Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Spector Refinish

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 3rdEye, Jan 13, 2003.


  1. 3rdEye

    3rdEye

    Nov 30, 2002
    CA.
    I bought a Spector NS5CRFM natural oil about a year ago. I was not impressed with the natural oil sound of the Spector. It was very dull, had no bite and clarity and didn't seem as hi-fi as the others. At the time when I bought it I did not know this. The strings in the store were dead and so I thought that If I just bought it, took it home and change the strings everything would be OK. Well It wasn't I was pissed. To make a long,long story short I got a REFINISH!!!:D Had a glossy polyurethane finish put on it and BOY WHAT A Difference!!!!!:eek: I got it out of Pat Wilkins(Who does excellent work by the way) shop today and this thing kicks ass now. WALA, the clarity, the bite the slap tone is all there. I think it was well worth the money. Anyone who tells you that the finish on a bass has no effect on the tone, don't know what there talking about. It most definitely does and to all those thinking about a Spector Czech 5 I would recommend not getting the natural oil. But hey its up to you. You decide. :)
     
  2. I don't think this should be veiwed as an indictment of all oil finishes on all basses. Perhaps there is some combination here that was destined to go wrong when mixed together or perhaps the observer is off in his declarations. Lots of variables here so anything is possible.

    Oil finishes are perfectly fine for basses. Ask the Warwick guys, the Alembic guys, or any number of luthiers that use oil finishes with incredible results. As with any finishing process, there are many things that must be done correctly for a good finish and many things that can be done poorly to ruin it. At any rate, relying on a single example to represent an accurate cross-section of results isn't sound thinking. If you are considering an oil finish for one of your own creations or one being built for you, then look around for more information on the results you might encounter. There is plenty to recommend an oil finish.
     
  3. 3rdEye

    3rdEye

    Nov 30, 2002
    CA.
    Hey Hambone, Its not an indictment on oil finished basses at all. It's just that the Natural oil neck thru Spector Czech basses don't sound as good as the other neck thru Czechs thats all. The natual oil bolt on Spectors sound awesome. Just not on the neck-thrus. Of course Warwick makes very nice natural oil basses as well as MTD and a host of others. I was just commenting on what a dramatic difference the finish can have on the tone of a bass for better or for worse.:D
     
  4. jani_bjorklund

    jani_bjorklund

    May 22, 2002
    Finland
    If I understand you right, and you're suggesting that putting a new finnish on your bass improved the sound , I think it's plain b******t!
    Think about once again. How could a plastic coating on the bodywood of an instrument improve the sound of it? There must have been something else wrong with the instrument and when the luthier took it apart for refinnishing and he put it back again something that wasn't OK turned OK.
    This here is a fine example of how missconceptions are created. Put a plastic coating on your bass to improve the sound. No way!
     
  5. I think it's more likely that during the refin the tech put everythig back together, and some cold solder joints/connections were put right. Hell, I'd even go so far as to say that it was the battery connector causing the trouble, and after the resolder everything worked like it should do - i.e. beautiful tone.
     
  6. 3rdEye

    3rdEye

    Nov 30, 2002
    CA.
    Hey Jani and Pantera Fan, it's not bull**** at all. It makes perfectly good sense if understood. The urethane coat changes the resonance of the body and it vibrate at a higher rate, thus causing greater clarity. The electronics were fine from the start; there was nothing wrong with it at all. You guys should A/b them(natural oil & urethane Spector Czechs) and you will hear a difference......And if you don't believe me, go to mtdbass.com and go under the "Articles" section then click on "Quest for Tone". The Maestro Mr. Mike Tobias himself should know what he's talking about. I see him, as many others do, as a very reliabe source. He explains how certain finishes affects the tone of a bass. Take Care.;) :)
     
  7. Sounds like he's all in favour of urethane finishes.

    :rolleyes:
     
  8. Rick Turner (Alembic co-founder) mentioned something in his Bass player column about an oil-finished swamp ash-bodied bass, which was refinished in lacquer (can't remember if it was urethane) and gained clarity in its tone.
     
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    It's not bull. The type of finish definitly has an effect on the overall sound.
     
  10. I would have never imagined the finish on a sold body bass could make a noticeable difference in sound. I knew it does in acoustic instruments thought.

    Ok.. personally I wouldn't get a bass of mine refinishied with a high gloss finish.. never ever.. I love the look of oil finished instruments.
     
  11. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    3rdEye. Just out of curiosity, why didn't you retun the bass & buy one with a finish on it? :confused: It would of been alot more cost efficiant, no?
     
  12. 3rdEye

    3rdEye

    Nov 30, 2002
    CA.
    Hey Nino, IT's a long story. I had actually bought a Peavey Cirrus 5string with the wenge top and walnut body. The bass was awesome especially for slap and cutting through. Very bright modern tone.(Especially when played thru SWR amps i.e. my Working Man 12) But to me I found that it was too bright and did'nt have enough warmth and bottom end that I was looking for. I took it out on a gig/rehersal and played it through my freinds Ampeg rig and the whole band (especially the drummer) was complaining about how there was "NO Booty" in the sound. So I took it back and exchanged it for the Spector which was pretty much in the same price range. That was the only Spector Czech bass in the store; the rest were the Korean models:rolleyes: I put some new strings on it and took it out for a rehersal and it was actually what the Cirrus wasn't:D Warm, Fat and Full sound ing through the Ampeg system with just enough bite for a decent slap tone. The band loved it and I was satisfied to a degree, so I kept it.
    One day I went to the now defunct Mars Music in Torrance Ca. and they had 2 Czech Spectors;Black Cherry. I plugged one of them in and was blown away at the tone. It really kicked me in my ass and I became kinda pissed that I didn't have one of the gloss finished ones. I still wasn't really aware that the finish had that kind of affect on the tone until I begin to do some research and Eduordo from the Yahoo Spector Club suggested that maybe I should get a refin. By that time the stores return policy was up; just 15 days. I really liked the feel of the Spector and felt that getting a refin for 400 bills was a viable option considering the fact that I didnt have $1,100 or $2,000 to get a new one. Its all good though. It looks waaaaaaay better now and the flame figuring shows even more than it ever did. Very 3D like. Most importantly it sounds better and its a custom finish that you won't see on any Spector Czech 5(Teal/Blue):) I am geting compliments all the time now.
     
  13. JvdK

    JvdK

    Jan 31, 2003
    Netherlands
    Reading this thread with great interest, I'm in the process of deciding on the finish of my new bass, a post-Gibson (yes, thats rigth) semi made in USA/Holland Walnut/Wenge/Alder body Tobias Classic 5 with Maple / Purpleheart neck. Personally I prefer a natural hand rubbed oil (varnish) & wax finish because it really pays tribute to the pretty woods used in this instrument. My luthier is more of a "shiny PU finish" type of person because it adds clarity to the sound and is very durable. Still, I hang on to the original hand rubbed finish idea, I normally play a 5 string 1992 Tobias Killer B with hand rubbed swamp ash body and it doesnt seem to lack any clarity or definition.

    But any more 2 cents from you are welcome!

    (picture made yesterday, lets finish the job!)
     
  14. JvdK

    JvdK

    Jan 31, 2003
    Netherlands
    This was the picture i was talking about ;-)