P-bass guitar, a Perfect-Balance PB-Bass

Original Price$425.73
New Price$324.18
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PCsGC: Phillips Cleartone special Guitar Conversions
Mayfield, United Kingdom
(17)
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30+
Joined Reverb
2017

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  • A PCsGC perfect-Balance bass (PB-bass)
The video uploaded here shows this bass and how it plays.

(See my other items for many other basses and six strings)

Some players like short-scale basses such as the Mustang, because reaching to the first few frets doesn't require such a long arm; this is long scale (34 inches) but I have brought the neck 1.5 inches into the body so you play it a lot like a Mustang but it keeps that strong tone of a long scale bass.


This guitar is all new, but of course my conversion work leaves a few scars.


I have been working on this idea in my head for quite a long time... so often I find playing p-basses that even with fairly long arms being over six feet tall, that the notes that I am playing a lot down in the first five frets are played fairly much at an arm's length.
I know with guitars how a fairly small change can alter the playing a large amount, so I decided I would bring the neck into the body around an inch and a half and move the bridge back the same amount and see how much that brought the most used notes closer to you.


I was thinking maybe to move the neck two and a half inches, and that would mean making the bridge overhang the back of the body and be braced from the rear edge... I had a design in my head to do that but on this first one two happy coincidences made it better to settle for an inch and a half: at the neck the stepped heel part protruded around an inch and a bit so would work just right if taken in by that amount; and at the bridge the front and rear screws were exactly an inch and a half apart so you can move the bridge back and the rearward holes become the front holes... that put the bridge in the right place while you re drill the five rear edge holes.
So the upshot of that is that I decided to settle for moving the neck an inch and a half and seeing if it feels right.
Yes indeed it does; now as you play around the fifth fret in A and D it is close to you, and you feel more like you are playing a six string treble guitar in terms of reach.


Despite this being built from a J-bass which traditionally would have a narrow 38mm nut width, this has the wider Precision 42mm nut width; as you see on this I have scalloped between the fret wires to make the neck effectively slimmer to play and give positional texture.
As is mostly the case, the nut had the four string grooves cut with the same mm from centre to centre; this means the fat bass strings have less space between them, when what you need when your fingers are reaching is slightly more space... but certainly not less!
Here I have re cut the string grooves to increase the space between the bass strings.


Something I really like about this guitar is the body weight; it is very light and resonant with a deeply figured grain as you will see in the photos... I think it is Paulonia.


The donor guitar was of course a full J-bass, with those standard Fender designed slim single coil pickups; while re cutting the scratchplate I replaced the neck end pickup with a Musicman humbucker.

This youtube video is of an earlier bass I made that has the same pickup and electrics and will give the same tone if you want it to.


You might see the scratchplate fits nicely with no protruding screws: often plates are not countersunk enough for the size of screws used, which means the assemblers screw them down hard to try to stop them sticking up and soon you have cracks around the holes!
I have increased the countersinking on all the holes and you will see the screws are nice and flush with just a very light torque figure applied.


The tuners have more changes than might appear: not just does my slimmed down head allow repositioning and spreading, but I re cut the tuner paddles to be large for the low E string and progressively smaller through the A, D and G.


I have cut the grooves in the nut to bring the strings low across the first fret, and I have reduced the neck relief slightly with the truss rod; really though it wants a few days of settling and playing before I perfect the set up... the enamel braille spots on the edge of the neck are still hardening so I cannot start playing it properly until tomorrow.

Thanks for taking a look,
Mark D Phillips....... (PCsGC)

ps. My travel adventure romance novel Virginia to Greece mentioned above, is out on Amazon now... as is my cat journey story Bobcat's Big Adventure for animal lovers.

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