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Wohooo! Got me a P Bass off CL! (lots of pics... and lots of text)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PCR, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    I'm new to this whole bass thing. I started playing guitar in 1979 (yeah, I'm old). Took a few (+20) years off, and have recently (4 yrs ago) started playing again.

    Last fall, I picked up a perfect condition Squire MB-40 off CL for $75. I haven't put the thing down since I got it. I've been playing bass at jams with a couple friends. Playing bass is so much fun, I don't why I didn't start playing the bass 30 yrs ago.

    The Ad ==========================
    Last Thurs I saw a CL ad for "Fender P Bass $300". The ad basically said, Need to sell ASAP, no strings on the bass.

    4516181813_87f0abf504_o. 4516181821_e25d86f4f5_o. 4516817232_bdef4b9061_o. 4516817254_7594cba69c_o.

    The pics looked okay, so I figured I would offer $200 and see what happens. I figured as long as the neck was straight, for $200, if the thing was a complete train wreck, I could still sell the neck for $200. Long story, short: On Friday during my lunch break, I met the guy at his place of work and exchanged $200 for the bass. He said he hadn't picked the thing up since college +10 yrs ago.

    The Assessment ==========================
    When I get the bass home, I noticed that the gig bag is soo old and worn out that the nylon is thread bear and basically dry rotted. The bass was sooo filthy it has a layer of funk on it like spring patio funiture after a winter of neglect.

    ALL the metal, including screws, were either tarnished or corroded. The frets and fret board felt...funky.

    I plug the bass into an amp and tapped the pickups with a screwdriver. It thumped okay, but the vol pot feel scratchy, but didn't sound scratch through the amp.

    The body looked okay. 2 small dents, the diameter of a pencil, but not chipped. The blue looked awful, and everthing looked like it was wiped down with a dirty dish rag. And, that gawdaful sticker......

    From the serial number, it looked to be a 1995-1996 MIM.

    4509556153_da5910cfa4. 4509556277_a4069f0d67. 4509556359_d7279671bf. 4510195254_c4328c8e18.

    The Plan ==============================
    My plan was to strip the entire bass down. Replace the pots and jack with some spares in my drawer. Goo-off the sticker. Use Never-dull on all the metal. Clean the fret board with lemon oil. Polish the frets w/ left over Planet Wave fret polish kit. Use Meguiers polish to polish out the body and pickguard.

    I figured that I would probably need to replace the pickguard because it was so nasty.

    And the color was pretty bad... the pictures actually look better than the real thing. Worst case, I strip it down to wood, and either just use oil, or send it off for a cheap paint job.

    The Strip Down ==============================
    The first thing I did was pop off the vol and tone knobs. That's funny, the scratchy sound wasn't bad pots, it was the left over clear plastic sheet from when the bass was new. When I pull the pickguard and neck screws off, I can tell that these had never been removed before (factory wax).
    4509556389_47805664bc. 4510195098_633a017e51. 4510195300_3ca6429291. 4509556293_31499f59be.

    Elbow Grease ==========================
    After 8 1/2 hours of polishing the body, cleaning the funk off the neck, and polishing the metal hardware (and 4 trips to the sink to wash my hand... it was that filthy), everything looked REALLY good.

    Basically, other than the 2 small dents, there wasn't a scratch on the body. Not even a single belt buckle dent. The body turns out to be Lucerne Aqua Firemist; and it looks really COOL! Well beyond my expectations.

    The pickguard is slighly discolored by age, but almost perfect! I have only found 2 tiny scratches on it. Otherwise, it's perfect.

    A lot of the pickguard screws are rusted, but I have lots of spares in my drawer.

    The tuners and the bridge polished out almost perfectly. I just couldn't get the saddles to be as shiny.

    The fret board and frets needed the most work. I scrubbed the fret board 3 times with lemon oil to get the funk off, and the Planet Wave fret polish kit took care of the corrosion on the frets.

    The back of the neck had a some dings in it, but not through the clear coat. So I took some 1200 grit wet dry and sanded all but one ding out, I then went over the head stock lightly.

    Since I like glossy shiny necks anyways, I taped up the fret board and shot the neck with left over Minwax Lacquer. (I know, it's lacquer over poly... but, it's what I had in the garage).

    4512830791_0e3100e3ae. 4512830715_855ba1390b.

    Summary =============================
    So that's where I'm at....
    Waiting for the lacquer to dry to give it a good shiny polish.

    Up ahead....
    Solder new pots and a new jack to the pups.

    The screw everything back together again and string her up. Give it a decent setup and volia: a Fender P Bass in my posession.

    For more pics and larger pictures: Click Here

    Financials =====================
    1x 95 MIM Lucerne Aqua Firemist P Bass: $200
    1x Fender strap buttons: $5
    1x Proline Dome Tele/P Bass Knobs: $10
    1x Sprague 0.047uf Cap: $2
    1x P Bass Pup screws set: $6
    1x Fender Nickel Tuner Screws set: $6
    1x D'Addario EXL-170: $20 (I'm new to playing bass, and I have no idea what sounds good)

    Spare part bin (so bacially free):
    11x Pickguard screws
    2x CTS 250K Audio pots
    1x Switchcraft jack

    Total investment: $249.

    I'll add more when I get the thing buttoned up....
  2. marklaforest


    Feb 5, 2010
    Sweet bro. Cool colour too.
  3. Wow. nice resurrection job. You'll likely love that axe.
  4. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    Very nice find and clean up. Some people are so scared to take their gear a part. I'm like you tear it down, clean it and put it back together right!
  5. Cant wait to hear how she plays.
  6. Murph#2


    Mar 24, 2010
    Congrats!!! Cool Deal, Dang I can't wait til I can join the P-bass club.
  7. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Love the color... looks like my main bass, 'cept mine's sort of a jazz.
  8. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Cool bass! Have fun with it!
  9. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I think that's Blue Agave. I had a MIM fretless J in that color, and it was the only one I've ever owned that non-musicians would come over and say, "Nice looking bass!"

    Good job. I love rescues.
  10. looks sweet, and a nice price too.

    i mentioned using lemon oil about 2 year ago now, and i got a reply from Roger Sadowski basicaly saying dont use it, its chemical sh~@ in a bottle. for all it will make your board shine for a while the minerals in the oil actually dry out the rosewood. I have never used it again on my RW boards (my main bass now has a phelonic board so i use WD-40 :))

    you know, id be tempted to get a reranch tint and make the neck a vintage tint and it would also double on the body and slightly green up the blue metallic :) i wish i could import some reranch gear :(
  11. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    Thanks for all the positive comments. I'll keep this thread updated on my progress.

    darthlagis: WD-40? Really? I use the stuff everywhere on my motorcycles, but never thought on my fret board. I'll have to research this..... learn something new everyday.

  12. bh2


    Jun 16, 2008
    Oxford, UK
    Great colour... can't wait to see it all together!
  13. yeah dont WD-40 wood boards :) mine is phelonic, a resin. status' Rob Green actually recommends it for their boards.

    on my wood boards i use fender/maguires guitar cleaner the wood boards seem to keep their depth more with that.
  14. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    Thanks for the clarification. Didn't know what phelonic was, and didn't want to ask the obvious question....

    PCR ;)
  15. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    Sorry for the OT interjection - it's "phenolic", a type of resin. :)

    Good job cleaning up the bass - my P is a 94 MIM, and they're solid players. Just a bit heavy for me to hold during long shows.
  16. Raab900


    Apr 11, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Endorsing Artist: Holcomb Guitars, LaBella Strings
    Nice job cleaning that thing up. I have a p bass that's the same color. I got it with an replacement neck on it. I actually just gave it a major cleaning as well. I swapped out the dimarzio pickups for some basslines and I am waiting for my black hardware to arrive so I can put it all back together. I can't figure out when it was made though. There is a sticker underneath the little pad that one of the the pickups sits on. It was hard to see the whole thing but it definitely says M00023153. I've looked it up but it doesn't seem to be listed. Well anyway, your bass is looking good. Nice job!
  17. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Good deal on a nice bass...
  18. meh you knew what i meant :D........ and google auto corrects it anyway :bag:
  19. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    Had to wait a few days for the Lacquer on the neck to harden.

    Polished out the neck last night, and took these pics this morning before work. I'll try to take some better pics later with the TB picture tips.

    The neck turned out slick and glossy; just the way I like it.

    I'll wait a few more days, then one more round of polish, then some Virtuoso Polish.

    My Sprague cap is on the way, so I should have everything buttoned up by next weekend.

    Hard to tell in the these pictures, but the grain in the neck really popped out. The Headstock looks completely different. I taped off the base of the neck, and the difference between the stock satin finish and the gloss is dramatic.

    (click the picture for full size: or goto the picture set here)
    4523761879_7948030791_o. 4524392278_77eef7b73c_o.
    4524392292_bef92ce164_o. 4523761829_7c46353cde_o.
  20. PCR


    Apr 11, 2008
    AWESOME service....

    Packaged just arrived to my office.

    I placed my order at 11AM on Wed (4/14) w/ standard delivery. The box just arrived Fri (4/16). Two day turnaround!

    I used Guitar Parts Resource to buy my miscellaneous parts.

    I should be able to start thumping Sunday! Can't wait.


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