Saga bass kit build

For anything related to customising basses. Tuners, Bridges, Pickups
alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:14 pm

Gave it 4 coats of clear, over two nights, then left it to dry for two days.

I have no real idea what I'm doing here, but I thought I'd just get some fine sandpaper and smooth it off, and then maybe spray some more clear if needed.

In the end, I just sanded it with 800, and then 1500 grit sandpaper, and it came out with a real nice satin finish, pretty much exactly what I wanted. I'm sure an expert would see it's an amateur job straight away but if feels, and looks, just fine to me.

The shots below are during, not after.. and they look more "sanded" here then it actually is, due to the sanding dust still sitting on the wood.

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alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:17 pm

Then, the tuning machines:

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And string tree:
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alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:21 pm

Next, bolting on the neck:

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Hole in the body didn't seem to line up with the neck plate too well:
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So I just lined it up as even as I could, and put all 4 screws in bit by bit:
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Seemed to work okay:
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Neck joint seems plenty strong enough, so that's good enough for me.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:25 pm

So, that's more or less it:

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Well, yes of course there is the small matter of stringing, and setup. I've actually strung it, and used it at band practice on Thursday night. Sounded great, and intonation was not too far off right out of the box. It doess have some action issues, so I think I'll have to adjust the truss rod. Will post some more about that later. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it.

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Antz
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by Antz » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:24 am

A sweet build dude , a real good progress report to date, like the body color :D

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:32 am

Thanks Antz.

Here it is all strung up:

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Will try to get a sound sample, although I can't imagine whatever crap recording I manage to do proving much about its sound.
It sounds fine to me. It's very different to my other bass, but it does have brand new strings.

The tone knob definitely seems to have a pretty big range, from extremely bright, possibly even a bit annoying depending how you play it, all the way down to quite a dull and muted sound.
I think I ended up with it at about 2/3 of the way up on the tone knob while playing with the band.
Volume level was pretty good too, and compared quite well to my Ibanez with active pickups.

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john
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by john » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:56 am

Great job. Looks really sharp

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Antz
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by Antz » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:18 am

About the fitting of the keys was it hard to lineup? thinking about changing my crappy ones to more oe fender type

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:13 pm

The tuners were absolute childs play to fit.
Just had to poke them through the hole, and put in the four screws.

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Fenderfan
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by Fenderfan » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:35 am

Nice job! :D How does the neck feel to play? What are the widths? As I said earlier, was looking at doing something similar maybe with a jazz, just wondering what your thoughts were on overall quality of the parts supplied once put together? Sorry for all the questions! :wink:
Fender MIA Precision, Squier Jazz, Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0, Ashdown ABM 1x15, 2 x DIY Jack 112 now complete!

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:53 pm

Fenderfan, the neck feels great to me (but I'm no expert on Fender style necks). It's fairly deep front to back, but I have the feeling it's not as big as some. Definitely doesn't flatten as much at the back as my main bass (Ibanez soundgear).
My Ibanez is a 5 string, so of course the fretboard on the P-copy feels narrower. Interestingly the string spacing doesn't feel unnaturally wide, and I had no problem adjusting to it, apart from getting a bit lost as to which string I was playing on a couple of songs, but that was only down to me not playing 4 strings very often. I haven't thought to compare them side to side yet, but obviously the spacing is a bit wider than the spacing on the 5.

Overall I'm more than happy with the quality of the parts. There is a definite budget feel to the hardware, but it all feels solid enough. Once again I'm no expert, as regards quality compared to other basses in the same price range, but for $200 I'm definitely not complaining (admittedly the paint job cost me another hundred).

Currently I'm still having problems with the action (fret buzzing). I tried adjusting the truss rod, but that didn't fix it. I guess I need to put in a shim. That's not something I have any experience of, so I'll be checking into that time permitting.

You're welcome to come have a look in person some time if you want. I'm in the Henderson area.

alanp
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Re: Saga bass kit build

Post by alanp » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:09 pm

Ok, the action issue *may* be sorted.
I checked into shimming online, and it seems it's more needed for the opposite problem of mine - ie for people who have lowered their bridge to the minimum, and still have too high an action.
- I had my bridge saddles maxed out, and the action was quite high, but was still getting buzzing when fretting from anywhere around 7th fret and up. Hence I thought maybe the neck was sitting too high in the neck pocket on the body.

I pulled the neck off tonight, and found that there was a fairly thick buildup of paint in the neck pocket on the body, including a thick ridge of paint towards the bottom (bridge) end of the neck pocket.

So I attacked it with sandpaper, and took it pretty much back to the wood, then reattached the neck. This seems to have improved the situation a lot, and I've been able to lower the bridge quite a bit. Still getting a little bit of buzzing at this point, but nowhere near as bad, and I still haven't reviewed the truss rod situation. So at this point it seems like the issue was almost certainly caused by my paint job, and hopefully not indicative of any inherent issue with Saga necks.

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