Here’s the Behringer 4-string bass I bought for $75 USD and posted about here.
It sounded nice but the truss rod hex adjuster was non-op. I ordered a Canadian maple Kmise replacement J-style neck from China via eBay for $36 USD, free shipping.
It took three weeks and arrived in a dented box. To my neighbor’s house. Oh, well. It proved to be unhurt and exactly as pictured on line when I finally got it. Simply beautiful.
How the manufacturers can make money by buying Canadian maple wood; shipping it to China for shaping; shipping it to Flushing, New York; and then shipping it to me in California, I do not know. Volume? Low overhead? Slave labor?
But it surely does look pretty, straight, and smooth, frets included.
You can see how much more asthetic the Kmise headstock is compared to Behringer’s blobby design-though it played and sounded OK.
I followed the original holes when I drilled the neck for the bolts* so the off center position came from the factory.
The new neck’s fit is 100% perfect in the neck pocket and I torqued the life out of the Phillips head screws so I expect it to vibrate nicely.
Tuner holes come a bit undersized, requiring some Dremel Moto-tool hogging out. I made them a bit oval but nobody except me will ever know. Well, and you now.
Positioning the tuners, I tapped a knitting needle in to mark the new holes.
Here’s everything I saved to put back on the new neck.
I have a genuine Fender P-bass strung with a set of fabulous Thomastik-Infeld (TI) Jazz Bass flatwound strings- low tension, super smooth and quiet (and expensive!).
So for this build I bought D’Addario XL regular light Nickel Wound roundwound strings, bright but also noisy-with my primitive playing anyway.
The strings should accentuate the bright maple neck so I expect this bass to be ringing, sustaining, forceful and melodic with piano like tones.
This sound will match my style of playing, which is not very bass-like at all. Since I’m not in a band and don’t jam with anybody, it’s just me and my Roland Cube’s drum track.
I don’t really play bass, more like melody, solo, shred, lead bass. I basically noodle up and down the neck playing fake blues and rock using minor, major, pentatonic and blues scales.
I just let my fingers rip with whatever intervals or rhythms suits my poor damaged ears. It’s not normal bass but it is my best therapy these days. I can’t wait to finish it to hear what it sounds like.
*Fender style guitar and bass necks are always called ‘bolt-on’. Why, I don’t know. Because the neck is always fastened to the body with wood screws. Did Leo Fender’s first ax use actual bolts? Tradition? It’s a mystery.
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