The bass cabinet project is nearing completion. I originally began this project to pair with an Ashdown CTM30, 30watt, all tube, bass head. The whole idea was to try and provide a kind of “domestic” setup to provide an “acceptable” level of real tube driven bass. I needed a compact cabinet solution – yet quality enough to get the best tone out of the Ashdown, for home playing, small gigs and recording. The practicalities of the project mean that I won’t actually be able to assess the sonic capabilities of the cabinet, until everything is completed, and the speaker fixed and wired into place. So whilst the project progresses – I won’t actually be able to hear the final result until the very end of the process. There’s no going back on any of the design decisions now. … More 12″ Ported Bass Cabinet. Fitting the speaker baffle. Finishing and test.
Time to revisit the small bass cabinet I’ve been working on. I’ve basically been waiting for the speaker to arrive. Everything seems to arrive via couriers or the Postman, these days. With other projects taking up most of my time – I’ve also had the chance to source the grille cloth, trim and port tubes to finish the build. Now I have the speaker and port tubes – I can plan out and cut the openings in the front baffle. It’s probably the most critical part of the build, in terms of accuracy. The baffle needs to properly support the components – as well as maintain the airtight seal necessary to let the speaker work at proper efficiency. It’s the first time I’ve done any of this kind of thing. There may be tears before bedtime… … More 12″ Ported Bass Cabinet. Cutting and preparing the front baffle.
With all the modifications in place, I can now restring the guitar, and make any necessary tweaks to the setup. Since there’s a new nut, neck and bridge relationship – and since the tremolo is going to be freed up – it’s going to be pretty much a full setup, from scratch. The new setup is, ideally, going to unstop the tremolo again. That could make things interesting – but since it’s something I’ll have to do for the Black Strat too, I need to get acquainted with the theory and practice of floating the Stratocaster tremolo.
… More The Ash Stratocaster – Stringing and setup after upgrade. Floating the tremolo.
All the groundwork is now done to bring the guitar ready for the new pickups, and for wiring. I just need to check on the scratchplate fit at the bridge first. I’m looking forward to see what a change of hardware does to change the character of the guitar. But I need to get the pickups in first.
… More The Ash Stratocaster – Pickup upgrades, wiring and circuit installation.
It starts as a relatively simple list of things to do. Neck off – new neck on. Scratchplate out – new scratchplate fitted. Thing is – there are always a few extra little bits that need picking up along the way. Little details that worked for the previous setup won’t necessarily work this time around, and as you begin to strip things back – there are often knock on effects elsewhere. Best thing to do is to strip the guitar down, and to pick up the extras one by one, as they become accessible.
… More The Ash Stratocaster – Strip down, and some extra bits to pick up on.
I’ve had the Ash Strat finished for a year now. With other projects on the go, and other guitars to play – it’s been in and out of its’ case, as I’ve got to know it. Part of my approach to guitar building is to develop my own instruments, and to learn how to build and modify them as I go, in order to get the best out of both instrument and player. Building the Black Strat has left a few spare parts, which I certainly don’t want to see go to waste – and I also need to set up a Strat Tremolo, to properly understand how to get the balnce right. There are also a few bits on the Ash Strat I want to revisit. Time to upgrade.
… More The Ash Stratocaster – one year on. Modifications and upgrades
I’ve just taken a break for a couple of weeks. But even then – I can never really take my mind off my various projects. It’s funny, sometimes, how solutions to problems often present themselves when you least expect. The other day, I just happened to come across a TV programme about vinyl wrapping supercars. Nothing at all to do with Telecaster scratchplates.