The OX '66 Precision

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John Entwistle with his '66 slab-body P-bass

More pics at: www.thewho.net

   

This 1966 slab-body is  found in the Ådhén Brothers famous Guitar Collection in Sweden.

   

My own 2008 homebrew:-)


As a great fan of the late John Entwistle of The Who, I got the idea to replicate his famous (he had three) 1966 "Slab-body" Precision. The story tells that Fender had 25 white non-contour that they decided to dump on the British islands. 

They had thin white blonde nitro color ("blue veined") on a telebass body with P-bass pickups. Black scratch-plate.
The Pickups, if you quote John: "“There is something different about the sound of these Precisions…I’ve tracked it down to the pickups and tone circuit ?the sound is much raunchier and gutsy and has a hint of distortion when the volume is flat out.?br />My bass collection should appreciate  an added p-bass with such cool clean look.

So here's my "The OX '66 Precision" project,

1. Body: Per Sporrong (BBQV), a friend at the swedish bass player forum (PrataBas.se) had a p-bass body made of two ash pieces, fortunately he hadn't yet made any contour shaping around the edges. Perfect for me!

  

I made some final finishing of the edges and the surface, and the body was ready for the color layer. I made the mistake not to use a "vein-filling paste", so it would be nearly impossible to get a perfect finish on the surface. Ash has a very raw surface, but it didn't matter. The Bass is not suppose to be ingratiating, I wouldn't mind the raw feeling.

I couldn't get my hands on a "Fender blonde" nitro spray can, so Per advised me to use water based "stain" color, "egg shell".
Layer after layer were applied with a sponge until the "see trough blue vein body" effect appeared:


Then I have to master the art of nitro lacquer spraying! Very trixy, but I got the hang of it after a couple of layers.
Approx. 10 layers totally, then some light adjustment with fine grinding paper. Then 3-4 more nitro layers.... ever lasting story!
(More pic's when I'm finished)

2.  Hardware:


The picture above is zoomed from John Entwistle's book "Bass Culture", its one of his surviving slab-body's
I have two bridges and I tried mix them to the right combination. I decided to use the nickel bridge with the "no-treaded" brass saddles:


And then there were the choice of tuners, I ordered some new "pre-CBS" Fender's that had long stems with riveted ears, and reversed action.

A black "3 layer" pick guard of course! And 500 k ohms high quality potentiometers from CTS. The cavity beneath will be isolated with copper tape.  


3. Pickup:

I was told that a Swede, Mr. Lundgren, manufactures hand wired "hot" P-bass pickups that sounded interesting. I ordered one.

   

I couldn't resist a vintage shielding plate of brass, so cool!

4. Neck:

Per Sporrong from Grillby ("Barbeque village" when translated) was nice enough to carve me a maple neck with my own profile.
D-shape, 43.5 mm (1.7 ") wide and 23 mm (0.9 ") thick at first fret. 20 thin frets on a vintage radius fret board of maple. Truss rod adjustment in the body end.
Here is a some pictures that's shows the steps in neck making!




5. Nitro lacquer:

Body and neck with fresh nitro, no fine polish yet. The body should have the edges rounded a bit more.
But such adjustments perhaps I will enjoy in the future, who knows...



5. Assembly and setup... the fun part!

The Pickup shielding plate, the bridge, copper tape, pickups are grounded in the same soldering spot (volume pot).
Soft material of appropriate thickness act as springs for the split pickup.




The Fender " vintage reissue reversed tuners" looks great! Strung up with Rotosound "Swing Bass"
I have to design a nice water sticker, looks a bit empty!


Its alive, Its alive!!!



Very satisfied. The fat neck feels incredible nice! You could beat someone to death with that!
The lacquer layer is also thin and satin smooth on the back side.
Some finer adjustment (bone saddle, truss rod etc) and I'm ready for "I Cant Explain" :-)

I Cant Explain riff

   
 
 
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