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How To Refinish My Music Man S.u.b. Bass?


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Hello Everyone -

I recently purchased a new Music Man S.U.B. bass from GC at a closeout price of only $425 - a great deal, as this bass usually sells for $650 - $700. It is American made, high-quality, well-built, great-sounding - a poor man's StingRay, in many ways. I was told it was a closeout because the finish (a slightly textured, low-gloss, industrial black) wasn't popular. Not my favorite, either, but I can live with it, especially after I replaced the standard black pickguard with a nice pearloid one. (I also replaced the tuners with a set of genuine Schallers that I bought for some other project. But I digress... :_)

So, I want to ask for advice from you experts regarding some modest refinishing. I would like to make at least the top smooth and a bit glossy, a little more glossy than a satin finish (sorry for the inexact terminology). Would the standard, textured finish need to be sanded a bit before a glossy finish is applied?

Also, since the body is black (an easy color to work with?) perhaps I could also have someone (certainly not me!) work over it - it is sort of a slab, with slightly rounded edges, and would be more comfortable with some slight chamfering on the back and for the arm rest area (sorry again for any inexact terminology, but you probably know what I mean). The body wood is poplar, BTW.

Also, I can't locate any StingRay replacement bodies (or even high-quality hardware) - does anyone know if these can be bought? Would it be feasible (i.e., cost-effective) to have someone make me a StingRay-like body from an ash body blank?

Any advice (especially with cost estimates) and suggestions or general chit-chat is welcome!

PEACE

JW

(Colo Spngs, CO)

Edited by Jazzhacker
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You realize that a refinish will put the bass out of commission for at least a month, right?

If that's not a problem for you, then it's easy enough to sand off most of the existing finish, then refinish it the way you want, sure. You don't have to go down to the bare wood.

As for the body part--for the right price, you can hire anyone to do anything. Well, almost. :D

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You realize that a refinish will put the bass out of commission for at least a month, right?

If that's not a problem for you, then it's easy enough to sand off most of the existing finish, then refinish it the way you want, sure. You don't have to go down to the bare wood.

As for the body part--for the right price, you can hire anyone to do anything. Well, almost.  :D

Thanks for your reply, Mickguard.

No - I did not know that. I was hoping to take some 000 steel wool or whatever to the (mildly) textured finish and (if necesarry) hitting it with black paint, then applying a glossy finish, probably just to the top. I wouldn't want to sand off the existing finish - poplar ain't pretty, so there's no use trying to strip off the existing finish. I need how-to info - what kind of steel wool / sandpaper, paint and finishing materials to use. Or, if I should just forget about it, I need to hear that, too!

JW

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The paint's not the problem, it's the clear coat you'll be applying on top to get your glossy finish. You'll need a bunch of coats of that, and then it takes at least a month for the stuff to cure before it's hard enough to polish. The clear coat gives you the shine--but it also protects the guitar.

Head over to the main PG site or look through the finishing tutorials, you'll get a better idea of what you're up against.

Basically, never work on your guitar unless you have another playable guitar available!

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