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It's 4 years since I bought my first PB-50. I'd just signed up on BC and had no idea who Thomann were, that soon changed xD First time I viewed their site the PB-50 caught my eye but it was £76 and £76 buys you nothing remotely playable. Bought one anyway just out of interest. 2 1/2days later a big box of goodness arrived. Now I don't have a list of conditions when it comes to basses, I like a decent neck, a bridge that holds strings,tuners that hold a string in tune and a pickup to convey bassy sounds. PB-50 delivered that :)

 

Interest in these spike everytime @discreet posts one of his mods and I will post headstock templates out to any BC'er who fancies having a go themselves. The templates started off for use with a router and guided cutter but as yet no-one seems to have used one. @MrTea suggested I do a post on shaping the headstock so here goes :)

 

First thing I forgot was to take a before photo so here's the Thomann link.

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_pb_50_sb_vintage_series.htm

 

I use the Mike Dirnt headstock shape and print on 200gsm card

RBWBW94.jpg

 

The set up on the newly delivered PB was great so the neck was left attached. Removing the tuners was first job. I'm working from the back so left the bushings in place. The screws can sometimes be awkward so if you've an old PH1 screwdriver,file the tip down and it'll seat itself into the screwhead better.

S0ZBdKV.jpg

The printed template has the tuners marked so align them with the holes and draw round the template.

sFLl3Ry.jpg

Remove the large areas with a copingsaw or in my case a pullsaw. ( in the photo is a router template made from doubled up floor tile)

ouvUq4f.jpg

This is the rough cut, then I used a rasp to clean and round the shape.

mb5gEcq.jpg

Sorry I forgot to take a photo after the rasp stage. After getting close to the pencil lines it's sanding next. Make sure you check the front face when sanding as you may not be sanding vertical. If you veered away from the lines you can hide it by sweetening the edges of the headstock.

nJIHLfV.jpg

At the tip there it looks irregular. I managed to chip a bit of the front face so it's actually tape holding the glued in chip you're seeing

The boss reckons I should tackle the 2 saddle bridge next.

E25B0lj.jpg

I masked off the edges so I had witness points then removed the bridge. Lady Luck came calling and the centre screw on the 2 saddle bridge matched the centre screw on the PB's bridge but I glued and plugged the other 4 holes.After fitting the bridge using only the centre screw I added the new Herrick pickup,this way I could run a string from saddle to nut and see they went over the pole pieces. Another thing was the bridge base was smaller then the PB one so the machine screw on D&G got swapped for a longer one (just robbed it from the PB's bridge)

XaOpw2O.jpg6m9JYGq.jpgzqCApBI.jpg

All lining up the back got masking tape before I drilled for the through body holes.

s5cBVKY.jpg

Thought I'd a picture of the 4mm  pilot holes but guess not xD The string ferrules had a 9.5mmm body but the rims were 12mm. Marked the depth on a 12mm flat bit and drilled for the rims,then swapped to a 9.5mm countersink.

MZQPtKh.jpg

Tapped the ferrules in with a mallet and it was ready for strings and set up. I really shouldn't have bothered with the 2 saddle bridge, intonation is a hassle and I've decided to fit an ashtray :o There's also a bit too much shiny wood showing so I'm thinking about a scratchplate. Still undecided about the logo, I wished the HB logo had been in a different area so I didn't cut into it :angry2: Looking at it now I'll get a Benton logo printed up and fit that. No shame in playing the HB :biggrin:

 

QiqDU2y.jpg

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Excellent work.

Thank you for taking the time to write it up ...and you said you were lousy at it too.  Far from it - great post.

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1 minute ago, SpondonBassed said:

Excellent work.

Thank you for taking the time to write it up ...and you said you were lousy at it too.  Far from it - great post.

Thanks. I really appreciate your reply.

It took me longer to write the post than do the work xD No joke and that's including the cleaning up time :biggrin:

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It's good of you to share it.  I've seen inspiration taken from these sorts of projects by members who might not have had a go otherwise.

I applaud you saying that you will reinstate the HB logo.  From what I hear they're very good for the money.

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You’ve done a really good job!! I second SpondonBassed you will inspire others to give it a go!! 

Also yours and others write up of the quality of the HB has prompted me to start looking at their 5 string PB

(I personally like the look without the pickguard!!......)

Edited by Jimothey
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I've done this three times now - with the help of your kindly-supplied templates - and it's a lot of fun, shot through with lumps of anxiety and a few qualms. Nice result, though - my OCD just won't allow a 51-style P body not to have a 51-style P headstock!! :D

Template.jpg&key=cef3565da35d072cf48061e

HBStock3.jpg&key=7c44762fa68bcaf9e7623ce

 

Edited by discreet
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1 hour ago, Geek99 said:

@kodiakblair

can you tell me the knack of getting the string thru holes even ?

Not my question I know, but just jumping in here rather rudely - I did mine by lining up the two-saddle bridge (the centre hole of which lined up with the centre hole of the previous bridge), then using that as a guide to drill through the body from the top. Then I drilled the larger ferrule holes from the bottom, using the existing holes as pilots - with a bit of tape on the bit as a depth gauge. Then I countersunk the holes to make the ferrules flush.

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@discreet

Beat me to the reply :) I used the exact same method. Used a 12mm flat bit first to give me the cut for the rim then a 9.5mm countersink with a pilotdrill bit to finish. Drilling the 12.5mm first I find easier,the point drops right in the pilot hole so it's bang on target.

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Sure 

but tips for not going wonky when drilling through First ? The string holes 

I have a bradawl so pilot holes not a problem 

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Sorry @Geek99

Never thought about that. I'm a carpenter so it's something I take for granted. Select a 4mm drillbit, put your drill on the slow setting. Keep the drill as straight as you can and start to drill through the string holes in the bridge. Only do a few mm at a time,clear the sawdust then do another few mm.

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42 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

...but tips for not going wonky when drilling through First ? The string holes...

I'm not a carpenter and use a drill guide like this one. :)

19e0109.jpg

Edited by discreet
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40 minutes ago, discreet said:

I'm not a carpenter and use a drill guide like this one. :)

19e0109.jpg

Awesome

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3 minutes ago, Geek99 said:

Awesome

I think I got it from Amazon. It wasn't expensive, definitely less than a tenner.

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15 minutes ago, discreet said:

I think I got it from Amazon. It wasn't expensive, definitely less than a tenner.

I couldn’t find one like that; instead I bought this 

asin: B075MHP2TF

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1 hour ago, Geek99 said:

I couldn’t find one like that; instead I bought this  asin: B075MHP2TF

Not seen one like that, but if it works OK (and why shouldnt it?) then happy days. :)

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Nice instructions, I drew around my telebass headstock onto paper and used that as a template and then just free-styled a little. I fitted a twin saddle bridge on the Telebass, then put a cover over it... so have removed the cover. However the intonation was fine. Was toying with doing the string through and twin saddle conversion on the HB but don't think its worth putting that much extra money into it.

I've also reversed my Herring pickup back out of the HB as the Bass going up for sale now I have the Blueflower.

One thing I was wondering from looking at another thread, was as there is just  the single pickup, whether a varitone  conversion would work well, as tonally it is quite limited? Was actually thinking of this for the Blueflower but  it is quite a narrow shallow control plate area and  I don't want to be hacking lumps out of it...

Forgot to say to the OP, notice you have copper lined the cavity: did you find an issue with noise as I've had no  problems with mine on either pickup.

Edited by yorks5stringer

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@yorks5stringer

The Varitone crossed my mind too xD

Never noticed any noise. Saw there were rolls of it in the cupboard when I was getting the soldering iron, cavity was exposed so why not :) Swapping the saddle machine screw for a longer one was another thing I could have skipped.

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1 hour ago, yorks5stringer said:

I've also reversed my Herring pickup...

...wondering whether a varitone  conversion would work well, as tonally it is quite limited?

Herring pickup? That sounds a bit fishy. ;)

For my next PB I was thinking about a dual-coil pickup switchable between series and parallel. Then you could have the 51 single coil tone and the 57 humbucker tone... would that work?

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Nice work.  I do like the Tele headstock, and this looks way better than it should to someone who doesn't like sunburst :)

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4 hours ago, discreet said:

I'm not a carpenter and use a drill guide like this one. :)

19e0109.jpg

Never knew those existed.  I'm off to Amazon! :)  Thanks

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9 hours ago, alyctes said:

Never knew those existed.  I'm off to Amazon! :)  Thanks

i couldn't find one there - i found something similar - see above for the ASIN @alyctes

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I quite like the partially obscured name on the headstock - I’d keep it as is!

I keep looking at the Deko section for one of these. I’m reluctant to pay full price for something I may well eff up.

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1 hour ago, Geek99 said:

i couldn't find one there - i found something similar - see above for the ASIN @alyctes

The Amazon product code mentioned works fine.  ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Item Number.

B075MHP2TF

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On ‎18‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 19:30, kodiakblair said:

How about a logo with a play on words of some sort? Maybe based on your name or something?

Looks blimmin marvelous by the way.

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