I am back. Are you ready for a long extended report ?
So, the first natural bass just landed three days agoI. As expected, it's a Korean Hondo II HJB-2N or Johnny Guitar (the same Samick Hondo HJB-2N model exported in Europe). And as i was guessing, it's not a No Name one, remember my first post when i was saying that the headstock seemed from the pics a bit discoloured? I was true. It's pretty hard from the scratch to tell the brand, but i think it was saying Hondo II there. ☺️ What do you think, Hondo II or Johnny Guitar in a circle?
The bass was pretty dirty, but it is aged very well. After a full cleaning process, restoration and setup it plays like butter, with lovely oldish tone. 😍
If you look and zoom carefully to before - after pics it's like day and night. I removed rust from each every screw using white vinegar, baking soda and Dremel tool, polished hardware with microfiber cloth and Silvo polish, frets using nail buffer, cleaned wood, fretboard and whole thing with damp cloth. Also removed old grease and dirt from tuners, polished, regreased and reoiled with vaseline and light parafin oil when needed. Neck was straight like sword and rod worked from first time. I just made the appropriate little truss rod adjustment by turning a bit clockwise when doing setup for 0.40-0.45 7th fret relief. Low nice action as i prefer it and left intonation for today. This, will probably be a bit hard to do due to double saddle, but will see. Worst case scenario, you must learn to live with things like that when it is about those old beauties. 😁
Electronics: when i got it, neck pup and tone pot were completely dead. Turned out to be a broken solder connection on the neck switch leg and a completely missing tone cap! This must something to do with the replacement handmade control plate that previous owner had done. Someone messed things up in there while replacing the old plate. And could also explain the low price (almost free) i gave the instrument for, as was listed as "not working item".🤣 I resoldered the neck pup broken wire connection, searched internet for pics on what caps those Hondos were using and added an old NOS Philips yummy tropical fish 47nF cap i had laying around from a previous Philicorda organ restoration! Cleaned all contacts with isopropyl and sprayed pots with Teslanol T6 for life.
Body: Some kind of ash or NATO wood (accord. to Samick wiki site). 3 pieces of solid nice wood. A bit in the heavy side, the whole bass weights about 4,9kgs.
Neck: Maple, maple fretboard. Nice frets, already rounded (no work needed), zero buzzing at all, easy truss setup that stays solid after strings put on, really dig it.
Tuners: Seems like they suffered in the past, not the greatest ever, but do their job perfectly.
Pups: As the master @Bassassin said, Maxon licenced, unbranded, but comparing with original ones, their specs and measurements online, they must be Maxon's, not just copies. Pretty hot, punchy, but oldish moody groovy sound. Measured about 10.4K and 10.6K. Pseudo humpbacks but single coils, like Maxon's should be.
Nut: Used an old brass one, don't think it's original, probably added by previous owner. Cannot say i like it too much, gives a metallic tone that my buddy another bassist found awesome for slappy playing. As I'm not that slappy guy, i will change it anyway lol.
Have also ordered from ebay new bridge and pup covers, control plate, thumb rest and truss rod cover.
As you can imagine, i really really really already love this thing, big ups to everyone, Peace.
PS. More pics to come up.