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madmike

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PostSubject: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:12 am

i just cant leave well enuff alone. i gotta have something different than what it is ... better ... stronger ... faster! i have the technology ... i can rebuild.

it just tends to lay heavily on my wallet.

i'm trying to save as much loot as possible for the warmouth explorer project (i just deserve a really nice bass) and i want that new mesa rig too. its gonna take me forever to save up all that loot.

in the meantime ... i need something to keep me busy.

and i found it ..........



now ... i know i've told you all how i dislike p basses. i'de never buy one. this is in fact my bass ... its been sitting in pieces in my old drummers basement for 2 years. i gave it to him to steal parts from it to build a whamola ... never happened. this bass was in fact given to me by my old, old, old guitar player like 9 years ago.

i have some ideas of things i wanna try on this body ... finish (i keep seeing those blue dye stain basses), aftermarket necks (i want a bass with a slimline jazz neck and stainless steel frets), pickup combinations and of course ... a kahler.

this thing will not be a fender when i'm done with it.

i'm gonna strip the crappy fender black paint off it today.

i'll continue to post pictures of my progress rebuilding this thin into ... THE BIONIC BASS ... du nu naaa naaa, du naa naa na naa na naa ..........
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:44 pm

so i just go and slap some paint stripper gel stuff on it ... shud take the existing finish right off ... right?

wrong. paint stripper doesnt break down lacquer. i need lacquer thinner to break this coating down. i shudda known this (ima dummy). clown

just thought i'de put that tidbit of info out there in case anyone wanted to refinish a bass. i dont know whats gonna happen to the color of the wood when i break it down with the thinner ... stain it black???
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:48 pm

Just my two-cents. I'm a bit chem-sensitive, so I usually tried to remove the original paint and finish by other means.

I used to use a sander to remove the lacquer and such from my painting projects. You do have to be careful not to dig in too far, so you don't end up with low spots and marks.

Sometimes, I used to just paint right over the top of the original finish, but you have to be careful what paint you use, since it can end up looking dull. When I VH-striped my Tokai Jazz, I simply taped over the black in the patterns that Eddie Van Halen had on his first guitar, then I used appliance enamel directly over the existing paint. I used this type of paint since I knew it would dry rock-hard, and be really glossy. When the paint dried, I simply (and carefully) pulled off the tape. It worked really well!

But obviously, it will turn out the best if you strip everything off using thinner. Good luck, MM! Keep us posted!

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:14 pm

Oh nice! I can't wait to see how this turns out. Good to know about the lacquer thinner. What sort of pickups are you thinking about for it?
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:13 am

actually, i'm gonna shy away from the lacquer thinner ... cause its super nasty ... and i'm gonna dye stain and satin finish this bass. i'm afraid if i put lacquer thinner on it and it breaks the paint down, that its gonna soak into and discolor the wood.

therefore as well, i cant use power sanding tools because the top veneer around the edges is thin. i already went thru it in one tiny spot trying to take a ding outta the wood. yeah, i gotta do this by hand. its just gonna take time.

stain is gonna be m520 blue. clear satin finish.

still havent found the right pickguard ... i'm thinking pearloid or moto black. i dont think pearloid blue would look right. i also found a company that puts photo quality images on the pickguard material but i didnt like any of the image or patterns they had.

the neck is gonna be a warmouth 13 degree 2x2 1.5" at the nut as to not run into tuning problems with the kahler with a standard fender headstock. i havent decided to go maple .....



or if i wanna go custom maple with an ebony fingerboard. either way, its gonna have stinless steel frets.

this is the main objective to this project. i wanna bass, built to my specifications that comes with stainless steel frets. i dont wanna go buy another bass because the frets are worn out. i dont wanna pay for a fretjob on a bass that i been playing for a while. i want the frets to last forever!

anyhow, someone asked about pickups ..........

was looking yesterday. since its up to me, i'm definately gonna go with the p/j configuration, in passive. i've been very happy with them so i think i'm gonna do another bartolini wire job. i'm also thinking instead of a single coil in the j, bridge position i'll put a big old humbucking soapbar ... just always liked the sound from the soapbars better ... but that doesnt mean that ittl work here. i've always been happy with the replacement dimarzio p split in my washburn but dont know what they offer in soapbar. i noticed that semour duncan's are quite affordable but think i'de prefer something nicer. i just cant afford the barts. was also thinking of trying something new like those rio grande "!muy grande!" pickups ... they look honkin.

by all means, i'm open to taking a look at some suggestions if anyone knows about something interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:26 am

Sounds killer, dude. Good luck with taking that finish off.

I think that both black of pearloid would be really cool, but if it were up to me, I'd choose black...of course Rolling Eyes Naw, I think that it'd go better with the P/J pickup configuration because it's more neutral in my mind.

DiMarzio doesn't have any soapbar style pickups. As far as humbuckers go, they have the Model One and the Split P, but that's it for bass. You could try an X2N/X2N-7, but that probably isn't what you're looking for. Why not save up and wait to get some Barts? That sounds like what'd fit best. I've got the pickups from my Ibanez BTB, which are Bartolini-designed and Bartolini-sized that I could give you (they aren't doing me a lick of good) until you got the loot to get a bona-fide Bartolini soapbar.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:27 am

i been boogering around with this body for about 3 weeks now.

the paint came off well enuff ... it just took time. (and 100 sheets of sandpaper)

i need to know if anyone knows anything about the woods and veneers that fender and/or fender mexico uses. anyone? anyone?

i dont know if this isnt wood (printed or grained plastic veneer) or if its chemicaly treated with something so its impervious and non pourous. i tried stain, water based stain, pre stain treatment, gel stain, dyes, water baths, alcohol baths, steel wool, fine grit sandpapered surface, and ruff grit sandpaper surface. nothing penetrated and actually colored this wood blue. weird.

i checked online about ather projects similar to mine and found one exactly and they made it sound like falling off a log. i did everything the same way and got no results. this surface just wouldnt stain!

http://www.projectguitar.com/menu/tutorial.htm

i diddnt think any of the fender mexican models had anything but solid paint on them, so i dont know why they were veneered, or veneered with a finished piece of whatever it is, if it was only gonna be painted. really weird.

i decided i put enuff time into it and my girlfriend decided that i'de put enuff time into it like a week ago, so i just needed to surrender to the fact that i wanst gonna get what i wanted. i have all the materials ... i'll try it again with another bass in the future.

i'm thinking more along the lines of a transparent paint for next time. dont know much about it.

so acting on my surrender ... i just did this and was done with it ...........




i guess it looks kinda cool. i never had quite sucha blue bass before. this is 3 coats of blue laquer and 2 of satin clear. i'm gonna do some finish detail work with some fine grit and put 2 or 3 more layers of clear on it. not what i was going for ... next time.

the pockets for the pickups and trem are gonna be flat blacked out. waiting for my pickups to come in so i can cut my templates and do my routering.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:33 am

i just re read the last post from boots.

thanx for the offer boots ... but i'm trying to keep this hosehold and ibanez free zone.

furreal, i just bought an economy humbucker for now. its got decent output and will achieve what i'm going for. plus, i'm gonna use a dimarzio split p humbucker and that will drive the main sound of this bass. i look at the bridge humbucker as just an accentuation of the sound. if i really dig what i've done with this bass, i'll probably go with the basslines phase II or maybe even a q tuner.

and yes, black annodized picguard and black hardware. this color blue is just so ... BLUE ... i need something to tone it down a bit.



and plus ... i'm not steve harris. actually, this color is a bit different than his bass ... and not metallic flake.



the fretboard will be ebony on a maple neck.

i'm actually thinking of making the peghead veneer either black annodized brass or that pattern printed on vinyl pressure sens material (sticker) ... depends on what looks better, works better and how much thickness i can get away with (actuall brass plate is much thicker).
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:29 am

Hey! Still looks pretty cool. I know what you mean by BLUE, man! Laughing That color finish would be really spiffy under very high gloss.

I understand, man. I think that experience with the Ergodine kinda soured you taste for Ibbys, huh? I understand. I posted that way before you came to the decision to buy the Economy/SD pickup.

Could you finish the face of the peghead the same blue as the body and then use some anodized brass to make a truss rod cover? Or you could cut some anodized brass to cover the whole face of the headstock, then drill out holes in it not for the tuning posts but so that the brass fits around the nuts/washers...so the tuners attach to the wood and the brass fits over them. That make any sense?
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:42 pm

Looks great so far, MadMike! Wink

I think that the Mexican Fenders are made of poplar, and I am not too certain what the American Fenders use.

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:58 pm

EricHaven wrote:
Looks great so far, MadMike! Wink

I think that the Mexican Fenders are made of poplar, and I am not too certain what the American Fenders use.

Mexi Fenders are mainly made of alder, a rare model might be ash.

American ones also mainly alder, sometimes ash.

The reason your stain didn't work was because under the paint there is a heavy duty sealer, you need to sand through that too.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:32 pm

Is the wood sealed so that the solid finish will adhere properly to it?
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:49 am

no, not gonna paint the peghead blue. simply ... i used all that can of laquer on the body. i could reorder another can but ... i think i kinda want the annodized black peghead. just something different.

i went with the satin clear laquer finish. just what i had for the job to put on over the stain that didnt work. i actually kinda like it better than a high gloss coat. less fingerprints maybe? i still need to do my routering for kahler and pickups before i put the last 3 finish coats on.

removing the holes in the brass for the tuners to mount directly to the wood does make sense.

i believe this body is alder. sealer? that makes sense ... but why would they do that??? its seled in laquer from the factory. does every manufacturer do that?

trying to sand it off is not a possibility ... the veneer is way to thin for me to get all that crud off without going thru it. i have gone thru it in a few small places, like the mysterious circle rout under the pickguard edges. whats underneath is not pretty.

ultimately ... i wanted a blue bass ... its blue. not what i wanted but i think jagger said it the best. this is a mexican p that goes for what, $160 new? this was just an experiment and an exercise to obtain some knowledge in the building of basses. i'de be a whole lot more concerned about it if i spent $300 - $400 on a tiger maple veneer or korina body. fender p basses ... now i know whats under that paint!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:04 pm

I agree...I think the anodized brassis a really cool look and it compliments a vivid blue very well. It adds a little darkness, texture, and cools it down some.

You're going to use smaller, sealed tuners (like what was on your Ibanez) on this one? If so, I think that having the anodized brass go completely around the tuners would look really sharp.

Another thing you could do (I don't know how realistic this is) is if you could find a drill bit that's like a Forstner bit (in that it has a flat head so that it can bore a hole that has a flat bottom) for metal, then you could drill out the hole for the tuner's shaft to go through (about 1.4cm, I think?) and then if you don't have enough room for the washer to screw on top of the anodized plate, take that flat-tipped bit in a drill press and take out a tiny bit the same diameter as the washer/nut of the tuner, recessing the tuner's mounting hardware.

Now, I don't know if there is such a bit, if that's practical in your situation (if you'll be able to reach the mounting hardware when the nut's past the top of the brass plate), or if there's a better way of going about it (I remember you had that lazer engraver at your work...), or if even then you'll be able to thread the nut.

But in any case, I think that the anodized brass faceplate sounds like it'd be SICK on that Warmoth headstock. Maybe give it a 45° bevel around the edge? It could be tasty, man!

That is a weird little route on there....no clue what's up with that? It would make me want to put a switch there! lol!

That's a cool project, man. I hope it turns out working well for ya!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:38 pm

The"weird little rout" holds the body to the CNC machine while cutting, they're even on MIA basses now.

Put a small clock in there.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:07 pm

Aah!! Good call, Bill! Wink

I still think that'd be a great spot for a pickup selector or a coil tap or something Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:11 pm

you could put your weed in there! jocolor

i dont think i'm gonna go with the smaller tuning pegs. even tho i dont like fender p's that is one thing i've always liked about them ... huge honkin tuning pegs. i ordered new gotohs for the ibanez and ended up putting them on my nice washburn and putting the chrome washburns on the ibanez.

i'm definately going with black gotohs.

yes, i can cnc the annodized brass or aluminum to any shape necessary to fit the tuners with the laser engraver. i can go thru the metal plate at a 90 degree angle and put any degree bevel half or 2/3rds thru. i was even thinking on having a warmoth logo on the peghead before the plate veneer idea ... i can engrave it on there!

got my humbucker today and started making my templates for routering. this pickup is exactly what it is called ... economy ... not yet determined to be junk, it is built exactly for what i need it for, but its just kinda ... i dunno ... light, crooked, thin? its definately not a dimarzio or a semour duncan. it is so not a bart or anything like a boutique. i can always upgrade in the future. i still wanna try rio grande and q tuner pickups.

i'm starting to save my nickles for the neck.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:31 pm

Hahaha...dude! That's what battery boxes in active basses are for! Laughing

I live for those huge tuners, but only certain ones, you know? I think those Fender ones are fugly, but I LOVE the old Ibanez Smooth Tune IIs that you find on the Roadstar IIs and I love the Schaller-esque tuners on my Jackson/Charvel basses. I think they look so metal! Twisted Evil





But that's not to say that I don't like certain compact tuning machines. Wink

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Bass/2/Gotoh_Compact_Bass_Tuners.html

Are you going to be using those? I'd have to say that my favorite small tuners are the Schaller M4 series. They look sleek and feel big. They're the "big boy" of compact, sealed tuners lol!

http://bass-machine-heads.com/hp135298/M4-Serie.htm?ITServ=C2594a1dfX120eabe3367XYbe7

Dude!! That sounds awesome! I think that would look SO zazzy--the anodized faceplate with 45 degree bevels around the edge, mounted around the tuners, with Warmoth engraved on it? If you have the time and whatnot, I say go for it. That would look killer!

How is it crooked? scratch

Dude--I've wanted to give Rio Grande pickups a try for a while now. I think their Powerbuckers look awesome. They make me hungry for ribs, too! pig

http://riograndepickups.com/scart/ProductPage.asp?ImageLink=MGPBBB&ProductName=For+Bass
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:57 pm

I've seen those before. They look great. You should use those mike. But you have to post sound clips!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:01 pm

And video! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:37 am

yeah ... those are the gotohs i'm getting. definately top of the line top quality tuning machine.

i just like the beefier ones because i've snapped 2 of the skinny ones in the last year. i wondered if it was the tension back and forth from a trem ... but i broke the first one without a trem. i think its we just get what we pay for.

speaking of .........

the economy pickup is made of thin plastic. its not as solid as i'de like it to be. and crooked you ask ... the mounting feet holes arent centered in the middle of the feet on all 4. i mean ... its acceptable ... but its just ... economy.

i'll definately post some info when i try a rio grande. perhaps not this bass ... my washburn still has its stock pickups ... perhaps that.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:46 am

Cool! Gotoh guitar tuners look and feel solid. I can only imagine the bass pickups are just as good.

I dig the big ones for that reason as well. With the Schaller style ones, no fear of then slipping, breaking, or anything. Plus they look really cool! I also have good faith in

Hahaha, it's the people's pickup, comrade! geek

The Rio Grande modern Jazz pickups have a pretty cool vibe as well...or the pitbulls. I'm curious about them. There isn't a lot of info on their website and not a lot of people seem to have used them. I think Barkless Dog has a Pitbull HB in his Gibson EB bass, actually. I'm curious to hear what his experience with Rio pickups is.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:49 am

madmike wrote:
i'm trying to save as much loot as possible for the warmouth explorer project (i just deserve a really nice bass) and i want that new mesa rig too.

Looking back on your first post, you couldn't sound more like me! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 02, 2009 8:54 am

go dremel! go router! go dremel! go router! go dremel! go router!

cutting the right template and having the right tools has yielded me awesome results!



next is the humbucker cavity.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 02, 2009 10:32 am

Nice, man! What kinda bit did you use for the Dremeling?

I would like to get a router one of these days...could come in handy. Either that or a DeWalt drill, a drill press, and some Forstner bits What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 02, 2009 2:12 pm

Wow! Slam-dunk on the routing there, MadMike! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 02, 2009 2:22 pm

Word! That's some pretty carving!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 02, 2009 3:02 pm

Looking good! I take it you're not going to recess the Kahler at all?
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun May 03, 2009 5:43 am

i used 1/4" bit (dremel) to get those nicey nice rounds in the corners.

i used one of those old rubbermaid containers all cut up and layers crazyglued together to make a template. i'de like to find better material (3/8" phenolic sheet) but this worked well.

this pocket is .8" deep and i still have the template so ........

it depends where the neck sits when i get it. i dont have another p to take measurements and i cant expect that an aftermarket neck will be the same. i still havent heard back from all the companies i've contacted for a quote. some of these companies have bass necks that go for as much as 4 and 5hundred dollars ... thats kinda nutz. i just need a simple 2x2 maple neck, 34", 21 fret with a fender pocket spec and i'de prefer SS frets.

i can just rout the pocket deeper and then create another template for the base of the kahler.

i cut the humbucker pocket yesterday. i did something funky with my measurements but ittl be ok ... theres more than 1/16" inbetween the pickup and the body. (i'll just paint it all black!)
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 6:45 am

the project is coming along nicely MM. there is something about medium blue that also attracts my eyes. Someday in my family there will be a blue bass, and perhaps it will be a refin on my red charvel, since a light blue was never offered for the Charvels in that color, that would be my only alternative, and I don't see too many blue and maple necked basses out there.

you talk about a Frankenstein?....If I were you I would name it MikeEnStein Smile
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 9:07 am

amimbari wrote:
the project is coming along nicely MM. there is something about medium blue that also attracts my eyes. Someday in my family there will be a blue bass, and perhaps it will be a refin on my red charvel, since a light blue was never offered for the Charvels in that color, that would be my only alternative, and I don't see too many blue and maple necked basses out there.

you talk about a Frankenstein?....If I were you I would name it MikeEnStein Smile

That's a good idea, man. A blue 1B would look really sharp!
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 9:44 am

Chowderboots wrote:
amimbari wrote:
the project is coming along nicely MM. there is something about medium blue that also attracts my eyes. Someday in my family there will be a blue bass, and perhaps it will be a refin on my red charvel, since a light blue was never offered for the Charvels in that color, that would be my only alternative, and I don't see too many blue and maple necked basses out there.

you talk about a Frankenstein?....If I were you I would name it MikeEnStein Smile

That's a good idea, man. A blue 1B would look really sharp!

and JUST when you think it is NEVER TO BE FOUND in the same(close) blue as MM is doing his in,---oh BROTHER MARTIN do I wish I had an extra couple hundred to play with!!!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=130304132196

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 11:58 am

WTF, I go 2 years without seeing a blue bass, and now they are all coming out of the "woodwork"-ing shop....olol

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=541408

read message 16.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 1:50 pm

That 2B looks like the color on my Charvel a little bit, but mine's a bit lighter.

It seems as though sometimes the thought alone opens your eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 7:06 pm

Wow! That color blue is striking! Shocked

(starts to re-think his devotion to black basses)

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon May 04, 2009 10:59 pm

I love black...it works so well for me. But white would be cool as well. In some cases red, as well. If I were to get a Rickenbacker, I wouldn't mind a natural finish at all. The way an aged natural Ric looks...mmh...
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue May 05, 2009 3:33 am

before this band and it had its theme ... just about everything was either gray/silver or black. my basses, my bass rig, my car, my wardrobe.

i started laying out some artwork for this project and the royal blue monochromatic vibe just carried some real positive vibes with it.

and the black finish on this p bass was cruddy and just overly typical ... the most typical bass in the most typical color. yuk!

i am really liking the hughes of blue on a bass. now if i can just find a blue bass that i really want .... like this one .......



wal and explorers ... they just dont build em anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue May 05, 2009 4:03 am

Nice work. You're doing a a great job.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue May 05, 2009 9:06 am

I know, dude. I'm very curious about Wals...but not too curious since they're so hard to find.

Explorers, yeah. Not too easy to find brand new ones. I'm surprised that LTD came out with that Explorer model. Looks nice, but I'm not sure if I'd buy it. Those Aria Explorers look pretty neat, I think. And no more is the Kelly bass from Jackson.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue May 05, 2009 5:46 pm

Or you could get a Warmoth explorer, or even a Warwick Stryker, though they are VERY expensive
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue May 05, 2009 10:40 pm

Eww I don't dig those Warwick John Entwistle basses. Not at all what he was into...they don't really do anything for me. They don't do the John Entwislte-y thing and they don't do the "I'm a cool bass on my own" thing, either. Bah.

And yeah a Warmoth Explorer would be kickass.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Wed May 06, 2009 3:44 am

most of the warwicks are very nice basses. they put some real fine craftsmanship into mass produced instruments. everyone of them i've picked up has been very nice and sound great ..........

i just dont like them. thick, heavy, chunky? i dont know how to describe it because i'm not exactly shure why it is. and except for this stryker, i'm not too attracted to the bodies they put out. i never even saw one of these strykers before. the vampire is kinda interesting but i couldnt see myself on stage playing it. the crusier is interesting too ... but the both of these are overpriced for something i'm not completely happy with how they play.

and the headstocks are ugly. No

the neck i'm looking at buying from warmoth for the p project is pretty darn expensive. i guess i'm okay with it because its stepping twards what i really want. the explorer bass. i'm doing this project on a cheap p bass that is icky. if it turns out decent, i'll save up and get the explorer body and transfer the neck and all the parts from the icky p. tada! explorer bass. nice thing about warmoth is everything they do is to a standard set of dimensions, wether you would decide to go fender or gibson styles ... everything specs out the same. i shopped around and found a lot of companies do this (ok ... 2 isnt a lot) but i've found warmoth quality to be much better.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Wed May 06, 2009 7:32 am

madmike wrote:
most of the warwicks are very nice basses. they put some real fine craftsmanship into mass produced instruments. everyone of them i've picked up has been very nice and sound great ..........

i just dont like them. thick, heavy, chunky? i dont know how to describe it because i'm not exactly shure why it is. and except for this stryker, i'm not too attracted to the bodies they put out. i never even saw one of these strykers before. the vampire is kinda interesting but i couldnt see myself on stage playing it. the crusier is interesting too ... but the both of these are overpriced for something i'm not completely happy with how they play.

and the headstocks are ugly. No

My sentiments exactly.

madmike wrote:
the neck i'm looking at buying from warmoth for the p project is pretty darn expensive. i guess i'm okay with it because its stepping twards what i really want. the explorer bass. i'm doing this project on a cheap p bass that is icky. if it turns out decent, i'll save up and get the explorer body and transfer the neck and all the parts from the icky p. tada! explorer bass. nice thing about warmoth is everything they do is to a standard set of dimensions, wether you would decide to go fender or gibson styles ... everything specs out the same. i shopped around and found a lot of companies do this (ok ... 2 isnt a lot) but i've found warmoth quality to be much better.

What's the other company you've come across?

So the neck you're getting is going to be a maple Jazz neck with the Warmoth headstock and stainless steel frets? I could imagine their necks getting a little pricey. I don't know how long it would be before you would get your neck--6-8 weeks?

I've also heard that their fret jobs aren't always the best and getting the fretwork done by a luthier with one of those PLEK contraptions...but I can't vouch for the accuracy of that statement because I've only played on one Warmoth neck that was pretty old and not fretted by Warmoth.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu May 07, 2009 3:43 am

usa custom.

they seemed a bit more "low end" and conducted their bussiness as such. they dont have prices on their website except for base wood charges and ask that you fax them for a quote. i did and 10 days later, sent them an e mail ... still didnt hear from them. 2 days ago, i searched for a phone number and just called them. the guy read my info off the fax like it was sitting right on his desk! the guy seemed nice enuff and i understand that they are a small compant and very busy ... but i cant chase someone around to produce what i'm paying for. it kinda felt like they were avoiding my business. scratch

maple neck, 2x2 headstock (warmoth), 21 fret ss with an ebony fretboard, jazz style with 1.5" nut.

the price from usa custom was $10 cheaper and they offer to pick up the shipping.

usa custom necks come without a nut and without template screw holes drilled. theres another $10 + shipping for a nut.

i think its the ebony fretboard thats costing so much.

ya know ... maybe i'm kinda obsessed about the stainless frets, but as it stands right now ... i have 3 basses in working condition ... 2 of them can use some fretwork. i've retired another 3 basses over the last 5 years due to shot frets. none of these basses are worth paying for a fretjob or a new $300 neck ... i'de just go buy a new bass. if i spend more on a better quality bass, if its not a custom, i can expect nickel frets wearing down in a few years and having to spend $300 again ... at least it would be on a bass thats worth it.

ive driven wifey crazy with the rebuild projects. our home is kinda small and its not like i have a "workshop" here. i am still really compelled to go out and buy the tools necessary for refretting a bass. cant get something done right ... gotta do it yourself. filings for divorce and i get thrown out on the street, i let my beard grow and become a homeless vagrant dude who talks to himself and smells like vinegar. i pick up drinking pints of cheap booze to numb the reality that has been caused by my inability to get a bass with a good fretjob. Rolling Eyes

ok ... maybe a bit overdramatic.

its funny how every bass builder i've talked to talks about the horrible tone quality from ss frets. i had one and there is a difference ... its actually kinda better. crisper, sharper tones. its like they shy away from using stainless, even if they offer it at all. sure, stainless is harder to work with and dulls the tools but everything good in life cant be easy. i think i figured it out ... they want a bass to be shot after 3 or 4 years! if they made me a bass that would last forever ... how many new basses would they sell?

PLEK contraption? never heard of it. i will investigate .............
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu May 07, 2009 4:00 am

you gotta be kiddin me?????!!!!!??????

http://www.plek.com/

theres just gotta be an easier way.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu May 07, 2009 6:39 pm

I have a feeling that the PLEK is for people with a working luthier shop, and not just something you just got out and buy.

And bear in mind that just because a number of so-called "experts" give you a negative testimonial about something doesn't make it "bad". Remember that we have all heard horror stories about having trems on basses, and yet we all have great experiences with them. So I say that if you like the sound, feel, and durability that stainless steel frets give you, then do it. And don't let anyone else talk you out of what works for you.

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu May 07, 2009 9:53 pm

Sorry...I think I phrased that badly. I meant maybe you could take the neck to a luthier with one of those things, if the fretwork is a real big issue for you, you know? I'm just saying it's an option since, Mike, you seem to be really fed up with poor quality frets and I've talked to some people who have been really pleased with the way instruments fretted with a PLEK have turned out--people with a similar type of discerning taste. So if you have the bread and willingness to hand the fetwork over to a luthier with a PLEK, it might turn out good for you.

I think that stainless steel frets would sound and feel fantastic. I've heard that they they feel really glassy...and I'll bet. Some Roto 66s and stainless frets...YUM. Hey, you're paying the luthier to do it...they're working for you, right? Screw their opinions at that point.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 4:18 am

i just look at that machine and think its a bit of overkill. i'm sure it does an awesome job! remember ... this thing just dresses frets ... it doesnt install them.

if i just did fret jobs or manufacturing ... i'de look into getting one. aparently dressing frets is a good business to be in seeing how quick i go thru them.

after some research ... doing a plek job is almost as expensive as refretting. plus finding one. plus the shipping.

i just think the best way to go is like i saw on that video with carl thompson, refretting claypools bass. he was hammering them in like its just no big deal ... and i really dont think it is. i'll find the video later. i want to learn how to do this.

furreal, i think the luthiers bum on the stainless steel frets because they dont want to work with it. i've worked with stainless plate steel before ... you cant grind it, you cant plazma cut it too well, you definately cant tortch it, you cant arc weld it unless you get the right core and gas, its kills drillbits and saw blades. there are ways to work with stainless ... but your shop needs to be equiped for that. if someone uses their regular fretting tools ... the stainless will ruin them. they dont want to go out and buy tools specificly for stainless.

that and they want you to have to come back for a new bass or a new fretjob every few years. if they made something that lasts forever ... how much repeat business would they have?

... or at least that what seems to make sense to me.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 9:41 am

Chowderboots wrote:
Hey, you're paying the luthier to do it...they're working for you, right? Screw their opinions at that point.

Someone comes to me for a job, and starts talking like that about stuff I know a *lot* more about, I don't need their money, and suggest asking someone else.



Oh, and stainless frets don't last forever either, just wear slower.
They also kill strings much faster. Not a problem for Eddie Van Halen, as mentioned earlier.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 2:31 pm

It depends on what the issue is. If someone comes asking for something that isn't possible because it will ruin equipment, is unrealistic no matter how many times you slice it, that's different than if someone is asking for something that the professional doesn't personally enjoy or thinks looks bad, you know? At least, that's how I figure at least.

There are a lot of fine lines, here, I think. Now when you're in that situation where you find that you don't like a client's ideas, but it will work (artistic choice), you can advise against it and cite reasons why you think it wouldn't be the best option, and if the client still wants it, you kinda have to suck it up, you know? But if it's something that's unsafe or unreasonable and they think that they have it figured out better than you, then there are problems.

And I guess that's where I'm coming from. If that still sounds douchebaggy, maybe that's just how it works in the theatre world.

Meh I think I have a problem stating things too bluntly. Damn laziness Mad
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