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Beedster

The bitsa thread

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No. not that one. I've been trying to find a pic to no avail! I think looking back it might not have been a @walshy build, but one he sold about a year ago. That is nice too though!

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20 hours ago, Beedster said:

The three I just sold

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Gutted I missed out on the 2 fretted ones, to slow on the trigger... Awesome bitsa work

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Question for Beedster (and others in the know).

When you're looking on Ebay, Reverb, or wherever, are there particular things you look for? Brand names, particular woods, anything else? And on the other side of that, are there specific things you avoid?

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6 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

Question for Beedster (and others in the know).

When you're looking on Ebay, Reverb, or wherever, are there particular things you look for? Brand names, particular woods, anything else? And on the other side of that, are there specific things you avoid?

Hi mate, great question.

First thing, are the routs on a body standard Fender size, especially the neck pocket and PUPs, I've found a few that weren't

Second, price, it's tempting to pay £300 for a lovely neck but the bass is eventually going to cost more than a complete bass you could buy new. Unless it's really special, I try to stay under £150 each for both bodies and neck (my black relic body broke this rule, as did 'The Russian' and the Musikraft neck)

Third, always buy used, many of the new parts that sell below £100 on eBay are simply not very good, for example a body I bought a while back had a pocket that put it about 5 degrees out of line with the neck. NEVER get into an auction with a seller of bespoke items, there's a guy at present on ebay who has a photo of a nicely reliced body on the item page, but this is not the item you'll get, he's going to make that once the auction closes. And let's face it, the quality of the body you get is going to be a function of your winning bid, the guy is not going to spend weeks perfecting your body and relic finish if the winning bid was £90! Re parts, Warmoth and Allparts make consistently great parts, Mighty Mite slightly less so. Fender and Squier parts are generally good. I would stay clear of nay body or neck that has been deliberately reliced, some of the stuff that people do to wood is shocking, but can look OK in the photos on eBay

Fourth do not but from the US, the part will cost you at least twice as much by the time it gets to your door :)

I'm sure others will add much more

 

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My only tip is p to take your time and check ebay daily.  Eventually the item you want at a good price will appear, provided you're  persistent  and paitient.  My PB neck is a blinder, wonderfully finished, well fretted, lovely flattish '51 feel to it, but cost only £35 plus postage from Ireland.  Took about 5 weeks of daily searches to find it.

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 A couple of my previous builds: custom fretless "Stingray" build around a 1980 MM Sabre neck that I'd put an African blackwood fretless board on (the original fretted rosewood board had split); body cut and routed from a solid plank of Bubinga, with quarter inch Thuja burr facing.   Neck plate and cavity covers cut from solid brass sheet; battery cover is hinged.  Seymour Duncan MM p/up and circuit.   Nice, but I made the body too thick, so it weighed a ton........

Also pic of a P bass bitsa build around a 1979 MIA Fender ash body; originally built with a '79 Fender fretless maple neck on, but pictured with a MIJ RI fretted rosewood one.

Cust Stingray 2.jpg

Picture 017.jpg

Picture 020.jpg

SDC11171.JPG

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2 hours ago, Beedster said:

.... many of the new parts that sell below £100 on eBay are simply not very good ......

You read my mind. :)

I see these low priced parts from time to time, and I'll think "mmm .... very tempting". But then you add it all up ..... 80 for a body .... 80 for a neck .... 80 for all the parts ....... suddenly, you're competing with a Squier, only you have no idea what you'll end up with, and the resale value is going to be negligible. So I can see that patience and slightly more investment in a brand name would benefit the end result.

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29 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

You read my mind. :)

I see these low priced parts from time to time, and I'll think "mmm .... very tempting". But then you add it all up ..... 80 for a body .... 80 for a neck .... 80 for all the parts ....... suddenly, you're competing with a Squier, only you have no idea what you'll end up with, and the resale value is going to be negligible. So I can see that patience and slightly more investment in a brand name would benefit the end result.

I’ve sourced everything for my builds on here and eBay; if you’re not in a hurry and keep a project on the back burner, then eventually something you want will turn up cheap.   That said, often the specific parts I need are only available in (eg) the US, and not cheap.  As I’ve said, I don’t think I’ve lost money on mine over the years, but best to build just for yourself and avoid thinking about resale value.

One I forgot about (and still own) just to show bitsas don’t have to be Fenderesque - this was acquired as a nice bitsa P/J Fenderbird from a local BC-er, and gradually morphed into a “Mike Lull-type” custom Thunderbird with every component except body replaced:

  • Warmoth one-piece mahogany body with book-matched cocobolo top.
  • MIK Epiphone T’bird neck
  • 1980’s Gibson logo Schaller M4S tuners (as on Victory bass)
  • Dual Thunderbucker ‘66 pickups imported from US (cost probably over twice everything else put together, but fabulous pickups.....)
  • Solid brass ‘60’s type bridge & tailpiece (also from US)

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Shaggy, with all due respect ...... I think you should be banned from this thread. All I see above is three basses that tell me how inadequate I am! :D

I was already amazed by the fretless, which is an incredible looking instrument, and then you top that with the Thunderbird.

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57 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

Shaggy, with all due respect ...... I think you should be banned from this thread. All I see above is three basses that tell me how inadequate I am! :D

I was already amazed by the fretless, which is an incredible looking instrument, and then you top that with the Thunderbird.

Lol, thanks for saying so bassaussie,  but if you look at the build diary sub-forum you’ll see projects far more ambitious than mine, there are BC-ers who are proper luthiers........:i-m_so_happy:

Edited by Shaggy
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58 minutes ago, bassaussie said:

Shaggy, with all due respect ...... I think you should be banned from this thread. All I see above is three basses that tell me how inadequate I am! :D

I was already amazed by the fretless, which is an incredible looking instrument, and then you top that with the Thunderbird.

that T'bird is a beaut!

 

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9 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

Lol, thanks for saying so bassaussie,  but if you look at the build diary sub-forum you’ll see projects far more ambitious than mine, there are BC-ers who are proper luthiers........:i-m_so_happy:

Do you have any idea about the origins of the TBird body? I've never seen anything like that before, but the woodgrain top really suits the body shape.

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1 hour ago, Shaggy said:

I’ve sourced everything for my builds on here and eBay; if you’re not in a hurry and keep a project on the back burner, then eventually something you want will turn up cheap.   That said, often the specific parts I need are only available in (eg) the US, and not cheap.  As I’ve said, I don’t think I’ve lost money on mine over the years, but best to build just for yourself and avoid thinking about resale value.

One I forgot about (and still own) just to show bitsas don’t have to be Fenderesque - this was acquired as a nice bitsa P/J Fenderbird from a local BC-er, and gradually morphed into a “Mike Lull-type” custom Thunderbird with every component except body replaced:

  • Warmoth one-piece mahogany body with book-matched cocobolo top.
  • MIK Epiphone T’bird neck
  • 1980’s Gibson logo Schaller M4S tuners (as on Victory bass)
  • Dual Thunderbucker ‘66 pickups imported from US (cost probably over twice everything else put together, but fabulous pickups.....)
  • Solid brass ‘60’s type bridge & tailpiece (also from US)

7D743363-E2AA-461F-8CA1-1E18D3AF2EE3.jpeg

4828E1F3-FF03-4B39-B204-1AF3E89C6F67.jpeg

C59AAFD9-367E-4867-970D-B2836842AD69.jpeg

Dai Iawn.

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1 hour ago, bassaussie said:

Do you have any idea about the origins of the TBird body? I've never seen anything like that before, but the woodgrain top really suits the body shape.

It's a Warmoth, specifically with a neck pocket routed to take a Fender neck (the Epi one is slightly slimmer), and original p/up routes were for P/J.  (you could order any format / facing you liked).   Unfortunately, I think Gibson have now stopped Warmoth making them.

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1 hour ago, JohnDaBass said:

Dai Iawn.

Diolch yn fawr! 🙂   

Did I buy it from you John?   I recall a meet many years ago in Carmarthen.......

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16 hours ago, Shaggy said:

Diolch yn fawr! 🙂   

Did I buy it from you John?   I recall a meet many years ago in Carmarthen.......

Still have happy memories of the Harbourmaster in Aberaeron Greg, and the stress of driving up the 1:4 hill to our house with a boot full of Peavy and Ampeg. Would love to do it again one day (the Harbourmaster that is). Hope you're all well. C

 

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6 hours ago, Beedster said:

Still have happy memories of the Harbourmaster in Aberaeron Greg, and the stress of driving up the 1:4 hill to our house with a boot full of Peavy and Ampeg. Would love to do it again one day (the Harbourmaster that is). Hope you're all well. C

 

Lol don’t worry Chris, when you’re ready I have a Mesa Diesel 1516 cab with your name on it.....;).   Yup, I don’t think you could find a pleasanter spot for a meet up than the Harbourmaster on a sunny day.

All well cheers, likewise hope alls well with you, Mrs Beedster and the Beedster gals 9_9

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53 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

Lol don’t worry Chris, when you’re ready I have a Mesa Diesel 1516 cab with your name on it.....;).   Yup, I don’t think you could find a pleasanter spot for a meet up than the Harbourmaster on a sunny day.

All well cheers, likewise hope alls well with you, Mrs Beedster and the Beedster gals 9_9

Ha ha, I’ll have that cab for sure Greg, stupidly sold my last 1516 as the result of it having broken my car. Let’s make it a date in 2021. Beedster girls are all doing great thanks, Ella wants to be a vet, Katie wants to be a scientist :) 

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There are  a few more tasty examples on a previous thread: 

Here's my current, go-to bitsa.

bitsa.thumb.jpg.246f9f73fd9bc1ae9df3b3b9e328f93f.jpg

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Fender Stu Hamm Urge Ray

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So the Harley Benton MM 84a SB Deluxe arrived safely last Wednesday. The reason for the purchase was to graft the body onto my MIM Fender Stu Hamm Urge 1 neck. I have tried in vain to find a suitable body as the Stu Hamm is a 32ins neck. The history of the neck is another story that I may share on a thread of its own.

 Having followed the various threads of the Harley Benton basses the MM 84a SB appealed to me as it had a 24fret neck on a standard body which had the bridge mounted closer to the neck to maintain the 34 ins scale length. From the photos on the Thomann site it seemed quite a cost-effective solution for my Stu Hamm neck. I managed to secure a “B-Stock” which cost only £149 delivered.

Having checked the bass over when it arrived it was in first class condition, sounded great and had a fantastic finish. Sure enough, the neck pocket was to the Fender standard and I fitted the Stu Hamm neck. The screws on the bridge were not quite long enough to allow for perfect intonation so until I source some longer ones, I temporarily added a Squire bridge to accommodate the 32ins scale length.

The pre is “Okay” and produces some very familiar StingRay tones and the Rosewell Pups are really good, however the plan is to upgrade the Pups to Warman MM in the near future and maybe one of the fancy active Preamps that are around.

All in all a fine outcoming having spent hours & hours trying to find a reasonably priced P or P/J body for the Stu Hamm neck.

So here we have it my Fender Stu Hamm Urge Ray Bitsa.

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Edited by JohnDaBass
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Harley Benton P/J Bitsa

20201128_123622.thumb.jpg.0e4ca6bce848d345be44062906756c49.jpg

 

So the Harley Benton MM 84a SB Deluxe arrived safely last Wednesday. The reason for the purchase was to graft the body onto my MIM Fender Stu Hamm Urge 1 neck. I have tried in vain to find a suitable, reasonably priced body as the Stu Hamm is a 32ins neck.

 Having followed the various threads of the Harley Benton basses the MM 84a SB appealed to me as it had a 24fret neck on a standard body which had the bridge mounted closer to the neck to maintain the 34 ins scale length. From the photos on the Thomann site it seemed quite a cost-effective solution for my Stu Hamm neck.

Fitted the Stu Hamm neck and I was incredibly pleased with the outcome.

SO!!!!

What to do with the spare HB 24 fret 34 ins scale neck??????

Well, about 25(?) years ago while visiting one of the musical instrument shows in the NEC I purchased an Alder P/J body for the princely sum of £5 from one of the bigger retailers who was having a “Fire sale”.

I used the body, with some extensive “fettling” to a Squire Bronco neck, to create a “Mustang” short scale P/J. I chose to use the Seymour Duncan Pro-Active P & J Pups with the active preamp to match. The result was a decent short scale bass but alas it just did not get the use.

I was so impressed with the quality of the neck off the MM84a that I grafted it onto the alder body and created a very versatile 34 ins scale bass.

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5 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

Fender Stu Hamm Urge Ray

20201128_123451.thumb.jpg.1a69b1ab0f51ba8222b4f719e3533f74.jpg

 

 

I'd be tempted to remove the scratchplate on that, reckon it would look complete the look.

Edited by lemmywinks
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My only bitsa is my Frankenjazz. Body and neck bought from a guy on eBay called “Build-a-bass”, Hipshot tuners, Graphtech saddles, Audere preamp. Turned our to be a monster Jazz. Was going to swap the pickups but once the Audere was in never felt the need to. Maybe one day I’ll add some split “single coil” humbuckers? Similarly was going to add a high mass bridge but I like the old BBOT  bridge plus graphite saddles fine as is!

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Edited by TrevorR
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That Russian P I bought from @Beedster now with Badass II and 1972 tort and pick ups. CTS pots and switchcraft Jack.  Man she growl!!! Look how pretty she is. 

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