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View Full Version : REQUEST: Half-Sized solid body to Bass Uke conversion... thoughts please



Unforgotten
11-27-2014, 05:28 PM
In another thread I mentioned that Pyramid strings didn't really suit my spruce-top, fretless U Bass and I speculated they'd be much better on a solid body. As SUBs are relatively expensive for a "this'll work better" idea I wondered about all those half-sized acoustic guitar conversions...

As a cheap, half-sized solid-body 6-string guitar (ironically tuned to a Uke-friendly A-D-G-C-E-A) can be had for 40 to 50 it might make an interesting project. (Scale lengths seem to float around 19" to 22" from what I've seen.)

Assuming the starting point is a classic, faux-stratocaster (slight nod to a P-Bass) I'm thinking I would need to do the following:

Replace 6-string tuners with some nice, Hipshot bass ones
Replace nut
Dump scratch plate, pick-ups and electronics, replace with bass pick-ups, etc. and cut new scratch plate.
Replace bridge (hmm, many options here that make a big difference, worrying)


Apart from the bridge - especially placement for correct intonation - it sounds like a trivial job :)

I would hope someone might be so kind as to point out the pitfalls in my cunning plan :D

kohanmike
11-27-2014, 06:43 PM
A couple of months ago after I started to learn bass, I converted an Epiphone Les Paul Express 22" scale jr. guitar to a bass. It was very simple; changed the nut and bridge, used 30" scale strings for which I had to drill string-through holes at the tail. It worked great and I didn't change the pickups or the tuners. The list of parts (US dollar) is below the video.


http://youtu.be/qg82nJMLTc8

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

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/LP Bass convert.jpg

Unforgotten
11-28-2014, 09:53 AM
Very interesting! Also as I suspected: some experimentation required on the bridge placement. Good news for me though as I'm starting with 20" scale strings rather that 30" so I won't be needing to do new drill-throughs.

I know you're running with the original pickups but I still think I'll attempt to emulate a P-Bass. It'll look good and (I would hope) replacement pickups would catch more bottom end sounds. Besides, I love fiddling with guitar electronics; any excuse :)

Barbablanca
11-29-2014, 01:20 PM
Brilliant idea. I love it. I've been considering a Uke Bass - but this might be a more feasible proposition in terms of cash and I already have an old kid's 6-string electric guitar that my daughter never uses. Hmmm.. Thanks for the idea.

BTW what was the sound like on the original guitar before the conversion? Did it stay in tune? That was the problem with the kid's guitar I got my daughter. It would tune "open" but then go out of tune on certain strings in the early frets... leading to open chord cacophonies!

kohanmike
11-29-2014, 04:38 PM
I actually didn't even play it once as a guitar, I bought it specifically to convert, but it's no toy, a good solid instrument judging by the hardware on it. I hesitate to call it a kids guitar, it's a real guitar, just smaller.

The bridge in the original position worked fine, but to get just a bit more saddle adjustment space, I moved it toward the tail about an eighth of an inch.