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U.S.A. installed LEDs

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Thumper, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    I'm curious as to why no one in the U.S. does this commercially. Is the volume too low to pay for the start-up investment? Is the labor/cost too high versus what people are willing to pay?

    I've got a full LED equipped 55-94. I've got a second 55-94 which I would like with side dots and 12th fret LEDs, but the cost and shipping to England are stopping me.

    I'm confident if the cost is comparable to SIMS, and we don't have to worry about the international shipping, quite a few bass players would have LEDs installed.

    I'd like to hear thoughts from luthiers so I'm posting this here instead of Bass general.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Have you gotten a quote on sending the neck only to Sims?
  3. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Brad, yes I had looked at that, still a good bit of $ + shipping, and then I'd have to drill holes in the bass body, run wires and install the battery, switch, etc., or pay to have someone do it locally.

    LEDs are not a must have, in fact I consider them a crutch, but would still like them and would get them if I could do it stateside.
  4. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I seem to remember that Sims did offer a US-based service at some point, with the work being done by Warrior Guitars IIRC. Might be worth checking whether this arrangement is still in place.
  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I think Martin Sims has a guy in Tennessee that does US installations, or did he end it? Chris Benevente has done LED's in the past.
  6. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    you might want to contact Hill Guitars located here in Cleveland.

    i know that they have installed the LED's on some of their own basses, but they also do a lot of repairs and setups for other brands.

    Hill Guitars LED
  7. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    I also recall Sims ending the U.S. effort, though I never heard why. It looks like Hill has done a "from scratch" effort, I'll drop them a line and see if they can do a retro. I know Chris Benavente is at least 8 months back on his current workload. I may have to resign myself to having Sims do it.
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Doing LEDs from scratch and retrofitting them are two pretty different operations. Personally, I would not be too excited about retrofitting LEDs because of the peculiarities of other people's bass designs and finish issues.

    It's also not really clear how SIMS does it since they don't seem to take the fingerboard off. I can't think of any obvious way to do it cleanly. Having the fingerboard off of the neck is a pretty integral part to building them in from scratch. Anyone know off hand how SIMS does it?
  9. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    IIRC there was a thread here a while ago with someone expaining how they drilled through the fret markers and fished the wire down the truss rod channel behind them (sounds like HOURS of fun!!!) I don't remember the specifics of dealing with the double dots (which would obviously be outside the truss route) or where the power came out and went, but if it's a bolt on I'm sure that that could be handled in the neck pocket area. Set or Neck-Thru would require someone more creative than I'm feeling right now.
  10. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Syracuse Ut
    Looking at my Lakland, it appears Sims cut a long slot along the neck just below the fretboard. I'd do a photo, but my digital doesn't have macro.
  11. You can just about make it out in this picture of my modified Conklin.

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