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Headless Thunderbird


neepheid
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[quote name='neepheid' post='1137390' date='Feb 22 2011, 05:50 PM']Nah, an Epi Goth with bridge issues: [url="http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180627722045"]http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=180627722045[/url][/quote]

haha that is so perfect considering you're getting rid of the bridge anyway lol.

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[quote name='neepheid' post='1135582' date='Feb 21 2011, 03:11 PM']Components update: Donor T-bird located and (hopefully) secured. Headless hardware obtained (thanks to Dave Perry). Black pickguard with T-bird logo from USA (thanks to a kind user on bassoutpost).[/quote]

Where did you get the headless hardwear ?

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Wow! Love the white Epi edit - Looks really cool! - I just had a fleeting thought with ref to the tuners. You *might* need to rout under the thumbscrews to make room for them to turn if the bridge is sitting in on the body as you have pictured. If it turns out that the bridge can hang off the back of the body, then no problem.

Here's my Shuker to illustrate what I mean:

Or hanging off the back of the body as in this Shuker

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[quote name='fryer' post='1144716' date='Feb 28 2011, 05:57 PM']Without driving to Aberdeen and buying you two pints, do you know where I could get some from ?[/quote]

The only stuff I can see on eBay is this stuff in the States:

[url="http://musical-instruments.shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_nkw=headless+bridge&_sacat=3858&_ssn=fastsale123&_odkw=headless&_osacat=3858&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313"]http://musical-instruments.shop.ebay.co.uk...6.c0.m270.l1313[/url]

That's the same unit that I've got. There's also eyewateringly expensive ABM stuff (around £380 from Allparts!) which you can get for about £200 before tax from the States.

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The T-bird arrived today. A quick check to see that all is well with the pickups before complete dismantling. There will be some repair work to be done - the holes left by the posts for the three way bridge will need filling with mahogany dowel. That'll be the first job. Plus I'll get to work raising some project funds by selling the bits I don't need.

I took a wee photo of the body with the bridge resting on it:



Chunky :)

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[quote name='neepheid' post='1145202' date='Feb 28 2011, 10:59 PM']The T-bird arrived today. A quick check to see that all is well with the pickups before complete dismantling. There will be some repair work to be done - the holes left by the posts for the three way bridge will need filling with mahogany dowel. That'll be the first job. Plus I'll get to work raising some project funds by selling the bits I don't need.

I took a wee photo of the body with the bridge resting on it:



Chunky :)[/quote]

Chunky, but looks somehow right :)

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Cheers for all the input so far people, that's where these build threads really help, especially when you're attempting something a little mad :)

Mahogany dowelling has arrived so I'll be able to get to work patching up the mess at the bridge end. Pickguard has arrived too - black with white T-bird logo. Just got to make its head disappear :)

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Quick late update - all neck pocket and bridge related holes have been drilled out, filled with mahogany dowel and trimmed almost flush. Yay, there's a lot of sanding in my near future, got all that matt black to get rid of.

Still need a neck!

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[quote name='BigRedX' post='1152305' date='Mar 7 2011, 10:42 AM']Looking good. What was the big hole in the neck pocket and the small holes under the bridge for?

Also why aren't you using the Thunderbird neck with the head sawn off?[/quote]

The big hole in the neck pocket was a dirty nasty one disguised by the neck plate which was probably used at the factory to hang the body from while painting. The small holes were from the previous owner's attempt to fit a Fender style bridge.

A few reasons for not using the original neck -

1) I want 21 frets because it makes sense to me that a 4 string bass fingerboard should start with an E and end with an E. One doesn't sing "do-re-me-fa-so-la-te" without the last "do" does one? :)

2) I don't like fingerboards with no front markers, and I like even less ones with a single inlay at the twelfth fret.

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[quote name='neepheid' post='1152323' date='Mar 7 2011, 10:56 AM']The big hole in the neck pocket was a dirty nasty one disguised by the neck plate which was probably used at the factory to hang the body from while painting. The small holes were from the previous owner's attempt to fit a Fender style bridge.[/quote]
That's terrible, and probably good to know next time I get the urge to consider buying an Epiphone bass. Normally the fact that they're part of the Gibson "empire" and what Gibson did to Opcode in the 90s is enough to dissuade me!

[quote name='neepheid' post='1152323' date='Mar 7 2011, 10:56 AM']A few reasons for not using the original neck -

1) I want 21 frets because it makes sense to me that a 4 string bass fingerboard should start with an E and end with an E. One doesn't sing "do-re-me-fa-so-la-te" without the last "do" does one? :)

2) I don't like fingerboards with no front markers, and I like even less ones with a single inlay at the twelfth fret.[/quote]
Does that mean that you'll be reshaping the lower horn to improve upper fret access? My experience with T-Bird shapes is that you can't reach all the frets that are there at the moment.

And it just goes to show how differently people play. I have no use for front face fingerboard markers and just use the side dots. In fact on my Traben Phoenix Bass with it's extravagantly inlaid fingerboard, I find that if I look at the front of the fingerboard it puts me off.

Good luck with build. I'll be following with interest as the Gibson Victory restoration was fantastic.

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[quote name='BigRedX' post='1152333' date='Mar 7 2011, 11:11 AM']That's terrible, and probably good to know next time I get the urge to consider buying an Epiphone bass. Normally the fact that they're part of the Gibson "empire" and what Gibson did to Opcode in the 90s is enough to dissuade me!

Does that mean that you'll be reshaping the lower horn to improve upper fret access? My experience with T-Bird shapes is that you can't reach all the frets that are there at the moment.

And it just goes to show how differently people play. I have no use for front face fingerboard markers and just use the side dots. In fact on my Traben Phoenix Bass with it's extravagantly inlaid fingerboard, I find that if I look at the front of the fingerboard it puts me off.

Good luck with build. I'll be following with interest as the Gibson Victory restoration was fantastic.[/quote]

It's pretty bad, especially since I wasn't planning on using a neck plate but individual recessed bushings on the screws for a slightly less chunky heel area. Of course, you won't have this particular issue with any of Epiphone's set or thru neck offerings :)

I will be reshaping the lower horn. I'm not sure exactly what shape yet but I have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head. I'll get a better idea once I get a neck fitted.

I must confess that I look at the front markers from time to time when playing, I probably shouldn't. But it's also an aesthetic thing for me - guitars without markers don't seem completed to me. It's like someone couldn't be bothered putting them in. It doesn't look clean to me, it looks lazy :)

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[quote name='neepheid' post='1152354' date='Mar 7 2011, 12:33 PM']I must confess that I look at the front markers from time to time when playing, I probably shouldn't. But it's also an aesthetic thing for me - guitars without markers don't seem completed to me. It's like someone couldn't be bothered putting them in. It doesn't look clean to me, it looks lazy :)[/quote]
What about those stick on dots and blocks - it'll be somewhat easier than finding a neck to suit and allot cheaper than getting a custom neck made. I can't remember the name of them but someone on here made a Chris Squire tribute bass using a Warwick neck fitted with some stick on block markers and I have to admit (despite being a luthier and all), they looked pretty good in the pictures.

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Won't a 21 fret neck require more routing of the neck pocket? Or are you hoping that by not having a headstock plus the extra body mass of the bridge/tuner assembly you'll be able to counteract the potential for neck dive caused by shifting the string witness points further from the end of the body.

For me it's not the 21st fret that is so essential. When I'm playing that far up the neck it normally involves two note chords with open string drones so the 19th fret (2 octaves above the open string below) is the important one for me. After that if there are any more I'll want to go all the way to the 24th fret.

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