Miss Potential (Chinese p bass upgrade)

After she was named by @Jamietashi I thought I’d better do a bit of a upgrade as I go thread.
I’ve basically started with an Artist PB2 bass. Very basic made in China copy of the infamous Fender with the following specs:

Guitar Neck :- Truss Rod, Scale Length 34", 42mm Nut, 20 Frets, Eco-rosewood fingerboard, Maple Neck

Machine Heads :- Die cast

Body Wood :- Poplar with Basswood Veneer

Machine Heads :- Die-cast Chrome

Pickups :- Single Split

Controls :- Volume, Tone

Weight :- 3.2 Kg

Looking at the electronics recess I think they might be optimistic about the body as it appears more plywood. I was thinking of stripping it to bare wood but I must confess to being a little cautious about doing that now.
So far I’ve ordered new pots and a set of Tonerider pickups came my way tonight.
There’s no shielding in the cavities so I’ll be doing that too.
The bridge seems okay so I might make do with that for now.
The strings are very budget but as I bought a set of Dunlop super bright nickel strings for the Ibanez before I got the flatwounds I will put these on her.
Then there’s the neck. I may end up slapping a J style neck on her but not immediately.
So I’m waiting on the postie to drop the electronics in the letter box and the journey will begin in earnest.

6 Likes

@mac yes the painted bodies are generally hiding some ugly wood.
A good option is to just sand back the body front and put a veneer on top. There are some drop georgious veneers out there.
Jamie

4 Likes

Looks good @mac,
I’m sure it will sound great when you get it fired up.
Cheers Brian

4 Likes

A veneer @Jamietashi?! :thinking: May be a plan :+1:
I hadn’t thought of that. I was just thinking about sticker bombing it like Tokyo Rat (?) did but now you’ve given me another option :sunglasses:

Looking forward to getting the electrics in and try them out @b.s.excavations.

4 Likes

@mac ebay has lots under guitar tops, normally about half mm you will see some 6mm those are caps which is an option if you want to increase the weight down side to that is you have to take 6mm 1/4" off which is more a job for my 500mm thicknesser, so you would need to bring it with you when you visit me in Scotland :joy:
Jamie

2 Likes

Been mulling it over and I’m favouring taking the easy option and leaving her black.
Changed the control knobs for black ones I had knocking around and I’m liking that.
I’ve also spent the night noodling about on her and considering I paid more for my last set of strings than I did for the bass I’m very happy :blush:

4 Likes

Measured the neck at the nut tonight and to my delight it’s 38mm so no neck replacement necessary!
Spent most of the evening smoking,drinking Stella Artois and noodling on the bass. Life is good.
Now where’s the delivery man :joy:

4 Likes

The pickups arrived today but no pots yet or pick guard. They’re sat there staring at me saying” go on fit me,you know you want to” but I will be strong and wait :crazy_face:
Bloody tempting though :joy:

3 Likes

She will be well worth the wait Mac @mac
Jamie

3 Likes

The postie left me these in the letter box this morning :sunglasses:

The excitement soon took a dive when I realised that the shank on the new control knob is too short to go through the bass body :woozy_face:
So now I have to wait until the pick guard arrives :scream::crazy_face:

3 Likes

Finally the other parts arrived this morning so I eagerly began to assemble it all .
The first problem I encountered was my solder sticking to the pot tops. It simply wouldn’t easily. I’m thinking now in hindsight I should have made more of an effort to make a better “key” for the solder to stick to but instead I forged ahead and got the earth wires poorly in place.
Perhaps my head wasn’t in the right place and I should have stepped away from the soldering iron .
All tacked together I fastened my new electrics into the recesss ,strung her up and plugged her in. What followed was an ear piercing noise that had the cats running for cover!
On opening the cover I found my soldering had failed. Not happy as I’m no stranger to the dark art of electratrickery being heavily into custom motorcycles for a number of years.
So I’m back to square one for tomorrow.
I am going to buy some better solder ( the last was from Wish and didn’t really melt as I expected) and clean things up ready for round 2 .

3 Likes

Mac if you have the lead free, it’s a bitch. I still use 60/40 and use a fan.
Jamie

3 Likes

Just looked at it and yep,it’s lead free :scream: I’ll try and get something different tomorrow but we’re in pretty serious lockdown here again.

3 Likes

Can you adjust the temp on your soldering Irn?
For those outside Scotland Irn is iron, as in Irn Bru, our second national drink after Whisky. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Jamie

4 Likes

Irn Brew ! Oh how I miss that sweet nectar :crazy_face:
Our local butcher used to make awesome pork and Irn Brew sausages.
Anyway back in topic , I can adjust the heat on the soldering iron but only by “eye”. It’s a gas type piece

3 Likes

After @Jamietashi pointed me in the right direction for 60/40 solder I managed to get the pots sorted and Blondie producing some noise and an annoying hum which reduces when I touch the bridge or the strings. That seems to point towards a shielding issue so I’m waiting now for some tape to shield the new pick guard correctly and I’ll modify the bridge earth while I’m doing that.
I’ve also found that the original tone and volume knobs don’t fit the new pots so eBay will be getting a visit once again.
I’m also still waiting for some pick up springs and then I’m thinking she may become a BEAD bass :thinking:

2 Likes