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Build #3, Thread #1: My New Thinline Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    A little sneak peek here:

    [​IMG]

    I put it together and it’s looking good. There’s some noise coming out of the preamp that I have to pinpoint. Also, I have to make a new pickguard. I ordered the material from eBay and they said it was cast acrylic, but it’s extruded acrylic for sure. It’s scratching like a flea-bitten dog.
     
    eallen, RiversQC, Zepfan and 2 others like this.
  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Does anyone out there know a good material and source for a single-ply black pickguard? They have PVC sheets at Mojotone, but I imagine shipping for one sheet is out of this world.
     
  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Guitarfetish.com has sheets of single ply Black, but it's a Matte finish. Have you looked on the Stewmac site?
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  4. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
  5. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I’ve spent the last day or two troubleshooting and tweaking my preamp a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Turns out I had a bad capacitor somewhere, and it was making tons of racket and killing my output.

    Since I recreated the preamp on my breadboard, I decided to change a few of the resistor values. I’m running 2x9v on a circuit that calls for 9v. I used the extra headroom to up the gain by bumping the value of R2 from 10K to 15K. Since the pull-down resistor value doesn’t seem to be all that crucial, I attached a trimpot to dial in a good-sounding value and replaced it with a resistor. Also, I seemed to have misplaced my bag of J201s, so I swapped out the buffer trannie with 2N5457. I guess those are better for buffers anyway.

    Somebody please remind me that I am waaaay out of my wheelhouse here. I should not be designing preamps.
     
    Arch Stanton likes this.
  6. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    I buy A4 size 2mm acrylic sheets on ebay from plastics suppliers.... white/black/clear...they usually cut as many as you want and post them out...
     
    Freekmagnet likes this.
  7. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Last night, I plugged the bass in and it worked. She speaks like thunder.

    [​IMG]

    I have rehearsal tonight and we’re playing Friday and Saturday, so this will be getting a test drive right away.

    After doing a side by side comparison with my 2015 StingRay, I was pretty proud that my pickup and preamp had less hiss.

    Not ready to sign off on this build yet - I still have to cut a new pickguard and truss cover. I ordered some material that should be here Friday. Sometime early next week, I am going to set up my lights and shoot some glamour shots.
     
  8. CraigB

    CraigB Tele-Afflicted

    That's beautiful! Extremely nice work. Hey, looks like we're practically neighbors. I'm in Santa Maria
     
  9. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thx!

    Haha - yeah Santa Maria is about 2hrs from me. I guess by Southern California standards, that is practically neighbors!
     
    CraigB likes this.
  10. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    298
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Quick tone report: I took the bass to rehearsal the other night and it seemed to work OK. The bass amp at the studio is some crummy old 100w Yamaha from the 70s. I managed to get a decently clean tone from the amp just using the controls on onboard the bass.

    Overall, the bass plays great. It has a really tight feel to it which I was pleasantly surprised by. Sound-wise, the pickup and preamp are really bright and have that hi-fi vibe that will take some getting used to. Every note is really there. There’s plenty of bass, and I’ve been cutting some of the mids on my amp. Theoretically, if the new flatwound strings ever deaden, I can just cut the mids by turning up the highs on my onboard preamp. Sometimes the output is a little hot and almost has too much attack when I really pluck at it. I might consider either decreasing the gain on the preamp or knocking the wind count on the pickups down by a 100-150 turns. I’ll have to figure that out. I guess now that I’ve moved the electronics from my crummy Squier to my more tightly constructed bass, all this stuff makes more of a difference.

    The bummer is that they no longer make my brand of strings. I’m using Dunlop Flats, and like most modern flatwounds, they’ve super bright. I’ve tried Chromes, Ernie Ball and a couple other brands. Most of them are too bright and clangy for me. The GHS Precisions are pretty good, but they wear out - the frets make grooves in the strings and they don’t vibrate properly. I used to use the Sadowski Black Label Flats. They were made by LaBella and had a similar vibe tho their stock Deep Talking Flats. The Sadowsky strings had a more reasonable tension and just a little more midrange and brightness. I called LaBella for some guidance and they recommend the Low Tension Flats. I’ll give them a try; my worry is that they’ll have the wet spaghetti noodle vibe that the Thomastik-Infeld strings have.

    I’ll have two gigs with it this weekend and I’ll be back with more.
     
    Zepfan likes this.
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