No name Precision copy after 15 years in the loft...

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by KelvinS1965, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I bought this no name bass in about 1983-4 for the princely sum of £40 brand new. I wanted to be able to add bass to tracks I was recording on a 4 track cassette I bought at the same time. It always had a high action and I didn't play it much, so it ended up in my loft about 15 years ago.

    Anyway, having a clear out recently I re-discovered it. It was filthy after all this time and the finish has cracked badly (I didn't think it would have been nitro, but it seems to have cracked like nitro does). I decided to try to clean it up and see if I could get it to play.

    The neck is like a banana, so I don't know if I can really get it straight enough, so might have to be a bit unconventional with my 'repairs' as it's not worth buying a new one for it: The idea is to fix it without spending money, only time on it and using some spare bits I have left over from guitar mods such as pots to replace the rusted one inside.

    The only marking on it is a little gold foil label that says 'GDR' which I guess is the old East Germany.

    As it was straight from the loft:
    Post loft find.jpg

    Close up:
    Post loft find 2.jpg

    Close up of fingerboard:
    Fret board close up.jpg
     
  2. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Nice project.
     
    nojazzhere and KelvinS1965 like this.
  3. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    "Naturally Aged" finish! :lol:
     
    KelvinS1965 likes this.
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    It looks better in the pictures than it seemed in person...I felt dirty just touching it. :eek::D

    Striped it down to give it a clean yesterday. The pickguard cleaned up easily with some polishing compound and I went over the body with my DA polisher to get the crud off. Somemore of the body paint came away too, but that's part of the 'patina' I guess. :D

    The pots and output jack have rusted badly (though surprisingly the bass still works as I tried it through a guitar amp to test it). Easy enough to replace those and find a spare knob to replace the missing one (which is nicely aged).

    Rusty pots.jpg

    The rest of the body once the pickguard was removed:
    Pick guard removed.jpg

    Cleaned pickguard:
    Cleaned pickguard.jpg

    I managed to keep the strings on the tuning posts while I did this as I don't want to waste money buying new strings unless I can get the neck a bit straighter. I did try adjusting the truss rod and measured a slight improvement in the 'dip', so maybe it'll pull back a bit more if I leave it with the strings loose. Otherwise I might try to clamp it to some solid wood, like a fence post with some wood spacers to hold it in a convex curve.
     
    emisilly likes this.
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    This is as it stands today after I re-assembled it and tuned it up.

    Reassembled post clean.jpg

    This is what I'm up against regarding the action/neck relief. That is around 10mm between the fret and the bottom of the string at the 12th fret. :eek:
    High action shot.jpg

    I'm hoping some shimming of the neck and clamping it against some solid wood to put it back flat might allow me to make it a bit easier to play than now. :D Then I can worry about giving the fret board a better clean and replace the pots/output jack.
     
  6. ranjam

    ranjam Tele-Holic

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    For the 'Princely sum of £40' I would definitely spend time, and extra cash if need be, to get it going. It could end up being an awesome bass for banging about. Your idea of a shim and clamping it straight are exactly what I would do. Loosen the truss rod right off, very carefully. If the rod is seized or rusted, it could snap. Maybe shoot some Liquid Wrench in there first. Then clamp the neck in a back bow (a 'frown face') and either heat it up or just leave it for a while. Watch this video two or three times. It'll end up a decent bass. I see decent import pots, and not the cheesy 16mm types. You'll keep us up to speed, right?

     
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