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Unveiling VII: 2-Dimension Projekt

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Malak the Mad, Mar 15, 2019.


  1. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Greetings and Salutations, Y'all!

    Malak the Mad here submitting yet another parts-bass projekts for review and discussion. This time, I've concocted something quite a bit different than my previous works. Rather than assembling another Jazz-centric instrument, I wanted to try something with a Fender Dimension bass at it's core. A week after it's completion and shakedown trials, I give you my "2-Dimension Projekt". (…or just "2D" or short)

    First, a whole bunch o' pictures! :snaphappy:

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    LbhvSOA.jpg
    1OXXIHU.jpg
    JidyBzh.jpg
    vWKyr0n.jpg
    i5FG9Sk.jpg


    Now, on to the "nuts & bolts"
    I started this projekt back in August of 2018 when I snapped up the body from The Stratosphere. The Dimension's offset body shape always intrigued me, even though neck was not to my preference, so when I saw a good price on a minty-fresh body I got the ball rolling. Also, I really dig a nice, transparent Cherryburst finish drool, so that was an extra bit of incentive.

    Most of my projekts come with their own fresh set of challenges and learning experiences and this one was no exception. Fortunately, what I thought was going to be the biggest hurdle turned out to be only a minor one.

    Fender Dimension necks have 21-frets, not the more commonplace 20-frets. Luckily, the neck pocket had the same size and shape as most standard Fenders, so the Squier neck I installed was a perfect fit. Plus, the factory-installed pilot holes for the bridge weren't too far out of tolerance when combined with the slightly shorter neck, so the only "adaptational adjustment" I had to make was to push the bridge saddles back a little bit further to get proper intonation. So far, it seems to be working fine, but if push ever comes to shove, I can always move the bridge back a half an inch or so.

    The second challenge was to find a pickup that would fit the Dimension's unique routing. Since finding one of it's pickups for sale on it's own is next to impossible, I had to find something that would fit a 39mm x 90mm space. After some research, I settled upon a Bartolini BB-style soapbar pickup. Specifically, I liked the sound samples I found of the "Classic Bass" version. It, too, fits just fine, even if there's a small amount of empty space around it…so-not a big deal! :thumbsup:

    Choosing a preamp was the next hurdle. On one hand, I'm not very well-versed in active basses. On the other, finding a preamp for a single-pickup bass that isn't prohibitively expensive is a bit of a challenge in of itself. But, since I wasn't in a huge rush, I was able to take my time and thoroughly research my options. Ultimately, I discovered an eBay seller who had a whole bunch of early-90s-era Jackson JE-2000 preamps.
    (Think "Nick Menza/Marty Friedman-era Megadeth"…their best lineup, in my opinion. Smiley01-1.giforiginal_zpsaha5cirp.gif~original.gif Also, fun fact if you're thinking of grabbing one; there is no center detent on the EQ pots. That's why I chose knobs with a visible, white dot. :meh:)


    Armed with my findings, I went to discuss my options with Mike, my local GC guitar tech. After some discussion, we both agreed the pickup and preamp would work well together and that the inclusion of a Series/Parallel switch was possible, so as to take full advantage of the Bart's capabilities. We also agreed to only wire it up to a single 9-volt battery. We didn't know if 18-volts would burn out the electronics, so better to play it safe. (The Dimension body is routed for a dual-battery box. Fortunately, the Gotoh box could be wired-up to run with only one battery.)

    Once I did all the shopping, assembling and installing I could do on my own, I handed it over to Mike to perform the electronics work I'm not comfortable doing…and violá! She is finished and ready to play…all 8lb. 11oz. of her! :smug:

    Overall, I am very happy with the results. The BB "Classic" Bartolini sounds super-sweet, especially in Series mode. It's has a nice and thick sound to it, but the FlexSteels preserve a good bit o' growl, especially when I really dig into them. Despite my lack of familiarity with active basses, the simplicity of the single-pickup, Treble/Bass config is not difficult for me to wrap my brain around. Considering how much I'm used to passive, two-pickup, V/V/T systems, that's saying something. :)

    Lastly, there's the name I chose for this projekt, "2D". Over the course of assembling this beastie, I noticed all the "twos" contained within and without…two pickup modes, two EQ adjustments, two finish tones, Fender (Dimension) & Squier (Jazz) parts from two distinct product lines…so, the name seemed quite proper and fitting.

    Thanks for checking out the newest results of my never-ending tinkering, doubly-so if you actually managed to read all this. Please feel free to comment and critique. All I ask is to keep it constructive. bow_zpscxlbpjjb.gif~original.gif

    peace-sign-smiley-emoticon_zpspdcsbvya.gif~original.gif
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    jag-atk, Dr. Cheese, Lil Mo and 9 others like this.
  2. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Is the Bartolini pickup ceramic or alnico? Great looking bass.
     
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  3. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Thanks, Smooth! According to the technical details, it appears to be ceramic. As stated on the webpage…

    Magnetic Circuit: 2 types of precision CNC milled carbon steel, brass, and copper powered by ceramic (ferrite) magnets projected for focused aperture. Neck coil South and Bridge coil North for both positions.

    Check out the link I included in the "nuts & bolts" list. It should answer most technical questions.
     
    Smooth_bass88 likes this.
  4. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    I have a Dimension 5 string MIM. What a great bass for the money. However I’m considering converting it to passive, so I’m wondering if the stock pickup will have sufficient output without the aid of a preamp. I believe it’s ceramic like your Bart.
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    wow! nice job resulting in a great looking ax. and it's cool that it does what you want! congrats on a great job --- a great "2D" --- :thumbsup:
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Unfortunately, I don't think possible to replace the volume pot with a push-pull pot to switch between active and passive. The Dimension's stock wiring harness and preamp are all hardwired to one, unified circuit board. Changing a pot could possibly ruin the entire electronics suite. Otherwise, I'd be curious about a passive/active switch by way of a push-pull pot. :unsure:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    1. Malak plays bass.
    2. Bass feels good in hands.
    3. Bass makes sound.
    4. Sound does not suck.
    5. Malak is happy! :D
    Thanks, JRA! If I ever go to a bunch of TB-organized hangouts, I'll definitely bring all my Projekts along for the ride so as others can sample. I'd like to get some hands-on feedback from people who know a thing or two, ya dig? :bassist: :thumbsup:
     
    JRA likes this.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :thumbsup:
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  9. hypercarrots

    hypercarrots

    Jan 28, 2009
    california
    why is project spelled with a k?
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  10. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    I'm glad you asked. It's an intentional nod to a series of novels I read just after high school. There's a pivotal point in my favorite book of said series regarding an incident called the "Perchorsk Projekt", so I adopted it for my own twisted, messed-up projekts. :bookworm: ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    Axstar, iceboxbass and hypercarrots like this.
  11. hypercarrots

    hypercarrots

    Jan 28, 2009
    california
    cool. i figured there was a reference.
     
  12. iceboxbass

    iceboxbass Living the Dream! Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    Michigan
    Nicely done Malak!:thumbsup::bassist::cool:
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  13. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Thanks, Iceman! bow_zpscxlbpjjb.gif~original.gif
     
    iceboxbass likes this.
  14. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    @iceboxbass The funny thing is, I normally don't care for single-pickup basses, but the combination of the preamp and the series/parallel switch more than compensate. It also helps that this particular Bartolini soapbar sounds super-sweet. :headphone:
     
    iceboxbass likes this.
  15. iceboxbass

    iceboxbass Living the Dream! Supporting Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    Michigan
    I bought a single soapbar bass once Spector NS-2B. All passive. 16CDDF59-E7C2-4B82-8287-7E228B226332.png EFE4A432-4030-455D-BDF4-9C048AE23266.png It was just unexihilarating sounding to say the least. It had a EMG HZ pup. But, I didn’t try swapping out for different pickups either.
     
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  16. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Is it me or do EMG's seem to be hit-or-miss around here? Maybe leaning a bit more towards "hit", perhaps?
     
  17. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    meh I like some models of EMG and not others...a lot of the EMG's that are used by instrument builders are rather generic...YMMV while other things in their product line a quite awesome...I feel the same way about Duncan's

    Not a big fan of "reds" in general but this is nicely done Malak and you know I love blocks!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  18. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Thanks, Snake! I was missing something of a Cherryburst flavor in my life ever since I sold a parts-bass built around an MIJ Foto-Flame body. (I'm still debating wether or not that was a good idea. What do you do when you have too many Jazzes? :unsure:)

    [​IMG]

    The price The Stratosphere was offering was pretty decent (…but I'm still miffed they went on-sale one week after I finished assembling this projekt, though…I could've saved up to $60! :spit:) and the finish/grain on that alder body was way more than decent. Combine that with the urge to put something together that was quite unlike my normal Jazz bass faire and there ya go.
     
  19. Snakeman1066

    Snakeman1066 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Central Valley
    is there such a thing as too many Jazz basses? I have 5 P basses (well some are P/J's) and 4 basses with Jazz shaped bodies (though only 2 are real Jazz basses) no such thing as too many...lol

    and for what it's worth I am looking at buying an Orange bass... (I can do orange but not red...or green) lol

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  20. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Ugh… If I still had every Jazz or Jazz-style bass I ever bought, as well as finished every body I purchased for other projekts, I think it would be up to…

    <grabs a notepad and pen to chart out his sordid past>

    …holy crap! Twenty-three and I'm still not sure I got every, single one!! :jawdrop: And that's not counting the various necks nor the few Precision basses/bodies I've owned!

    I think I have a problem…a serious, serious problem! :nailbiting:
     
  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.

     
    Apr 23, 2021

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