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bassist_lewis

NBD/Mustang Mod Diary

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Posted (edited)

I just took delivery of this beauty. I've always loved Pino Palladino's playing and the look of his custom shop precision, and this is only one pick guard away from being the same colour scheme - though that seems to be more of a challenge than I expected!

As well as getting a tort pick guard I'm going to do a few other mods as I've never been one for upgrading my instruments, I might add a drop tuner or change the strings but I pretty much buy a bass and leave it as is. I'll detail all my mods and upgrades in this thread for anyone who might be interested, it might also prevent other people making the same mistakes!

My first act as a newbie modder is to apply lemon oil to the fretboard, as Pau Ferro is a bit light coloured for my taste. Please take the cardboard box neck support as proof of my noob credentials.

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Edited by bassist_lewis
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That looks very nice, congratulations. Red is a bugger to photograph, is it the same in real life as the pics? I've never considered new strings an upgrade, though, changing the strings is the first thing I do on a new instrument 😂

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Looking good! 
How much lemon oil did you use? I've oiled my Mustang twice now & while it looks similar to yours when wet, it dries back to grey-brown - it's the only thing that's annoying me about the bass! 

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5 minutes ago, Lw. said:

Looking good! 
How much lemon oil did you use? I've oiled my Mustang twice now & while it looks similar to yours when wet, it dries back to grey-brown - it's the only thing that's annoying me about the bass! 

Very liberal, a couple of sprays per fret?! I know someone on here has done it (@kevin_lindsay?) and their's looked much darker in the photos. I'm going to leave it overnight and see how it goes (gf won't be happy the table is out of action!).

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19 minutes ago, Doctor J said:

That looks very nice, congratulations. Red is a bugger to photograph, is it the same in real life as the pics? I've never considered new strings an upgrade, though, changing the strings is the first thing I do on a new instrument 😂

The camera makes it look redder, in real life it leans towards brown... but it isn't brown 🤨 kind of pastel. The official Fender video is actually pretty true to how it appears in real life.

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@bassist_lewis I'd best give it another splash later then! It's getting there at the lower frets, but the dusty end is dry AF. Maybe eating a packet of crisps then doing some solo noodling is the way to go! 

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1 minute ago, Lw. said:

@bassist_lewis I'd best give it another splash later then! It's getting there at the lower frets, but the dusty end is dry AF. Maybe eating a packet of crisps then doing some solo noodling is the way to go! 

😂 I've cleaned it up and hung it up just now, but I'm doing a live stream tomorrow night so I'll do it again then.

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I've been reading a bit about finishing rosewood fingerboards (I know this isn't rosewood) and down the line too much lemon oil can present problems removing the frets and nut as the oil gets into the gooves and under them making the frets hard to remove cleanly. That might not be an issue, but a sparing approach might be your best bet. Or indeed crisps!

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Starting small, I've replaced the stock strap pins with StrapLoxx (I have them on all my basses). I have been exploring new tuners though. Luckily my Callowhill has almost the exact model I want to replace on the Fender so I checked they would fit, but no decisions/purchases made as yet.

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Posted (edited)

Tuners? Don't those come with the Hipshot lollipop ones like on the JMJ signature? 

Edited by Jonse

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On 26/03/2021 at 11:22, bassist_lewis said:

Very liberal, a couple of sprays per fret?! I know someone on here has done it (@kevin_lindsay?) and their's looked much darker in the photos. I'm going to leave it overnight and see how it goes (gf won't be happy the table is out of action!).

I used rosewood coloured furniture oil with a sponge and then a light application of lemon oil once that had dried.  Came up a treat. Worth thinking about if the lemon oil alone doesn't work.

Ref later point about the tuners - if this is a Vintera then the tuners are Hipshot, yes.

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3 hours ago, Jonse said:

Tuners? Don't those come with the Hipshot lollipop ones like on the JMJ signature? 

Yes, this has the hipshot lollipop ones, but I'm thinking of replacing them with the ultralight clover ones and an xtender.

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3 hours ago, foxyFuze said:

I used rosewood coloured furniture oil with a sponge and then a light application of lemon oil once that had dried.  Came up a treat. Worth thinking about if the lemon oil alone doesn't work.

Ref later point about the tuners - if this is a Vintera then the tuners are Hipshot, yes.

I'll look into that!

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So I've found a guy who will custom cut a pick guard for me, so mine is posted and the bass is hanging up with no guard and the strings hanging off. However, I took the opportunity to do some shielding in the pickup and control cavity, I even ended getting my JMJ and re-doing the shielding on that as well!

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Wow - that's surprisingly neat routing for fender, I assumed they would cut straight though from pickup to control cavity! 

These vinteras do seem like pretty decent instruments for the price! 

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1 hour ago, Lw. said:

Wow - that's surprisingly neat routing for fender, I assumed they would cut straight though from pickup to control cavity! 

These vinteras do seem like pretty decent instruments for the price! 

It was pretty messy close up, there were very rough tool marks where they had pulled up the router which I had to smooth out, and the floor of the pickup cavity is all uneven. HOWEVER, the instrument plays really well and sounds pretty great to me. It's definitely a chunky 'Fender' sound, it's not like a Fodera or a Ken smith... but that seems to be what I like these days!

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On 26/03/2021 at 11:01, bassist_lewis said:

this is only one pick guard away from being the same colour scheme - though that seems to be more of a challenge than I expected!

It never happened, and if it had the timing would have been all wrong, but I was planning to buy a white one and then see if anyone wanted to swap the tort scratchplate for the white pearl from their red Mustang.

I'm sorry that our paths didn't cross as they should have!

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I managed to find a guy who makes custom pick guards in Glasgow. I sent him my original and he copied it in tortoiseshell, both arrived today. In the interim I put on new knobs.

I shielded the pickguard and screwed it all back together. It looks as good as I hoped, however... it suddenly doesn't have any output 😖 so I'll have to get it to a tech to check the wiring.

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Sounds like you may have a short with the copper tape, unless a wire has come adrift of course.

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Posted (edited)

Looks great! My guess is your output is shorting on the copper tape. Take the control plate off and plug it in again . If it works it’s the shielding touching 

Edited by simon88wilson
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You're both right, I took off the control plate and the soldering onto the output jack was touching the copper, just bent it in a little bit and its fine. Thanks for the advice!

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Glad that worked, been there shorted that. 😆

Looks great, BTW.

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On 30/03/2021 at 16:50, bassist_lewis said:

Yes, this has the hipshot lollipop ones, but I'm thinking of replacing them with the ultralight clover ones and an xtender.

I highly recommend an Xtender and have put them on a couple of my basses.  You’ll have fun getting use to fretting the E string though when you have an Eb or D selected! 

It does make a 4-string much more versatile in certain situations and can save you having to lug a 5-string out for a few low D’s or Eb’s. 

Bass looks great by the way. 

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