The Mediocre Builders Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MirandM, Apr 30, 2021.


  1. I still can't get enough of the Billy Bo
    :drool::drool::drool:
     
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  2. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    How tasty can Walnut be?
    Team build, I made the body, @StereoPlayer mated with a Freestone solid Bubinga neck. Tom Brantley stacked humbuckers. Note the pickup placement. Tasty walnut Jazz
    6a2942ce-20d8-47be-9277-dcccf917fa9d-jpeg.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  3. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    I will build another soon.
    :)
    Thinking holo flake on black, with 3 color pinstripes (red, white, silver)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  4. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    I just had another flash of ingenuity about my current project. Or maybe it is only indigestion. But any description I could make of it would only be confusing.so you will need to wait at least a couple more days so i can show you .
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
    EatS1stBassist and MirandM like this.
  5. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
  6. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    An update on the thought process....

     
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  7. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    Another one of my older (mentioned and posted in the BHPD ) projects.
    The Orion FL project.

    One the items were new tuning machines for my oldest custom project, the peavey related 3 pup fretless bass.
    A project I started in jan. 2017 but still has to be terminated.

    It's a fretless 4 string bass based on the peavey T-40 which at the time I didn't have and I wanted something similar so I started gathering parts to build my version which I called the Peavey Orion FL.
    The headstock is a self made direct copy of the T20FL which I own since 1984. The body is a ready made sunburst j-bass type but with the difference of having a split coil humbucker added close to the bridge.
    All pup are from warman and the electronics are yet to be terminated. Hardware is all gold colored.

    During the mount of the tuning-machines, which was about a year ago, I noticed one not working fluidly. It turned out the worm wheel didn't grip correctly with the gear. So I had to change it and that took it's time.
    Today four new gold tuning machines arrived after nearly two months of waiting so I had some work to do mostly because the gold color was a bit off compared to the original ones. After some fiddling I made four good working ones combining both sets.
    I ordered a new sting retainer that covers three strings instead of the two because of the G-string (I play
    DGCF tuning) buzzing at the nut due to to lack of down-force. Since it one comes from the UK it won't be a long wait after which I'll concentrate on the electronics. That will be a challenge since I want the split coil HB to have the T-40 tone control and the rest either combined or separate. Today also arrived a rotary switch which I'll be using to that extend. I also received the golden knobs to complete the build when I have the pots and switch installed.
    No photo's yet

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yesterday I was thinking about the electronics. Since I have 3 pups, if I fit all of them with vol/tone controls it would be 6 knobs + 1 for rotary switch, a total of seven holes in the body which already has 4 holes. That would make it very crowded, so it occurred to me that maybe using stacked pots would be a great idea. In that case I wouldn't have to drill any extra holes, three stacked pots + the rotary would fit exactly in the four existing holes.
    Maybe a small one for the T-40 phase switch on the humbucker, but that would be all. I like the idea because tone and vol will be combined in one stacked pot for each pup, only thing I probably need to do is order 6 stacked pots 3 type A and 3 type B to combine them into 3 A/B stacks. Looks quite feasible to me.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Done, had a look at the original wiring diagram of my T-40 which clearly states all pots are type A, thus I only need to look at the other two stacked ones for the swap to get A/B stacks, I'll be using 250k for all as it's the value of the T-40 pots. Since this is a fretless a little loss of high brightness won't be a problem.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I restarted my work on my first project bass, the Peavey Orion FL, that I started in jan 2017. That project was hardware wise finished, except for the electronics where I couldn't decide on an adequate configuration. Since this is a three pup bass and the bridge pup is a twin coil HB, my original idea was to use that pup in a T-40 like config with a phase switch. That was because I didn't have a T-40 at the time but now I do, so the need for having something similar has diminished into something a little more practical.

    After long searching and analyzing, I've decided to go for a rather weird three plane 8 position pup switch combined with three stacked V/T controls. This will give me the option to select any combo or single pup using individual V/T controls. If needed I can always extend the bridge pup with a serial/parallel switch, but I don't think I will since I have a tendency to use the neck pup much more. The stacked control will reduce the amount of knobs to 4, perfect for the control cavity space.

    The three plane switch was way too high for the control cavity, so I needed to do some pretty precise cutting and refitting of the planes to lower its total height. Took me some two weeks to figure out and have it done.
    Next the control cavity needed to be reamed on several places to fit the bulky switch. the cavity will not be covered with foil since I won't be using normal wires (except for grounding), all wires are RG174 shielded cable.
    All pots and metal switch base will be grounded directly from the jack.

    2020-01-26-13-21-56_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-01-26-13-25-24_s-jpg.jpg

    Still looking for a set of semi-flat gold 50-110 strings.....

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Work in progress:

    2020-01-26-18-04-37_s-jpg.jpg

    As shown, the first thing to do: earthing.

    Choose ONE central earthing point. From that point you make earthing connections to each pot, the bridge and in this case the switch base. Only one lead from the jack is the actual primary earth connection. This is known as star earthing.

    Always use thick flexible wire for earth connections, I use electrical grade 1.5mm copper cable for this. It may seem overdone but good solid earthing is vital for avoid hum and noises. Connections should be as short as possible and should have quality solderings.

    You should avoid earth looping by only connecting one side of the shielded connections to any earth point.
    As you can see I have a shielded cable coming from the jack. The shield is in fact soldered to the earth connection of the jack where the blue cable is also connected. The other side of this shield will not be connected as it is not necessary and if connected would create a loop known as earth loop which can act as a coil and pickup hum from electrical/electromagnetical equipment.

    To be continued....

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    First time play after three years of building...
    Only the neck pup active at this moment, just for testing.
    With the knobs mounted it look very sleek.

    2020-01-26-18-57-45_s-jpg.jpg

    Still not sure if I'll stay the pickup selector switch or go for another stacked pot for the second coil of the bridge HB. I'll go the testing route first, see which I like better.
    Bass plays great so far, very low D with the 125 gauge string, strong with great sustain, probably due to the brass bridge with string through the body design which I employed.
    The Warman pickups are everything they promised to be, strong clear (even at the neck) but nothing overdone.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Last night I tested various configuration on the Orion bass, including the T-40 serial/parallel tone control.
    * 3 V/T direct connection - discarded due to unstable volume control
    * T-40 on dual coil HB - discarded due to volume differences between serial-parallel
    * 3 V/T with pup selector - good results, the one which I now have wired
    So it seems like now I finally have come to complete the Orion FL build. I played a little last night and this neck is super fast, it's narrow and sleek (38 at the nut, D style) with good low action. Will post some picture later on :)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I just looked at the description of the neck when I bought it (body and neck were bought separately), canadian maple with rosewood fb (not anymore on sale because of cites), double truss rod (had totally forgotten about that) and fender scale. The body is also 34" scale, but... I just dug up the original fretted neck that came with the body and it's 24 frets as opposed to the 22 fretless one. This accounts for the difference in scale of nearly 2", I didn't notice this earlier as I had the fretted neck stored away directly when I bought it since I knew I wouldn't be using it. Not that it matters much as the fretless neck doesn't have fretlines, only the side dots are are a little off but that doesn't bother me. The first fretless neck that I made myself back in 85 didn't have any markers, so who cares?
    Medium scale could indeed be an option, don't know whether the F string would be long enough for my string through tough... it currently has only 6 cm left, should look into the winding length of both to see if it will fit. D string will indeed benefit from medium scale.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So today I received the La Bella's, and to celebrate the termination of the past three years of thinking, trying and studying, and building, now comes the time to show the result:

    This bass is rather weird because it's a 32.6" scale, the neck j-pup is located at 0.4" from the neck, a bit like Rickenbacker 4001, and in fact it sounds very much alike. It's passive, three pairs of V/T controls and an eight way selector switch. The neck is a single truss rod D type 38mm j-neck, very fast and smooth. Action with the La Bella's is extremely low since these string don't rattle or buzz, just great on a fretless. It has loads of trebble, so much that I had to adjust my mixing desk's eq. All hardware gold coloured. Pup's are J-type, P-type and dual HB, all from Warman.
    Here's my own custom made Peavey Orion FL,

    2020-02-07-21-37-36_s-jpg.jpg
    Strings have just been mounted, need to be cut after some playing-in.
    Headstock has been cut to the typical peavey shape from a raw peddle.

    2020-02-07-21-39-50_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-02-07-21-37-58_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-02-07-21-36-57_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-02-07-21-37-02_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-02-07-21-40-44_s-jpg.jpg

    2020-02-07-21-39-00_s-jpg.jpg

    All in all a very interesting project which took a long time because this was my first custom build and thus required adjusting every step according to the knowledge acquired.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yesterday I pulled the pickguard from the Orion FL, I ordered a new sheet, this time pearl gold, oh yes! Should look even better. I also ordered a 24 fret neck which I'll have to defret in case I decide to change the current 20 fret neck, that would make the bass it's original 34" scale. No way to lay my hands on a fretless 38mm 24 fret neck with rosewood fb and a paddle headstock... I would have liked to go for a zebra wood one, but alas also out of the question, 42mm and 20 frets, no paddle, bummer...
    After playing it yesterday I'm thinking about swapping the HH and J pups. I could do that, only needs some routing and change the pickguard layout which I need to do anyway. Might sound better and if I don't like it I can always go back

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    This is the end of part 1
     
  8. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    The Orion FL project.
    Part two:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hoarding again.... #29:

    preview_1-2-jpg.jpg

    Gear4Music LA select bass, complete with gigbag, strap and cable.
    Ash body, maple neck, 20 frets, 34" scale, split double coil P-pup, p-neck 42mm at the nut.
    This one I bought as B-ware, but in fact it is new, pg has its protective plastic still on it.
    Finish is ok, some small irregularities in the matte finish of the fb, nothing that affects playing it.
    Strings are roundwound nickel on steel core, 45-60-80-100 gauges probably caye, irin or orphee.
    Setup on arrival is just so-so, intonation ok, relief none = dead straight, action too low, rattle and buzz, needs some work.

    I bought this bass for the body, as it complies exactly my requisites for the Orion bass which currently has a 24-fret body when it should have a 20-fret body as the fretless neck is 20 frets (I have several posts here about this problem).
    Even though I solved that problem I'm not completely happy with the solution which converted it to 33" scale. I'd rather have the 34" scale which gives me better tension with the D-standard tuning.
    So I looked for other solutions, one being a new 20-fret body with more or less the same aspect as the current body, which I found in this cheap bass. It has the exact same neck mounting and the natural color would go very well with the gold hardware. The neck would probably be reusable on a new project bass much like the recently completed Art basses as it's the same size.
    I might even reuse the old body with its original 24 fret neck, we'll see about that later.
    Gear4Music has really nice equipment at very reasonable prices. In dec. I bought a Chicago fretless bass which plays very nice, a very light bass, completely original except for the strings and #27 in the family.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well so much for bass #29. Stripped the thing to use the body as planned for the Orion fretless neck.
    Put on the golden string through bridge and changed the P-pup for the warman P, later on I'll have to route a cavity for the double soap bar and maybe the J-pup. I'll also have to relocate the jack to the side of the bass to use that space for another pot or switch.

    img_20200218_230825_s-jpg.jpg

    After double checking and mounting the bridge it shows 86.4 cms, exactly 34" which is perfect.

    img_20200218_231017_s-jpg.jpg

    After doing the setup I played a little. Just today I received my Optima gold string set. So now it's time to see which strings are going to be staying on this bass.
    I had La Bella Gold white tapes on it (as shown here), but I also have the Copper white tapes, so I mounted one string with the Copper white tape and another with the Optima. Now the Optima set is actually a 5 string set with 45-60-80-100-125 gauges which comes closer to the original strings I had mounted some three years ago when I started with this bass, they were 65-85-105-130 gauges, a bit too heavy but still.
    The La Bella's go at 60-70-94-115 both Gold and Copper.
    The Coppers are indeed a bit warmer. I also tried one string of the Pyramid Chrome Flat wounds I have, that was a no-go.
    But the Optima's are mayor stuff, super long sustain and very heavy punch, incredible strings, so I quickly changed all of the strings to these and what a difference! Another great thing is they look awesome, shiny gold just right for this bass. No photo yet, but I'll post it soon.
    I have a gold pickguard sheet on order, so that'll probably finish it off quite nicely.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After the initial test play I did some more playing and adjusting. Don't like the warman P-pup, it's just doesn't weigh up to the output of the warman soapbar. Maybe it's because of the parallel config of the splits, haven't tried them in series as they are meant to be in parallel.
    Anyway, since I have several other sets in my box, I changed it for an Alan Entwistle P-pup, what a difference!
    These are in series as recommended by Entwistle, but boy do they have output. The poles are individual height adjustable, but you can see on the back they have huge magnets.
    So here's a photo with the new Optima gold strings:

    2020-02-20-21-12-10_s-jpg.jpg

    I've also ordered a diMarzio PB127 P-pup set which should arrive in about 2 weeks. I'll be trying those before choosing which one will be the final to stay.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yesterday I did some routing to put the warman soapbar in the Orion bass.

    2020-02-22-10-28-34_s-jpg.jpg

    Not the most perfect job, but it doesn't matter as this will go behind the pickguard anyway.
    The combination of the Warman SB and the Alan Entwistle P is very effective, both have a comparable high output and the result is interesting to say the least. I had expected the Warman to have a warm deep sound, but I'm surprised that it hasn't, in fact the Entwistle with tone down is much warmer while the Warman has a great punching attack and much more treble than I expected. When I tried it earlier with the La Bella tapes it sounded duller, however with the Optima's it sort of came alive.
    Later on today I'll swap it for an Entwistle neck J, just to hear the difference.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Came up with an alternative idea to toy with before doing the temporary swap.
    I found this great post here, which I used for wiring the Orion, but this time I added a Serial/Parallel switch on the Warman soapbar just to see what effect that would have.
    Curiously the posted diagram states that it's from a Yamaha RBX375 passive...
    I used 100k separation resistors and I must say the effect is quite amazing. With this setup I'm actually capable of getting all the different tonal ranges I initially wanted with the old 3 pup setup. Thus I no longer need a J-pup at the bridge and I doubt if the swap will add any advantage over the current setup.

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    Here's something new, an amazon pickguard :jawdrop: made from amazon cartbox :wideyed: now isn't that original? :wacky:

    2020-02-22-20-04-06_s-jpg.jpg

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    Back to the usual stuff. Some 10-14 days ago I bought a set of DiMarzio P-pups to mount on my Orion bass.
    I already had quite good results with the Alan Entwistle P-pup, but somehow it seemed like a good idea to try one of the more acclaimed pups. So this week it arrived, carefully packaged in a transparent plastic box, complete with instructions and screws (no springs though).

    So I opened my Amazon pickguard and dismounted the Entwistle pup. After some checking I screwed in the DiMarzio and put myself to soldering. Just to be sure I also added a phase switch for this pup, somehow I got the impression phase did have to do with the output.

    Remounted the amazon pickguard (great for this kind of tests) and tried the beast. Wow, this pickup is awesome. It's tonal range is very much like the Entwistle but there's a bit more bottom, more growl. And flipping the phase switch did make a difference. It's strange because I'm used to this on my T-40 which also has a phase switch and the amount of different sound combinations is just immense. I like it so much that it'll definitely stay on this bass.
    I think at last I found what I was looking for since the beginning. Now all I have to do is wait for the new pickguard to arrive and cut it to shape, easy because I have the original pg that came with the body and thus only have to make the cutout for the warman pup and add two holes for the switches.

    Pictures will come later

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    Today I had this urge to finalize the Orion FL bass project. Basically it needed a new pickguard and some better wiring/soldering on the electronic side. So here are the corresponding photos:

    Body overall view

    2020-03-08-15-19-19-jpg.jpg
    The new pickguard seem yellow, and it is, but is has golden flakes in it.
    Previously I used a red tort pickguard, but as the strap is actually a Peavey yellow one, I thought it would be a nice change to do it in that style and I think it has turned out quite well. Different if you please.
    I hand made the pickguard, no routing just a bow-saw and my dremel to do the 45º angle.

    Controls view
    2020-03-08-15-19-31-jpg.jpg
    Two stacked V/T controls for each pup. Serial/Parallel switch for the Warman humbucker, and a phase switch for the DiMarzio. Passive electronics, nothing fancy. Quite heavy output as both pickups do produce volume.

    The Warman jazzbar humbucker
    2020-03-08-15-23-16-jpg.jpg

    And the DiMarzio (DP127BK) dual rail
    2020-03-08-15-23-12-jpg.jpg

    Bridge view
    2020-03-08-15-19-43-jpg.jpg
    The Optima 24K gold strings are just amazing, they play great and look great too. Because of the D-standard I used a 5 string set with gauges 60-80-100-125, a little heavy but I like that on a fretless.

    Headstock view
    2020-03-08-15-21-16-jpg.jpg
    As you can see, the one thing I forgot to change is the TRC which still has the red tort. I'll make a new one shortly.
    No decals here, real vinyl lettering covered with clear coat finish. Neck was bought with half paddle so I needed to make the typical peavey shape myself, which also goes for the black lining.

    Back view
    2020-03-08-15-22-12-jpg.jpg
    String through body, I like the Ash body, it's heavy and has great sustain.
    It did cost me a little to mount the fretless neck. Apparently it has 61.5 mm pocket size while the body a has 63 mm pocket, so I needed to make some shims to have it all fit snugly.
    The neck is rosewood with a dual truss rod, 38 mm (j-size) at the nut, very slim and super fast.
    2020-03-08-15-21-30-jpg.jpg
    Hope you all enjoyed it, I did a lot finishing this very nice project. :)

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    And that concludes all the relevant posts of the Orion FL project.
    This project was started back in 2017 so three years of changing, trying, and finding the right stuff for it.
    I posted this for those who start modifying/building, so you can see it sometimes takes a long time and lots of patience to achieve what you want, but in the end it does pay off. ENJOY.
     
  9. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Very cool!:thumbsup: Build!​
     
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  10. EatS1stBassist

    EatS1stBassist

    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    That’s an awesome bass!
     
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  11. since I have some time today.
    I modified this Glarry this year on the Glarry club thread. My kids got me a Glarry P bass for Christmas 2020. I asked them for the Burly wood finish Pbass as a base platform for an idea in my head... A jazz with a twist.
    I really like MM style hum buckers so that was part of this mod, I have already done a bucker/split coil bass(and love it) so I thought trying a Humbucker Jazz would be something fun to try
    P bass out of the Box:
    IMG_3237.jpeg
    then the ideas started to become reality. I asked a few jazz owners in the Glarry club for pickup placement measurements and went for the "sweet spot" of the mm. averaged them all together to come up with this
    IMG_3282.jpeg
    I already had a template that I made for the MM but I had to make new router templates for the jazz pickups
    IMG_3348.jpeg IMG_3349.jpeg
    and to hybrid a Jazz and a Precision, I wanted a control plate separate from the pick guard. So I made one out of Aluminum.
    IMG_3350.jpeg IMG_3351.jpeg
    of course, a new pick guard was needed. packing Paper for the template for the template. I also combined the Ibanez style with the Fender style then made the actual router template then the PG.
    IMG_3388.jpeg IMG_3397.jpeg IMG_3399.jpeg IMG_3406.jpeg IMG_3407.jpeg
    then it was time to cut into the body
    IMG_3418.jpeg IMG_3420.jpeg
    and on to the control plate
    IMG_3421.jpeg

    to be continued.....
     
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  12. I wanted to have control of the each coil so I split the Humbucker and ran separate volumes for each coil and for each jazz pickup.. no tone, all blend was my original idea ( that changed more recently). I also like toggle switches so an on/off was in order!
    IMG_3422.jpeg
    and I had to re locate the jack, and of course, shield the cavities
    IMG_3423.jpeg IMG_3432.jpeg
    then a better head stock... not a lot of meat on the Glarry to play with but:
    IMG_3425.jpeg IMG_3433.jpeg IMG_3434.jpeg IMG_3438.jpeg IMG_3617.jpeg IMG_3618.jpeg
    I ended up rocking back the the tuners to 45(ish) degrees.. 90 to the headstock just looked funny.

    I had a heck of a time painting the control plate... my impatience during the colder weather got the best of me.
    IMG_3441.jpeg
    but after the 4th attempt and waiting long enough between coats I finally got it "good enough"
    IMG_3494.jpeg
    This pic was before I stained the headstock and replaced the string tree with a hipshot 3 string retainer.

    so now its done and I play the heck out of it. Im trying DR Black Beauties for strings, I'm still deciding if I like em. They feel weird(plastic) and kind have a rug burn sensation when I do fast/long slides. other than that, they look really cool and sound good too.
    I bagged the individual volume for the coils in the MM and added a push/pull (series/Parallel) and a tone pot.
    for the heck of it, I added a brass nut too.

    Super light bass that's really fun to play and I get some pretty cool tonal options!!
    IMG_3761.JPG


    I call it my PB&J
    P bass, Humbucker, Jazz:):beaver:
    Oh yah, I swapped out to the "phat Pole" pickups as well
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i've often wondered about that placement...are sounds as 'extreme' as the placement suggests? particularly the bridge pickup? TIA

    @MirandM, great idea for a club! but some of the work herein doesn't seem to qualify as merely "mediocre" --- just sayin'! some great stuff here! :thumbsup:



    i've had the honor and delight to catch some of these pieces in the glarry club where @EatS1stBassist and @Dubious Aa have posted their talents/efforts...again: hardly mediocre!
     
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  14. MirandM

    MirandM Married to my bass.

    Oct 29, 2019
    Spain
    Another build; The Green Violin bass.
    Started in nov 2020.


    So today I was looking at the violin bass on my GAS list. This would probably be an MPM bass as they are cheap and look nice. Now my doubts are: this is a 30" short-scale, are there any short scale strings at say 50-105 or 50-110 ? and would my D-standard tuning go well with this bass? Anyone?

    Edit: I just found this when I saw a laBella 760FM 49-109 set,
    A quick but important note – some manufacturers produce short-scale bass strings that only work on 30″ scale basses. If you have a 30.75″ scale bass, or a bass like the Hofner Violin where the tail-piece is some distance from the bridge saddles, you’ll need to use MEDIUM SCALE strings otherwise the wound part of the string won’t reach past the nut.
    Hmmmm

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    Just landed #34 jeeez, I scratched the violin bass off my list some post ago, but then I saw this diy kit at a very low price, so bamm there's #34. Now I'll need to paint this myself (apart from assembly) so I was thinking....
    No teal NO, green is the color that this one will get, different yes, but since I don't have a green bass I should do it :D green!
    Sparkly maybe with a black edge? Hmmmm

    11-326792804_1-jpg.jpg

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    On whole other front, beginning last Dec. I bought a Violin bass kit. The original plan was to do a green transparent color. A real nice plan as I didn't have a green bass, however after extensive search I found no transparent green varnish except for some way too expensive ones.
    Another option would be to paint with opaque green paint which is not a problem to buy, but since this is a violin bass I really like it to have transparency.
    So I thought of another way to do this, like wall paint that you can buy in a base white and mix with a color additive to make the color you want, but in this case with varnish.
    My search for this gave another unexpected option, a water based wood coloring stain. This happens to be from the same manufacturer of my poly lacquer, so 100% compatible.
    It has to be applied to the unpainted wood and colors it maintaining the veins. Multiple layers can be applied to darken the color and afterwards I can safely apply the poly lacquer to have a transparent glossy green look.
    I also bought a transparent base filler to be used before the poly lacquer, this should provide a more even layer before starting to lacquer, also from the same manufacturer.
    Next Friday I will receive this green stain and start up this project.

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    Violin bass has been sanded to remove the protective varnish.
    Then applied the first layer of green stain (which arrived earlier today instead of coming friday).
    img_20210112_131143_dro_s-jpg.jpg
    It looks darker than it actually is.
    The result is uneven but that is to be expected, this will take a few layers to get the right result.
    Also in the bottom right corner there's a drip of the protective varnish visible, this wasn't visible after sanding it down, I'll have to sand it more before continuing.
    I'll let it dry and see what I do next, light sanding and a next layer I guess.
    By the way this is only the back of the bass, the rest is still untouched. I'll concentrate on the back first and use the gained experience for the rest.

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    After several hands of stain on the Violinbass, the result is like this
    img_20210113_110329_s-jpg.jpg
    although it has evened out a bit, it doesn't convince me at all. There are patches of light and dark all over the body. This is due to the fact that this bass was covered with a protective matte varnish which I had to sand off.
    Clearly not all can be sanded away and I can't use an eletrical sander because this wood is like ply-wood, it has an outer layer of about 1.5mm which could be destroyed easily. I'd need to use a rotary sander as this body is curved, not flat.
    I after a test I found I can't remove the stain with solvent, even though it says so on the bottle. However I can sand it away, or at least a big part of it, just by hand sanding.
    So I'm stuck with three options:

    1. Using the stainer as colorizer on the base pore filler and after sanding doing x layers with that mixture, followed by the normal lacquer.
    2. After sanding apply the base pore filler without color and use the stainer as colorizer for the lacquer and finish it with that.
    3. Defer the idea of using the green color and after sanding finishing with the alternative mahogany varnish.

    I'm inclined to go for option 1 as a first try. Anyone has some other idea?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think option 3 is the ultimate last one to do, mostly because of the difference in color.
    Option 2 seems possible but I don't know for sure how the lacquer reacts to the stainer which is more watery.

    So I went to try option 1 first.

    img_20210113_122242_s-jpg.jpg
    sanding off the stainer... There are some deeper veins that just can't be cleaned out.

    img_20210113_124238_s-jpg.jpg
    After mixing the base filler with the stainer I applied the first coat... I did this cross-vein so I can see the result better. Applying this felt much better as the staining did.

    img_20210113_124253_s-jpg.jpg
    The difference with just one layer of base filler... I'm reasonably confident that this will be the way to do it right.
    I purposely did just a fraction of the back to be able to compare the result. Curiously the base filler is a milky substance that dries out completely transparent. It's easy to use and dries to pretty uniform layer. I'll have to wait another hour to be able to continue sanding the rest of the stainer off. After that I might remove this test patch to do the complete back with veins-strokes which should give an even more uniform result.

    btw, I think I should have used the word dye instead of stainer, well you get the picture anyway... :)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry if I didn't give you guys the time to respond.
    The correct answer was indeed option 1.
    As I said in my previous post, I sanded down the rest of the body and the test-patch and cleaned the bdoy of any dust.
    Luckily I had enough mixture left from the test-patch to do the back in one hand.

    img_20210113_133413_s-jpg.jpg
    The difference... wow, this is what I had in mind. That looks precisely right, with just one hand.
    Lesson learned, never use unmixed dye directly on wood.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well the back of the violin bass is coming along just fine.
    I ordered a concentrated coloring in yellow, added four drop to the mixture to make the green more natural green. It looks much better now. Since I started I have done six layers so this should be enough and tomorrow I'll do a first lacquer layer to fix the colored base filler. After that I'll start sanding the rest of the body.
    I also started on varnishing the neck and headstock. This will be a dark brown near to wenge brilliant finish. From what I've seen this is kind of how the Greco violin basses are finished (could be they have a black finish, whatever, I like the idea that's the point).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    img_20210116_153206_s-jpg.jpg
    Back of the violin bass neck, second layer.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's a photo I just made of the violin bass's back with its first lacquer layer.
    img_20210116_164026_s-jpg.jpg

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Violin bass update:
    I had the front of the bass done with the first layer of varnish but I wasn't satisfied with the result. Not because of the varnish which is just great, but because the dye wasn't equal to the one on the back, it was sort of cloudy, not uniform.
    For the front I made the mixture in a different order; first the base filler, then the green dye and a small amount of yellow coloring.
    The back I made the mixture with first the green dye then the bass filler and a number of drops of the coloring.

    So I had to sand down all of the work on the front down to the bare wood again. Then I made the new mixture the same way as I did at the back. I just applied the first layer and this looks exactly as the first layer on the back, much more uniform and with a good coloring.

    From this I learned that it's better to use a minimum amount of base filler with this dye, just enough to "bind" it, otherwise the dye gets clearer in color and the result may end up in being cloudy.

    Hope to show you the result soon.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Today I finished the #34 green violin bass:

    img_20210206_122749_s-jpg.jpg
    This morning I mounted all the hardware and the electronics. The bass was missing an earth wire to the bridge so I put one in and mounted the short scale strings (I measured the bass as a 30" scale). Can't mount the DR black beauties (long scale) I had laying around because the 110 gauge at 32 winding length is just too thick for the tuning post. I'll have to look into other strings, the standard strings that came with the bass start at 95 gauge so not really good for my DGCF. Also some screws weren't the right size so I changed them for ones I had in my parts box. Bass came with both a stereo and mono jack so I used the mono and put the stereo one in the parts box, may come in handy when I get my #36 Nofretbacker.

    img_20210206_122738_s-jpg.jpg
    The result is pretty nice, it could be better if I had the spray gun from the workshop at my other home, but due to the covid I couldn't and still can't go there. Anyway I'm pleased with the result.
    Haven't played it yet as it needs to break in completely. Neck seems to have the right relief, won't need to adjust the truss rod much it looks. Pretty decent kit for the price. Nice thing about these kits is you can finished them just as you like, I don't think much of these have a lacquered fretboard...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That concludes the Green Violin bass project.
     
  15. The sounds from each PU ARE extreme. Both PU's are distinct and powerful! I love it. Especially in the stereo mode.
     
    bass theory, MirandM and JRA like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    got it! thanks for the response. i hadn't imagined a "stereo mode" but that makes sense, too --- neat stuff! :thumbsup:
     
    bass theory, MirandM and StereoPlayer like this.
  17. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    That is the unique vision of @StereoPlayer .
    The kicker as I understand it, is a 2 rig split: Bridge to a high-end focused rig, with effects.
    Neck to a full range clean rig with a prominent bass frequency accent.
    Pickup switched only, no tone controls.
    Pickups single/dual coil tap .
    Mono / stereo switch output through single (TRS) stereo jack, split later for stereo via (TRS) stereo cable. Mono (TS) cable/ the third switch summs the 2 pickups together.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  18. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    after @StereoPlayer replied re: his 'stereo option' i imagined exactly that...pretty cool to have an ax made to do some real bi-amping (with effects!). thanks for the heads-up --- and nice work! :thumbsup:
     
  19. Are there 2 jacks? A stereo and a mono? I assumed it was just a stereo jack, tip = one pickup ring =the other pickup.
     
    MirandM likes this.
  20. There is one jack. And a switch that combines bother PU's. Is you use a mono cord and it's switched to mono... Both PU's work normal.

    I will probably play it stereo 98.563%of the time.:cool:
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
    bass theory and MirandM like this.
  21. 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.

     
    Jun 18, 2021

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