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HB PB-20 SBK

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OK, so first build and first proper post, so go gently¬†ūüėĀ¬† Compared to the stuff done in here this is almost embarrassing to do but we all have to start somewhere I guess, so, I am fairly recently back into Bass after nearly 40 years, decided to do a cheap project P style bass, back then¬†I was plug and play (Vox Standard amongst others) very little attention to anything else.¬† OK, I could have bought a decent one but I like to tinker and nothing better than taking something average or less so in this case,¬†improving and learning along the way.

So I found an unloved HB SBK 20 on FB for £40 and thought I didn't have a lot too loose at that, what's the worst that can happen?? The thing was shot Tuner wise, but apart from a couple of little nicks good condition. Tuner cogs teeth were all chewed flat, would tune somewhat and just slip out of tune, sounded ok though but needed sorting. I am not taken with the all Black look so decided to go Chrome, nice contrast to the Black, imo. So the shopping list was.....................

Chrome Bridge and Tuners (£42)

Seymour Duncan QP's (£80) 

Black Tusq Nut (£10)

Chrome String retainer (£3.50)

P Bass Flat Top Knobs (£8.50)

Stainless Scratch plate screws (£5.25)

Chrome Strap buttons (£7.99)

Copper Tape (7.99)

Pots/Wiring (£23) Ebay

SBK 20 (£40)

I wont you anyone more than you probably are by now, so I will be brief as possible with the rest.  Removed old Tuners, plugged old holes with Cocktail sticks and CA, was not worried on looks as they come under the new Tuners so not an issue. Re drilled the new tuner holes without much fuss. Then the same on all the scratch plate screw holes, all bar one were stripped as such, left them 5 mm short of the top so as to leave a bit of a guide for new screws, all tighten to a stop now. 

Dry fitted the new wiring/pots, this just needed a small amount of wood off the side of the recess for it to drop in nicely, the old pots were crap, all the adjustment in the last quarter of a turn, nothing before and they were very, very loose friction wise, so worth changing the lot.

The nut was a bit more of an effort, guess HB decided they were unlikely to be changed so it was well glued in, had to remove it bit by bit, a pain tbh but got it all out, tidied the slot up and the new one slipped in a treat.

Then it was shielding the scratch plate and cavity, I wanted to do this to more to try it, as a few quid and a couple of hours is cheap learning imo. Went with the 1" width as more versatile for the job in hand imo.  I had assembled everything back together prior to doing this too see how the tone noise was prior to shielding and it was quite loud, mostly disappearing when strings etc touched, happy to say (once I had earthed it, DUH!!!!) the result is considerably quieter now, so worth the effort and it gave me the opportunity to do a few photos for this, not great but hopefully show

Its not perfect, a few rookie mistakes along the way but hey ho!!!!!!

Put it all back together and put some DR Hi Beams I bought for my TRBX to try it out, actually surprised how good they sound, nice thud but quite bright too, but I will try some flats on it at some point soon though. I was not looking to make it Classic P Bassy looks wise or sound wise, just what I liked and that it sounded good to me and it does, so for a first basic attempt it is a win win for me especially at a tad over £230 all in, plus some new strings eventually, which is what this was all about for me, a pointless waste of time and money to some I guess, could have bought a ............. for that etc, but each to their own, still a very enjoyable and educational exercise well worth doing. Thanks for reading to this point (if you did) 

Cheers¬†ūüėä

 

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Not a pointless waste of time and money at all.  An invaluable learning experience that has given you a sense of achievement and a lot of fun, more like.  I love this kind of fiddling, myself.

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A 'Dastadly' upgrade their Mutley...

Snazza frazza rashin' fashin'

Edited by PaulThePlug
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As said above, nicely done, great starting point for tinkering/modding, and above all else, it has your stamp on it.

Nice one ūüĎćūüŹľūüėČ

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Lots of members are reporting back favourably on HB projects.

Yours looks well thought out with some well chosen hardware.  I agree with Paul; it's not pointless at all.  You've ended up with something quite respectable for the outlay whilst learning some of the ins and outs.

No doubt you are already thinking about your next.

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I really like the chrome hardware.  Looks good.  If I were to change anything, it would be the scratch plate, as it doesn’t follow the lines of the body, especially around that bottom horn (could be the angle of the photo though).  They’re surprisingly easy to cut and shape.

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Looks good to me! You may think it's not worthy of the thread,  but remember two things:

It's more than most bass players have ever done. Including me I should add.

Everyone starts somewhere. There was (probably) a time when¬†@Andyjr1515¬†didn't know one end or a chisel from another. ūüėČ

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15 minutes ago, Richard R said:

There was (probably) a time when @Andyjr1515 didn't know one end or a chisel from another

Based on the number of scars on my fingers, I'm not sure I still do! ;)

This is great!  I'm a big fan of Harley Bentons and you've done this one proud, @Mutley   Splendid job.

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I love this sort of project, lots of changes like these add up to a massive difference in the end. Respect! :)

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Hmm - needed tortoiseshell ... oh hang on, no, you’ve got that one covered 

As you were. Good work mister

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Being a fan of all things Harley B, I am outraged at this sacrilegious defilement of a sacred relic. 

But seriously folks.... a great resurrection of an others defunct instrument. 

As others have said don't play down your achievements here, the work is well beyond what most of us would even attempt. 

And I know for a fact that these are very good basses, so you ought to get years of pleasure from it. 

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That looks ace - good work fella!

Some of this stuff in this forum is pretty intimidating - highly skilled luthiers crafting incredible instruments out of wood from antediluvian oak trees and hardware made from preserved angel's tears, but there's always a place for the well done upgrade of a neglected instrument. As a part time bass-bodger, I'd love to see more of these projects on here. Maybe we should have a sub-forum for us mere mortals who have to have a stiff drink and a quiet lie down, before we do so much as change a control knob on a bass?

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2 minutes ago, rushbo said:

there's always a place for the well done upgrade of a neglected instrument

...and this is where many of the 'old hands' started.  Certainly it is where I did. 

We are in a bit of a 'golden age' of guitars and basses where, often, the main functional differentiation between entry level instruments and many prop-quality ones are the hardware and electrics.  The build and finish quality of the modern HB/ Epiphone / Squier /etc / etc basses and guitars is stunning at any level...but on an 'at the price' level, they are off the scale ;)

 

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I love seeing basses brought back to life as much as seeing the insane level of craftsmanship on the scratch builds.

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Thanks very much everyone for all the positive feedback, its great to have some learned opinions, especially on a first attempt. A couple of Bass's will have to go sooner or later and who knows, I may get stuck into¬†another one, will be asking a few questions on here if I do, hopefully that will save me a bob or two or stop the rookie mistakes¬†ūüėĀ

Thanks again 

 

On 03/02/2021 at 17:19, SpondonBassed said:

Lots of members are reporting back favourably on HB projects.

Yours looks well thought out with some well chosen hardware.  I agree with Paul; it's not pointless at all.  You've ended up with something quite respectable for the outlay whilst learning some of the ins and outs.

No doubt you are already thinking about your next.

The SBK is solid, has a great sustain, the neck is just how I like it for a P, so it is a great starter project for sure. I have an SX JB75 Swamp Ash in Blue that I got for a steal from DV247, prior to leaving the EU that is, rock solid superb quality and finish, that will get the shielding and a scratch plate, but I really like the sound of the Pup's, Hardware and pots/wiring are great, so just a mini project.

 

9 hours ago, stewblack said:

Being a fan of all things Harley B, I am outraged at this sacrilegious defilement of a sacred relic. 

But seriously folks.... a great resurrection of an others defunct instrument. 

As others have said don't play down your achievements here, the work is well beyond what most of us would even attempt. 

And I know for a fact that these are very good basses, so you ought to get years of pleasure from it. 

I love HB's too, I have the MP-4 MN Enhanced which is my go too. Love it as is, so no desire too upgrade any of it ........ YET!!! :)

 

23 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

I really like the chrome hardware.  Looks good.  If I were to change anything, it would be the scratch plate, as it doesn’t follow the lines of the body, especially around that bottom horn (could be the angle of the photo though).  They’re surprisingly easy to cut and shape.

Didn't really notice, but see what you mean, but looking at it, it follows the the ridge on the body perfectly, however, the chamfer is a lot shallower and longer on the neck side which makes it look out of line, the camera angle does make it look worse to be fair, I can live with it, :)

 

 

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Looks great!! Well done on your first project!! ūüĎćūüŹĽ

I keep looking at them and think I'm going to get one but then I notice the tort and start to feel really queasy!! ūü§ģūü§ģūü§ģ

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