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widen neck pocket of fender bass to convert to 5 string neck?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by autotech6506, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. autotech6506


    Mar 3, 2014
    hey guys, I'm thinking of building a bass from a loaded p-bass body without a neck. there is a plethora of 4 string bodies out there but the 5 strings are harder to find. it shouldn't be too difficult to widen the neck pocket a little on each side to fit a 5 string neck?
  2. redboy1975


    Apr 24, 2011
    Widening the pocket isn't that hard but with the 4 string pickups you'll surely be disappointed in the sound . The strings on the outside will be farther from the pickup reducing their volume .
  3. autotech6506


    Mar 3, 2014
    Not a problem. I would be routing the body for a musicman5 pickup in the sweet spot and ditching the precision pick ups. New pick guard too
  4. Wouldn't the screw holes be misaligned afterwards? Just food foe thought as its easy to fix.
  5. makaspar

    makaspar Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Austin, TX
    I have a Fender American Standard P5...

    I needed a symmetrical P5 pickup/pickguard route for my Delano P5 pups. On a hunch, I put a stock P4 guard on top of my stock P5 guard, and the neck pocket and pickup route were the only difference. Other than the neck pocket width and bridge screw holes, it's the exact same body, same routes, and same neck plate.

    If you widen the neck pocket properly, and use a Fender 5 string neck, everything will line up (except for the 1 screw hole closest to the treble side of the neck). Of course, the neck will be wider than the neck pocket on the treble side, and hang over into the treble side cutaway..

    Of note - if you don't end up using a MM pickup, find symmetrical P5 pickups - Delano and Nordstrand P5s are the same size as Fender P4s, and fit perfectly into the P4 pick guard without adjustment. They cover the strings fine without routing.

    Here is my Fender P5. I ordered a standard Warmoth precision pickguard, with no pickup route. I then used a Fender P4 pickguard as a template for the pickups..

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  6. Aislinn


    Feb 14, 2014
    Chicago Area
    If you make a 1/4" template for the neck pocket, fine tune it and then make a 3/4" template from that, you should be able to rout out a perfect fit. You can do the same for the pickups.
  7. autotech6506


    Mar 3, 2014
    Well I decided to go the 4 string route since I already have a 5 string bass. I just picked up a loaded p bass body off eBay for pretty cheap and a musicman 4 pickup. Let the adventure begin!

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