Would this be a waste?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Fletch, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Like so many here I've decided I want to make myself a bass. I have no experience so I figured I'd start slow. I decided that I could learn a few things by modding some of my cheapo basses. First up an olp mm3 natural finnish. The idea,I want to put a j pu in the neck,maybe a preamp too. Could/should this be done?
  2. I really like your approach. Probably because that's just how I began my dance with the discipline ;)

    This method of learning the ropes is actually called "reverse engineering". It's one of the ways the Japanese kicked our butts with inexpensive electronic stuff years ago by disassembling our stuff to learn how it worked, then improving on it. You get to see how decently assembled instruments go together while adding your own treatment and trying to make it match the tolerances and style. At the same time, you get proficient at the setup side of luthiery and that will help when you start to crack your own nut - actually not as painful as it sounds :D

    These basses don't have much new value hence not much resale value in any condition. Adding, swapping, or tweaking components can only make the bass a better player and learning to hear and feel the difference you can make is enormously valuable.

    That last part of tweaking is an important one. A lot of guys don't seem to realize that the original components on the bass are often decent but need attention to work at their best. This goes beyond the simple adjustments of a routine setup. It could be improving the slot depths in a nut, shielding the control cavity, or my personal fave - installation of steel inserts in the neck. Lots to learn here also.

    Good Luck and check back often
  3. emor


    May 16, 2004
    Sounds like we're at about the same place.
    I want to build my first bass in the coming months, and just bought this one a couple of weeks ago to mess around with.


    First up, refinish and get rid of that 1974 Plymouth Fury color :spit: ; then, perhaps, new pickups.

    The only problem, is that I've been enjoying playing it too much to want to take it apart and do the work. ;)

    Good luck, and keep us informed with your progress. Pics, please.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have had this problem numerous times. With one of my guitars, an Ibanez with a floyd rose, I wanted to block the bridge. I couldn't do it because the strings were in the broken in and sweet sounding stage, and my d'addarios stay there a while. With my jazz bass, it needs no modifications. My p-bass is my mod machine. I glued in the neck, installed EMG's, and I may be adding that homebrew piezo pickup soon.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I second Hambone. And I'm not sure how you'd go about it any other way unless you studied under a luthier or destroyed some perfectly good wood.

    Personally, a bass I enjoy playing I wouldn't improve on............. maybe something minor. I defretted a bass that seemed expendable at the time but I realized afterward that I missed being able to play it fretted - but I can always refret.

    There are lots of basses out there that genuinely suck and would be a mercy killing at worst - save somebody some grief trying to play it yet invariably is a learning experience that comes in handy down the road. It's a win-win situation with a junk bass.
  6. Ecwillia


    Aug 1, 2004
    I third Mr. Hambone on that.......
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have my eye on a 5 string Ibanez at the pawn shop. It works the neck seems fine but I want to strip the parts and make a nice body for it. Check out the pan shops for something to fool around with. I got them down to $175 so far. I couldn't even buy the parts for that $.....t........good luck
  8. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    theres alot of good information out there on building basses, even if you have some basic knowlage on power tools, you can get prettty far in the process ( least the body design/cutting and routing) and you can always get a neck for pretty cheap, which seems like the hardest part hehe.

    beyond that routing for the rest of it isnt bad at all, dont be afraid to slaughter some cheap woods to get the idea before jumping to the expencive stuff!