Bass 2

2014 Overhaul

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The control cavity on this bass has proved to be too small to be workable. So it'll need enlarging and a new cover created.

The locking neutrick jack needs better securing this time. When taking out the guitar lead, It was too easy to pull out the socket with the jack and take half of the electrics out in the process. It's happened a few time and the last time took most of the wiring with it.

The battery hole is a mess...and needs sorting out properly. This bass is a beautiful design, but more complex than my wood work skills could cope with at the time. I rushed it too, I wanted it complete before my son was born and I literally made this bass in about a month. A few areas needed a lot more time and craftsmanship. The finish is pretty poor and when my six string is finished, this bass will get a "back to wood" re-finish. Which it really needed from day one. Thankfully, my skills and tools have come on a long way over the last 14 years! It's become my most used instrument, which is why I need to update what I can while still keeping it usable in the process. A re-finish will need dissassembly and I won't be able to use it for about 3 months. The bass needs it's laquer sanding back leveling. The whole bass needs a complete refinish.

The general electrics need a re-visit. There's substandard shielding and some of the switched aren't wired or grounded correctly. Currently, most of the electrics have been emergency bypassed and the there's a big grounding issue. The 3 band EQ is currently disabled and needs fixing. The controls are vol / vol and there's a wiring fault where one volume turned completely down turns the other volume down too. The phase switching works but there's a lot of crackles and pops and a lot of poor shielding noise.

I enlarged the cavity by routing using a template. Unfortunatly the router bit caught some of the electrics and shredded the wiring. Thankfully, the pickup cables were ok, so I took out all of the electrics and started again.

The battery box is a bit of a mess. It was poorly envisoned and badly crafted. I'll machine a new piece of ash to fit this hole and rout out a neat hole for a Goto battery box to fit in nicely.

The Bartolini 3 band EQ is currently dissengaged and unsoldered. So I need to re-think the grounding between the two sites (upper horn and control cavity). There's a 40 ohm load between them and that's really not going to help the grounding. The upper horn is only half shieled too. The Bartolini circuit is a three band cut / boost with a three way mid frequency switch.

This bass doesn't really need the circuit...the output from the pickups is already substantial (read loud) and there's loads of tonal options with the phase switching. But it would be nice to have the same EQ system on all of my basses! Although these days I plug my basses into a MXR bass pre-amp stomper so the on board EQ is a little redundant.

It really was staring from scratch again. I've forgotten how to wire pots, pickups and phase switches...I't been a re-learning curve again!

The first thing I did was to lay a new copper shielding plate so that I can ground better.

The Thee band Bartolini circuit is currently disengaged. And I re-started the re-wire slowly and in stages. First, I wanted to get a simple vol / vol arrangement. Then I soldered in the front pick up phase switch. With both pickups full on, the front phase switch make a nice mid scoop. I then wired in the more complex rear humbucker series / single coil / parallel swtich. This went well, but doesn't really make much tonal difference due to the close spacing of the two coils. The volume difference is more obvious! I've eliminated most of the hum, pops and squeeks...with only half shielding! But at least every thing is properly grounded this time, including the bridge.

The Eq switch is currently broken and needs replacing and the EQ volume knob isn't soldered to anything at the moment.