Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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J.B. Player Precision/Jazz Bass Rescue and Set Up, Take 3

With the electronics all fixed and the body nice and cleaned up, I turn my attention to the fretboard.

It's in good shape, except the frets themselves are a bit corroded.  I just take some 0000 steel wool to them to polish them up a bit.  I have some 'fretboard protectors from Stewart-MacDonald that are great - they just expose the fret itself so you don't put any marks on the fretboard.

As I said, the frets are in good shape - with very little or no wear, except a big ding on the 3rd fret.  I briefly think about leveling it out, but I don't - mainly because I don't think it affects the way it will play.

This has been a surprisingly quick fix up.  I did all the work over the course of about 2 hours. 

Now ve bolt ze neck back on.  No problems at all, and I have to note that the bass has a nice tight fit between the neck and the neck pocket.

Just a little bit of lemon oil on the fingerboard to condition it.  I mean a tiny bit - it goes a long way.

I go to restring it with GHS medium gauge Boomers (you may have seen the package on the workbench...) and find that the low E string's winding is too large to go into the bridge.  Doh.

I've seen this sort of slight mismatch before - a lot of Fender copy instruments don't conform exactly to the original spec.  About a year ago, I worked on an old Strat copy for a colleague.  It had a 3-way pickup switch - the old style.  I went to put a modern 5-way Fender replacement on it, and found out the slot in the pickguard was too short!  So I just left the old switch on.

In this case, though, I want to put this gauge of strings on.  I wound up just reaming out the hole a bit with a 1/8" drill bit.  No problem at all.

Then I was able to do the rest of the setup - a bridge height adjustment and intonation.  I didn't take pictures of this - I've documented this before.  Works the same on a bass as it does on a guitar.

Here's a beauty shot of the finished bass on the workbench.  Looks pretty cool.   I just put some electrical tape under the pickguard to cover the second 'mystery' switch hole. 

The bass sounds pretty darn good and plays really well.  I was able to lower the action quite a bit so it's real nice to play.  But boy, is it huge!  I don't play bass a lot so the scale and the gauge of the strings is always a surprise to me.  The scale is actually twice the length of a tenor ukulele (34" vs. 17") and about 8.5 inches longer than a Tele or Strat (25.5"), so it's a big jump up.

The bass will hopefully be in the hands of its new owner soon!


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