Kit Bass Builds

Hey guys,
Here is a picture of the two bass kits that I had a blast building. The brown one is a Fret Wire kit that cost $160 plus freight. The other I got off of EBay from an Australian seller.

The wood needed finish sanding and the stain/color needed to be applied. I pulled the frets out of the blue one and built it as fretless.

They are a little crude, but building them helped me be better at understanding how to set up a bass. They play OK but a Fender is more to my liking.

Rock On!

11 Likes

And… the blue one?

They look really nice and I can undestand having fun and getting a better understanding through building them.
Could you elaborate a little bit on the “little crude”/“play OK” part? I’m really interested in the quality so go into as much detail as you like if you’re up to it.

3 Likes

Good for you, @GR001 . . . :+1: :+1:

That’s the spirit! :wink:

Cheers, Joe

3 Likes

A maker can see every little thing that did not turn out as well as expected. Thus my use of the word crude. If you have better wood working skills or better eyes than I have some of the beauty marks might have been avoided.

On contents of both kits I would rank as:
Wood B+
Neck C+
Strings D
Bridge B
Electrics C
Tuners C-

The blue one has a replacement bridge, tuners and strings as I wanted to try going black with the hardware and strings.

The brown one I did not like the first stain job that I did and I went down to raw wood to try again. In some of the areas I needed to use a dremel tool to do the curved areas. It burned a little too deep. Thus the crude. But my son liked the rustic look so much that he ended up adding it to his collection.

I ended up replacing the pots and wiring in both, but the improvement in sound was marginal.

All in all it was great fun and taught me a lot. But… it took too much time from working my way through the course and working on my technique.

7 Likes

Thanks for elaborating! Really interesting.

Mh. I always brushed those off because I somehow couldn’t get myself to believe that I could build a working instrument that sounds good even with a kit but I might be wrong about that.

There’s thiss Harley Benton Bass Kit available at thomann: https://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_bassguitar_kit_pstyle.htm

With the current amount of free time I have I am at least considering it after your post.

3 Likes

That kit looks good. The tuners are up graded. The pickup wiring looks easy and the pick guard comes with the pots wired. It looks like 4 or 5 solder joints and a clean build.

Go for it. You will have fun, learn a lot and have a keeper bass with a story behind it

5 Likes

I think they look great.

4 Likes

From the comments on the product I gather that I have to saw out the body shape myself. It seems it is delivered as a block although the product image doesn’t look like it. I still think you are right and I should go for it.

3 Likes

The body is rough sanded. You will need to fine sand it and use steel wool (0000) to get it silky smooth and between color and sealer coats.

I think the sawing comments are about the head stock. Notice the head stock on the brown one. It came the same shape as the kit you linked. I came up with the easy/weak design. I didn’t have a jig saw so I drilled some holes and chop sawed through them.

Zoom in on the blue one and see the logo that my grand son designed for me.

If you get the kit I can give you some coaching support.

4 Likes

I’ve been considering doing a kit build myself.
Thanks for posting this. I think I’m going to pull the trigger.

4 Likes

@juli0r that is a good quality kit, I’ve seen two of them.

Jamie

4 Likes

Nice work @GR001!

And it’s nice to see that some of you guys are getting into, or at least considering, building your own. Welcome to the Revolution! :smiley:

6 Likes

Looking good @GR001
Is the brown one a Pitbull guitar? Just finishing one of them myself :+1:
The blue one looks really good .
Liking the look of that a lot

4 Likes

The brown one is a very early Fender design that I got from Fret Wire. It is a Chinese kit that had a nicely grained wood body.

Both kits had good finger board wood but the frets needed a little work to get the fret ends smoothed out.

Tip: if you get a kit that has a rosewood finger board, be very careful about sanding the wood. I found out the hard way that it is a VERY thin layer of veneer.

5 Likes

Thanks for that tip :+1:

3 Likes

Auf Deutch! Ich vergesse mein Deutch! Ich habe Deutch dreizig jarhe studeren!

My broken German; I didn’t use Google translate though, that’s what came out of my head!

1 Like

It really looks like a fun project! I may just get one myself to learn more about construction. I’m very mechanically oriented; I know I can do it!

The shop has a language/shop selector so here you go: https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_bass_guitar_kit_j_style.htm