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JohnDaBass

Relic 51 & 3/4s Tele-P

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Inspired by Basschat HB 51P mods & upgrade builds by Bruno, Discreet & others etc, I developed a desire for something similar but different.

I have a lovely all original Fender 72 Telecaster Bass which, back in 2004 I wanted to duplicate as I no longer wished to gig the Old Girl. To start I managed to source an original 72 Humbucking PUP from a guy in the USA and had it refurbished by Bareknuckle PUPs. To create the duplicate I bought a Fender MIM Mike Dirnt and a Fender CIJ 51P RI. I changed necks added the Humbucker and sold 51P RI. 20180826_115159.thumb.jpg.b3f4b8da365b0383dc0a1da040068eff.jpg

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During the short time I owed the 51-P RI I was not particularly impressed with tonal range of 51P. So my mission on this 51 & 3/4s Tele-P build is to create something similar to this:-

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Edited by JohnDaBass
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First step was to source a neck and start the reshaping of the head. This has been extensively covered by others far more skilled and talented than me so I have simply shown the progress through the following photos.

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The templates I printed off were not quite what I wanted and I modified them slightly to match more closely to my ‘72 Tele Bass and ’51-P RI.  I did remove the last fret and over hang of the fret board at the heel of the neck to enable me to “square off” the heel of the neck similar to  my pair of ‘72s

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(Kindly note the obligatory crack in the pickguard on the '72, the PUPs were so heavy their weight would cause the cracking. I mounted the PUP directly to the body on my duplicate)

 

 

 

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This photo was taken to show the squared off end of the neck, ignore the impression that the fret widths are wrong due to the "perspective effect" caused by my poor photographic skills!!

 

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Edited by JohnDaBass
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As an avid follower of the Basschat market place I came across a suitable over sized Telecaster Guitar body. The seller was uncertain of its past use but on receiving the body it fitted perfectly with my plans.

There were a few nasty marks and chips so not wishing to strip and refinish the body or fill and over spray paint it I decide that “Mild Relic” was the way forward.

The really bad chip at the top edge of the body was a prime candidate for some gentle Relic wear marks. Having gotten sucked into the gentle relic work I added some “Belt wear” and some further chips and marks with a sixty year old “toffee hammer”. ( those of us of a curtain age will remember Christmas Day afternoon tapping away at a slab of concrete hard toffee to break it.

 

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Most of the parts have now arrived

 

 

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Next part of the story is the pickup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by JohnDaBass
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Heard great things about Jess Loureiro Pickups and I was really impressed with Discreet’s series/parallel switch system to extend the tonal range of the PUP. So I duly ordered the 51-P split coil PUP from Jess in Spain. Delivery turned out to be a bit of a saga  with the Spanish version of Royal Mail ( Correos) loosing the first shipment but TNT safely delivered the second PUP. As the control plate I chose to use was from a Telecaster Guitar I wanted to take Discreet’s concept a stage further and got talking to our very own God-Father of Looms & Tonal magician KiOgon. John has provided me with some amazing looms in the past, and having discussed my ideas he went away and designed a loom for my Tele-P. Basically the 3 position switch which switches the split coils from series to parallel and thirdly adds a specially selected extra capacitor into the circuit to provide an additional tonal option.

The detail that KiOgon goes to is phenomenal. The extent of his commitment led to him stripping down one of his own P Basses to test the loom to make sure it worked as per his design. See photos below

 

 

 

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In another post I enquired if anyone could propose a solution to my (Bad) habit of resting my thumb on the top edge of the Pup on my P basses.

Fortunately a BC member has offered to manufacture, using a 3D Printer, a Bespoke cover for the Pup so once that arrives I will update progress on the build.

 

Edited by JohnDaBass
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It's not a thumb rest it's actually a 3D printed cover for the Pup. I haven't named the kind Basschatter until I get his permission. I've sent a drawing of the Pup and he is designing the black plastic cover with screw bosses to completely encase the Pup. I'll post a photo once it arrives. 

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On 24/09/2018 at 09:17, JohnDaBass said:

my (Bad) habit of resting my thumb on the top edge of the Pup on my P basses

Why do you consider it a bad habit?

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#3 dont kill stuff

#5 dont do other bad things...

#10 don't become president when you have the emotional maturity of an apricot.

#11 thou shalt not rest thy thumb on the pickup, use only the technique of floating thumb

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2 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

Why do you consider it a bad habit?

Yes, as sadly missed Brother Dave evangelizes in his review of his own Fender 51 RI on his website  (which survives his passing).

"WARNING!  You should NEVER USE THIS PICKUP AS A THUMBREST because there is no plastic cover like on the other Fender bass pickups you may be accustomed to using as a thumbrest.  This is partly why these originally came with a big chrome pickup cover.  If you apply too much pressure with your thumb, you can break off the fiberboard top of the bobbin and the poles will then fall out on the floor.  I’ve heard this can also happen if a string gets popped too hard and catches under the fiberboard bobbin top.  Once the bobbin top pulls off the pickup it won’t work until you replace the pickup.  It doesn't get softer or lose tone, it is DEAD SILENT"

A fellow Bass Chatter is in the process of 3D Printing a bespoke plastic cover to go over and protect the Jess Loureiro pickup. I'll post some pics when it arrives. 

Edited by JohnDaBass
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Completed the head shaping and applied the decal ( yes, I'm a poser) and several wipe-on coats of Ronseal Hard glaze satin, as per Andy's tutorial.It's been left over a week and I have flatten the finish with a buff of some T-Cut.

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Quite pleased with the finished head, I intend to leave the back of the neck and fret board as it is until the light satin finish it came with wears in and then maybe some Danish oil on the back and Lemon oil on the fret board.

 

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3 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

"WARNING!  You should NEVER USE THIS PICKUP AS A THUMBREST because there is no plastic cover like on the other Fender bass pickups you may be accustomed to using as a thumbrest.  This is partly why these originally came with a big chrome pickup cover.  If you apply too much pressure with your thumb, you can break off the fiberboard top of the bobbin and the poles will then fall out on the floor.  I’ve heard this can also happen if a string gets popped too hard and catches under the fiberboard bobbin top.  Once the bobbin top pulls off the pickup it won’t work until you replace the pickup.  It doesn't get softer or lose tone, it is DEAD SILENT" 

That's something worth remembering.  I'd hate to have an accident with a genuine classic bass sometime down the line.

Edited by SpondonBassed
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We who participate in the Bass Chat community are truly blessed with a wealth of knowledge and experience. We enjoy contributions from bassists, other musicians, artisans, crafts men & women, engineers of many disciplines, technicians and hobbyists. It was one such design engineer, “threedaymonk”, who kindly offered to manufacture a plastic Pup cover for my Jess Loureiro 51P split coil Pup. Paul & I shared drawings of the Pup and he went away and designed a 3D printed  Pup cover.

Here are his CAD renderings and a photo of the cover actually being manufactured.

 

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Having remembered the sadly missed Brother Dave evangelizes in his review of his own Fender 51 RI on his website (which survives his passing).

I wanted to make my 51&3/4s Tele-P as robust as possible so it made sense to seek a solution for protecting the Pup.

Paul has posted the finished Pup cover and it should be with me on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Edited by JohnDaBass
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20180930_151035.thumb.jpg.ddd5b57e5c3b2a35190bcb85eccd6946.jpgIT’S FINISHED!!

 

 Mrs DaBass was away for most of the weekend assisting with one of our Grand daughters 8th Birthday party so being “home alone” I was able to complete the project.

The assembly was straight forward everything went together just right.

 

 

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Did some grounding

 

 

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Opinions Please??

With or without Pickguard?

 

 

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With or without P-Bass cover?

Bespoke Pup Cover in the post and I will show a photo when it arrives.

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I can't advise you as to pickguard vs no pickguard nor cuff vs no cuff because I don't have an eye for these.  It is good to see a build go together well though and that's what I really like.

I am especially tickled by the notion of the 3D printed part coming into the mix.  Well done to both members involved!

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On 20/09/2018 at 16:23, JohnDaBass said:

Inspired by Basschat HB 51P mods & upgrade builds by Bruno, Discreet & others etc, I developed a desire for something similar but different.

I have a lovely all original Fender 72 Telecaster Bass which, back in 2004 I wanted to duplicate as I no longer wished to gig the Old Girl. To start I managed to source an original 72 Humbucking PUP from a guy in the USA and had it refurbished by Bareknuckle PUPs. To create the duplicate I bought a Fender MIM Mike Dirnt and a Fender CIJ 51P RI. I changed necks added the Humbucker and sold 51P RI. 20180826_115159.thumb.jpg.b3f4b8da365b0383dc0a1da040068eff.jpg

20180826_115422.thumb.jpg.6ca6ee854d136e2a0e91bee425a25ced.jpg

20180826_143333.thumb.jpg.6f39b013182edb4dcbd75e79f2d8b575.jpg

 

During the short time I owed the 51-P RI I was not particularly impressed with tonal range of 51P. So my mission on this 51 & 3/4s Tele-P build is to create something similar to this:-

1995858617_Squier_TeleBass.jpg.5f87827b968d546a07a1ba19d5d6275b.jpg

Hi John,

can you explain how you adapted the body to the neck?

tnx!

kind regards,

Keis

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Posted (edited)

@Keis The donner body was a Squier 'Modern Player' Telecaster Bass. I purchased just the body. The original bass was a 32ins scale length where the neck extended  quite a way into the body , the neck joined at the 14th fret. I believe the design thinking at the time was an attempt to retain the 'scale' of the Telecaster guitar in a bass configuration. The neck I used was a 34ins scale Jazz style which I modified to the shape of a '51P style. The neck pocket extended into the body much more than a normal neck pocket. So I sanded the sides of the neck heel to fit the existing pocket. The 34ins neck joined the body at 15th fret and by repositioning the bridge I was able to achieve the conversion from 32ins to 34ins. In effect grafting a 34ins scale onto a 32ins body "moved" the pickup position further away from the bridge producing a more mellow tone from the Pup. The Pup is not in the "sweet spot" position that Leo Fender had preferred on the '51P bass but I'm really happy with the outcome as it's a lovely Bass to play with its own tonal range and of course it's unique. 

Edited by JohnDaBass
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