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HB PB-50 Modded! - *Version 3.0*

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24 minutes ago, discreet said:

Doubt it very much. I have a couple of 50s guards from Fender-shaped basses and they don't fit a PB-50. I just paint the stock guard.

Thought as much. Cheers for the clarification.

 

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20 hours ago, discreet said:

Just recorded a quick noodle...sounds a lot like a P Bass! ;) And loving the neo pickup, it has a little growl when pushed! I like the Fender flats too, but I can't help but think I'd prefer La Bellas. Only one way to find out, I suppose...

Listen loud with headphones, decent monitors, yadda yadda.

 

Sounds and looks absolutely splendid, @discreet 

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Thinking of taking the plunge with one of these but wondering how easy is it to reshape the headstock? Can anyone point me in the direction of a template? Are you guys doing it with a coping saw? Are you just sanding back the logo? Apologies for the newbie questions but even at £90 I'd rather not mess this up :-)

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13 minutes ago, MrTea said:

Thinking of taking the plunge with one of these but wondering how easy is it to reshape the headstock? Can anyone point me in the direction of a template? Are you guys doing it with a coping saw? Are you just sanding back the logo? Apologies for the newbie questions but even at £90 I'd rather not mess this up :-)

Just rushing off to work so I'll MSG you later.

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Thanks @kodiakblair.

It's funny, I like 'players' guitars and have no desire to stick a decal on the headstock. I'm not fussy about the brand - if it sounds good and feels comfortable to play then that's all good. But that headstock is just a little ugly (IMO) :-) 

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6 hours ago, MrTea said:

...wondering how easy is it to reshape the headstock? Can anyone point me in the direction of a template? Are you guys doing it with a coping saw? Are you just sanding back the logo?

It's fairly easy if you're thorough. I'm sure Mr K Blair will help you with a template if he hasn't already. ;) The HB logo sands off easily. I use a junior hacksaw to get a rough shape then spend a bit of time with various grades of sandpaper getting thd final shape by hand.

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You can also remove the HB using a blade from a Stanley knife.

Remove the blade and use it as a scraper. It will remove less wood from the headstock than sanding.

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2 hours ago, Grangur said:

You can also remove the HB using a blade from a Stanley knife. Remove the blade and use it as a scraper. It will remove less wood from the headstock than sanding.

Good tip. I like to sand though, prior to applying Amber tint nitro. :)

Edited by discreet

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17 minutes ago, MrTea said:

Thanks all. With the help of @kodiakblair it sounds like I’m in good hands. 

Its not difficult and by doing the work you can turn a reasonable budget bass into a really good-sounding player for not much cash. You don't need to replace the hardware and electrics and obviously refinishing is optional.

Investing in premium strings and spending time on a careful setup is what really makes the difference with this bass.

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That sounds about in line with what I intended - I don't have grand plans (at least not initially). Really it's a case of reshaping the headstock. I've got a Wizard pickup on route which I'll probably stick in it along with some flats and a set up. 

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1 hour ago, MrTea said:

...it's a case of reshaping the headstock... a Wizard pickup... with flats and a set up. 

That will get you a very nice-sounding bass for the price of the pickup and strings. :)

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On 08/02/2018 at 15:51, yorks5stringer said:

Nice job, I see you have a  Herrick pickup, I have the alnico version on mine and found it quite 'bassy' so  changed the stock HB capacitor to a 0.2 from Monstertone along with a treble bleed kit too. I stopped at the new capacitor however, as it gave the highs quite a lift. I also got a lightly used set of La Bella Deep Talkin flats and prefer them to the Fender flats on my real Telebass.

My HB weighs in at 9.47lbs,  and here's a picture of mine:D

 

P1040675.thumb.JPG.220b2628b16d8eaaa08c3e60b9fe9cc8.JPG

 

I am seriously loving that colour. 

 

Nice job!

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14 hours ago, Oldboy said:

I am seriously loving that colour. 

 

Nice job!

Ta, it's Lake Placid Blue in case you were not aware!

 

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On 07/03/2018 at 15:56, yorks5stringer said:

Ta, it's Lake Placid Blue in case you were not aware!

 

Lol. I should have known. I have a 50s Classic Vibe PB in the same colour that I’m going to have to move on soon. I’m a leftie and learning bass on a rightie is just not working for, thus the OB50 thread as they now make leftie PB 50s!

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On 08/02/2018 at 13:23, discreet said:

Not at all. The original neck has a really nice satin feel so I left it as-is on the back. The headstock, heel and fretboard got a couple of coats of Amber Tint nitro, with the headstock getting a couple of light coats of Dark Yellow nitro, (which is actually more of a brown colour). You have to be careful, it's really easy to put too much on and make it too dark. I would actually have preferred it a little lighter overall, but couldn't be bothered to re-do it. It's OK. :)

Did you sand back the satin finish on the headstock, heel and fretboard before applying the amber nitro or just apply the nitro straight over the top? 

Did you clear coat it or just leave it as is? 

Thanks.

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1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

Did you sand back the satin finish on the headstock, heel and fretboard before applying the amber nitro or just apply the nitro straight over the top? 

Did you clear coat it or just leave it as is? 

Just a light going-over with a Scotchbrite pad first. No clear coat for rapid wear and a vintage look.

Front of headstock sanded after shaping to remove original decal.

Edited by discreet
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34 minutes ago, discreet said:

Just a light going-over with a Scotchbrite pad first. No clear coat for rapid wear and a vintage look.

Front of headstock sanded after shaping to remove original decal.

Thanks. Mine should arrive this week 😊

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@BrunoBass

There's a good chance you'll find the strings and pole pieces don't align perfectly. From the start of 2018 the factory swapped from an 80mm BBOT bridge to a 86mm Hi Mass job. The Hi Mass saddles are a bit wider too.

 

That little change had me puzzled on Friday when PB-50 #5 arrived.

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5 hours ago, kodiakblair said:

@BrunoBass

There's a good chance you'll find the strings and pole pieces don't align perfectly. From the start of 2018 the factory swapped from an 80mm BBOT bridge to a 86mm Hi Mass job. The Hi Mass saddles are a bit wider too.

 

That little change had me puzzled on Friday when PB-50 #5 arrived.

Thanks @kodiakblair I hadn’t spotted that.

That actually works out quite well, as I was planning on replacing the BBOT on my J&D Jazz with a Hi-Mass; in that case I’ll just swap the two of them round. Result! 

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Don't know how I didn't find this thread earlier... I've been thinking just starting work on a few similar mods to my PB-50 since I got it last year - all these really nice finished basses have inspired me to get on with it.

I'm planning to start with just a headstock re-shape, and (now I've seen how good it looks) a bit of a vintage tint on the very white neck to go with it. I'm also deciding whether to get a clear scratchplate made up - it was only when I stripped the thing down I realised how much I preferred the look of the body without, but the holes would annoy me too much to leave it as is.

I did a quick image search and found this Italian site with a couple of pictures where someone has whipped the scratchplate off - unsurprisingly mine looks exactly like that right now... http://www.suonoelettronico.com/harleybentonPB50SBVintageSeries.htm

I've already confirmed what everyone else says - that decent flats are the future for this bass, and I was able to set it up 'acceptably' without changing anything else. The one weakness I've found is the tuners... the ferrules were all loose on mine, so after a while they were all sort of slightly pulled out, if you know what I mean? I think I can secure them by wrapping them in tape before reassembly, but it's an annoyance, and I don't really want to replace them since it held in tune fine.

All in all I think that a few simple mods will make this a spot on backup bass for me... although some of the ones people have done here would be #1 basses.

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19 hours ago, b7l4s said:

All in all I think that a few simple mods will make this a spot on backup bass for me... although some of the ones people have done here would be #1 basses.

Mine is still my go-to bass... though I do have GAS for a Mex 50s P... on and on it goes. :)

Edited by discreet
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Hi There,

Really great project you did on this Harley, I have just got one second hand and intend to do some work on it. Just a few questions if you don't mind, as its a photo flame finish is it necessary to cut back on the finish prior to spraying it or would a good primer suffice. I noticed that you have given the neck a vintage look on the finish, how did you achieve that.

Really looking forward to the challenge ahead, oh and the Herrick pickups sound great by the way, good choice.

Brian 

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