Reunited, and it feels so good...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SlingBlader, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    I started playing bass around 1979 or 80. At that time, I was playing a crappy Japanese, Aspen Jazz bass copy. It had a plywood body and was just awful; but certainly good enough to begin learning.

    In 1981 or 82... (my memory is a bit fuzzy) my parents bought me a brand new Peavey T-40 bass. It was a fairly uncommon configuration with the tobacco sunburst and rosewood fretboard. I was in heaven.

    Time marched on and styles changed. I began using other basses, but still held on to my prized Peavey. I moved to Nashville in 1990. I was playing full time, but still had not figured out how to budget and handle my money. I had a deadbeat roommate that stuck me with a huge phone bill. Long story short, I had to pawn my T-40 to pay my phone bill and I ended up losing the bass.

    I felt incredibly guilty and have regretted it ever since. I've had an alert set up on Reverb for quite some time and a T-40 in the same configuration finally came up. I paid more than I wanted to pay and the condition wasn't as good as I wanted, but I finally got another one last week.

    I completely tore it down. I cleaned the parts and did a light rub out on the body and pick guard to get rid of the light scratches and grime. The bass was obviously stored in damp conditions as the chrome parts are badly pitted. I gave it a light fret level, crown and polish. Installed new strings and set it up.

    It still needs a few tweaks, but I feel like I have an old buddy back. Granted, it's an old buddy still wearing bell-bottom corduroy pants; but an old buddy that is loud and ballsy as all hell. Just thought I'd share. :D

  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Nice job!
    SlingBlader and bholder like this.
  3. Very cool. I still have my first bass. Happy to see yours, or a reasonable representation of it, come back.
    SlingBlader likes this.
  4. ZachM


    Nov 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Very cool, that's a super clean T-40! I'm piggybacking on this post to ask a question of you, and the other t-40 players here.

    I've owned two T-40's, a white/maple 1980 that sadly got stolen, and my current 1982 natural/maple. Both of them have a weird neck issue that I have never had on any other bass I've owned - I have a lot of trouble getting the setup right on the E string side of the neck.

    Frets 1-7 always seem to choke out a little bit, unless I have the bridge saddles set far higher than I do on the other strings. And while my stolen one was very solid in terms of holding a setup, my current one seems to need adjustment all the time. Could there be some flaw in the neck that I'm not aware of? Is there a construction problem in general with the T-40 necks that causes them to have issues with string clearance on the bass side of the neck?

    Perhaps the problem lies not with the neck, but the fact that this bass has 40 year-old frets on it. Just wondered if some other T-40 players have encountered this stuff too.
  5. Very nice! I still regret selling my T-40 (natural with blades and maple fretboard). The things we do when we're young :(
    SlingBlader likes this.
  6. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Thanks. It wasn't quite the pristine example that I'd hoped to find, but it's pretty decent. The main thing is that it plays great. :D
  7. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    I have not had this exact problem, but I do always have to play with the neck tilt adjustment more than I want.
    I'm wondering if your problem could be related to uneven neck screw tightening in conjunction with the tilt adjustment? This could make the neck sit crooked in the neck pocket... just a thought.
  8. ZachM


    Nov 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    That's a good place to look and check, I actually took the neck off last night and played around with the neck tilt some more. My particular bass has horrific action if you don't use the neck tilt - like, 1/2" at the 12th fret - so I definitely need to use it. I did go back and check all those screws and stuff, and I'm pretty sure they're all tight. I may actually get some shims from Stewmac and do the tilt that way, just to make sure the tilt screw isn't causing a fulcrum and shifting the neck out of square like you said.

    I think a refret may be in my future for this bass though, since the problem is primarily happening in the frets where most of the playing has taken place.
  9. SlingBlader


    Oct 19, 2013
    Yes, the built in geometry between the neck pocket, bridge height, etc, is pretty bizarre. You pretty much have to use neck tilt.

    Be sure to nearly tighten the two neck screws furthest from the bridge first, then snug down the other two nearest the bridge. Finish by snugging the first two screws. That will hold the neck square as it seats.
  10. 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.

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