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Serious Modifications

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lance Jaegan, Dec 30, 2000.

  1. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    As I was stripping the finish off one of my basses this morning, I just started to wonder how many of you people out there have done serious modifications to your basses. I've routed holes for extra pickups, defretted, reshaped bodies, refinished them, put active electronics into passive basses, (I'm not talking about active modules designed for old passive basses) messed around with the electronics, and on occaison, slightly destroyed a few basses. Am I in the minority? Or are there many people who do these kinds of things out there?
  2. Aaah, Lance. I'm so glad someone else admits to crazy things. I thought I was alone in my stupidity. Yep, I've defretted, stripped, added, subtracted, activated, passified and generally managed to bugger up several basses. It's a learning curve, 'cos my latest effort was building my own six string, and it turned out pretty damn good. I've now pretty much satisfied my tinker-syndrome, and hopefully wont ruin any more basses.
  3. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    I've been thinking of building my own bass using one of those neck-thru necks they sell nowadays, and all I would do is put body wings on it, pickups, bridge, etc. I could probably get a decent bass out of that, and have it all customized to my specs.
    What was your method of building your six string?
  4. Marty, we'd like to see some pics of that 6 if ya gottem.

    See the pics posted under "need mo money" for a look at my first ground up creation.

    I've restored some finishes, added nuts, swapped necks, and generally revamped every bass I've had.
  5. Rumblin' Man

    Rumblin' Man Banned

    Apr 27, 2000
    Route 66
    I do it all the time for myself and others. Been doing it since the early 70's or so. I do everything, necks, nuts, frets, bodies, pickups, refinishing, preamps (I even designed a couple for my own use), etc.

    In fact, I just came up from my basement "workshop" after sawing out a blank for an Ashbory MkII-esque instrument with a 22 inch scale. I cut out the body/neck blank (it's from one piece of wood). I glued on the fingerboard and it's drying as I type.

    Yesterday I converted a bass to use threaded inserts and machine screws for the bolt-on neck. (Hambone, I finally found them locally as 'furniture connectors').

    I have a lot of fun messin' with these things, playing them too.
  6. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've made several basses from scratch...raw boards to finished instrument. There's an awesome book by a guy named Melvin Hiscock, (bet he had a rough childhood!), that steps the whole thing out. Like Hambone, I have access to CNC type machinery, (metal only though...useful for making templates), which helped with making useful jigs and such.

    I've taken my MIM Jazz from fretted to fretless and back to fretted...fixed a botched BadAss bridge job on a killer '72 Jazz. That required some cool woodworking techniques that I had tried for the first time...

    The latest has been converting my cheesy-assed Hondo P-Bass copy to lined fretless. At least I have a reason to play it now...just needs a Seymour Duncan Antiquity to replace the lame Hondo pickup. I am considering making a new body for the neck...Funny. This bass has a terrible multi-ply body typical of late '70s Korean basses, but the neck rocks!!! We'll see...

    Upcoming projects include completing a 32" scale bass that I am working on for my 12 yr. old son...an Electric Upright...and a semi-hollow fretless along the lines of a Rob Allen or Rick Turner. Now, where'd I put that StewMac catalog???

  7. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I can't keep my hands off my instruments. I have defretted, refinished, rewired, torn apart, you name it. I have built an electric upright, three basses, and a guitar. I had a beautiful Carvin koa six-string fretless, but I seldom used the C-string, so I changed it to a wide-spaced 5. I then started getting carpal tunnel syndrome, so I narrowed the neck. Then I converted it to a four string and added a big DiMarzio humbucker in the neck position. People are always amazed when I tell them it used to be a six. My main bass is a semi-hollow fretless 5 I made from Carvin and Stew-Mac parts.
  8. I own a much modified 1951 Fender "P" bass. Sigh!

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