Saga bass kit build

For anything related to customising basses. Tuners, Bridges, Pickups
alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:54 pm

At this point I thought, I may not have a neck and strings on yet, but I can still see if it's alive... so I went and plugged it into my little practice amp, and tried tapping the pickups. We have noise!

Although one other problem - the lead was loose in the jack - loose enough to just fall straight out if it was held up. Took the pickguard off, and had a look. Was just a case of bending the little spring/clip thingy in the back of the jack over a bit more to make it tighter:
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Here it is with the plug in it, just in case you have an obssesive need to see absolutely everything:
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It "clicks" in like a real one now. And I'm pretty sure it was a little quieter when I plugged it back in this time too. It is still pretty noisy plugged in though. I'm guessing that's at least partly due to the almost complete lack of shielding in the control cavity, so I'll have to put shielding in my list of upgrades. Sooner rather than later for that one, too.

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john
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by john » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:11 pm

Oh yeah the more pics the better.

It's looking great. I am really enjoying watching it come together. That's pretty cool how the pots come already soldered, for people who have never soldered before. You can burn out a few pots pretty easy learning to solder :D .

I like the logo . Faker would be a good alternative too If frankenbass didn't tie in with your band, that's awesome that it does :lol:
Nice work man.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:15 pm

Thanks John. Yeah, Faker would be another take on the "Fender but not Fender" idea. I've also heard of people using "Ferden", which is obviously all the same letters, just rearranged slightly. It gives the same basic look, but Ferden just looks a bit odd to me.

Hopefully I can continue tomorrow night if the sticker arrives.
Although, I am meant to be learning a couple of songs for practice on Thursday night... hmm, wonder if that will get done.

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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by martyforrer » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:39 pm

I found some bridge screws, so need your details to send them.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:49 pm

Thanks Marty. Bass players rule!

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Fenderfan
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by Fenderfan » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:38 pm

Yeah, I agree with John - its great watching it all come together! I'm pretty interested in doing a similar thing, and this is just fueling my thoughts! :twisted: Good to hear of any problems, or hiccups with the kit too, and I'm keen to read your thoughts when all finished and plugged in. Sound clip when done if at all poss?
Fender MIA Precision, Squier Jazz, Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0, Ashdown ABM 1x15, 2 x DIY Jack 112 now complete!

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:36 pm

A sound clip is a good idea, must admit. Can't guarantee I'll get around to it immediately once it's finished, but ya never know.
I'm definitely curious to know how good/bad, or possibly average, it sounds.

One thing I can say already is that the hardware definitely seems to be of a quality that matches the price I paid. El cheapo in other words. So I'm not expecting it to be the best sounding instrument ever. OTOH, there is still the ability to upgrade various bits at some point. As long as the neck turns out to be reasonable.
Which reminds me, I ordered some shielding today from guitarparts.co.nz. They seem to have pretty good service, and I got an email saying it has shipped already. I didn't know whether to get the 1 inch wide tape, or the sheet stuff, and being the tight-arse that I am I didn't want to order both if I didn't need them, so I just ordered the tape.

Got the headstock sticker today, but unfortunately it is too big, so I'm going to have to get it re-done. Bugger, there's another hold up. Hey I just realised - doing this thread is making me more motivated to get it done.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:12 pm

The screws for the bridge from Marty arrived on Thursday, and he's right - they are about twice as long. No surprise there I guess, they do have to hold a lot of tension. Thanks again to Marty - he sent them to me for no charge, and wouldn't even take any money for postage! That's pretty cool, to say the least :D

Haven't made any more progress other than that though. Wife's birthday yesterday, so obviously not the best time to disappear into the garage. Gonna get the sticker re-done, maybe this week sometime, and have a go at the shielding too.
Last edited by alanp on Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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john
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by john » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:13 pm

Any more progress? I want to see some pics!!!!
This thread has inspired me to start sanding back a bass body I bought off trade me about 3 months ago. :D

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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:14 pm

john wrote:Any more progress? I want to see some pics!!!!
This thread has inspired me to start sanding back a bass body I bought off trade me about 3 months ago. :D
Sadly no more real progress yet. Been a bit slack on it (and busy).

I bought some white pickup covers from eBay a few weeks back:
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- I just always thought the black pickups on the white pickguard on p basses always looked a little cheap. I like the all white look on strats, so thought I'd try to replicate that.
Thing is, I have no idea how to change them over. I'm assuming it can be done, given you can buy the replacement items. I tried sticking a small screwdriver in under the black pickups, between the pickup cover and the actual pickup, but it's pretty solidly mounted in there, and I couldn't get it to budge. I assume it's glued in, and I didn't want to put too much pressure on it.
Anyone have any experience with this?

I might just paint the black ones white. The white pickup covers were only about 5 bux, and no shipping, so no great loss if they don't get used.

Also, I got some copper shielding tape from guitarparts.co.nz:
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- Their service is great (or at least quick). I got an email from them the same day I ordered it, saying the tape had shipped, and it arrived the next day! That's a pretty impressively quick turnaround for something coming from another city. I'll definitely use them again.

Once again I have no real clue what I'm doing with the shielding, but I guess I'll just scuff the paint in the control and pickup cavities, and put the tape in them (may have to get some copper foil too if the tape doesn't go far enough), and then earth it somehow.

Question: should I just cut the insulation on the earth wire that comes from under the bridge and join a new wire to it, to earth the shielding?
Or maybe solder a new wire in, to the same place the bridge earth terminates?

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:50 pm

john wrote:Any more progress? I want to see some pics!!!!
This thread has inspired me to start sanding back a bass body I bought off trade me about 3 months ago. :D

Speaking of inspiration, looking at the guitar parts section on ebay, and doing a keyword search of "bass" brings up a ton of neat stuff (not surprisingly), including lots of new and used bits for Fender basses, and repro/aftermarket stuff (in fact "Aladdin's cave" is the phrase the comes to mind, lol). Makes you start thinking how much fun it would be to assemble a bass completely from scratch, doing it exactly how you want it.

eBay can be a bit of a pain to navigate sometimes. Here's the link from my search:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Bas ... &_catref=1

I'm definitely interested in getting a replacement bridge at some point. The Badass bridges look pretty good.
Image

Probably overkill for this bass, but you know, they look nice...

martyforrer
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by martyforrer » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:26 pm

I had a mate a long time back (RIP) who built a tele clone and had the logo "Farter" on the headstock. He was a signwriter so I guess no problem for him.
You should not need any shielding with a P type pickup because it is hum-cancelling. However, if you do shield, make sure you have electrical continuity by putting a blob of solder on all tape joins, and run an earth wire from either pots or jack socket and solder it to the tape. Also make sure all pots are connected by earth to each other and to the jack socket.
BTW: Badass type bridges will make very little difference to the tone or sustain. It's a marketing ploy. The Fender style ones are just fine.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Thanks for that info Marty - particularly about the bridges.
Interesting isn't it how any number of "experts" on various forums will swear black and blue that their particular bridge made a huge difference to the sound of their instrument.

I've always wondered a bit about this "high-mass" thing for bridges that lots of people talk about.
I mean, the thing is anchored directly to the body of the bass via a number of screws (which are quite long apparently 8) ) , so you'd imagine the wood and the body/neck would be the limiting factor in rigidity, not the metal bridge.

Reminds me of the kind of stuff you see in hi-fi audio, but obviously not as extreme, where people claim to hear all sorts of improvements from various tweaks, some of which are quite mad, and if you can't hear the difference you are obviously just not listening properly.

Brilliant Pebbles anyone?
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alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:02 pm

Okay, I'm back - I just popped out to the shops.

After a break of a few months (ok - five months, ya pedants), I've managed to find some time to make some more progress on this. Gave up on the headstock logo (for now), and decided to just clear coat the neck, and get the bass bolted together.

First was to mask up the fret board:

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alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:05 pm

Then hang it up and spray it:

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You can sort of see the clear on it here:
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