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Doctor J

NBD - Bacchus jazz/ray!

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The good people at Ishibashi sent me this old Bacchus Grooveline. I reckon it’s early to mid-2000’s. I’ve been looking for a Stingray with a J neck size for a while and this really fits the bill. It’s a dinky J ash body, weight is a sweet 3.5kg. Maple neck with with blocks and binding is always a winner.

It’s a fixer upper and that was reflected in the price, but these Handmade logo’d Bacchii are always superbly built and the pickups are amazing. Such is the case here, it’s a really good player, even with a duff fret job, old strings and that criminal bbot bridge in place of the Deviser Tune-o-matic. What were they thinking?

I will sort out that crack and replace the bridge and broken tuner. I’m thinking of stripping what is left of the finish and refinishing in an emerald green stain. The previous owner had fingernails like Wolverine, by the looks of it. I’ll also sort out the frets, a level, crown and dress awaits.

Anyone know where a man can buy Gotoh tuner buttons?

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3268A145-E138-41E5-8AC2-7CEDE8BB601C.jpeg

Edited by Doctor J
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Nice.  Just acquired a Bacchus P bass.

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It's pre-loved about 12 years old I think.

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On 31/05/2019 at 16:35, Doctor J said:

I’ve been looking for a Stingray with a J neck size

So, you've been looking for a Musicman Sterling bass 😉  IME thinner than any Jazz Bass neck I've ever played, maybe besides the jap Geddy Lee Fender Jazz's. I know a Sterling doesn't sound exactly like a Stingray, with the ceramic pickup and 3 position switch it sounds even better.

Edited by andruca

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No, I've played a Sterling, it wasn't for me. I was looking for something with a J neck size, not something with just a J width nut 😉

17 hours ago, ead said:

It's pre-loved about 12 years old I think.

Nice. The current multitude of series are baffling when most of the information is in Japanese. The older stuff, though, it's all good.

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1 minute ago, Doctor J said:

I was looking for something with a J neck size, not something with just a J width nut

IDK what Sterlings have you tried but it's not just the nut width, it's also front to back sharpness (20mm @ fret 1 for the 4 string MM Sterling). That's Ibanez SDGR thin and much sharper than Fender's sharpest of C profiles (except for the aforementioned Geddy). I'm a thin (front to back) neck freak, I got all the freakish data about neck dimensions (more so on 5ers, which are really my thing). Sterling 4 and 5 string basses (and the Stingray5 too) have a much thinner profile than most Fender Jazzes.

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I don't want a thin neck with a narrow nut, I want an old Jazz neck, which is why I went with and what I got with the Bacchus. I don't like thin necks front to back, but I do like the Jazz nut width. I wanted an old Jazz bass with Stingray tone, essentially. A Sterling, fine as they are, isn't that bass 🙂

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No, the fun was removed on arrival by the taxman. Whatever deal is in place, it doesn't include musical instruments.

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I am done. After an interesting quest to find rare Japanese tuner buttons and bridges, I reassembled this last week. The headstock crack has been stabilised, glued and is now solid as a rock. The bridge abomination has been cast into the murky past with the arrival of a replacement part sourced from Deviser. The pearloid tuner button required a custom order from Gotoh via an agent in Canada. I stripped and stained the body, more in sympathy with the blocks and binding, I feel - though the sooner the whiteness akin to a contemporary twentysomething’s bleached teeth has faded, the better.

i also added series/parallel switching which I am quite delighted with. The bass was originally hardwired in serial and I am enjoying the flexibility, much preferring the parallel sound with the set of Chromes I strung it with. I also added a Hipshot string tree which adds a level of consistency to the break angle across all four strings.

Overall, I am delighted. It sounds and plays wonderfully, so very playable. Perfect.

5E097AFA-00C4-4D2A-870C-379D29F030CC.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I am done. After an interesting quest to find rare Japanese tuner buttons and bridges, I reassembled this last week. The headstock crack has been stabilised, glued and is now solid as a rock. The bridge abomination has been cast into the murky past with the arrival of a replacement part sourced from Deviser. The pearloid tuner button required a custom order from Gotoh via an agent in Canada. I stripped and stained the body, more in sympathy with the blocks and binding, I feel - though the sooner the whiteness akin to a contemporary twentysomething’s bleached teeth has faded, the better.

i also added series/parallel switching which I am quite delighted with. The bass was originally hardwired in serial and I am enjoying the flexibility, much preferring the parallel sound with the set of Chromes I strung it with. I also added a Hipshot string tree which adds a level of consistency to the break angle across all four strings.

Overall, I am delighted. It sounds and plays wonderfully, so very playable. Perfect.

5E097AFA-00C4-4D2A-870C-379D29F030CC.jpeg

After all that effort, you deserve it.  It looks sublime.

Frank.

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Very cool. I am “working” on a similar project. How much smaller is the body than a regular Jazz?

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12 hours ago, Doctor J said:

I am done. After an interesting quest to find rare Japanese tuner buttons and bridges, I reassembled this last week. The headstock crack has been stabilised, glued and is now solid as a rock. The bridge abomination has been cast into the murky past with the arrival of a replacement part sourced from Deviser. The pearloid tuner button required a custom order from Gotoh via an agent in Canada. I stripped and stained the body, more in sympathy with the blocks and binding, I feel - though the sooner the whiteness akin to a contemporary twentysomething’s bleached teeth has faded, the better.

i also added series/parallel switching which I am quite delighted with. The bass was originally hardwired in serial and I am enjoying the flexibility, much preferring the parallel sound with the set of Chromes I strung it with. I also added a Hipshot string tree which adds a level of consistency to the break angle across all four strings.

Overall, I am delighted. It sounds and plays wonderfully, so very playable. Perfect.

5E097AFA-00C4-4D2A-870C-379D29F030CC.jpeg

Often when folk refinish instruments my response goes from “I guess that suits them” to “meh” to “what where they smoking?”

that though looks exquisite 

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4 hours ago, songofthewind said:

Very cool. I am “working” on a similar project. How much smaller is the body than a regular Jazz?

It looks quite subtle but there is a lot of wood not there. You definitely feel it on a strap when standing, not just the weight but the size against your belly 😁

4D44E7F8-2537-4D61-A53B-A3F97CD55B62.jpeg

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I must admit Doc that i preferred the original body finish, but thats subjective, and you've done a great job to bring a fabulous bass back to its  glory

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