View Full Version : Sample of the guitar to bass conversion I just completed.

09-21-2014, 05:25 PM
I've been talking about converting an Epiphone Les Paul Express junior guitar 22" scale to a sub-short scale bass, here's a video I just made sampling it, with details of the conversion below.


Parts, prices and vendors:
•Epiphone Les Paul Express 22" scale guitar - $99 - zZounds.com
•Rotosound Tru-Bass RS88s 30" short scale black nylon coated strings - $31.99 - Amazon
•Black Bass Bridge BA-1004BK L Shape Saddle - $19.99 - lotmusic (China) via Amazon
•Four 3/4" steel pan head machine screws that fit the bridge - $1.24 - Koontz Hardware, Los Angeles
•Tibesti 4 string black bass nut - $1.60 - Aaron Store via AliExpress.com (China)
•4 Chrome Guitar String Ferrules - $4.20 - C. B. Gitty Crafter Supply via Amazon
•4 Black plastic 3/8" hole plugs - $1.96 - Koontz Hardware, Los Angeles
Total Cost: $159.89 US

Steps to do the conversion:
•Remove the 6 string parts; strings, nut (remove the truss bar cover plate first, the nut is tight so pry carefully), bridge (retain the silver screws) and the two lower tuners (plug the front and back with the black plastic plugs).
•On the 4 string black nut, shave off a slight amount from the lower edge facing the head, press it into place.
•On the bridge, remove the 1" saddle adjustment screws and replace them with the 3/4" steel screws. Also snip off the first 2 rings of each spring to shorten them, or find shorter springs (I used smaller springs from another bridge I bought).
•Attach the bridge using the original silver bridge screws in the two front original holes and drill new holes for the back screws. Or position the new bridge so the front edge just covers the front screw holes (gives the saddles a bit more adjustment range), drill 4 new holes and screw down with the original silver screws. (I did not need to remove any black on the bottom of the bridge for the ground wire.)
•For the string-through holes at the tail, I used the original bridge and the center 4 string-through holes on it as a jig for my drill (but be careful how straight you hold the drill, a drill press would be advantageous). Measure it to center on the tail and clamp it down, then drill.
•For the ferrules, drill out the small hole at the bottom of each ferrule to fit the bass strings. Drill the top side of the string-through body holes to the proper size of the ferrules.
•After drilling, black out the raw wood edges with a Sharpie, then press in the ferrules on the top side.
•Last, put on the strings going up through the ferrules, through the rear bridge holes, along the saddle grooves to the tuners. The silk covered ends of the strings will just fit the original tuner holes.