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replacement body for 3-bolt G&L bass?-HELP!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dgce, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I was going to sell my old trusty '97 ASAT bass because I've gone Carvin and like the change. However, now and then I pick up that old ASAT and find myself amazed at the power and clarity of those bloodthirsty humbuckers. And I almost never use the preamp, its got plenty to say in passive mode.

    So I figured I'd just keep the ASAT around as a secret weapon. But there's one problem, the balance of my Carvin B24 (the Bromberg bass) has spoiled me. When I now pick up my ASAT, I anticipate its chunkier neck and kinda like it. But what I can't readjust to is the poor balance of that Tele shaped ASAT body. It looks cool, but not so cool in action.

    So I'm wondering if a company like Warmoth could make a Jazz body bass routed for the 3-bolt neck and G&L pickup and preamp set up? Would it even be worth the expense? I'm thinking my ASAT with a Jazz outline would be more functional and likely pretty cool looking.

    Any ideas or suggestions from you G&L minions would be appreciated!
  2. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Check with Guitar Mill in Nashville (www.guitarmill.com). They don't list exactly what you want but they do make a slab body P with a square neck pocket similar to the G&L neck pocket, so maybe they can cook you up a J with the right neck pocket and pickup routings.

    Couldn't hurt to ask.
  3. Have you thought about trying an L-2000? Since the early 90s the electronics have been identical, and they weren't far off before then. Look for one with a #8 neck if you want it to match the standard ASAT profile. You'd keep the same sound, but lose the neck dive.
  4. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the info. I don't think the P (contemporary or slab) body style is for me. The prices for an unfinished body is quite tempting. But when you add the finish (which I'd definitely would do) then we're coming into Warmoth territory price-wise. Given this, I'd be better off going Warmoth, not only for the name but for the countless options they offer.
  5. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I could just order a new L-2000 with a #8 neck. I'm trying to keep things...practical. My #1 bass is a Carvin. I'm basically refurbishing my old ASAT because I like it's aggressiveness but not the way she balances. I'm not really looking to buy a new bass. I just want to make an old one better.

    If I can't order a J-styled body routed for G&L hardware and electronics as well as a 3-bolt neck at a price that won't break the bank, then I'll probably will have to sell the ASAT. That's my worse case scenario. I'm just hoping MAYBE there's another option. I'd hate to let her go but can't keep her as-is.

  6. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I would suggest either selling your ASAT and buying a used L-2000 or trying to find someone to trade it to. It should be either even money or close.

    There's no sense in spending money to Frankenstein a bass that you won't get any money back on, only to not know if it will work out well in the long run. Even if you wanted to keep the neck on your ASAT, you could buy a used L-2000 with the three bolt neck and swap necks and sell the resulting bass for only a partial loss (due to the headstock being mislabeled.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm with them. Sell the ASAT and get an older L-2000. It will have everything you do like and nothing you don't. And it won't be a wanna be G&L. It will be a factory real deal. Heck, I bet you may even be able to do an even swap right here on TB.
  8. bdgotoh

    bdgotoh Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2002
    Pacific NW
    If you like the neck feel on your '97 ASAT you'll want a #6 neck, not a #8. Different fingerboard radius and they didn't offer the #8 back then. I agree with people recommending you find an older L-2000, the necks were consistently thicker back in the late 90's. Most of the new G&Ls I've played that were built after 2004 have had thinner necks but there have been a few exceptions.
  9. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. In the past, I’d toyed with the idea of scoring a 3-bolt era L-2000 and swapping the neck with my ASAT. The hitch is now I have an additional bass; an ASAT with a #12 or whatever neck to unload.

    I’m not looking to buy another bass. My #1 is my Carvin. I just want to give my ASAT a little update to make her more functional hence my Jazz body idea. Of course, if the cost of the body and the assembly is too much; then the whole project doesn’t make much sense; I could just buy a new or new-ish G&L, it’d be much easier.

    I checked the Warmoth site and despite all their standard routing options, none will quite fit G&L specs. From your experience, guys, how much do you think a luthier or guitar tech would charge to route a J body for me then install the G&L parts, neck, and setup? I figured I’d order a basic Jazz body painted and sealed in black or Mary Kay white as a blank. Then I’d have a local do the work. If I can keep cost, say, within $550, I think it’d be worth it. But the bass blank alone will likely be at least $300. Then there’s the issue of the 3-bolt neck. Hell, I’d score a MIM Fender Jazz on the cheap just for the body but the neck joint shoots me in the foot.

  10. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    solutions I've seen.
  11. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Years ago I saw that 3-bolt plate/strap holder online. Why the hell didn't I buy it when I had the chance!!! Years later I remembered that plate and searched hi and low for it online with no luck. I even asked around on a couple of G&L TB threads about it but still no luck. Ugh!

    The 2nd strap extender, I haven't seen before. Looks very similar to the first one. As I have a 3-bolt plate, this one probably wouldn't work for me.

    I've also searched for that extended screw (sounds wrong when you say it out loud) on the Thunder Bird bass (damn that t-Bird is cool looking). I can't find it anywhere! In fact, I searched again recently because I saw in a G&L promo shot that Tom Hamilton had the same or something very similar on his signature ASAT. The only feedback I got back was that the device itself is nothing nothing special. That is, it probably wasn’t made to be a strap button extension. Rather, it's just a long cylinder that a common strap button can screw into on one end and the other could be screwed into the body just as if it were a piece of hardwood furniture. I've considered going to a hardware store to see if I could whip something like this together but then got into this Jazz body idea.

    Thanks for reminding me of this stuff. I may look into it again. Then again, if you or anyone on TB can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I rather buy a new neck plate than replace the whole body of my ASAT.
  12. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I feel your pain, or should I say I used to feel your neck dive. Been years since I made the ASAT Strap Extension and only have one left that I use on my remaining ASAT and the prototype.
    If you are willing to go thru a body replacement maybe you can find someone to make an ASE for you.
    I'd be willing to help if I can.

    You might want to try a strap button at the bottom of the neck heal. It solves about 75% of the neck dive but does require a longer strap.
  13. TDR1138


    Apr 11, 2007
    Section 204
    Just some quick measurements, but my 3-bolt L2000's neck is 1/16" narrower and 1/2" deeper than the neck on my Jazz, in addition to the square vs round heel. Also, he L's neck pickup is about 1/2" closer to the bridge than the J's, which (if you planned on keeping the same pickup placement) would mean you're either going to have to find a top-load body with no pup routes or have the pickguard cut past the edge or substantially modified.

    My vote: swap for a used L2000. By good luck, whatever you end up doing.
  14. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    If you want to go that route, I would ind someone who works with metals, take off your neck plate, and have them replicate it with the extender like the first picture. That way you know it's sturdy.

    Extending the strap button with a tube seems dangerous, you're increasing the torque applied to that little wood screw by a lot.
  15. odarellmc


    Jul 8, 2012
  16. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    You're the ASATMAN!!! Thanks for the strap button suggestion. I guess now that the 3-bolt neck is no more, it wasn't worth the time and expense of building these things anymore?

    Please tell me, what do you know of that long cylinder strap button like on the T-bird on this thread? Where can I get one? Or are they just home grown projects? Do they work?

  17. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks. Last night I emailed a local luthier about routing or re-routing a J bass. I gave him/her my whole story. So all depends on what they can do and how much it would cost. I'd have no problem with having a black pickguard cut to cover up original J-pickup routes. If the price for the work is really right, I could go on eBay now and score a MIM J body or even a Mighty Mite on the cheap and a J-bass pickguard blank and I think I'd be set. It's really a matter of what this luthier can do for me.

    Then there's plan B, get some sort of strap button extension (which, btw, really is the more practical solution but I'm kinda groov'n on the Jazz body idea).

  18. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah, it does look odd. But I figure if Tom Hamilton takes this approach, it should be functional, no? Actually, I would prefer the 3-bolt neck plate solution if the Jazz body thing doesn't work out.
  19. dgce


    Jun 17, 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    If all do fails, I just keep it as-is or will just sell it. I don't plan on buying another bass. I'm just exploring the other possibilities.
  20. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    That custom body and paint and installation will be so involved with labor hours, it will end up costing the same as just buying an entire used L2000.
    It makes no sense...