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 OK...my SX is finished!

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EricHaven
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PostSubject: OK...my SX is finished!   Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:38 pm

I'll post pictures once I get it strung up. But I finished the electronics wiring, re-installing the Kahler with longer and bigger wood screws, re-bolting the strap to the body, and adding two more large wood screws to fasten the neck even tighter to the body.

I think I'll experiment with lighter gauge strings this time around to see how they respond with my Kahler.

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:28 pm

I have been trying really hard to be patient, and let all of the glued spots dry thoroughly (base of my Kahler, strap bolts, neck bolts). I ran down and grabbed a set of GHS Bassics gauged 40-58-80-102 to do my lighter-sized string experiments, and I was SO looking forward to stringing this puppy up, and tweaking my Kahler.

But upon closer inspection of my nut (the one on my SX, not my nut, you goofballs), I discovered a significant crack in the E slot. It ran pretty deep, and it was clear that it could cause my E string to hang up, and go out of tune.

Sooo...I thought "well, I'll either have to somehow mend the thing, or replace it". Then I had a flash of genius. I remembered that the one and ONLY piece of hardware I had salvaged from my old Carvin B4 bass was the graphite nut. A little digging in my tool box, and, presto! I found it! And if that weren't enough, I happened to read the lettering on the bottom of the nut, and it said Graph-Tech. Double bonus!

Some measurements and eye-balling helped me determine that the new nut was taller and wider than the original nut. So out comes my Leatherman saw blade, and after about ten minutes of some very careful hacking, I managed to carve out the slot to fit the new nut perfectly. It is now in place and glued, and I will finally string the thing up tomorrow after the glue has had enough time to properly set.

I am really happy how this turned out, because not only was I able to successfully replace the broken nut, but I was able to do so using a Graph-Tech graphite nut. Yay! cheers

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:54 am

you know whats interesting?...you chose the 40-58-80-102 strings to use...that is the same set I use on my TBX Tbird, the thing sounds too different when I tried 45-105 standards "once apon a time", and spent double cause I put the 45-105 strings on for a hour and said NO WAY, and threw them in the garbage....

as far as the other basses, they are nothing special and get whatever is the cheapest stuff I can find off EBAY in 12 packs. Usually ALICE or some generic brand for 5 bucks a set.

50.00 a set for "specialty" strings coated/flat/semi's/...no way not for me SmileSmile
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:19 pm

What a co-inky-dink! Wink

Actually Mike, I will confess that since I was wanting to experiment first, I went for the cheapest set I could grab for now. And the GHS Bassics were one of two sets they had in stock, but the other cost twice as much. To be honest, I really wanted to go with a smaller E string, but this leads me to my next news.

I just got done setting the action and intonation. This bass once again sounds and plays like a dream. The Kahler is keeping perfect tune, and this is even with the additional lower range I now have. This probably is due to the graphite nut. Yes, it's true. Lower gauge strings give you more drop, and I'll tell you how I know this. When I was using the standard 45-65-85-105 gauge, I could get my G string to drop down to almost a D, in other words, five notes lower. But with this smaller gauge, with the G now being a 40 instead of a 45, I can drop my G down to an A, which is now ten notes lower. And my E string now hangs even more off the neck with the Kahler bottomed out.

The decision to install the J at the neck was definitely the way to go. I now have this wonderful deep, growly/throaty low tone for my low/clean channel. I had forgotten just how much I love that sound.

And of course, the Model P is performing like a champ!

I just took some pictures of my bass, and I'll be posting them here today. But all-in-all, I am extremely pleased with how this project has turned out. My SX now plays and feels absolutely superior to what my RBX did. And to think, this all started with the discovery of two broken screws on my Yamaha! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:27 pm

Told ya Eric, light strings, you don't wanna know what a set of Thomastic Jazz Rounds can do, its scary.
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:29 pm

(jumps around the room in excitement)

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:14 pm

OK...bear in mind that even though I have been doing my own work, and I do have mostly the right tools, what results isn't always boutique quality. For myself, I could care less. A few bumps and bruises mean nothing to me, as long is it works. So, that being said, here it is.

These were taken in mid-change after I had finished wiring the pickups. Yes, the cutter jumped on me while I was carving out the pickguard, so I said screw it, and covered the bad edges with black electrical tape. I will go back and fix it, but for now I just wanted to get it functioning:





And here is the finished product!



Here's the J pickup area up close, so you can have a good laugh on me:



The Kahler, back in its place, and all set-up:



The neck plate, that now hides two additional countersunk neck screws underneath. You can see part of where I countersunk the head of the one on the right, just under the edge of the plate:



And the new graphite nut. I had to carefully remove about 1/8" of wood going back towards the tuners, and increase the pocket by about 1/4" deeper to accommodate the new nut. But I really took my time with this one, as I did not want to screw up the scale at all. And it went off flawlessly:



I am really happy that it went so smoothly, and how well it now works now! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:21 pm

Shocked

You did all that yourself? Even if it's a little makeshift, it's still great for a non-professional. Actually, if you painted over the tape, no one would know the difference from on stage. Once, I converted a squire p into a 5 string, and had to cut a little off the neck heel to make the wider neck fit. It should have been simple. I just measured how much I had to chop off, and used the saw on a swiss army knife. But then accidently cut off too much, leaving a nasty gash in the bass. It's partially covered up by the pickguard, but even then it's ugly, and a stupid, careless, amateurish mistake.
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:55 pm

Nice Frankenbass! They can be fun!
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:54 am

AWESOME! I've been wanting to try some of those GHS ProSteels in that gauge. Sounds like it'd be really comfy to play, especially with a trem!

Have you noticed a difference between the neck and bridge DiMarzio J pickups' sounds? I think that that P/J setup with the Jazz would look really cool if you slanted the pickup to like the pole pieces up with the strings. Why have you got it taped up like that?
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:41 am

Very very cool Eric.
I'd love to hear how that whole setup sounds.


Just one thing, it would have been far easier, if you got some sandpaper, and a flat block, and sanded the graphite nut to fit the basses slot, they carve real easy.
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:46 am

that unit would be a good candidate for the "show your bass with character" thread on TB... lol!
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:02 am

Sweet Eric 0_0. You've got one helluva cool bass here! Sometime, I am jealous because you guys all have a trem.... But I will have one on the way when I'll come back from Ontario bounce

Again Eric, Cool BASS!!!
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:12 am

Your time will come, Noob! Cool
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:29 pm

Oh my! So many things to comment on! Laughing

OK...Martin. Honestly, I cannot tell one slight bit of difference between the neck and bridge Model J's, and in essence, there really shouldn't be since they are the exact same pickup, only the bridge is ever so slightly wider than the neck. Now, obviously, they do sound different when installed since you get different tonality from any pickup depending on where it is installed. Towards the bridge you get more nasally treble overtones, whereas the closer to the neck you get the more deep and woodsy tonality you get. But you guys already know this. Wink Now, I do hear a difference between say, a P versus a J when installed in the same place. The P tends to have more depth and volume. At least, to my ears anyways.

Bill, I didn't want to reduce the thickness of the nut, since I am hoping to avoid breaking it the way the original stock version did. This is also why I didn't want to reduce the height. I also felt more comfortable working the wood slot in the neck instead of the nut. I'm not even sure why I did, only that I did at the time. Wink

Mike, in as much as I might enjoy posting my bass in TB, I don't want to hear the naysayers talk their BS. I've noticed a slight...how shall I say it...attitude...over there? There seems to be a theme of elitism on that board, and I get testy when I hear certain talk. And I don't mean just my hack woodworking skills, either. It's more about my approach to the bass, and how I have gotten over there that certain "oh, he does that sort of thing, you know, that whole frustrated-lead-guitarist-on-bass. Poor guy. Too bad he doesn't play correctly". And when I hear that sort of talk, my middle fingers cannot go up fast enough. So screw it. Too old/cynical/set-in-my-ways/impatient to want to deal with that crap.

And NB, your time WILL come. If you don't mind me asking, what's holding you back from having a trem right now?

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:28 pm

Goot to know about the Js, Eric! The placement is definitely key with those things! Right now, I like how the J works in the bridge, especially for what I'm trying to go for with my Hamer at the moment, but I want to give one a try right by the neck some time, possibly slanted so that the pole pieces line up a bit better.

What sets the DiMarzio P apart from everything else I've played is the low end response. SO deep, yet so tight! It's literally better than I had dreamed. Especially in series...WOW. But what I love best about the Precision pickup setup is that the coils are offset, so you get a slightly different voicing between the E and A strings and the D and G strings. With the E and A it's more open and can make sustained low notes develop really well and with the D and G, it's tighter and snappier and it makes chords jump out. With the DiMarzio's sound, it's so natural, so it's only accentuated more. Man, I love it!

But with a J in the same position, the pole pieces are all in the same spot on the strings, so you don't have that jump in timbre between the two halves. Maybe good, maybe bad, meh. Who cares. It's different!

I totally hear you about the elitism, man. It doesn't sit right with me, either, but every once in a while, there are some people who really can talk without all the crap. A lot of them are also on this forum. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:22 pm

EricHaven wrote:
And NB, your time WILL come. If you don't mind me asking, what's holding you back from having a trem right now?

1. A bass to put it on. (My ministar can't accomodate the trem)

2. Money.

I've got a job but I'll just start the June 23rd so money will flow on eventually. 7 weeks at 300$ a weeks in Ontario in a summer camp. So I'll have 2100$ but I'll have to pay some debt.

So for now I must wait all the summer.

When I'll come back I'll do.

1. EAT A STEAK lol!

2. Try a ****load of basses.

3. Buy a bass.

4. Go on the net and buy a trem.

5. Be a poor student again albino
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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:10 pm

Ah, yes! Excellent point about the offset coils of the P, Martin! You are totally correct, since it is true that the coil for the E and A strings actually sit a little closer to the neck than the coil for the D and G strings do. So there would be a slight difference in tonality.

And I TOTALLY hear you, NB! Wink And I love your plan of attack. Anything that starts with eating a steak is alright in my book! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:35 pm

NoobOnRoad wrote:
1. EAT A STEAK lol!

Just like the Rev!

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:21 am

Yeah!

That video was cute, but a bit graphic in some spots. Both Linda and I LOVE beef, but we have a hard time watching the slaughter aspect of it.

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PostSubject: Re: OK...my SX is finished!   Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:18 am

I think that's the point. Makes you hungry, then makes you wanna vomit and kill. Laughing Rev. HH is a genius. Cool

I've found that the offset coils make it difficult to EQ in a good sound on an amp like my 400+. That's why I don't like the graphic EQs. Give me a bass, mid, and treble parametric EQ section any day and be done with it. They sound SO much better. Sure, you can turn off the EQ, but it seems that the EQ gives you that much more raunchiness, even when you just have it set flat, but anything I do with it just makes it sound awful compared to what can be done with just a 3 band parametric. Compare the Mesa to my Tube Works. With the Tube Works, it's also a little touchy and very unique sounding, but in just a couple minutes, I have a sound I can rock on for a while and both coils of the P sound good. On the Mesa, whenever I touch the EQ, I can only ever get the top coil (DG) to sound good. It's weird.

But my strings are starting to get pretty dead. That bass sounds so sick with a spanky new set of Swing 66s on it.


ANYWAY, awesome plan, NoR!
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