#1
Hey all,

I finally got my bass =p It's this old ass Hondo II that kinda looks like a Rickenbacker, I also suspect it has a Piezo bridge. The thing is completely f*cked tho, so I'll have to make quite the hobby out of putting it together =p I had to tune one string with a friggin' pair of tweasers!

It's completely built and stuff, but the electronics sound (havent opened it yet) pretty damn broken, and if its a Piezo bridge, its a Piezo with issues (2 inputs so I guess it is, also the silver ''bridge'' over the bridge pickup).

It has an awful up-bow at the moment that I'm trying to fix, but I have to be very careful, since its been bowed to the front for so long I can only adjust it 1 whole turn per day or I'll snap it >_>. The neck seems pretty comfortable tho.

Pics! If anyone has any idea which specific bass this is, and if theres a site or w/e for it I'de appreciate it, because I have no clue what so ever the hardware on this thing is, let alone which wood they used. It would be a help in repairing it.



I think it actually looks pretty nice =p
#2
Looks sweet. About the bridge being piezo though, I don't think it is. All Rickys have 2 jacks, there's a stereo one and a mono one I think.

Good luck with the mod job.
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#3
Quote by indie-bassist
Looks sweet. About the bridge being piezo though, I don't think it is. All Rickys have 2 jacks, there's a stereo one and a mono one I think.

Good luck with the mod job.


Ah awesome! That's good to know, now I hopefully wont have to learn the Piezo diagrams out of my head when I start soldering this thing tomorrow =p

The stereo plug is completely fuxed, the mono jack somewhat lol. I wouldnt be surprised if I opened it up and there was a birdsnest in it XD

Anyhow, thanks for the support, gonna need it when I mod this stuff =p first challenge will be to get the neck proper again. Apperantly I have to turn this left to tighten it instead of right (lefty loosy righty tighty doesnt apply to Hondo I think >_> because when I turned it right I almost turned the truss rod out, lol.
#5
It was completely free =p Remember, its a Hondo II, not a real Rickenbacker lol.

My cousin got this from like an old neighbour once, but he never bothered to repair it. Since he knew I wanted a bass he gave it to me. It also came with a small ass halfstack (2x8'' speakers orso) which appears to be worse off than this bass.
#6
Even if it's a Hondo Rickenbacker is notoriously stingy with their designs and have a gazillion patents on everything. A Ricky copy is a pretty rare commodity. That's about the size of what I can contribute to this thread.
#7
Even if it's somewhat of a piece right now, you got it for free and it looks killer. It's definitely worth the fix-up.
#8
Mod jobs are so fun once you get it going. I wouldn't be surprised if I never buy a high-end bass....just buy a medium-range one and mod the sh*t out of it
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#9
I've been modding since I got my 2nd guitar when I was like 16 =p yea its a lot of fun, I'll definetly have a lot of fun on this one too.

I am however taking it to the luthier tomorrow so he can adjust the neck, its to much of an extreme up-bow for me to adjust it. I also need some pots, resistors, probably new wires, a new mono and stereo jack plug and a set of new strings =p I'll update my progress here!
#10
Is that neck-thru, set-neck, or a simple bolt-on? If it's a neck-thru, damn...
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#11
It's a bolt-on, but not a bad bolt-on job. The amount of sustain I got out of it with strings that are god knows how many years old, and a neck that has an up-bow was pretty interesting =p
#13
Alright, update!

Took it to my fav. guitar shop, I actually did a lot better of a job on the neck than I thought! It was straight enough for me to leave it alone, has a slight backbow at the moment but the relief is top notch, so I'm leaving it as it is. Also bought a new pair of strings and a stereo jack inplug (I will solder it mono). It's all strung up at the moment, going to tune it in a second and see what happens.

I used contact spray on all the pots and jack plugs and I think I won't have to replace the jack plug with the one I bought, which would be a plus since I could then replace the stereo jack plug. I also found that a resistor from the bridge tone pot to the volume pot was loose, so I soldered that back. Everything seems to be in place, if there's issues with the sound im sure its the mono jack input so I'll replace it, gonna give it a spin first!



That's the headstock. I'm holding the peg of the A string tuner in my hand lol. It's a crap piece of plastic that has a crack in the middle, so I can turn it all I want but it wont tune =p. I took the peg off and turned the iron rod with a pair of tweasers to tune it. I expected as much but unfortunatly they didn't have tuning pegs at the guitar store, lol. I can slide it back on so that it doesnt look weird, but tuning is a regular bitch with the tweasers. You'll have to excuse the excess string, havent cut it off yet >_>.

Will report back after I give her a test drive!

EDIT: Also had to saw off a little bit of the top combs A string mount, the A string didnt fit completely. I made the gap a tad wider so now it fits perfectly. Ofcourse adjusted the action aswell, going to intonate after I tune.
#14
What a nice looking bass (always loved fireglo Rics), and what a great mod project to undertake.

Hipshot sells tuners and bridges for quite a few basses, including Rics. They're not cheap, but if you really want to bring your Ric copy up to the next level, you may want to invest the cash.

Keep us posted on how this all goes--maybe a future UROTM in the making?
#15
Alright, after giving it a test spin:

It's actually in semi-working order! The neck pickup works and is completely functional, im actually getting sound out of this thing lol. I'm not completely satisfied with the jack plug, I'll give it a bit more contact spray but if the sound keeps fading I'll replace it.

The bridge pickup doesn't appear to be functioning at all, it doesn't even give me a crackling noise. The stereo jack plug doesnt give me sound out of my neck or bridge pickup either, but I can hear the crackling of contact making. I suspect that there might be a battery involved somewhere, otherwise I'll just try re-soldering EVERYTHING. The tone pots appear to have minimum effect aswell.

Also, for some odd reason, there was some type of sponge after the bridge saddles. The strings were resting on this, causing ''dead hits''. I tore this out with great satisfaction, because after that I could actually hear notes instead of ''PLONK''. I still have a big to-do list for this thing, but atleast it's somewhat playable. First thing on my list however, is adjusting the damn action.

Does anyone know if the silver ''cap'' over the bridge pickup actually does something?
#16
I am gathering what you are referring to is what is commonly called the "ashtray", which on some basses covers both the bridge and the bridge pup. Though I've heard that they were originally designed to protect the pup (and sometimes bridges) and some have alleged that they have some shielding purpose, they are mainly cosmetic.
#17
Awesome, that's some good info. I'll be tearing the bridge pickup apart tomorrow then =p maybe tonight but I'm a bit tired after all this work lol.

EDIT: Forgot to mention this. When I took the scratch plate off to see in what state the electronics were, I noticed that the bolt-on is actually what I call a '''bolt-thru'' (I know it doesnt really exist). It's a bolt-on neck but the start of the neck is shoved pretty deeply inside the body, about an inch away from the neck pickup. That probably explains the sustain.
Last edited by JaeSwift at Oct 22, 2007,
#18
Quote by JaeSwift
Awesome, that's some good info. I'll be tearing the bridge pickup apart tomorrow then =p maybe tonight but I'm a bit tired after all this work lol.

EDIT: Forgot to mention this. When I took the scratch plate off to see in what state the electronics were, I noticed that the bolt-on is actually what I call a '''bolt-thru'' (I know it doesnt really exist). It's a bolt-on neck but the start of the neck is shoved pretty deeply inside the body, about an inch away from the neck pickup. That probably explains the sustain.


Thats a bolt on deep set neck tendon.
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#19
Haha cool, now I know the technical name for it =p

Expect more progress updates around tomorrow afternoon (GMT+1 XD) !
#20
Sounds good to me, nothing like the look of a Ric or a Ric copy (which are even more rare) . Good luck with the project, I'll be checking!
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#21
Thank you =)

Ok, here's today's update. I'm going to keep it a bit shorter than I originally intended, because I posted this once and then IE decided to screw up. Poof there goes my post =_=

I tore the bridge off completely today, turns out the wire that's supposed to be soldered to the bridge (the wire comes from the bridge pickup) was loose. This is probably what caused the pickup to...not do anything lol. Then I decided I wanted to do something about the appaling action, and am now thinking of modifying the bridge so that instead of the saddlepiece sitting behind the ''grille'' (the part where the spongeplate was, the sponge which I tore out XD), the saddlepiece will be IN the ''grille''. This way I can adjust the heigh much much better, hopefully lowering the string action. Intonation will probably be off if I do this, but thats better than not being able to play on the lower frets lol.


Here you can see the saddlepiece and the front end of the bridge which I call the ''grille''

Any other suggestions are welcome!
#22
That wire doesn't need to be soldered on, as long as it touches the bridge. It's just a grounding wire.
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#24
Quote by indie-bassist
That wire doesn't need to be soldered on, as long as it touches the bridge. It's just a grounding wire.


Yeah, just make sure it's well wrapped round one of the big mounting screws.

Don't move the bridge! That way lies all kinds of chaos! That looks like the same bridge assembly as mine, and mine just needed new height screws in the ends of the bridge piece, as the old ones were worn down a bit. It makes a world of difference to the adjustability, honestly. The damper pad's entirely your own choice...

How about a bone nut? It made mine sound a little 'woodier' somehow. And it's a quick easy and cheap job.
#25
Thank you all again for the input. I might look into a bone nut.

Now, for the update:

My Frankenstein like creation of a bridge works! The action is somewhat lower and a lot easier to adjust. The neck took the up-bow again because the string tension is now correct, so I'll have to adjust that (AGAIN). It stays in tune perfectly, and there's a bit more sustain than before from the heightened string length behind the saddles. I cant take pictures at the moment, but I will make some tomorrow.

The bridge pickup however, is somewhat of a mystery. I soldered, wired, taped, basically did everything humanly possible to make sure the wire makes contact with the bridge, but it still gives zero sound. I'm running out of clues as to what the problem might be.

Ah well, atleast it's quite playable at the moment! Will be looking into the neck and the bridge pickup again tomorrow. I really need some input on the bridge pickup, I'm becoming clueless =_=
#26
mabye its the pickup itself not the wiring.....take that apart check around in there

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#27
In relation to the bridge pickup, Seymour Duncan make a set of Ric replacement pickups. That might be something to keep in mind if investigations into the bridge pickups current
un-workingness, and possible attempts at fixing it go awry.

I don't mean to imply that you don't know what you are doing, it's just safer to be paranoid.
#28
SUCCCEEEESSSSS!

Thanks a LOT for the tip on the schematics, I couldnt find Ricky wiring ANYWHERE, I overlooked the most obvious place lol. I ended up re-doing the entire power circuit, but IT FRIGGIN WORKS. the bridge and neck pickup, aswell as the stereo and mono output both work <3 <3

All thats left now is to adjust the neck, and I'm going to shim that in a minute. After that I can actually start learning bass XD.

Much thanks for all the input once again
#30
Quote by Flea_Is_God
wow, congrats! should be pretty sweet to learn on!


That remains to be seen >.> The intonation sucks but luckily my ear is developed enough to notice it, that way I wont learn false notes.

I shimmed the neck (screwed the neck off, placed a piece of cardboard on the body where the neck connects, screwed the neck back on), everything is fine and in working order now. Action is a lot lower than first due to the shim (still a bit high but I doubt I can get it better than this) and it plays pretty decent.

All in all I'm happy I got this done =p Also thanks to everyone for the support & input ofcourse.

The song ''Never try'' by Down helped me through this XD ''Never try, you either do it or don't waste your time''.

EDIT: On a side note, after a thick layer of contact spray my bass mini halfstack (top + 2x10'' speakers) now works also xD
Last edited by JaeSwift at Oct 24, 2007,
#31
Congrats--now get some sound clips up on your profile so we can hear how it sounds!
#32
It's extremely bright XD I dont have a mic fit for recording anymore >_< Thinking of buying a guitarport to do the job.

Seriously, it's very bright >.>