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Fixing A Butchered Rout?

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I was given a beat up asian fender j-bass knock-off. as i have to watch the cash & can't a fford a working bass right now, i decided i'd fix this one up.

the pick-ups in it were actually rusty & corroded, the wiring was all badly soldered & it was just a mess. i've stripped it down & sanded the body.

here is the problem: i'm going to install some slightly used Squire pick-ups (got a pair for $25) but sometime in the past someone has routed out the bridge pick-up for a humbucker.

(btw, here is a pic as it looked when i got it, can anyone id the pickups or even the manufacturer? it has no i.d. except 2 bits of japaneese writing http://www.xz550.com/art_files/VisionBass.jpg )

so i need to fill the bridge hole so the squire pick-up fits cleanly. i was thinking to either veneer a new maple top, (but would that raise the bridge up enough to make it unajustable?)


fit the bridge hole with a maple "cover" (rout down the thickness of the new maple cover, glue it in & fill the seam around it, leaving the cavity for the pick-up)

the frets are low, but that is a project for later.

i've already replaced the broken plastic nut with a bone one.

if i veneer will i have action problems? (but it'll look cleaner, & i could stain & sunburst)

or if i fill, then i'll HAVE to paint it...

this is my first stringed instument, it's just a learner, but i'd like it to look decent (i'll settle for ppl not laughing.. )

and play acceptably. i'll get a fine Bass when i can afford it.

i've been long winded, but thanks!


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Looks like someone decided to put a Gibson-style bass humbucker near the bridge. They're normally installed close to the neck or in the middle because they tend to have a nice, dark "woofer" sound.

Honestly, unless you're trying to get some woodworking experience, I wouldn't even mess with butchering the body up again to fit regular J-bass pickups. I'd just see about getting the electronics working again and the instrument stable enough to play in tune and learn on.

Chances are very likely the pickups are still good. Pickups rarely fail unless the instrument has been exposed to very high heat or moisture for long periods of time. You might pick up some new pots and a new jack and just rewire the thing to see if you can get it working again.

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I'm trying to avoid that..

what i've done is taken a 1/4" piece of maple, made a plate, but then sanded down 1/4" around the insde of the cavity (a little less actually) when the pickups get here, i'll trace around them to get the j-bass cut out. then glue the plate down, sand it level & fill the edges. this means i'll be painting it, so i guess i'll just go with a basic black body with white pickguad, unless anyone else has better suggestions for a paint scheme.


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