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  1. Sorry for radio silence - computer playing silly buggers! Sadly not! Hmm, yes, I see the idea, but unsure whether it would work. I really need to have a good sit down with it but at the moment finding the time to devote just to this is tricky. Annoying, as I'd hoped to have it all done by now!
  2. One thing which might stymie any great plans is that there’s a socket on the shell to store the drum tuning key - this is/was a Gretsch feature but I’m think you could also buy aftermarket ones for a while. Anyway, it’s essentially a threaded insert that is fastened down by a sort of captive nut. It’s about 25mm (but probably the imperial equivalent) so larger than any sockets I have, and using an adjustable spanner just means the whole thing turns in situ. It can be seen in the pictures below. I’ve tried gripping the threaded part with molegrips and loosening the nut, but it’s not having it. I may try heating the nut, or perhaps some light percussive maintenance but if it’s not going anywhere, it sort of limits the refinish options!
  3. Thanks - my experience with wrapping has been, er, sub-optimal, shall we say? I think one of the things I haven't got to grips with in the past is how much to leave around the bearing edges, with the end result that once wrapped, the heads become too tight. I suppose provided I got over that, a wrap would be an easy way to cover up the stains in the wood. My initial thoughts were simply to oil the wood to put it back to how the previous owner had it - I don't want to take too much away from how he had it (but for no practical reason, I suppose - simply [possibly misplaced] sentimentality?). I suppose it could be argued it's reliced...😋 Possibly - but I expect they'd darken as well with the oil, meaning it'd end up more prominent. I think I've come to the following potential options: 1 - do a bit more sanding, hope I get rid of the stains, then oil the wood to a decent finish. 2 - stain the shell a colour to cover the stains, then oil. 3 - wrap the shell; or 4 - veneer it, then optionally stain, and then finish. I have to say I'm erring towards 4, because of @Andyjr1515's recent veneering masterclass. My thinking is a veneer is likely to be thinner than plastic wrap, so less likely to experience the binding heads. What I quite fancy doing is using some marquetry inlays and veneer strips, but that is probably so far outside my sphere of competence that it's pure fantasy. I guess if I can figure out the appropriate circumference for a veneer and then order both veneer and inlays cut to the same length, it might take some of the guesswork out....
  4. Thought I'd post this here - not quite a Build Diary, more a light tickle memoir, of summat what ain't a bass, for anyone who might be interested. There's a backstory to this - I picked this up quite a few years ago. It used to belong to a well-known player who sadly died too young, and some equipment was sold to raise money for his family. My family used to know his parents when he was young, so I thought the least I could do was contribute some money. Fast forward a few years and I have let it get into a right state. Much of this is down to where it's been stored - one of the things that attracted us to this house was the large stone outbuilding that the owners assured us was dry. Piled all my musical gear in there - cue finding out actually it's quite damp. This snare drum was one of the casualties. Although it has a Gretsch badge and hardware on it, I don't think the shell is a Gretsch - though there are exceptions, the factory drums tended to have a lining of 'silver sealer' on the inside. Much of the hardware is correct, albeit I think the throwoff is a Yamaha. Lots of corrosion on the inside: So I've decided to strip it down and try and bring it back to life. The shell didn't appear to have any lacquer on it (suggesting again it's not a factory drum) and my initial thoughts were to use some Tru-oil to finish the shell inside and out with. However, after stripping the shell and a light sanding it's clear that the corroded fixings have left stains on the shell: I expect these will also show through any finishing oil, so I'm going to have a think about what to do. Perhaps I might try staining the shell. I put the worst of the hardware in some vinegar to try and lift the rust: There were also a couple of small cosmetic cracks in the shell so I've put some superglue into those which should hopefully stop them propagating.
  5. Oh, and I think I read somewhere that some of the Yamaha pickups are a different impedance to 'normal' ones - the Yammy preamp buffers/boosts them but some aftermarket preamps don't work, so perhaps worth checking that out too, though if it's standard jazz-size pickups you'd be fine to change those (mine has non-standard soapbars).
  6. Does there have to be special mounts on the frame for the locks?
  7. I have a much later TRB and I’m fine with the electronics, but based on experience with other basses, one of the best things you can do is fit a John East preamp. Have a look here and there’s bound to be a configuration that will drop in: https://www.east-uk.com/index.php/bass/u-retro.html
  8. I think that you have to identify what would be a 'gig-stopper' and work down from there. For example, I recently went to a rehearsal, and my bass just 'went'. Changed battery, tried with preamp pedal, without, direct into amp, changed leads - nothing worked. If that had been a gig, and I had a backup bass, it would have been the work of seconds to swap over. (Transpired it was, in fact, a dodgy lead). As it was, I used a lead from someone else into the PA. So if, for whatever reason, your bass 'stops' working, what can you do to ameliorate that problem? If it's a head/cab issue, at least you can go into the PA, particularly if you use a preamp pedal too. Pedals - you can bypass. Leads - easy to take a spare (unless you're me above!). Strings - bring a pack of spares. Etc etc
  9. Yep, I'm anticipating that - thanks.
  10. Good shout - thanks!
  11. I have an outbuilding, which is what sold me on our house when we bought it - I intended to use it as a studio and store all my musical equipment in there. Unfortunately it transpired it suffered catastrophic damp problems and rapidly damaged a lot of gear (lots of mould/mildew, finish cracking etc etc) and knackered a load of music books etc. We eventually got the money together to get it tanked, and once it had all dried out, put everything back in again. Only to find it damp inside again. Mould all up the walls, some cheap MDF Ikea bookshelves warped in a couple of months. It's only single glazed, and there's a big gap under the door, so airflow isn't an issue. However, it just wasn't ever getting dry enough inside. In the end, I purchased a dehumidifier off eBay. Since then it's been great - started out around 85% humidity, but running it on a constant has dropped that down to 60% and no further problems. The model I bought can be set to cut off when it reaches the target humidity and I've fitted a permanent drainage tube so if I don't go out there for a few days, it keeps working. It's one of these, if anyone is interested: https://www.screwfix.com/p/blyss-wdh-316db-16ltr-dehumidifier/368gy I paid about half that as it was used, but I'd say for the use I put it to, it'd be worth paying full price for another.
  12. I think that could partially be the angle of the picture - not had any problems with the B (but it could do with the slot widening anyway as it's a bit fatter than the last string that was one there). Yes, that's what caught my eye - I suspect it probably had a new nut at some point in its life and it wasn't quite bob on.
  13. Playing my relatively new-to-me 5-stringer, I notice I kept pinging the G-string off the fretboard. It's not a huge problem, but annoying from time to time. A closer inspection suggests that the G-string is closer to the edge than the B, and that there is a larger gap at the nut between the D and G than any other string. Essentially, it seems to me that the nut needs to be recut so that the slot for the G-string is a little closer inboard. Here's a pic: Given there isn't much likelihood of my local guitar shop opening soon, I was thinking about buying one of the pre-slotted Graphtech nuts and giving that a whirl. Has anyone done that? Any particular type better or worse than any other? Or should I have a stab at doing my own with a couple of synthetic blanks? I could get some needle files (not shelling out for proper nut files at the mo!) and probably get a reasonable approximation of the current nut. Anything I should watch out for (other than horlicksing it completely)?
  14. I've been going between 4 and 5 for years now. First three times with a 5'er I gave up, flogged it and went back to 4. Each time I thought 'this is the time', bought a 5-string, played it, ended up with fingers in a tangle (and once memorably played a tune at a gig an entire string down!). However, the last time I persevered and actually sat down to figure out what it was that was causing me difficulties. I realised that I can't cope with a narrow string spacing, so looked for a 5'er that was close to the spacing of my 4'er and that seems to have done the trick, along with forcing myself to only play the 5-string. I recently picked up the 4 string and the neck felt too thin and I constantly found myself looking for the missing B-string. I didn't actually realise how much I used it/relied on it until then. I've since done a couple of gigs and recording with it and it's fine. If you're really struggling though, one option might be to string it E - C. I tried this as part of my coping strategy the last bass-but-one, and it worked fine - I just realised I'd be better off with the B than the top C.
  15. My understanding of powder-coating is that it can be problematic for small, fiddly parts (such as saddles in bridges) because the coating is relatively thick. I know people who have had it done on things like bike frames, and it gummed up threads and put parts out of alignment because of the thickness of the coating, so it had to be cut back. If you're prepared to properly mask and/or ream out bits that have been coated, it might be okay, but I think spray painting - or anodising if metal as suggested above - would potentially be better, depending on the finish you're looking for.
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