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 Post subject: Review of SR style 5 string bass kit.
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 3:07 pm 
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Joined: October 19th, 2017, 4:48 am
Posts: 51
Location: Mid Wales UK
So, here's a write up of my build. All the images linked here are of mine own humble efforts.
This is the product...
http://www.kitbuiltguitars.co.uk/bass-g ... r-kit.html
You can choose fretless, this is the fretted option.
Fittings are black only - no option for other finishes. Unless mentioned otherwise, I used whatever was supplied in the box.
Only instruction sheet is for the wiring.

I'm no luthier, but do have experience modding and repairing, so it wasn't at all daunting. Only basic tools and materials were needed. All wire path holes (pickup & bridge) are drilled for you and are wide enough.

My requirement was to build it with r/h string order and high C. So from bottom up it's E to C.

What I got in the box is close to shown on the product page, but the control cavity is a different, semi-circular shape as is the cover. There is no recess for the cover, I had to form one.
Screening isn't supplied. I've sprayed conductive graphite paint and used a bit of copper tape to connect the grounds and cover. I screened the cover with bacofoil.

The description "solid ash body" does not mean it's one piece! Mine is 3 pieces. I'm no timber expert, so can't confirm if it is ash wood.
Neck pocket sides and pickup recesses needed enlarging slightly. Plastic pickup covers had some flash on the bottom edges & smoothing them off gave a little more clearance.
The body piece joins are obvious. I'm happy with that, because I was keen to try an oil finish instead of solid colour.
The body treatment process was...
Cleaning with white spirit...
Thinned mahogany wood stain rubbed on with cloth...
A "repeat until satisfied" process of applying tung oil & rubbing down with 000 steel wool.

The maple neck got the sand - tung oil treatment only. The headstock is a separate part - you can clearly see the scarf joint. Only a solid colour finish can hide that.
I added a black plastic face to the headstock.
The tuner bush washers are not as supplied. I fitted plastic ones cut from 20mm electrical grommets.
Without the facing and washers, the bushes will not fit down tightly. In addition, the pre-drill holes are oversized for the tuners anyway and I wrapped some copper tape around each tuner body for a more snug fit.

General assembly is all by screws. I was careful to pilot drill and trial fit all parts before starting thw wood treatment.

Other bugs & snags...

The neck pocket design is a bad shape if it needs packing at the rear to get a better clearance angle for the string path to the bridge saddles. The asymmetric rounded front edge means it could show an uneven gap if it isn't fitted completely flat in the pocket. That shape looks stylish and modern, but it isn't very practical for a bolt on neck that may need packing at an angle.

I don't like raised saddle screws. A combination of a little neck packing and shorter 3mm hex saddle height screws was used to get it how I like it with a low action and without any saddles "on the deck" and no screw heads sticking up alongside the strings. Well, I've found a lot of commercial basses with this issue. It's a general annoyance.

Incidentally, the bridge appears to be a r/h part and the intonation was "preset" to suit r/h stringing - which happens to suit me. When fitting the bridge

The nut... looked really horrible and tall. It shouldn't have been supplied glued in. I knocked it out.
On closer inspection, it might be bakelite, and with some filing down and sanding made to serve. It had initial, shallow, string slots filed for l/h stringing & these were not to deep so I finished it up for r/h stringing and glued it in with some gel cyano.

Strap button screws supplied were far to small for my liking. I found some better - had to blacken them with some gun blue.

The tuners holes in the headstock are off centre as you can see above. I'm sure the string path from the nut to each tuner peg could/should be straight. Either the headstock scarf joint was glued up a bit out of line or the factory drilling template is off. Personally, I would have preferred it if the tuner holes were not factory drilled at all. As I said, the holes were too big anyway!

Both humbucking pickups are identical. Nothing to say which is neck or bridge. They measured 12k and 14k resistance. I put the 14k at the bridge.

On first testing, the 12k one appeared to be faulty with thin/quiet output. They have full 4 core wiring in screened cable, apparently to Seymour Duncan standard colours. Black = Hot, Green=Ground. Red joined to white series link. This pickup must have the red/green coil wires swapped inside the pickup. Changing the order to Black = Hot, Red = Ground and White/Green linked fixed it.

Wiring instruction sheet doesn't tell you that the B500k (linear) pots are volume and A500k (log) for tone.

Not as supplied...
Those knobs. Nothing wrong with the black knurled ones supplied, I want something different. Will probably fit something "Gibson-ish" with pointer washers in future.

Tone caps...
I expected the supplied .068uF caps could be a bit dark sounding, so I fitted my own .047uF ones.

Supplied wire is un-tinned, which I hate. I used 7/.02 hook up wire instead. The bridge ground wire was given a solder tag/star washer under the nearest bridge screw to the wire hole.

Amazingly, a set of low B roundwound strings are supplied. I got a set of GHS boomers with 30 high C for it - but - the ones I got were extra long scale! Duh! Still they work, but that's why the silks look odd in the photo.

There's a cheap moulded plug guitar cable in the box cable too!


Would I make another one? Yes, definitely. Not right away, but it was the kind of thing I like doing and I've had far more difficult things in kit form than this.

You can call me Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Review of SR style 5 string bass kit.
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: December 9th, 2014, 5:27 pm
Posts: 2286
Location: Boston, MA
Nice finish job, I like how it came out!
It seems like a really good kit too.

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 Post subject: Re: Review of SR style 5 string bass kit.
PostPosted: January 19th, 2018, 7:32 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2015, 6:36 pm
Posts: 1692
Location: Cambridge, MA
That's some kick-butt grain on the top horn block. Almost 3D.

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