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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink OK, school me on the Bass VI (and baritone)

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DeathTide wrote:

Duuuuude! Gorgeous. I’m a sucker for those blocks.
I was thinking a 15” tone ring would kill with one of these...

Thanks! I sanded the acrylic off the neck and stained it darker.
It does sound very sweet! Though for a trad Bass role, in a live setting, the dedicated bass cab suggestion above might work even better, maybe.

kick_the_reverb wrote:

Ariel, I don't remember this one from the visit, was it there? Looks great!

After painting and upgrades, the disassembled parts sat on a shelf, then the shelf fell and everything was damaged, then the parts rested in a box for a year or two... I'm slow like that, sometimes.
Then, your face inspired me to redo what's needed, and finally put it together Smile

Last edited: Oct 16, 2018 09:01:07

Not strictly surf but 'I Found Love' from the album of the same name by Lone Justice has its theme riff played on a VI. Search YouTube for an SNL performance featuring the instrument and the lovely and talented Maria McKee.

Closer to surf, the track 'Cottonmouth' by Duane Eddy from the Colpix album Duane A Go Go Go has a Bass VI or more likely a baritone guitar played as the lead instrument. I have always wondered about that track which is one of my faves.

Labella's, a staytrem bridge, arm and collet, and a decent setup should be considered the bare minimum for the squiers. I haven't done the nut because mine has been pretty stable otherwise. I haven't bothered with the pickups either, because with some fuzz, it doesn't matter if its harsh or not.

I would love if I could find one of the pawn shops. What about the eastwood bass 6?
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Glad it is done Ariel! Looks great! I should visit more often to help you keep you gear in good shape

kick_the_reverb wrote:

Glad it is done Ariel! Looks great! I should visit more often to help you keep you gear in good shape

Thanks bro, no kidding... you will visit a functional studio someday.

Eddiehodad wrote:

This should give a good feel for how the Cure use bass VI - from their concert film with a Bass VI on the cover!

Amazing performance of an amazing song! The Cure sure did master the descending chromatic melody line, an 80's trope.
What FX are they using on the VI? Flanger perhaps, and... Confused

Last edited: Oct 18, 2018 15:49:18

Kinda surprised no one shared this yet.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

God dammit. So that settles it. Squier today, Showman / 15” tone ring tomorrow, original Bass VI probably never!

I picked up a used Squire VI with a gig bag earlier this year for $325 and have really been enjoying it. I did a few set up tweaks that were actually easy to do but took some experimenting and fiddling around. I have since found the stock bridge totally usable for my needs with perfect intonation on the low E string. I'm also using the LaBella Bass VI set. They sound awesome and feel luxurious and silky. I didn't have any problem using them with the stock nut and no filing was required. I know there are some great aftermarket pick ups, bridges, and tailpieces available for these but I have been happy with the stock items.

  1. I shimmed the neck using a piece of a heavy card stock cut from a business card. It doesn't take much but it makes a big difference. I laid it in as close to the base of the neck pocket (nearest the body) as possible. This gave it more neck angle which let me raise the bridge several turns to increase the break angle where the strings cross the saddles. I have never had a problem with the strings popping out of the saddles.

  2. But while doing that I realized that the stock bridge posts are much smaller in diameter than the holes that the posts sit down in. There is so much extra space and slop that the bridge is unstable and leans toward the neck. I added some bronze bushings in the bridge post holes and now the bridge is rock solid and feels like it is actually connected to the guitar.

  3. Like everyone says it would not intonate on the low E. All I had to do was remove the spring from the intonation screw which lets the saddle come back a lot farther. At that point I had to install a little shorter 3m x.80 intonation screw. Otherwise the string will buzz against the tip of the stock screw.

  4. After that, I just experimented with saddle and bridge height to get it where I like it with comfortable action and minimal fret buzz. The neck is almost dead flat with just a slight amount of relief.

For home use it sounds great through all of my amps but my secret weapon for gigging is a 1x15 cabinet with a D140F. I designed and built the cabinet myself but (no joke) modeled it after an old Fender Rumble ported 1x15. Powered with a blackface Showman the thing is thunderous but still bright and articulate.

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Superwave and The Surf Kings

Thanks for your post, Ben. I’m learning a bit about amplifying the VI from reading this thread.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Dang, someone should make aftermarket tune up kits for these

hollowgrinders.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud

The neck on mine is shimmed too, with whatever the thinnest pick I had laying around that gave me the angle I needed.
Since the bridge is now raised up some, vs slammed like it was before, I may may try your bronze bushing trick. I’ll probably wait until I have a real excuse to take it apart though, like when I buy myself a mastery vibrato for Xmas or something.

Guys, isn't the bridge intended to rock back and forth just like a JM/Jag/Mustang?

yes. But we all walk a fine line of preferences in feel. Prior to shimming the neck, mine didn't really rock at all, because the bridge was "decked".
In a perfect world, I want the VI to feel like my JM when I swap to a fancy vibrato and get it all set up, or at least as close as possible, given the size differences.

Redfeather wrote:

Guys, isn't the bridge intended to rock back and forth just like a JM/Jag/Mustang?

That is a feature which would probably not be desirable on a Bass VI. I'm no fan of the rocking bridge in any event, the bridge on my Jag ruined a gig for me some years ago and sent the Jag to a new home, but on a Bass VI such an event could be devastating.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

synchro wrote:

Redfeather wrote:

Guys, isn't the bridge intended to rock back and forth just like a JM/Jag/Mustang?

That is a feature which would probably not be desirable on a Bass VI. I'm no fan of the rocking bridge in any event, the bridge on my Jag ruined a gig for me some years ago and sent the Jag to a new home, but on a Bass VI such an event could be devastating.

What happened?!! So vague with the details!

A side note about shimming the neck: if you have your own business card to cut up for a shim, cut it so your name is on the shim or if you just use blank card stock, write your name on it. It's a good way to identify the guitar as yours should it ever go missing, and you don't leave any permanent mark on the guitar itself.

DeathTide wrote:

synchro wrote:

Redfeather wrote:

Guys, isn't the bridge intended to rock back and forth just like a JM/Jag/Mustang?

That is a feature which would probably not be desirable on a Bass VI. I'm no fan of the rocking bridge in any event, the bridge on my Jag ruined a gig for me some years ago and sent the Jag to a new home, but on a Bass VI such an event could be devastating.

What happened?!! So vague with the details!

I was playing an outdoor gig and used only a Jag when usually I bring two guitars. (Being outdoor and unsheletered, I didn’t want to bring a Gretsch along and opted, instead, for the toughness of the Fender.) Anyhow, towards the end of the gig, the guitar became all but unplayable on the lower strings, which is bad news in a trio. As it turned out, the bridge had flopped over and had the effect of lowering the action and maki g the intonation hopelessly sharp. It was an easy fix, but the Jag was sent to a new home and never played another gig with me.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

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