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Vintage 70's bass guitar - worth getting it fixed?


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Yeah that seems right. I was just hoping that I could maybe make the original bridge work in the original position. In part I didn't want the holes to be exposed. I guess if it's for a better sounding bass this is the way to go. I'm thinking keeping this bridge is fine as is. I just posted the Fender bridge and Allparts mudbucker on Reverb. I'm done with these.

 

@Dad3353 Yeah I was looking at the barrel heights when I was playing yesterday and thought the same thing. If I was a punk perhaps it could be a badge of honor but I think I'm good without any bass playing induced cuts.

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3 hours ago, dajaphonics said:

In part I didn't want the holes to be exposed.

 

If you eventually decide to move the bridge there's a straightforward if slightly time-consuming way to hide the old holes. I won't go into detail now but it involves barbecue skewers :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was busy doing some other projects but I'm back on the bass project! Ok so I actually got a cheap bridge with the right spacing finally that I can adjust the individual height spacing. I also got another pickup which is the same as my other one. So, this is all new to me. 

 

First things first, I filled the front holes in with some epoxy. I'll probably do the toothpick trick next for the other five holes closer to where the new bridge screws will go. 

Next, I think I will install the pickup. I can do some additional research but I think this is where the two wires should be soldered. The white one on the first terminal and  the black wire where the solder is near the grey wire.

PXL_20220502_150510424_MP.thumb.jpg.26877ffdefe34d18b30a0bb06c9f2b12.jpg

 

After that, it looks like the pickup cover is too big to be placed on top of the pickguard. If I installed the pickup and the cover inside the cavity, I would have to file away the pickguard because it's not wide enough to fit through. So I think I'm just going to install it where it was before. I have the bridge placed about where I think I'm going to install it. 

PXL_20220502_164409958.thumb.jpg.02a92411b8aa87e22612f16e42754a97.jpg

 

Next, I think I'll mount the new neck pickup. I'm not sure how this is going to happen but I'll make it work. I have some epoxy if I need to create a little elevation and so I can drill into it.

 

PXL_20220502_150042264.thumb.jpg.a774524a2515f9dabc9bbce5724c2e36.jpg

 

 

 

After this I think I can install the bridge. I'd like to find a way to cover the neck pickup eventually. 

 

Does this seem to be a reasonable approach?

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Couple of things:

 

* I'm useless with electrics so you'll have to wait for someone knowledgeable to show up.
 

* For the bigger screw holes do the toothpick trick but use thin barbecue skewers
 

* In respect of the gaps around the pick-ups: Save yourself time and sadness, and get a new pickguard. 

 

Fairly amazingly, these guys offer a guard for an ET-280 straight off the shelf but you'll probably need them to adapt it to fit your new pickups. 


http://www.pickguardplanet.com/pickguards-epiphone-basses/

 

Once that's done you can hang the pick-ups from the guard and they should be the right height. Frankly, fifty bucks is a steal for a semi-rare guard like this.
 

Edited by skankdelvar
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Interesting that company makes a pickguard for the ET-280. As a side note, I recently checked out a dremel tool from a tool lending library and have an orbital sander. I'm just getting familiar with these tools and maybe I'm just eager on trying it out. Perhaps I can try it on some other plastic first before I go straight to the pickguard.

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1 hour ago, dajaphonics said:

After that, it looks like the pickup cover is too big to be placed on top of the pickguard.

 

Don't use the surround, fit the pickup in a hole in the scratchplate.

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I think I successfully soldered the new pickup. It's much easier when you have a decent soldering iron. Before I just had the iron without a stand, cleaner, little holders. I feel much more confident doing it than I ever had before. I got all the screw holes filled as well.

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Ok update. The big project (at least big for me) worked out! The new bridge is installed and I think it looks better and will probably line up over the pickups much much better.

 

PXL_20220502_221808162.thumb.jpg.cfe0552aee17ae90069fabf3028856bd.jpg

 

I screwed down the bridge pickup and wound the e string to see if it still works. For some reason, there is some sound coming out of the output when I insert up to the first ring of the lead but after that there's nothing. I tried playing with the switches/volume/tone and still nothing. There was a little bass sound coming out when I first wiggled around the jack but I haven't got any sound out of it since.

 

I can show you what I did when installing the second pickup. This is how the previous pickup was installed before I removed it about a month ago.

PXL_20220330_152726629(1).thumb.jpg.11668248133a116b3a02d1ee273a1187.jpg

 

Now here is what it looks like today:

PXL_20220502_222438150_MP.thumb.jpg.da6b089989ad6448b49ba0b1139a020e.jpgPXL_20220502_222340454.thumb.jpg.75e174c9e4714c786318bc5f46167f69.jpgPXL_20220502_222306366.thumb.jpg.5b3cfbc06eca9c19cc0c4440d5cd4c52.jpgPXL_20220502_222222068.thumb.jpg.4441a5ccd205af213743b7fe1f7fec34.jpgPXL_20220502_222324220.thumb.jpg.4f68ee02485efd459c94e0cbe0cfd77c.jpgPXL_20220502_150510424_MP.thumb.jpg.edb4282997236e9e3f087e8aad5bc5a4.jpg

 

 

I know it looks like such a mess. Can anyone tell if there's something obviously wrong from the photos?

 

Lastly, how close to the strings should I mount the neck pickup? Should it be about the same level as the bridge pickup?

 

PXL_20220502_221946052_MP.thumb.jpg.dc551ecee3c206d75e82b0fecd7124b1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, dajaphonics said:

Lastly, how close to the strings should I mount the neck pickup? Should it be about the same level as the bridge pickup?

 

The rough rule of thumb with pick-ups of equivalent output is:

 

* Neck pick-up lower than the bridge pick-up and...

 

* Low enough that the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the neck pick-up is greater than than the corresponding gap at the bridge pick-up.

 

* When installing the pick-up try to use a method that permits you the ability to adjust this gap by a few mm either way.

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Posted (edited)

So I'm feeling good today. I bought this bass in 2013. It had the original parts and I had a "professional" replace the pickups do the setup. 

 

I get it back and the e string barely made sound. The intonation was off and the strings were fretting out.

 

Frustrating and still largely unusable I decide to find a second person to fix it in 2018. He tells me to buy the wrong bridge. Installs it incorrectly. Still have the same problems.

 

2022 I go to basschat and a group of very friendly and helpful people encourage me to do the work myself. You all helped me figure out my bridge position, find the right bridge for this short scale, encourage me that drilling a few holes isn't so tough. I also took it upon myself to install a new pickup.

 

Let me say, I feel very proud of myself for being able to do this but I wouldn't have even tried if it wasn't for you guy. A very special thank you goes to @Downunderwonder for all the encouragement and advice and being there throughout the process. Also @Woodinblack for encouraging me to rip out the wiring and start from scratch. You helped me figure out how to use my multimeter and I learned how to solder as well. Not to mention how to fill holes with toothpicks.

 

The bass is working now about as perfectly as I could possibly ask for. Intonation is great. I'm not sure about the string height yet but it plays well. The G string is a little offset on the bridge pickup but it picks up the sound pretty decently. If I really wanted to I could maybe move that pickup I little toward that direction. 

 

The only thing I want to consider in the future is mainly aesthetic. I was hoping to find some paint to match to do some touchups. I was also looking to get something to do about the exposed cavities. Maybe I'll take a 3d printing class in the future and design something to fit over it.

 

I don't consider myself a handy person but right now I'm trying to learn. So thank you to everyone who participated in making my bass what I wanted it to be in 2013. For something a luthier wanted to charge over $300 I did for myself with a soldering iron and a new bridge and a lot of support.

 

PXL_20220506_222339790.thumb.jpg.bf3ce43d7fc12f7c46acca433b0d1d7f.jpg

PXL_20220506_222208376.thumb.jpg.ef6db9530ad5b72eaebb2781ba130674.jpgPXL_20220506_222251257.thumb.jpg.b89946c466fac1d2d422cfb35096e68a.jpg

PXL_20220506_222231687.thumb.jpg.8de6bb1cabbd604dab03479eef3db9fd.jpgPXL_20220506_195146462.thumb.jpg.32e7d65b51eb4362a955b8cc9f03b5e9.jpgPXL_20220506_195136851.thumb.jpg.7326feb6e6e1b0023ec70137882389ba.jpg

 

The old wiring 

PXL_20220330_151804833.thumb.jpg.b57f7d520665931c185a8d7518817356.jpg

 

The new wiring

PXL_20220506_005331910.thumb.jpg.4b6da710fb156ee1dc2c76e05f0d22ef.jpg

 

It goes to 11 now 🤘🤘

PXL_20220506_194639958.thumb.jpg.263a1036b2373f641d107d52544897b8.jpg

 

I had Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire" bass line in my head all day so it had to be the first thing I played when I finished. Here's a sample of what the bass sounds on the different settings. The first three are demos of just the bass straight into ableton. The last three I'm running the bass through a Rusty Box pre-amp before sending it to ableton.

 

 

 

Edited by dajaphonics
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Result!

 

I don't know that I had that big of a role in the works. I just didn't want to see you flip it for a huge loss when there was only one little job to do to get it working way far better. Then you jumped in with both feet.

 

You can find acrylic sheeting at a sign shop. You want a strip of black and someone with a router to help wack out some surrounds that screw into those spare holes currently filled with ugly (not)countersunk ones. Replace with button head screws while you are at it.

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Posted (edited)

I never heard a Rusty Box demo before. Repeat 1000 times, I do not need another effect toy, I do not need another effect toy, I do not need another effect toy...

 

Tres subtle.

 

If you taped around the new pickup layout on your existing pick guard someone here might make you a whole new one for the cost of the multi ply sheet and it would look all OEM.

Edited by Downunderwonder
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On 07/05/2022 at 14:50, dajaphonics said:

So I'm feeling good today. I bought this bass in 2013. It had the original parts and I had a "professional" replace the pickups do the setup. 

 

I get it back and the e string barely made sound. The intonation was off and the strings were fretting out.

 

Frustrating and still largely unusable I decide to find a second person to fix it in 2018. He tells me to buy the wrong bridge. Installs it incorrectly. Still have the same problems.

 

2022 I go to basschat and a group of very friendly and helpful people encourage me to do the work myself. You all helped me figure out my bridge position, find the right bridge for this short scale, encourage me that drilling a few holes isn't so tough. I also took it upon myself to install a new pickup.

 

Let me say, I feel very proud of myself for being able to do this but I wouldn't have even tried if it wasn't for you guy. A very special thank you goes to @Downunderwonder for all the encouragement and advice and being there throughout the process. Also @Woodinblack for encouraging me to rip out the wiring and start from scratch. You helped me figure out how to use my multimeter and I learned how to solder as well. Not to mention how to fill holes with toothpicks.

 

The bass is working now about as perfectly as I could possibly ask for. Intonation is great. I'm not sure about the string height yet but it plays well. The G string is a little offset on the bridge pickup but it picks up the sound pretty decently. If I really wanted to I could maybe move that pickup I little toward that direction. 

 

The only thing I want to consider in the future is mainly aesthetic. I was hoping to find some paint to match to do some touchups. I was also looking to get something to do about the exposed cavities. Maybe I'll take a 3d printing class in the future and design something to fit over it.

 

I don't consider myself a handy person but right now I'm trying to learn. So thank you to everyone who participated in making my bass what I wanted it to be in 2013. For something a luthier wanted to charge over $300 I did for myself with a soldering iron and a new bridge and a lot of support.

 

PXL_20220506_222339790.thumb.jpg.bf3ce43d7fc12f7c46acca433b0d1d7f.jpg

PXL_20220506_222208376.thumb.jpg.ef6db9530ad5b72eaebb2781ba130674.jpgPXL_20220506_222251257.thumb.jpg.b89946c466fac1d2d422cfb35096e68a.jpg

PXL_20220506_222231687.thumb.jpg.8de6bb1cabbd604dab03479eef3db9fd.jpgPXL_20220506_195146462.thumb.jpg.32e7d65b51eb4362a955b8cc9f03b5e9.jpgPXL_20220506_195136851.thumb.jpg.7326feb6e6e1b0023ec70137882389ba.jpg

 

The old wiring 

PXL_20220330_151804833.thumb.jpg.b57f7d520665931c185a8d7518817356.jpg

 

The new wiring

PXL_20220506_005331910.thumb.jpg.4b6da710fb156ee1dc2c76e05f0d22ef.jpg

 

It goes to 11 now 🤘🤘

PXL_20220506_194639958.thumb.jpg.263a1036b2373f641d107d52544897b8.jpg

 

I had Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into the Fire" bass line in my head all day so it had to be the first thing I played when I finished. Here's a sample of what the bass sounds on the different settings. The first three are demos of just the bass straight into ableton. The last three I'm running the bass through a Rusty Box pre-amp before sending it to ableton.

 

 

 

 

It sounds great! Liked all the three pickup positions, interesting sounds from the each one.

 

The only thing left to do is a new pickguard and you're good for next 50 years

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice one everyone, good to see the forum community spirit demonstrated here in spades.

 

It reminded me of a news report I saw recently when a passenger was talked through landing a plane after the pilot had taken a turn for the worse.

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