hook them to a cord or the output jack are cheap and should be in your toolbox always. If they are working, remove the pickup from the body, cover the rest of the pickup with masking tape and use a bit of steel wool to sand off the rust.

    2- The bridge might be fine. Don't toss it just yet. If you want to fix some of the rust, drop the parts in vinegar for an hour or so and then brush lightly to remove rust. Dry completely and put next to a fan for a bit. You might loose some chrome and it won't be as shiny, but likely that will at least get rid of most of your rust.

    3- Most importantly, then decide what you want this bass to be. Are you trying to get it near basic original level of quality or make it nicer?

    Once you've decided on #3, then keep your focus. Here's a few options to consider if the pickups and electronics are shot but the bass is good.

    A. As some have said, if the wood and metal is good, $150 can get you an EMG Geezer pickup set complete with no-solder harness, pots, jack, etc. That's going to get you a bass whose tone will punch way above it's price, but at that point you'll have almost $200 into this. Geezers are great, but by comparison you can get a brand new Ibanez TMB-100 for $199 and it's a banging little classic-styled P/J bass that feels and sounds great.

    B. If you just want a bass of modest quality, then you can probably find some used pickups here for $25 each, buy pots and have it all done for around $75-$85. This will probably get you at or possibly better than the the original quality tone, but you're still spending double on parts over what you paid for the bass originally.

    C. If the the only goal is to get it playing and you are patient, you can go on Ali Express (maybe Ebay) and from chinese dealers you can get a pair of pickps for $15..
    NEW Set P/J Bass Pickups 4-String Precision Bass Pickup Single Coil Open Style 799928723947 | eBay
    ... and a wiring harness for $8.
    Wiring Harness Prewired Kit 3-500k Pots Jack Socket for Jazz Bass Guitar Parts 634458318495 | eBay
    The result will probably be pretty close to original stock quality and you've got less than $70 invested!

    D. As an interesting option, maybe you want to experiment with an active setup for just $25 shipped, all pots and jack included!
    3 Band Active Bass Preamp Equalizer 4 Controls for P J Bass Pickup Set | eBay
    Might be great, might be crap, but it'd be an interesting attempt!

    Lastly, if the bridge is truely shot, from the same sort of Chinese OEM suppliers mentioned you can buy near exact replica of what you've got for around 7 bucks shipped. A heavier version for around 10 or a clone of the cast Gotoh 201 style for around $15. Most listings will show a diagram so you know the holes will line up.

    Anyway, there's some ideas to work with. This is only my opinion, but if I had this bass, I'd probably try and save the original bridge (or buy the cheapest replacement) and go with the D option (maybe C if I was feeling cautious). Just as an experiment to play around with an active preamp and with only $65-80 invested in it total, you'd probably be able to make back your money on craigslist when you tire of it. Almost any bass will eventually sell at $70 espeicially if it's got "new parts".
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  15. LostJohnny


    Mar 11, 2020
    It tells you that the pole pieces are present and made of metal, I guess. :^) In all seriousness, it's the test I usually do myself, since an amp and random metal object are usually closer to hand than my multimeter is.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Nice looking bass, great color! The bass will be grateful you gave her some TLC!
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. 2F/2F


    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    If the neck is good, probably a worthwhile project.

    I still think it should have been free, but $40 isn't bad if you already have pickups and a bridge lying around.
  18. No pics of the headstock. Are the tuners moving ok?

    It doesn’t appear to me that it was submerged. The pickup cavity and pots/wiring show no evidence of corrosion in the pics.

    My bet is that the previous owner has corrosive sweat. I’d check the truss rod; if it moves ok, take the opportunity to upgrade the pickups and electronics, maybe change the tuners if necessary with some clones, slap a new bridge on, and rock that puppy!
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. IIRC, these were made by Samick in Korea, so it may be pretty solid. IF the neck is serviceable, you can spend as much or as little as you want to restore it to a working instrument; if it were me, a little careful shopping for quality pieces to rebuild would be the way, as after it's all said and done, resale on a G Bennett is not going to be real high. But you could certainly make it into a great player if it's willing.

    You always buy and sell and mod with an eye to resale. You only want to be buried . . . . in a cemetery.
  20. You gotta make a YouTube video restoring this..make some money to offset the cost...We sold Samick for others have stated they make for over 25 different Brands. The Greg Bennett were some of the better designs..great find for 40. Love to see pictures once it is restored. ReVv
    GodPlayedBass likes this.
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