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Project OLP "Road Worn" Stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mykk, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Hey Guys,

    Last weekend I picked up a used OLP stringray copy from a Guitar Center in Phoenix Az. It was an attractive price to begin with and when I noticed some of it's issues I talked the price down some more.

    It had flatwounds on it, with the strings wound the wrong direction on the tuner posts. The action was a mile high off the fretboard and the electronics were fubared. Pots were loose in the control plate and the neck coil volume didn't work at all.

    I get it home, change the strings and set it up. Pull the control plate and noticed broke off wires to pots, fire up the soldering iron and get things functional again.

    Not a bad sounding bass, plays great. I really like the thick neck. The highs have a nice brilliance to them.

    I swapped out the original pup for my Duncan SMB4a, I didn't like it. The highs lost that brilliance and the already predominant mids were emphasized even more.

    I put the original pup back in and wired up a BassMods BEQ03. It sounded great, nice thick lows, contoured mids and crisp brilliant highs.


    My intention was to dial it in a bit more and just play it. But that yellowish tint 'natural' finish just didn't sit well with me. I love natural finish basses, but not this thick yellowish tint.

    I decided to give a go with my own "Road Worn" finish. I've never done anything like this before, in fact I'm not very good with paint period. Even rattle can's.

    I sanded the body down with 220 grit to take the shine off the original finish, I sprayed it with Krylon Satin Black and did a piss poor job. Runs and drips, it looked awful. I let it flash for a couple of hours and began to sand it off. When I started sanding it started to look better and gave me an idea of how I was going to do my "worn" look.


    Sprayed another coat of Satin Black, this time trying not to go to thick and avoid runs. It ran and dripped again anyways.

    A couple hours flash time and got to sanding again. I "wore out" the sections I wanted to and than shot a coat of Matte Clear.




    It's not perfect, I need to keep working on my clear coat. Sand down a bit and do another coat. But all in all I'm really pleased with my little Stingray copy.

    I still need to open up the control cavity a bit to fit that pre-amp and make a battery cavity just above the pickup under the guard.

    I sanded off the OLP headstock logo and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do up there. I tried to sand off the fretboard dots and failed, but I'm thinking a neat burn treatment to the headstock might complete my project nicely. Cheers ~Mykk
  2. Looking good! If you want to get rid of the fret markers, go on ebay and search for fret marker decals. There are alot of different options, from block style to full neck length vine, even dots to match the color of the neck to make it appear to have no markers on it at all. Best of all they are easily removable and relatively inexpensive.
  3. Just did a 400 grit wet sand on the first coat of clear, worked out the majority of blems. I'll hang it in the A.M., shoot another coat and then wet sand with 4000 grit and polish. Make my battery & preamp cavity and bolt this thing back together, set it up and play the hell out of it.
  4. My paint booth:



    I should have the project wrapped up tonight.
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I guess that makes sense for a "road worn" bass! :D

    I'm no big fan of road worn and reliced basses, but I have to admit that an OLP is the PERFECT bass to do that to! I actually LIKE the way it's turning out!
  6. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Ok..ill ask.
    do you actually drive that paint booth?
    or is it just a "project car" sittin there?
  7. Thanks, I thought so too. I can't bring myself to try this on my other basses...even my Squier.

    It is actually a driver. It is my main mode of transportation in Los Angeles, when I acquired it I gutted the interior so I can fit my 8x10", 2x15", cases, racks, heads & misc and go from studio to studio and show to show.

    In Az I usually drive my hot rod project pickup and the car sits.
  8. Finished it up, still sounds and plays great. The finish isn't perfect, but it matches the beat up look.







    I'd like to do something with the pickguard now.
  9. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Looks nice now time to age the hardware.
  10. _DSC3747.
  11. After a long run of consecutive shows, and attempting to dial in this bass at different venues. It needed something, the bite and click were there but it seriously lacked any fullness and thump in the mix. I decided to add a neck pup, I dug out a solid cover passive pup cut out the guard and body and wired in parallel. The bass still very much has the bite and sheen it had previously but it now how's some more balls. I'll give it some stage time tomorrow night, we'll see how it goes.


    I took unclebass suggestion and laid down a set of faux blocks on the neck ordered from EBay, the 12th fret+ the fitment is rough and doesn't fully cover the fret dots but as a whole it's got a cool look and I'm happy with it.
  12. It sounded better last night on stage with the added pickup. I did need to have the bass boost knob maxed to get any girth in the tone while on stage and in the mix. But it's getting closer. I'm going to play around with the pickup wiring, series/parallel and biased coils to further dial it in. But I'm happy with it, and won't stop until I love it and I would be comfortable playing it for an entire night.
  13. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    it's not something i would know too much about, but could you put in a pre-amp with a more bass-centric emphasis? It seems you dig the high-cut of the pickup(s) in there now, if you could just find a way to boost the lows a little more
  14. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Hey looks good! I'm digging the pantina
  15. I'm giving the SMB-4a another shot, since adding a the neck pup and active EQ I wanted to hear how and what it did to the voicing. My rig is still packed up, but through my practice combo I think this may work out well. I've learned to reserve tone judgment until I get it up on stage, if I can dial it in to a sound I'm happy with up there it'll be a keeper.

    SMB4a passive stand alone, no go. SMB4a with a J-neck pup and active preamp, pretty good.
  16. The song/bar gig I gave this OLP it's test drive.


    It actually did better in the mix 20 feet away then I thought it did, I remember my tone being a bit more clicky then this recording and I can hear my lack of "Vroom"... we'll see how the SMB4a does next weekend.

    Forgive my stereotypical bass player's lack of movement on stage. Working ten hours then play four hours, get five hours of sleep to work another nine hours and have another four hour show the next night is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. If only I could afford to live off the gig income alone, like it used to be...
  17. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    I have a bass I was trying to wear the finish down on just to remove the glossy look. When I went overboard with that, I tried to go for the relic look. And when that failed, I started sanding the whole thing down. Never finished and now it's sitting in a box in my basement. You've just given me inspiration to pull it back out and finish my project.

    Can you expound on what you used? I'm curious.
    The Krylon Satin Black and Matte Clear?

    By the way, I also own a Saab. :D
  18. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Deadly project dude.

    Im just spitballing here but if it were my project I would go back and sand the clear off the worn down spots to expose the wood just like real wear. Might help aid in natural wear around the paint edges as well.

    I'm about to do something similar to a Squier Affinity P bass that i've painted in Duplicolor Harvest gold. Great paint and you can pick it up at most autobody shops. Goes on really easy with minimal drips and runs.
  19. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013

    Might I chime in and suggest using the Duplicolor paint I mentioned in my post above? It works fantastic and sprays on cleaner than regular rattlecan paint (It's meant for automotive projects) They also make a clear lacquer that works great and goes on nice and thin. If you'd like any more info drop me a PM.
  20. RyanJD


    Apr 19, 2011
    Okay, nice. I'll look into it. Thanks!
    The bass I'm "refinishing" is also a Squier Affinity.

    So something like this then?

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