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 Post subject: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: April 30th, 2020, 4:35 pm 
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Well, I didn't find it hard to decide what to do during this incredibly strange time in America. Build a bass.. or better put, finish the body to go with my original Ampeg AUB-1 neck I've had for years. The neck was a talkbass forum purchase, it was an AEB-1 neck converted fretless and seriously butchered. The neck also had a pretty bad 'S' curve. Easy fix, remove the fingerboard, plane down the neck as much as I dared, and then fabricate a new, really thick ebony board to eliminate that issue. After doing that, the neck sat for literally, years in my shop, while I occupied myself with a lot of repairs and other projects. This slow period allowed me to finish it. I still have a few more things to make, like the string anchor/ tailpiece, two of the three parts of it are done... the bridge is from scratch. The body is made from templates made by a friend Mike Simpson, who had an original body- in exchange for me allowing him to copy the original neck, which he did not have. The body is actually semi- hollow, unlike the original rare AEB/ AUB basses, which were solid bodies. This is where it is now, drilled for pickup wires- it'll get the same surface mount alnico gold foil pickups from Guitar Fetish, that are on "Mister Chicken"- my 4005 copy. They sound great. Body is two piece clear pine, with a quilted maple top.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: April 30th, 2020, 8:12 pm 
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Very nice! Great looking top....

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: April 30th, 2020, 8:24 pm 
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:57 am
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Looking good! Can't wait to see the finished product.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 1st, 2020, 4:02 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2015, 6:36 pm
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That's badass!


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 1st, 2020, 4:37 am 
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Here's the mounted Guitar Fetish Rick style toaster alnico mini humbuckers. Surface mount! No routing other than the wire holes for the 'quick-clip' connector jacks. I have a preamp on order. I'm actually going to try an Underwood string bass pickup on this. I designed the bridge to be able to put the two elements in between the top half and the bridge base. I get the 3" Aluminum stock for the body mount anchor and tailpiece stop delivered tonight, and will be drawing out the pattern on it and fabricating it soon. The bass will have a fully adjustable scale length, from 33.75" to 36.5" There will likely be side dots laid out, in two different colors- for 34" and for 36." The one dilemma, is finding strings to fit even this modified shorter ball to silk metal length from the originals. I ordered Rotosound RS77 light flats, the wound length is 39" before silk starts at the tuner ends.That will determine my final tailpiece configuration. Thanks for the nice comments!


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 1st, 2020, 4:49 am 
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Looks killer

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 1st, 2020, 10:26 pm 
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LHBASSIST wrote:
The bass will have a fully adjustable scale length, from 33.75" to 36.5" There will likely be side dots laid out, in two different colors- for 34" and for 36."!


Just want to clarify this -is the bass going to be one, or the other? And, does this mean you can string it for 33.75, or opt for 36.5O... or, is it going to be a fan-fret idea, only fretless?

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2020, 7:05 am 
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I recon the bridge is going to stay unglued, so it can be moved around?

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2020, 8:14 am 
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That's going to be killer.

I've been trying to find an old Ampeg scroll neck for a long time to slap on my Eastwood EEB-1, though I have no idea if it would even fit properly. (probably not). But I love the scroll headstock and hate Eastwood's compromise.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2020, 10:30 pm 
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pjmuck wrote:
That's going to be killer.

I've been trying to find an old Ampeg scroll neck for a long time to slap on my Eastwood EEB-1, though I have no idea if it would even fit properly. (probably not). But I love the scroll headstock and hate Eastwood's compromise.


At one time, I think Bruce Johnson, who makes killer modern versions of these...sold necks only. I don't know if he still does. I'd think, they'd be too expensive to use on an Eastwood.. probably o.k. for an original Ampeg with a bad neck, though.
This neck, was in rough shape. I'm a repairman and luthier, so I had a really good workaround.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 2nd, 2020, 10:57 pm 
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Had a bit of a setback last night..The beautiful ebony/aluminum body top component of the tailpiece/ string anchor, was destroyed when the bit wandered in the ebony as I tried to drill through it. I think I'll just make one out of aluminum, of which I already have a block cut to the size I need.
I did a control layout. Haven't drilled for them yet. Controls will be Vol/ Blend/ Treble/bass concentric. Active. I'm likely going to install a side mount 'Electrosocket,' I love those. This is just the anchor part of the tailpiece, I received my Rotosound RS77EL- extra long set today, and put 'em on to check if they'd work. YES, they are perfect! 39" usable length from silk at tuners, to ball end. Alignment of everything is looking good. Preamp arrives tomorrow. Answering the question above- I can move the pressure retained bridge anywhere between the tail block, and rear pickup. I have it set at 36" right now, feels great.


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Block of Aluminum-Ebony-Aluminum resized.jpg
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Resized body near completion.jpg
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Tailpiece 1.jpg
Tailpiece 1.jpg [ 219.81 KiB | Viewed 1662 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2020, 4:23 am 
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More late night fun and machining.. Tried to make an aluminum block tailpiece block, only to have a 6-32 tap break off in it.. gee what fun! Well, back to the ebony design, this time no additional aluminum front, just a nice block of ebony. I'm pretty happy with the results.


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Final Block with two previous failures on the bench..jpg
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Final Block Front 1 resized.jpg
Final Block Front 1 resized.jpg [ 248.67 KiB | Viewed 1652 times ]
Final Block 1 resized.jpg
Final Block 1 resized.jpg [ 191.65 KiB | Viewed 1652 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 3rd, 2020, 8:28 am 
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It's coming along great!


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 8th, 2020, 4:43 am 
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I still have more work to do - but it plays great. I'm still having some electronic glitches, addressed those about an hour ago- installed a secure battery holder, redid some grounds. A few things like side dots need to be installed...it's all mapped out, with my fret position calculator, and its spot on. I've experimented with 34, and 36" scales. The bass, due to holding it at an angle even sitting down, is pretty hard to nail the marks, because of my stretch, and illusion of finger placement. Standing, it's even more difficult. 34" is ideal, and the bass seems to sound better in this scale length. It's not hard to play an upright in tune, even without position markers, when you are an experienced player. This, is a bit different. My next experiment with this, is, I'm going to fabricate an alternate bridge top section, with a coaxial type piezo undersaddle pickup, out to its own jack. I'm going to amplify that signal the same way I do my upright- through a small tube preamp- two channel. No controls on the bass for it. This is as it is today.... the lettering inside, is an anti-theft measure. I write some pertinent information inside all my basses, in case they're lost or stolen. I back got a stolen P-bass like that once, because the pawn shop employee saw the information inside, and happened to be a friend and repair client! It's cheap insurance. All in all, a fun, slightly frustrating way to spend two months under state imposed semi- quarantine.


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Front lefty resized.jpg
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finished back 1 resized.jpg
finished back 1 resized.jpg [ 217.41 KiB | Viewed 1312 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 8th, 2020, 10:09 pm 
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Loving the vibe here! Keep it up!

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 7:20 pm 
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So... what to do on a dark stage? Well, I replaced the fingerboard on this neck, long before I was familiar with fiber optics.. So, next best thing? Well, large side dots, like on my friend's Tony Franklin P-bass? Yeah, but how about if they were 'glow in the dark? So, armed with some green glow powder from "Art-N-Glow", some long cure epoxy, and some Evergreen plastic modeler's tubing, I set out to make some large green side dots with a white ring. After some trial and error, and a wicked cut on my left thumb... I have them mostly installed. The upper ones are the first experiment, in the small size.. These were placed mathematically, according to my fret position calculator. They are right on. They look great when you charge 'em, and glow o.k., but fade kinda quickly. Still highly visible.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 11:00 pm 
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LHBASSIST wrote:
So... what to do on a dark stage? Well, I replaced the fingerboard on this neck, long before I was familiar with fiber optics.. So, next best thing? Well, large side dots, like on my friend's Tony Franklin P-bass? Yeah, but how about if they were 'glow in the dark? So, armed with some green glow powder from "Art-N-Glow", some long cure epoxy, and some Evergreen plastic modeler's tubing, I set out to make some large green side dots with a white ring. After some trial and error, and a wicked cut on my left thumb... I have them mostly installed. The upper ones are the first experiment, in the small size.. These were placed mathematically, according to my fret position calculator. They are right on. They look great when you charge 'em, and glow o.k., but fade kinda quickly. Still highly visible.


Sounds like a lot of work, and very similar to Lumlay dots.... always meant to buy-and-install these but didn't get around to it.... https://luminlay.com/featuresen.html

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 21st, 2020, 11:02 pm 
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Was about to post just that! Luminlays look great and light up for several hours (but not very bright).

I wasn't aware of those Luminlay footswitch caps on their site, looks great! I need to get me some of those 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2020, 12:51 am 
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O.K., for those of you wanting to see how effective these are in the dark, here's two photos. There's something many of you already know. The material used here, and in the commercially sold Luminlay- is pretty much identical to the stuff on the hands of your luminescent watch. If low, or no ambient light is present, they really won't do much in transitioning to a darker environment. This material is also found in many gunsights.
I see claims of more density, brighter material etc., but it really pretty much all does about the same thing. The powder I used, can be mixed with cyanoacrylate, or epoxy. I got less than desirable results with the super glue, dropped into the powder in the 'tubes' installed in the neck. When trying to sand the dots flush, ebony dust tended to fill some tiny holes, and messed up the look. I made the dots again, using a made up mixture of the powder and epoxy, cut short lengths of the Evergreen plastic 3/16" O.D. tubing filled the length of the tubing standing up on a board, to insure complete filling- and let it dry overnight. Drilled the side holes, tapped them in with some super glue, and trimmed to size with a very sharp knife. Much better results.

These side dots are far larger than typical side dots. These are closer to smaller front fingerboard dot size. My goal here was to have big dots, visible most all the time, these are larger than on the Fender Tony Franklin fretless Precision Bass that I worked on a few weeks ago- and that inspired me to use a larger diameter dot. I think I made the right choice. Especially with my advancing age and old guy eyesight.

Photo one- is JUST after charging the dots with a very bright tactical style flashlight. Each dot was charged for ten seconds. Pretty bright!

UPDATE: You can get the same brightness charging these for about half that time. Maybe an even brighter light will make a difference, I don't know.

Photo two- is back in the same dark bedroom, after about ten minutes. So, yes, bright enough to see in the dark, but they do not stay very bright for long.... these would have to be charged multiple times during a gig- say, before each set, or when the bandleader is telling the same joke you've heard 50 times!


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Glowing 1 resized.jpg
Glowing 1 resized.jpg [ 9.5 KiB | Viewed 137 times ]
Glowing- after ten minues.jpg
Glowing- after ten minues.jpg [ 8.45 KiB | Viewed 137 times ]


Last edited by LHBASSIST on May 23rd, 2020, 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Half-Ampeg/ Half Edwards AUB-1 "Quarantine Bass"
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2020, 2:05 pm 
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That looks fantastic!

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