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Raising the dead...need ideas

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Papazita, May 24, 2016.

  1. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    20150203_133229. 20150203_133243. 20150203_133319. 20150203_133352. TL/DR: restoring an old BC Rich Eagle copy. Need ideas on pickups & electronics.

    Back in 1994/95, I was a senior in high school and about 2 years into my bass playing life. We had this one local guitar shop in the area that I spent probably far too much money and time at. I walked in one day, and he had not one but two old fretless basses in stock. One was an old Carvin, I think an LB50, with the pickups and electronics replaced with an EMG setup, and this weird BC Rich Eagle copy. The Carvin was solid maple, heavy as a lead boat anchor, and had an unlined ebony fingerboard. This being my first fretless, I went with the Eagle copy, just for the fret lines.

    At some point in my young and dumb days, I decided that all those knobs and switches had to go. I didn't know what they were for, I didn't know why that bass would blow out the input of anything I plugged into, and eventually a wire came loose from somewhere and good luck finding where in that rat's nest of wires! I gutted it completely and trashed everything, original p.a.f. DiMarzio pickups and all. :rollno: I was going to replace it all with EMG's because EMG was like, the absolute bestest evar and so kewl because that's what I read in some guitar mag or other.

    Young and dumb.

    Before I got around to any of that, the fingerboard started to come unglued at the nut. Into the case & closet it went; packed away and forgotten until now.

    I pulled it out a few months ago and decided it was finally time to raise this beast from the dead. As you can see from the photos, the fingerboard separation progressed quite a bit while it was packed away. I was worried that the neck would be toast after sitting for so long, but according to Bill Foley at German Village Music Haus,in who's hands it now lies, the neck and truss rod are both perfectly fine. Rather than replace the fingerboard entirely, we're just removing it, cleaning everything up, and regluing it. It is a nice looking piece of rosewood, after all. The rusty old barrel bridge has to go. The tuners are fine & it needs a new nut. Other than that, the only thing left is... pickups and electronics.

    As far as bridges go, I'm really leaning towards Babicz, although the Fender Badass copy looks interesting (and more affordable).

    Pickups & electronics. Here's where it gets fun. What a pre-drilled playground this bass is!

    1) Keep it simple. 2 volume, 2 tone, fill in any any unused locations.
    2) Still passive, but not so simple. 2 volumes, 1 tone, and go nuts with ToneStylers.
    3) Filter preamp, most likely the ACG EQ-01 with dual lpf, high pass filter, and passive tone control.
    4) Moser replacement for the original Booster preamp. Pickups with this would most likely be the 4-conductor DiMarzio Model P; as close to the original p.a.f. pickups as I can get without sourcing the originals.
    5) Pope Flexcore fun! 2-band; 3-band; hi & low mids with a frequency switch for each; kill swiches; coil taps...whatever fits.

    Sorry if this was a lenghty read... Any thoughts? 20150203_133229. 20150203_133243. 20150203_133319. 20150203_133352.
  2. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    And wow those pictures are huge! :jawdrop:
  3. eastcoasteddie


    Mar 24, 2006
    I think you should go as-nuts-as-possible with the controls.
    Make sure you get white pickup covers....
    I never heard the DiMarzio pickups you mention, but 4-conductor split-coil sounds interesting.

    My Dean came shipped with the fretboard peeled away at the nut for the first two frets. The store I got it from contacted Dean about getting a new neck, but Dean responded saying that they would replace the whole bass with one they see fit...which could have been anything other than the bass I bought. So I bought some professional wood glue, squeezed it into the crevasse and clamped the fretboard down for 24 hours. 6 years later it's still together. Shouldn't be a big deal gluing it back on.
  4. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    If it were me (it isn't), I'd replace the finger board with unlined ebony to start. Then I would actually go with a Ric wiring harness for fun and chuckles.

    Do some Ric-o-sound magic.

    Or you could do Certainbass varitone: CertainBass.com

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