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  • Questions about a bass project...

    Howdy folks, I usually hang out over at HCEG but came upon a project for a friend that is beyond my expertise.

    The bass in question belongs to an older friend of mine who I jam with occasionally. He had a funk/ soul band in the 70's and is just an all around cool cat, nevermind a fantastic bass player. I've worked on a guitar of his (headstock break and electronic tuneup) but he recently asked me to work on his bass. It seems the output is really shaky. I also noted it looked like someone did a mega sketchy refinish job way back. I asked him if he wanted me to redo it and he immediately said yes.

    This P-bass appears to be a mid-70's part-caster. The neck plate seems 1970, the body 1972, and the neck (which I find to be pretty sweet) a 1974 fretless maple. First some pictures...






  • #2
    As for the electronics (and my main concern)...

    I opened it up and quickly found the source of the inconsistent signal - the wire to the jack is barely connected and tenuously held in place be a screw through the lug (also - no ground path to the jack :freak.

    I also found a number of other interesting things inside. It looks to me like one dpdt switch is being used for phase reversal (?) on the p-bass pickup - also one for pickup selection - then a little guy as a kill-switch...




    Here is quick and dirty schematic of what I *think* is going on (EDITED)...

    Comment


    • #3
      Sooo...As I said, I'm no bass player and I have no idea what effects and wiring schemes make sense.

      Which pots should be used - 250K alright or would 500K be better? How can I make the most of the humbucker in the neck? Should the inputs be on the center lug or should I move them off?

      Any advice or input would be awesome...

      Comment


      • #4
        I believe for a bass used for funk the 500K pot would be better.

        Yeah, that body needs some sanding, but I wouldn't touch that neck!
        Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
        Retired and likin' it a lot!
        Regards. Rimmer

        Comment


        • #5
          Recheck the wiring on P1 - I'm pretty sure you got that wrong as it appears to be the tone pot. The back-asswards wiring on P2 and P3 is the standard way of wiring a two pickup "VVT" (volume volume tone) setup - jazz basses are wired that way.

          "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

          Comment


          • #6
            I believe for a bass used for funk the 500K pot would be better.

            Yeah, that body needs some sanding, but I wouldn't touch that neck!


            Dumb question - 500k on the tone pot or all of them?

            Oh and the neck :evil:- I've stripped the poly off the back of the neck and headstock - but left the headstock face intact as well as the poly over the neck stamps and sides of pocket; I wanted to retain the fit it had. I've since put 3 coats of tru-oil on the stripped areas (after a very light medium brown transtint coat followed by a bit of honey amber) and it's feeling great.

            I lightly cleaned the fretboard but that is it. I've toyed with maybe throwing a very light coat of tru-oil on the fretboard just to give it a little protection...still up in the air...

            Comment


            • #7
              Recheck the wiring on P1 - I'm pretty sure you got that wrong as it appears to be the tone pot. The back-asswards wiring on P2 and P3 is the standard way of wiring a two pickup "VVT" (volume volume tone) setup - jazz basses are wired that way.


              You sir, are correct about my mistaken diagram; yes, I seem to recall the input on center lug and signal out to jack [COLOR="red"]and kill switch on the left lug (see below). I don't have it in front of me but I'll recheck it when I do. Thanks for the info re: J Basses as well. Interesting...

              Comment


              • #8
                Dumb question - 500k on the tone pot or all of them?

                Oh and the neck :evil:- I've stripped the poly off the back of the neck and headstock - but left the headstock face intact as well as the poly over the neck stamps and sides of pocket; I wanted to retain the fit it had. I've since put 3 coats of tru-oil on the stripped areas (after a very light medium brown transtint coat followed by a bit of honey amber) and it's feeling great.

                I lightly cleaned the fretboard but that is it. I've toyed with maybe throwing a very light coat of tru-oil on the fretboard just to give it a little protection...still up in the air...



                500K on the tone pot.

                I always oil my fretboards. I use 3-in-1 oil and a cotton swab. They stay oiled a long time with that.....years in fact.
                Dennis Hopper's retirement plan, except Dennis is dead
                Retired and likin' it a lot!
                Regards. Rimmer

                Comment


                • #9
                  How does your friend want the body refinished? Stripped and tung-oil? Painted? Stained a new color? Does he want some creativity from you, or just getting it in good shape looking the way it was?
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><b>&quot;Understanding that sentence meant he wasn't much of a chess player.&quot;</b></font><b> - <i>Abzurd</i><br />
                  <br />
                  <a href="http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=2377395" target="_blank"> Winner of MYSTIC FX'S Most Metal Face, Early '09 Award</a></b><br />
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                  <font size="1">Eden WT550B, D212XLT-4 times two, D210XLT, SKB US Roto Rack 4U, USA-made X2 XDS-Plus, Korg DT-7 tuner, Tobias Killer B5, Ibanez Prestige SR1005EFM, world-famous custom rack mounted CUP HOLDER! For my <b>BEER!</b></font></div>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Recheck the wiring on P1 - I'm pretty sure you got that wrong as it appears to be the tone pot. The back-asswards wiring on P2 and P3 is the standard way of wiring a two pickup "VVT" (volume volume tone) setup - jazz basses are wired that way.


                    Ok, checked again, and no, kill switch also feeds off center lug - I've updated the gif above...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      How does your friend want the body refinished? Stripped and tung-oil? Painted? Stained a new color? Does he want some creativity from you, or just getting it in good shape looking the way it was?


                      Good question. I asked him and he told me to do whatever I thought appropriate. I decided to do a satin/worn tru-oil finish with a subtle burst as a nod to it's sunburst past. I respect the age of this instrument and wanted to leave some of the dings and imperfections in it - I want it to be recognizable and feel and play like an old friend. We'll see how it turns out. So far...

                      Back of the neck...

                      Body after 3 coats of tru-oil...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok, checked again, and no, kill switch also feeds off center lug - I've updated the gif above...
                        Close - but normally the center of the tone pot is tied to the lug that goes to the output jack.

                        "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Close - but normally the center of the tone pot is tied to the lug that goes to the output jack.


                          I think I'm misunderstanding you (not your fault - I'm just a little slow sometimes. Ok, maybe not just a little). As it stands right now there is nothing on the left lug of the tone pot but the output to jack. I understand this also to be a feature of "standard" Jazz bass wiring. Should there be something else?

                          Also - grounding and shielding is a pretty big deal in electric guitars - should I be concerned with that on this bass?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think I'm misunderstanding you (not your fault - I'm just a little slow sometimes. Ok, maybe not just a little). As it stands right now there is nothing on the left lug of the tone pot but the output to jack. I understand this also to be a feature of "standard" Jazz bass wiring. Should there be something else?
                            Nope, not normal:

                            "We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us" - Walt Kelly​

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Awesome, now we're getting somewhere - thank you!

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