Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

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pjm
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by pjm » 04 Dec 2017, 13:55

aphekgreg wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 10:01
Alright, so you were warned. I take no responsibility for emotional stress caused by this post. :hellno:

The body would have looked fine externally. No hint that it's plywood.
Image

Definitely appears to be a Dimarzio Model P. Looks to have been routed with a speed bore and a chisel. No idea what pickup would have been in it originally, although I'm guessing a single coil, so the body was probably a Saki or something similar.
Image

There don't look to be any alterations to the neck pocket, which means they were using Fender specs.
Image

I think I replaced the output jack at some point, which would be why I remember seeing inside. Whoever did the pickup rout, did a very neat job. I thought the top layer was covering the holes from when it was left handed, but have remembered that incorrectly.
Image
Thought it might have been an Ibanez Silver Series body going by the fully black painted arm rest but then they wouldn't have had to route it for a p bass pickup
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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 04 Dec 2017, 14:26

pjm wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 13:55


Thought it might have been an Ibanez Silver Series body going by the fully black painted arm rest but then they wouldn't have had to route it for a p bass pickup
Silver Series wouldn't have been plywood, would they?

I'm currently thinking is the body's probably a Hondo II. I know they had plywood bodies.

Something like this.
Image

https://reverb.com/au/item/786575-hondo ... odded-neck
Greg

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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 04 Dec 2017, 14:28

BassLine wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 13:52
An Ash (or Maple) body might better suit that neck, a bit snappier than Alder.

Is that a masonite pickup plate? I look at routing jobs like this and don't feel like such a bad luthier.
Yes, that's Masonite. Good enough for Danelectro........

I think either ash or alder would be good.
Greg

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pjm
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by pjm » 04 Dec 2017, 14:42

aphekgreg wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 14:26
pjm wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 13:55


Thought it might have been an Ibanez Silver Series body going by the fully black painted arm rest but then they wouldn't have had to route it for a p bass pickup
Silver Series wouldn't have been plywood, would they?

I'm currently thinking is the body's probably a Hondo II. I know they had plywood bodies.

Something like this.
Image

https://reverb.com/au/item/786575-hondo ... odded-neck

doesn't look like ply wood
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Fredbass
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by Fredbass » 04 Dec 2017, 15:00

Could be a japanese Squier body. My brother had a strat and the body wood looked exactly like this.
Could you please send me some detailed pics?

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ozrider
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by ozrider » 04 Dec 2017, 15:02

aphekgreg wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 11:20
Really? It's a cheap plywood body, so not worth anything and left handed basses are always harder to find.
I guess you're right, but no matter how cheap it is, I still find the workmanship a bit confronting.

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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 04 Dec 2017, 15:34

pjm wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 14:42


doesn't look like ply wood
They are though. A mate gave me a late '70s Hondo Strat and it was the same. Looks like regular wood from the outside, but ply within. This one doesn't look like ply from the outside either. I would have guessed it was alder, if I hadn't seen 'under the hood'. I assume there's a laminate facing on the front and back, to make it look nice.
Fredbass wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 15:00
Could be a japanese Squier body. My brother had a strat and the body wood looked exactly like this.
It's too old to be a Squier. The Squier wouldn't have been ply and would have had the pickup in the right place too. :shrug:
ozrider wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 15:02
aphekgreg wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 11:20
Really? It's a cheap plywood body, so not worth anything and left handed basses are always harder to find.
I guess you're right, but no matter how cheap it is, I still find the workmanship a bit confronting.
Fair enough. I never said it was going to be pretty.... Wasn't pretty from the outside either.

I've been involved in doing similar mods to cheap Japanese guitars, back in the '80s. I remember chiseling out the Hondo Strat (mentioned above) at some point, (which is when I realised it was ply) and also helping a mate chisel out another guitar (also with a ply body) to add a humbucker. Nobody thought they had any real value (and they still don't really), so it always felt fine to experiment on those, rather than our good instruments. You can get better instruments new today, for pretty much what those sold for in the late '70s, early '80s. They really weren't much good for anything but experimenting.
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Fredbass
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by Fredbass » 04 Dec 2017, 16:12

It's too old to be a Squier. The Squier wouldn't have been ply and would have had the pickup in the right place too. :shrug:
Agree.. looks to old to be a squier. But several Japanese squiers are documented to be ply/MDF, including my brother's strat.

The P was probably routed correctly, but they re-routed to make it lefty (I know it is not needed, but maybe that's what happened).
Could you please send me some detailed pics?

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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 04 Dec 2017, 17:19

Fredbass wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 16:12
It's too old to be a Squier. The Squier wouldn't have been ply and would have had the pickup in the right place too. :shrug:
Agree.. looks to old to be a squier. But several Japanese squiers are documented to be ply/MDF, including my brother's strat.

The P was probably routed correctly, but they re-routed to make it lefty (I know it is not needed, but maybe that's what happened).
I assume your brother's Strat is a later one? Late '80s at the earliest? Interesting brand Squier. The original Squiers (JV series) were all ash or alder and the same as the US vintage series, other than having Japanese made bodies/necks (same hardware/pickups and body specs). Once they'd been accepted, they became the Fender Japan instruments and Squier was then used for slightly cheaper instruments. Later on, they also used it for some high quality Japanese made models, that weren't Strats, Teles, P -basses etc.

This one really can't be a Squier, as the first JVs were made in '82 and sold here in '83. I think my mate has had this since around '85 and his brother had it for at least a few years before that. That would pre-date the first Squiers and definitely be before any made of plywood.
Greg

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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 04 Dec 2017, 18:03

I have the origins of this bass, straight from the horse's (or older brother's) mouth. I sent him a message through Facebook and he replied quite quickly. I've removed the names.

Hi Greg. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it started as an Emperador bass that I got second hand from who knows, probably through a friend who was the most experienced muso (drummer) I knew with lots of links. It had a shocking action and was not very playable. Believe it or not, I got the Fender neck as a swap for a set of retreads off the old HD Holden (I think?) A friend helped me dodgy up the scratchplate etc. I especially liked the solid knobs on it. I can't even remember how my brother got a hold of it, the canny lad!

I commented that his brother certainly got his money's worth out of it and got this reply.

That's for sure! It must have been after I came back from Adelaide with my very first brand new bass, a black Westone Thunderjet, about 1985. Still play it on a weekly basis.
Greg

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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 05 Dec 2017, 08:16

Just looking for pictures of Emperador basses and found this one in an old thread on here. These are the same tuners that were on the neck when I first saw it. I learned early on, that you could get a good idea of the quality of an instrument, by looking at the tuners. If they were cheap junk, like these, it was very unlikely to be much good. Possibly quirky and interesting, not not high quality.

Image

I remember seeing Emperador Jazz basses with crome covered pickups, that looked like Tele neck pickups, but don't know if I ever saw a P copy. Just found this one on TB. Same pickup I remember from the J style, so most likely the one that was in this body originally. The Dimarzio would have been a huge step up in sound quality.

Image
Greg

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jezzamac
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by jezzamac » 05 Dec 2017, 14:21

My first bass was an Emperador precision copy but it had a mini-humbucker pick-up as far as I recall.
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by rodl2005 » 06 Dec 2017, 09:17

Great read.. this thread. Thanks for sharing
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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 19 Dec 2017, 17:45

Here's the clip comparing the two necks on my Japanese Jazz body. Interesting to hear it it's as pronounced as I thought it was. No question the Japanese rosewood neck is brighter and more aggressive, although I'm hearing it mainly on the D & G.



EDIT: I used a shelf around 4kHz boosted about 2db and a touch of overall limiting, which mainly cut in on the slapping.

The eq plugin has a spectrum analyser as part of it and I noticed that 1kHz-5kHz was about 5db higher on the peaks, with the rosewood board, confirming what I was hearing.
Greg

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aphekgreg
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Re: Betsy, the Fried Egg Bass

Post by aphekgreg » 19 Dec 2017, 19:06

The new parts are here and the new body is due tomorrow. Think I should give the neck a bit of a clean, so it matches the body more closely.

A bit spotty after at least 3 different types of tuners. You can see the small rectangular shape from where the Emperador tuners were.
Image

I'm guessing we're looking at about 44 years of dirt under the string tree. Somebody has removed the A string tuner bushing with a screwdriver at some point.
Image

Can the binding be patched without replacing all of it? The neck would be a lot more comfortable (to me anyway) with the extra width back.
Image

'94/5 Japanese and '73 USA.
Image
Greg

Ibanez Musician, MusicMan, Dingwall Z3, Rickenbacker, MIJ Fender Precision & Jazz, Warmoth/Musikraft P/J-bass, Danelectro Longhorn.
Traynor YBA300, MarkBass, GK1001RB2, Berg AE212, Hartke 4.5, '64 Fender Bassman
http://www.aphekstudio.com.au

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