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CptBMFT

Help Restoring National Violin style bass

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Hi, my father gave me a bass guitar years ago. I basically have used it as art to just hang on my wall. He has always been a massive beatles fan and his birthday is coming up. The bass needs a little work. im not too worried about refinishing or restoring how it looks. i just want it to work. the input jack, volume pot, and nut are all gone. I would like to try to keep the original pickups in the guitar, but would like to redo all the other electronics while i am fixing the volume and input. What i need help with is what kind of nut, volume tone pots, and switches to use. I also need help with how to wire it all up. Also, if its not too hard to find i would like to look at getting a new bridge and pickups down the road. Do you guys know where i could find info on any of this stuff. Thanks for all the help! I am going to attach pictures of the guitar to try and help show what i need help with.

 

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I don't know the specifics of you bass, but I'm guessing that the controls are likely to be one switch for each pickup (on/off), master volume and master tone. If so, then the Gibson SB350 wiring would be a close match to try and replicate the missing parts.

Switches look similar to Fender Jazzmaster slide toggle switches. You'll need to measure the screw spacing, lever travel and lever dimensions to confirm if you can get a drop-in replacement. Although there may be nothing wrong with the existing switches, so don't create more work for yourself if it's not necessary. Test them first once you get the volume pot and input jack installed.

Control knob might be difficult to obtain. Looks like the volume pot was stamped with a 'V'. You may have to replace both knobs for consistency if looks are important, with say a Fender Strat 'volume' and 'tone' knob set.

Also looks like your bass may have come with a scratchplate and thumb rest mounted on a metal bracket, Les Paul-syle. There might be a screw hole in the side of the body where it may have been fitted, and also another one on the treble side just near the fretboard. You're unlikely to find an exact replacement though, and you may have to make a new one from scratch if you're going to restore it to that degree.

You might be able to get a pre-slotted nut that will fit your bass. The critical dimensions are the string-to-string spacing or the E-G (overall) spacing. You can always take an overly wide or overly tall nut and reduce it down to fit your instrument provided the strings rest properly within the boundaries of the neck. A good starting point would be to measure the width of the neck at where the nut needs to sit and subtract 3mm from each edge. This would be the point at which the outer edges of the E and G strings would sit on the neck, giving sufficient leeway for the outer strings to be depressed without rolling off the edges of the frets.

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