Saturday, 21 November 2015

Jazz Bass: Unboxing and Mock Build

Another day, and another new build - this time from my stack (that never seems to get any smaller ;) ). It's a Pitbull Guitars JB-1 styled on the Fender Jazz bass - a kit i picked up during the birthday sale way back in September 2014!

Finally cracking the box open, the kit looks in good shape, apart from a split at the heel of the body where two of the basswood pieces have joined. It's quite possible that this may have resulted from the kit's long stay in the stack.

Unboxing the Pitbull Guitars JB-1 kit.
A split in the heel at the body join
Far from a game changer, the split will be easily filled. What it may mean though, is that this kit is destined for a solid colour. To be honest I was leaning towards a solid colour anyway. There's little to no grain on show here and besides, I've also got an ash JBA-1 in the stack and that will be much better for stain!

As with all Fender-style kits, the mock build went together very quickly. The only hassle was finding the correct position and angle for the bridge. The problem was I couldn't use the outside tuners to hold the strings down the neck, owing to not wanting to push the tuner bushings into the headstock this early in the game. Without the tuners, I had to resort to a clamp on the headstock, and that made getting the string lengths equal (and therefore a straight bridge) very difficult. In the end I made it, as you can probably imagine since the photo below doesn't show a smouldering mess.

Mock build complete, bridge placed correctly, and ready for sanding.
In all honesty, if I was to voice a personal preference out of the various Fender solid body bass models, I would go for the P-Bass. It's the model Dee Dee Ramone used after all, and the kooky control plate on the jazz bass just always threw me for a loop. I know it's a styling choice carried over from the Jaguar, Mustang, even the Jazzmaster and it's ilk, but I like the P-Bass continuation of the scratch plate much better. Having said that, now that the mock build is together I'm pretty pleased with how it looks. I still haven't decided on colours - both body or scratchplate  (I'm even tossing up whether a black control plate would look good) - so that decision can be mulled over while I get the sanding done.

Next job though - shaping the headstock!