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1/2 strat, 1/2 bass (or something like that)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by samato, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Ok, maybe it's only 1/4 bass or less but...

    I wasn't sure if I should post this here or in "Other Guitars" but I thought I would document a little project I'm working on.

    ---Squier body, metallic red (Affinity series I think)
    ---1986 Squier MIJ neck (from the first guitar I ever owned)
    ---3 GFS ProTube lipstick p/u's (2 neck p/u's for B & N; M is RWRP model)

    ---1 master volume for the lipstick pickups
    ---standard 5 way selector switch for the lipstick pickups
    ---mini toggle switch for B+N (in parallel) combination
    ---mini toggle switch for B-M-N (all 3 in series)

    ---"BASS" pickup. 1 custom 3-pole pickup. I took a pickup from a cheap Starcaster strat to a great local shop. They removed the windings, cut the magnet in half, and removed 3 poles. Then they re-wound it around the 3 bass string poles.
    ---volume for "BASS" p/u
    ---tone for "Bass" p/u

    ---TRS (tip,ring,sleeve) stereo output jack. Tip connects to output of lipstick p/u volume pot. Ring connects to output of "BASS" volume pot.

    When I plug in a regular 1/4" TS mono cable I just get the signal from the lipstick p/u's. With a 1/4" TRS stereo cable I do the following (the reason I came up with this):

    The other end of the 1/4" TRS cable goes to a stereo "Y" cable. The tip side of the "Y" cable (lipstick p/u's) goes to a guitar amp. The ring side of the "Y" cable ("BASS" p/u) goes to an octave pedal set for 1 octave lower then to a bass amp.
    -------------------------------------

    I should end up with a pretty convincing bass sound and the ability to make it sound like a bass player and a guitar player, provided I play both parts well. I finished wiring and basic testing last night.

    I was doing this before by just splitting the regular output of a normal strat and overall it sounded good but the octave pedal was picking up too much of the high strings, even with an EQ rolling off highs before the octave pedal. This setup hopefully takes care of that and also allows me to keep my bass sound the same when using different pickup selections for the guitar sound.

    I plan to post some videos of this thing in action soon, some better pics too.

    I was kind of inspired to do this after seeing a recent thread about building a Chapman Stick kind of thing. Those seem really cool but too hard to play and too different from guitar for me. I wanna be able to play "normal" songs the way I already do but add to that.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Chadw

    Chadw TDPRI Member

    13
    Oct 7, 2012
    Newfoundland, Canada
    Would a low pass filter before the octave pedal work as well? I'd love to see and hear it.
     
  3. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    I tried that and it helps some but I think this setup will be better. I still might need the low pass filter and I'm hoping the tone control for the bass pickup will accomplish that.

    The problem is the high strings mess up the sound of the bass, causing it to "warble". Maybe there's a better way of describing it but if you've used an octave pedal you probably know what I mean.

    I'm using the Boss OC-2. I just found out, after already starting this project, that Boss also makes the OC-3 "Super Octave" pedal which has a poly mode and a range to control. That might accomplish part of what I want but I would still have the bass sound changing with my guitar pickup selections if I use that and a regular guitar. I don't want that. I still might want to pick up an OC-3 though.
     
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  5. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Here are some pics. I have some video clips I'll post as soon as they're uploaded.

    [​IMG]
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  6. rideit

    rideit Tele-Holic

    897
    Jan 24, 2013
    Jackson, WY
    Interesting project. Any chance for some video when it is set up?
     
  7. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    I recorded my practice session from earlier today and grabbed a few clips to post. They're uploading to YouTube now but VERY slowly. My connection must be slow tonight. I'll post the link as soon as it's live.
     
  8. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
  9. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

    Sounds great to these jaded old ears, Sam.
     
  10. richey88

    richey88 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 28, 2009
    philly suburbs
    Superfreakingcool!!
     
  11. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Thanks guys. I plan to keep practicing and see if I do something with it. Right now I can pretty much handle the guitar/bass/drum thing (though I noticed I need to start practicing with a metronome) but adding the vocals makes my brain hurt! Just guitar and vocals I do all the time but adding these other elements really changes things.
     
  12. shovelrider

    shovelrider Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 2, 2013
    Chicago
    I'm impressed. Nice playing and sounds really good. I am also interested in your kick box. I've been thinking of building one. Any info or suggestions?
     
  13. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    The box drum is really simple to make. I've made 2 so far and both sound different but good. Both different sizes and construction. I originally intended to play it with my hands while sitting on top. Then I started sitting on top and playing 2 kick drum pedals with my heels. Now I've decided the method you see in the video is best for me. It will allow me to do more "real drummer" stuff, with a lot of practice. I'm learning "heel-toe" technique so I can do more and play more efficiently.

    You really can't go wrong. Some people really go nuts with the details but I made mine very cheap, easy, and fast. Search "homemade cajon", I'm sure there are plenty of "how to's".

    Just make a box out of whatever wood you like. Cut a hole in the back. The front (beater side) should be a thinner wood. I have a couple guitar strings and tuners inside that the front panel makes contact with toward the top, for the "snare" sound. I used OSB, 1/2" I think and I don't remember the name of the wood I used for the front but it's much thinner. You can tune it by adjusting the guitar string tension and especially how tight the front panel is mounted. Maybe I'll take my front panel off and get some photos posted.

    Based on the 2 I've made, a bunch that I've played, and some I've heard on YouTube - they all sound pretty good. Just make a box and bang on it with something :lol:
     
  14. idjster

    idjster Friend of Leo's

    Your guitar/bass sounds really good! Very cool project. Congratulations!
     
  15. gtrguru

    gtrguru Friend of Leo's

    Apr 29, 2011
    Detroit Metro
    Cool build. I like your band's rendition of No Diggity but the video cuts off as your solo starts. Wtf
     
  16. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Thanks. I didn't like the solo so I cut it. I didn't really like how any of those videos came out or the guitar sound I got on most of them. It was a weird situation because it was a school project for some Full Sail students so we had full, top of the line production (lights, sound, video) but it was basically an empty room. It felt unnatural to me and had no vibe but we needed something for our promo kit so I tried to grab the best parts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  17. DrewB

    DrewB Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 3, 2005
    Independence, MO
    Cool concept and execution! It sounds really good, but the playing is going to be most of it. It will be interesting to hear you after you've had a year of exploratory time to develop your repertoire.
     
  18. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Oh yeah, it's gonna take some time to get this down. I think once I get a few songs to the point where I can play all the way through and make it sound decent it will start coming a little easier. I've got a long way to go before I can go out and play 30-40 songs at a gig.
     
  19. Mudguard

    Mudguard Tele-Meister

    Amazing! Great idea! The clip is great to show the idea too.
     
  20. samato

    samato Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    39
    Jul 16, 2008
    Orlando, FL, USA
    Thanks. Here's another one:

     
  21. Lunchie

    Lunchie Poster Extraordinaire

    That is pretty neat.
     
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