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Manton Customs

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  1. What @Norris said, (provided it is definitely Nitro) would be the fix. How come it's Nitro, is it a vintage P bass? I don't think you're in much danger of losing the decal though, unless there is an underlying finish adhesion issue or you keep whacking it into things . So the option to just leave it as mojo is there. If you do decide to fix it- Wood dust on Maple doesn't really work, Maple is too pale and the wood dust will darken when glued/finished, so the filled areas will actually be more obvious. I can't actually see an application for it here anyway either. Also if you buy Nitro sold for spraying equipment it will speed things up, as the aerosols have a lot of thinners in them, so most of what you put down evaporates. The spraying type comes with a higher solid content and is supposed to be thinned to spray. Where you buy it from will depend on how thick it is. I have some here which supposed to be thinned 50/50....it's very thick and treacly which makes it good for drop filling. That's what this technique is called by the way, so if you want to do some googling of "drop filling lacquer" you may find some more helpful info. Anyway, you could perhaps buy a bottle of the spraying variety for the drop filling the larger areas and an aerosol for the final over coats if you don't have spray equipment. It may also be good to start with the thinner stuff so you can wick it in there as Norris described. You should definitely be able to solidify it, but it'll probably not look perfect.
  2. Meguiars Ultimate works well (smells good too) and if you want mega levels of gloss and more importantly an even nicer smell you can follow up with their ultimate polish too. That's a finer version of the ultimate, so it's still mildly abrasive - does little for removing scratches, but gives an extra shine. I also really like the Menzerna range of compounds, they seem to perform a bit better than Meguiars, but are less available without buying online. As others have mentioned take care not to burn through round the edges, but usually the factory poly is very thick, so quite difficult to burn through with this level of compound.
  3. As explained in my previous post there is too much exposure on the Ebony fingerboard picture, it is in fact as black as Ebony gets. Both basses are lacquered, not sure why you'd think otherwise, unless you're actually suggesting that the colour can affect the tone. If that's what you're getting at - the black bass was dyed rather than having colour coats sprayed, so there is no additional finish thickness. Not having a pic of the headstock is an odd observation, they are on my website but I'm not allowed to direct people there, so have tried to avoid doing so. Sorry I can only laugh at black v.s chrome hardware and I'd be happy to do so in the face of an "aggressive audiophile" too You can not tell the density of a piece of wood by looking at a pic like this and darker does not mean denser. This is Indian Rosewood, the most common species used for instruments and well below Ebony in density, stiffness and Janka hardness. The Ebony is certainly not sapwood. Both pieces are rated as AAA grade by the suppliers due to their colour. I've included another pic at the end of this post of the headstock where you can see the Ebony and how the light is over exposing the pic in places. There are no shims in either neck pocket, I would count that as a failure if I built a bass which required shimming from day one. As said before both necks are cut from the same board and the same dimensions, so they are both under the same stress and required the same amount of truss rod adjustment. No, I didn't use a torque reader, one generally doesn't when screwing into wood. So I really don't think you have noticed any additional variables, apart from the Chrome hardware thing....lol
  4. :)...Just the lighting of the photos, the Ebony has direct sunlight on it and is buffed to a high sheen so it's reflecting back a bit. The Rosewood pic was taken on a much greyer day, so looks a bit darker than it is.
  5. I suppose! I do believe the woods make a small difference, but it's not that relevant of a difference for most people in any real world situation. This difference can be heard to a certain extent in the clips, it's definitely there, but it is fairly subtle. It's more pronounced acoustically, but these are electric basses. Both basses sound nice to my ears and if there were any characteristics there I didn't like I'd use the EQ on my amp (obviously not in the test though!). But I can't say I have ever had to do that before to make up for something which I believed was caused by wood choice. I don't believe there is one wood which is going to make an instrument sound either amazing, or unpleasant. I have used some seldom used woods (perhaps never) in guitar building and not one of them has sounded completely different. Just subtle differences again. As some woods in the same species can vary massively (Ash can be featherweight or a boat anchor for example), I don't think there's any way of accurately predicting how the bass will sound as a whole based on the species of wood picked. Especially when you start using multi species laminate necks. Another area where the tonewood thing gets a bit difficult is describing the tone...it's really not that easy to do and some people will hear different things. I've had people describe the tone in these clips in completely the opposite way that I hear and would describe it. So I generally pick my woods on suitability, stability, weights and appearance. Those things will affect the ownership experience far more than any slight differences in tone. But I'm not saying it's not there, or that this is the only way to see it.
  6. Step forward the one guy who voted option two (Ebony, Rosewood, Ebony, Rosewood) you got it right :). Thanks all for voting and commenting.
  7. For further clarification- 1, I largely agree, I’m not trying to prove anything once and for all, challenge anyone or change anyone’s mind, just provide a possibly interesting soundclip for discussion. I can say though that all pieces of wood (minus the fretboards) were cut from the same boards for both basses though. Both bodies are 1 piece, so there are only two joints - the bolt on neck joint which was milled to the exact same tolerances and the fingerboard (which you’d have to be a complete hack to get any kind of void in). So they are really as close as you can practically get with two basses. And yes I did take a reading of the pickups and have the figures written down (will provide them later) 2, Yes, but it’d be fairly impractical to record and analyse 50 basses, I was simply working with what I had on hand. 3, Yep, there will be a personal bias, I did mention the human element in the original post. As for expecting any certain results - I went into it as open minded as I could and I’m not going to disclose my thoughts on the “tonewood” subject at this time. I believe this thread can still be interesting in a number of ways without proving or dispelling anything for certain. As said at the beginning the poll is a bit of fun. They were recorded in WAV, but I can’t help what soundcloud might do to it afterwards.
  8. This subject comes up fairly often, but it’s not very often that people actually get to compare two (damn near) identical basses back to back. So, I thought I would put this sound clip up. Both basses are the same, except for the fretboard wood. They both have the same hardware, pickup, body/neck woods, setup and they both have the same strings. Both basses were recorded the same way and I did my best to play consistently (but there will always be a human element). To ensure we are not ‘hearing with our eyes’ I’m not going to reveal which one is which until the threads been open a sufficient period. There’s a poll too, but that’s more of a bit of fun as there’s a 50/50 chance of being right even if you just guess blindly (deafly!?). In the soundclip each bass is separated by the clicks counting in, whenever you hear those clicks the bass is switched. So the options are - Rosewood, Ebony, Rosewood, Ebony Ebony, Rosewood, Ebony, Rosewood Or a third option- I can hear no difference Have fun!
  9. What I was saying is there are compromises with both if you're installing yourself and there's only so big you could go with fibres. The original poster is asking about installation so I thought I'd chime in with my personal experience of doing just that. Removing the fretboard to replace a burnt out LED would definitely suck but it's not impossible either. They do tend to last a very long time also. Ive also heard of people cracking fibres when removing the neck on a bolt on bass too. Which would be just as bad as a burnt out LED. Anyway...my preference is luminlay :p. Obviously not the same effect as either but does the job on a dark stage.
  10. I've done the fibre optic thing and not sure I would do it again. They're a pain to work with and they have to be really quite small to bend enough to get them in place. It's also quite a big bunch of fibres compared to the wires of an LED chain. It does have the benefit of not having to worry about the bulb going though. Theres a tutorial for both LEDs and fibre optics over on talkbass.
  11. You can test the finish using Acetone - put a small bit of Acetone on the end of a cotton bud or tissue and wipe it on an inconspicuous area (i.e an area where it wouldn't matter if it melted the finish). If it melts/has an obvious effect, then the finish is Nitro.
  12. Generally speaking spraying poly over Nitro is not a good idea. Nitro will out gas and shrink for a long time after sprayed. It never really cures like poly does as Nitro can always be dissolved. So that could well be your problem. What poly are you using? Moving forward I'd suggest cleaning as throughly as you can then a light coat of shellac in between (which sticks to just about anything). edit: in between=before continting with topcoats.
  13. If it's like I'm visualising it's reasonably common, though a pic would help to confirm. I've seen it on basses and guitars at all prices points (cheapys, Warwicks, US Fenders amongst many others) and it's simply where the wood has moved. Being three different pieces of wood they can all move at different rates and directions. There isn't a fix unfortunately, but it usually doesn't result in anything too disastrous. In extreme cases the wood can burst at the seams, but 9 out of 10 times you just get the lines like your'e seeing now as the wood has already moved to the position it wants to be in. People don't really think of body wood moving/warping, but it's actually quite common. That being said, if sending it back is an option, I'd definitely do so.
  14. It's not quite as hard as Epoxy and can be a pain to get a decent finish with it without witness lines appearing where the layers meet. It's also a bit more brittle than Epoxy....Still a hard enough coating to use though.
  15. Can you post pics? Quite a few possibilities of cause and a pic may help identify which one.
  16. The jack is making contact with the shielding, shorting out the signal. Remove the shielding from the jack cavity or make sure the jack can't ever touch it. Also it's called an output jack
  17. A few things to keep in mind...You've got to have a very true board to get consistent mwah. Otherwise as you bring the action down it'll choke rather than sing. A low action is important also. Harder materials (such as an epoxied board) will mwah slightly more but you can still get a decent amount on a Rosewood board. There will usually be more on the higher strings though, no matter what the material. The other thing is your technique. Light finger pressure and plucking closer the neck will give you more mwah.
  18. Yes, Acetone should be fine as long as the headstock isn't Nitro. I believe there was a period in the 70s when Fender were finishing their necks in Poly but using Nitro over the decal as it was more compatible with the decal than the poly at the time. Not entirely sure when that stopped but as yours is late 70s, it's probably just poly. Regardless though, as you said go carefully....start in an inconspicuous area with a tiny bit of acetone and see how it goes.
  19. It'll most likely be the relief that has changed a little bit. Take a little bit out and see if it improves things. This happens on zero fret equipped basses when the zero fret is not higher than the rest. It's widely debated whether or not it should be higher, but in my experience it definitely should be. As if it's the same height as the first fret, it makes open strings very susceptible to buzz when the neck is straight. When performing fretwork on instruments with zero frets, I like to level all frets except the zero fret. This gives that tiny extra bit of clearance whilst still keeping the same wire.
  20. Adding a shim does not require anything to be done to the nut, that's dictated by the height of the first fret and to a lesser extent the relief. An angled shim is usually preferred as it's more invisible and you can get away with much less material creating a (very small) angle, rather than just lifting the neck. But both work. Usually the amount of angle required is so small you can't see or feel any difference. I like veneer best also, card works, but it compresses and could possibly deteriorate over time. I've never noticed any sonic difference between a shimmed neck and one that hasn't been, but personally still prefer milling the pocket to the correct depth/angle. I wouldn't ever ship one of my instruments with a shim, it just seems kind of tacky on a new instrument. But it's a perfectly acceptable repair method. And before anyone mentions it....no shims do not cause ski jumps, or twists!
  21. Are you sure the lighter areas are not patches of trapped moisture (blush). These can appear cloudy/hazy and will be paler on darker finishes. Spraying too close should not dissolve your colour coats, unless you rubbed at it also. If you're painting a solid (opaque) colour I'd just smooth it with 600 before continuing. If it's blush you don't need more colour coats, sanding should release it. Even if you do spray more colour you don't need to sand back to the poly, unless you're keen to have a thin finish (which I guess you aren't as you didn't strip the poly!).
  22. Yep, depends how deep they are though, I use a tack cloth instead of the back of the paper to get the surfacey stuff. Tack cloths are another worthwhile addition... especially if you're ever spraying white! The level sanding is still important though to make sure you end up with a nice even finish. Best to level sand between every three or so coats and after giving the lacquer overnight to dry. Sand too soon and it'll ball up on you and create gouges in the finish.
  23. I was referring to the clear, sorry if it was misleading as you're still spraying colour coats! You can stop spraying colour when you're happy with how it looks, but a few extras can't hurt. Then 1 full can of clear following the rule of 3. You don't want to sand your colour coats unless really necessary, or you could get thin spots or burn through. The thinners in the clear Nitro will dissolve any roughness to the colour coats. Do your future level sanding of the clear coat (to remove dust knibs etc) in between clear coat sessions. For the neck you don't want to sand the tinted lacquer or you'll end up with an uneven tint, which can be difficult to even out. However the decal does need a good level surface. So spray a very good (level and glossy) final coat of tint. If you flatten it off and apply a decal over it you may also see scratches through the decal depending on the colour, so best avoided if possible.
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