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Tag: Hondo II P-bass

Gibson Walnut SG Standard

1977 Gibson Walnut SG Standard
1977 Gibson Walnut SG StandardGibson Walnut SG Standard made in Kalamazoo, USA in 1977

I recently had the pleasure of having an awesome 1977 Gibson Walnut SG Standard at home to play with. Well the idea was to look over the electronics and make sure it was fit to gig with for Patrycja, a friend of Verushka that I sorted the Hondo II bass for. According to The Guitar Dater Project it was made at the Kalamazoo Plant, USA on December 15th 1977, production number 103. It was great that I got a chance to play around with a Gibson Walnut SG Standard from the Seventies, that’s exactly what I was tempted to get myself, see my previous post about Gibson SG. Luckily I tried one before I bought one and I realised straight away that I still prefer Telecasters, SGs have too much neck for me. It was interesting to try a 1970’s Gibson made in USA just to compare it to all the made in Japan copies in my collection. I have to say that the feel and quality of the Japanese guitars are right up there with the American originals.

1977 Gibson Walnut SG Standard
Everything seems to be original, except one pot, so I thought it was unnecessary to change the original jack just because of a bit of crackle so I cleaned it instead. I cleaned all the contact surfaces with wire wool and contact spray, it seems to be enough. I tightened the pots and all the screws on machine heads, strap buttons, pickguard, pickup rings, bridge and polished up the wood a bit.

1977 Gibson Walnut SG Standard
There was a fairly nasty cut in the edge binding on the 5th fret. You could feel it when you played so I masked it off and then filled it with wood filler, that happened to match in colour, then sanded it smooth and dropped a bit of nitro lacquer over it. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture when it was all done, the last picture is before the lacquer and the final sanding with 2500 grit.

1977 Gibson Walnut SG Standard
Patrycja wanted to keep the dents and scratches to the body and I agreed, it’s nice when a guitar shows it’s real age. However, nobody likes dents in the back of the neck so I did what I could to soften them a bit. I recently learned a great way of removing dents and scratches, or at least making them stand out less. Use a soldering iron and some wet paper folded up, the steam from the iron will make the wood swell and that way make the dent less deep. Sometimes this works extremely well, especially on surface scratches, and sometimes it makes no difference at all so it’s a bit hit and miss but it’s quick and easy and therefore at least worth a try. Make sure you move the soldering iron and just hold it down for a sec to not damage the surface. The last step was to polish the frets and fretboard, put on some lemon oil and then new strings. The action and intonation was already great so I didn’t have to adjust that.

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-bass
It took 3 months but now it’s finally ready, Verushka’s Hondo II P-bass

We had such a bad luck with the pickups we ordered for Verushka’s Hondo II P-bass. First we ordered a set of Artec P-bass pickups my favourite Hong Kong store EY Parts, but they never arrived, we waited for more than two month and finally got refunded instead. Then we decided to order from Custom World in Holland but that took ages too. Now we got everything we needed, full sized 250K Alpha pots, Orange drop cap, cloth covered wire, new jack and the Artec pickups. I put it together the other night and got it to work fine. I’m still really impressed with these Hondo II basses, the electronics and hardware are pretty cheap but that’s easy to change, and it’s so worth it for these amazing necks.

Hondo II P-bassIt was pretty straight forward to change the electronics. I checked the Seymour Duncan’s wiring diagram for P-basses and followed that instead of the old wiring.

Hondo II P-Bass
Hondo II P-Bass
I really liked the look of the Hondo II I got for Dani but this is ten times better for Verushka, all black just like her

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-Bass
Hondo II P-bass copy, it’s a bit roadworn but the neck is in a really good state and it feels great to play.

Hondo II P-Bass
The machine heads could do with being replaced too, it seems like Hondo II have great necks but cheap hardware and electronics.

As I mentioned before I got a Hondo II P-bass for my colleague Verushka, she plays in an awesome punk group called Sect. The bass arrived last week and I took it home and had a look at it. It was sold as untested so I presumed that nothing worked, and I was right. The wood seems really solid and good, just like the Hondo II I got for Dani a few months back but the electronics seemed to be pretty bad. I took it a part and cleaned it, polished all the metal and then started to go through the electronics. It turned out that the pickups doesn’t work. Or rather they work, but the output is so low that you can hardly hear them. We ordered a new set of Artec P-bass pickups, new pots and jack from my favourite Hong Kong store EY Parts so as soon as they arrive I can get the bass sorted.

Hondo II P-Bass
I cleaned it, polished the frets and all the hardware with wire wool and metal polish. I have to say that this cheap little bottle of Harley Benton Hardware Polish has proven to be extremely worth the 1.90€ I paid for it. I put in a little shim when I assembled it, just like I did with Dani’s and it made wonders to the action. Now it’s really low and easy to play.

Hondo II P-Bass
I took all the electronics apart, cleaned the jack, cut the ends of all the wires and replaced the mini pots with some newer mini pots I had at home, I did everything I could to make sure that all the connections would be as good as possible but it didn’t help. Well I got rid of the extremely loud humming noise that was there before but the pickups are still way too weak for being usable. Let’s see what it sounds like when the new full size pots, jack and Artec pickups arrive.

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-bass

I just bought another Hondo II P-bass on eBay, this time for my work colleague Verushka from the Barcelona based punk band Sect. The listing stated that the bass was untested so hopefully it doesn’t work and I got a lot of work to do before it’s ready to be played. Dani is selling his Hondo II but Verushka and I decided that black was more her and then we found this beauty.

Hondo II P-bass

Hondo II P-bass

My friend Dani bought himself a Hondo II P-bass copy the other week, well I had to buy it for him since he doesn’t have a eBay account. I took it home and spent my Sunday morning with her,  it wasn’t much work needed. The electronics are pretty old but it works and sounded pretty cool so I think we should keep it as it is for now. However, the actions was extremely high so I had to first adjust the trussrod a bit and then put in a shim in the neck pocket to get the angle of the neck right. Now it’s as low as it can go without any buzzing and it feels really nice to play.

This bass is now for sale.

Hondo II P-bass I love the wood grain, really beautiful. We bought the bass from a UK seller but it seems to have been sold in Canada originally.

Hondo II P-bass Pretty descent wood, good weight and really solid. I’m not really sure what type of pickup that is but it works and sounds good. I folded a business card and used as a shim to get the neck right and to lower the action. I couldn’t find any markings anywhere so we are still not 100% that it is made in Japan, it could be Korean made. Anyway, it feels really nice and seems to be pretty good quality so it doesn’t really matter.