Talking Bass
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TOPIC: Talking Bass

Talking Bass 3 years, 6 months ago #1

Platinum Boarder
Normally you would expect me to litter the PD forums with my Rolls Royce/Bentley model cars, but there is not much collecting going on at the moment. Nothing on offer that really grabs me and on the other hand my guitar hobby has taken preference.


Not so long ago I gave you a thread on reparing a Stratocaster guitar. www.planetdiecast.com/index.php?option=c...8657&Itemid=2455


This time I will show you a modification on an electric Bass guitar neck which I intend to do. So let's start with part one. But I will put you in the picture with a piece of bass history first.


In 1951 Leo Fender launched an electric four string bass guitar which he called the Precision Bass or P Bass for short. The word precision was chosen because the instrument had a fretted neck offering the opportunity to play the notes as precisely as possible, contrary to the upright (acoustic) basses which had a non fretted neck.


This innovation by Leo Fender was and is probably his greatest contribution to contemporary music, an absolute first. Gone was the unwielding big acoustic (dog house) bass. Players could now easily transport a compact instrument which also gave them more amplified presence on the band stand.


The very early 1950's P Basses are real collector's items now and they fetch high prices. Personally I do like these 1950's models the most, it is typically early electric guitar manufacturing and the ground zero essence of what a bass guitar should be, no thrills or frills. 


Here a pic of an original 1951 Fender P Bass. The body a slab/plank piece of ash with no comfortable contours, one single coil pick up, simple steel bridge construction with two string saddles (strings are anchored through the body), a tone/volume control, a large phenolic black scratch plate and a  wooden thumb rest. Note the heavy play wear on the maple neck, this instruments has been put through its paces for sure.





Three years later this instrument got a bit of face lift; the body now contoured on the front and back which made it more comfortable to play. The metal bridge and pick up covers were a standard item, adding to the streamlined look of the bass, but most players took them off as they were obstructing their playing.








So that brings me to the bass I bought this week. It is a replica (South Korean made) of a '50s P Bass in a three tone sunburst color.








You will be amazed (as I still am) when I tell you this bass cost me 108 euro (delivered at my door). Considering it is a massif, contoured limewood/basswood body with a Canadian maple neck and very acceptable hardware and electronics. And really there is nothing which gives any reason to be negative about its quality. I have seen several video's and positive appraisals of this bass before I bought it and that convinced me.


But there is one thing I am gonna change and that is the neck. As you can see from the pictures the neck is white maple with only a very thin layer of satin lacquer. I don't like this, it almost feels as if you are playing bare wood, apart from that, the colour is wrong, it should be aged, a kind of amber, like the next picture shows.





This picture above also shows a different (original Fender) shape of the 1950's P Bass  head stock (the part where the tuners are fixed). The headstock on my Korean bass has a completely different shape. Fender does not allow copying their headstocks. So I am gonna change the shape myself using a jig saw (which I borrowed from Routemaster Theo, thanks!). I have the template, and it will work, I have done this before. Also I will stain the neck with an amber color, using waterbased ink, next giving it several gloss coats of lacquer. To be continued.





 


Last Edit: 3 years, 6 months ago by Ecclesley.

Re: Talking Bass 3 years, 6 months ago #2

Gold Boarder
A classic model bass with a distinctive sound.


Everything about guitars is an on and off hobby for me as well. At the moment it is a bit off but I'm sure it will come back.


This is what is hanging above my pc monitor.
On the left a 1991 Paul Reed Smith standard with a studio pick-up set. I bought it new in 1992 and really it is a guitar for life.


On the right a 1983 Ibanez AM 205 with the Super 58 pickups. It's a small body semi- accoustic with a warm jazzy sound and tons of power.





Guitar electronics can be had dirt cheap in China. A few years ago I bought a configured pickup set for a selfmade stratocaster (selfmade but not by me). All the elctronics came to a grand total of 20 dollars with free shipping. it improved the sound no end.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ecclesley

Re: Talking Bass 3 years, 6 months ago #3

Platinum Boarder
PoliTom2 wrote:
A classic model bass with a distinctive sound.


Everything about guitars is an on and off hobby for me as well. At the moment it is a bit off but I'm sure it will come back.


Guitar electronics can be had dirt cheap in China. A few years ago I bought a configured pickup set for a selfmade stratocaster (selfmade but not by me). All the elctronics came to a grand total of 20 dollars with free shipping. it improved the sound no end.









That PRS is a serious guitar and Ibanez is no mean piece of kit too, very nice!!!!

I am a Fender (single coil) man, although I do like many other guitars as well.

What you are saying about guitar parts from China as absolutely right.

If I would put a better PU in that bass and give it a bridge with brass saddles, I will spend 50 euro at the most and get a proper upgrade instead. 


It is a miracle how this bass, built in South Korea, shipped to Germany and next deliverd to the Netherlands can go for that kind of money. The D'Addario strings on this bass cost 18 euro a set to begin with.
Last Edit: 3 years, 6 months ago by Ecclesley.
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