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Dosi Y'Anarchy

Making a Bass IV/Rascal

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Hi everyone,

This is just a hypothetical, i'll probably never get round to it, but I thought it would be a fun idea. 

Remember the Fender Rascal Bass? Essentially it was a shortscale 4 string bass with a Bass VI body. 

It came in one colour: green. It had an awful name and it had 3 lipstick pickups (no complaints, but i just think it looked out of place personally). 

Image result for fender rascal bass

But I have to say, it has some charm for me. They're discontinued now and i cant imagine a reissue will be forthcoming any time soon and unfortunately i never got a chance to try one in person.

So here's my thought: Could you turn a Squier Bass VI into a Bass IV/Rascal?

Image result for squier vi

 

You'd get a triple-pickup shortscale bass on/off for each pickup and you could wire the strangle switch to series/parallel 

First thoughts are you would either need to fill and re-drill the tuner holes OR would something like a bronco bass neck fit? 

You could get a decent enough pickup set to replace the jaguar pickups, maybe some rail ones to deal with any misalignment of the strings against where pole pieces) 

You could replace the trem plate with a hardtail one (a few places on Reverb offer them, a custom order shouldn't be to hard to get and this would bypass the trem and stringing options all together).

You'd need a new nut, but with the VI's having a 42mm nut, currently, that shouldnt be too hard. 

The only real issue is the bridge (assuming a replacement neck from a bronco would work). As id need something that fits in the existing hole but was made for a 4-string bass. 

Any other problems you guys could think of, how easy do you think it would be to do? 

 

 

 

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Well I just put a jazz neck on a Talman body, so I say Go for it and work the details out as you hit the stumbling blocks.

You could keep the neck, fill the 6 holes and put a laminate either side, then redrill for the four bass tuners.

The only concern is what is under the trem  plate?  Which isn’t a concern if you were going to refinish anyway I guess.

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@Dosi Y'Anarchy - ref your original post...they look identical.

Do you have a bass VI?

If so, take some measurements and I'll check them against @scrumpymike 's actual  Rascal body that I happen to have in the workshop ;)

You talk about  Squier Bronco replacement neck...have you ever seen those around for sale?  We are looking for a 21 fret 30"scale neck to fit onto the Rascal body but they are like finding hen's teeth!

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No, i'm probably gonna get a VI again shortly and probably will keep it a VI (with some upgrades) but if I really thought i could pull off a VI to IV conversion simply and relatively cheaply, i'd eventually give it a go. 

Replacement Bronco Necks are impossible to find as they dont make replacement short scale necks apparently and dont make squier ones (bought a mustang body, needed a neck, ended up canibalising my Bronco to make a working bass - it was a cool project, ended up with a Mustang with a Telebass pickup and a Jazz Bridge pickup)

 

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OK. No probs :)

Let me know the vital stats of the VI and I'll check it against the Rascal.  Having said that, the answer to your original question I'm pretty sure is yes - it is unlikely, given a bit of work and ingenuity, that you couldn't make one out of the other.

In the meantime ref our own project..hmmm...Bronco bass neck...that might work...

Edited by Andyjr1515

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Just seen this!  With Andyjr already on topic, the OP is now in contact with the world's 2-and-only - specialists in Rascal Bass customisation.  IMHO if Fender released the same bass with a more sensible name and body they would be on to a winner.  It's my go-to gig bass thanks to the great neck and amazing combination of 3 pups selectable in every permutation via 7-position switching.  Unfortunately the original body destroyed the ergonomics for me and others who played mine before Andy customised it by making a new body based on the Precision Lyte.  Next project is for Andy to build me another starting with re-shaping the original body.  What may be of interest to the OP is that there is a very helpful Rascal 'service sheet' published by Fender with sketches, wiring diagram and complete parts list.

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Since were discussing hypotheticals...

Jazz neck on a strat body???

There are plenty of half finished strat bodies available on eBay - would need one without the cut outs for pups/ neck/etc - heyho small bodied Fender bass - surprised that nobody else has ever done it TBH.

Suggestions why it shouldn't/hasn't been done??

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32 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Since were discussing hypotheticals...

Jazz neck on a strat body???

There are plenty of half finished strat bodies available on eBay - would need one without the cut outs for pups/ neck/etc - heyho small bodied Fender bass - surprised that nobody else has ever done it TBH.

Suggestions why it shouldn't/hasn't been done??

Well fender put a jazz body with a strat neck and called it the Sixty-Six!

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40 minutes ago, scrumpymike said:

Just seen this!  With Andyjr already on topic, the OP is now in contact with the world's 2-and-only - specialists in Rascal Bass customisation.  IMHO if Fender released the same bass with a more sensible name and body they would be on to a winner.  It's my go-to gig bass thanks to the great neck and amazing combination of 3 pups selectable in every permutation via 7-position switching.  Unfortunately the original body destroyed the ergonomics for me and others who played mine before Andy customised it by making a new body based on the Precision Lyte.  Next project is for Andy to build me another starting with re-shaping the original body.  What may be of interest to the OP is that there is a very helpful Rascal 'service sheet' published by Fender with sketches, wiring diagram and complete parts list.

Hmmmm, so the ergonomics are all out of whack? I'm wondering whether the same would be on a bass vi conversion. I mean, logic would dictate probably but I'm not of the technical mind!

Edited by Dosi Y'Anarchy

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4 hours ago, Dosi Y'Anarchy said:

Hmmmm, so the ergonomics are all out of whack? I'm wondering whether the same would be on a bass vi conversion. I mean, logic would dictate probably but I'm not of the technical mind!

Problem is all that extra timber between the bridge and the bottom strap button.  It adds weight, puts the bridge where many players position their plucking hand, and shifts the neck to the left so it is in much the same position as with a standard 34" bass.  In other words, the original Rascal design sacrifices the main benefits that short-scale players like me are looking for, namely a light-weight, compact bass with shorter reach for the fretting hand.

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So. Looks like a bass VI neck is 21 frets and the Bronco is 19. Would this theoretically mean I would need to reposition the bridge two frets (approx) further away from the neck?

At this stage I'm wondering whether it would be easier to mount my bronco bass bridge onto the existing tremolo plate.

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On 12/11/2019 at 16:00, Dosi Y'Anarchy said:

Remember the Fender Rascal Bass? Essentially it was a shortscale 4 string bass with a Bass VI body. 

 ... and a 21-fret Fender Coronado neck, a Guild harp bridge, and Seymour Duncan lipstick Stratocaster pickups.

And the colour was Ocean Turquoise Metallic

Edited by EssentialTension

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Rebirth Guitars (UK based) make a great bass IV for not much money:

CB3B3E31-5B4C-4A1F-8E54-E78390B49626.thumb.jpeg.7ab71793a8902fd7543426eade04fff1.jpeg

Si

Edited by Sibob
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2 hours ago, Sibob said:

Rebirth Guitars (UK based) make a great bass IV for not much money:

CB3B3E31-5B4C-4A1F-8E54-E78390B49626.thumb.jpeg.7ab71793a8902fd7543426eade04fff1.jpeg

Si

How much is your not much?  I couldn’t find any (obvious) pricing on a quick search.

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5 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

How much is your not much?  I couldn’t find any (obvious) pricing on a quick search.

Off the top of my head, about £800 (but don’t quote me), but talk to Taka and he’ll let you know :)

Si

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I sent Taka a message but he hasn't got back to me yet but I noticed he uses those big Stingray copy bridges and his bass vi is actually long scale. So with that in mind, I've bought one of those bridges and a long scale neck with blocks and binding. 

 

Gonna be a steep learning curve for me as I'm likely going to have to widen the neck pocket and learn to fit the neck straight and then learn how to place a bridge (place it straight AND at the correct distance)

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18 minutes ago, Dosi Y'Anarchy said:

I sent Taka a message but he hasn't got back to me yet but I noticed he uses those big Stingray copy bridges and his bass vi is actually long scale. So with that in mind, I've bought one of those bridges and a long scale neck with blocks and binding. 

 

Gonna be a steep learning curve for me as I'm likely going to have to widen the neck pocket and learn to fit the neck straight and then learn how to place a bridge (place it straight AND at the correct distance)

He’s touring with Feeder at the moment so you may not get an immediate reply :)

Gotta say I do like the one @Sibob posted earlier, it’s sexy

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New Bridge and Neck have arrived! I'll get photos up later.

I'm using the Rebirth IV as a rough guide and have a similar bridge with a long scale neck with blocks and binding on a rosewood board.

I've widened the neck pocket a little, we'll see how well that turned out later I when i get home tonight. 

I've sprayed the body a slightly off-which looks good but to be honest, looks a little pedestrian. I'm really loving the green and yellow models  of the new G&L Fallout Basses so I'm thinking a yellow to make it stand out. 

 

My concerns are currently:

1) Grounding Wire: It occurs to me that i cant find a grounding wire, this may have been part of the original bridge assembly and be attached to the little bridge ferrules, which i'm not using (although they are still there but wont have any contact with the strings as the bridge will be placed elsewhere. 

 2) Placing the bridge: Not totally sure how to do this properly. Both getting it centred and doing the scale properly. I think i have got a good idea from doing some research online but the proof of the pudding will be when i spill it all over the new carpet. 

3) getting the neck on, straight, aligned and tight enough to not look totally cr*p. 

 

 

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Maybe start a thread in the Build Diaries section?

There's a few expert builders in there that you don't really see much round other parts of the forum.

 

Edited by Cato
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