Bass from the grave

Finally, my Rickenbacker is complete. This is what I’ve been working towards for the past six months. Although it’s been hard work it has never been a chore – in fact it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve asked myself if it was all worth it and yes, it was. When I look back at the bass carcass that I started with I can’t believe that it has been transformed into such a quality instrument. The feel-good factor of this is worth the price of the project alone.

bass from the grave 1 - credit dave keegan

Speaking of cost, here’s the final tally on how the numbers stack up. I think it’s been money well spent.

bass from the grave 1 - credit dave keegan (2)Bass carcass £500

Heads £100

Bridge £120

Pickups £180

Paint £350

Hand made parts £170 by Mattie Dread

Case £50

Total cost £1450

bass from the grave 1 - credit dave keegan (1)I went over budget on this bass, but I could have brought it in on target if I hadn’t indulged myself in a lot of new and custom-made parts. Sourcing some parts second hand could have made savings, but this build was never about practising frugality – it was about trying to build the best instrument I could.

At the end of the day I got the bass I wanted. If you have any questions about the process on this, or any other bass, contact me at I’ll be happy to answer your questions if I can.

Would I do it all again? Yes. In fact, I already have my next project lined up. Get ready for a classic bass from 1979, starting next month…

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One comment on “Bass from the grave
  1. Graham says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the ‘rick being reborn. As a side line to playing, as a hobby, I have been pulling apart, customising and hopefully improving basses for years and the more you do the more get to know what you do and don’t like. And so to the next one and on and on .. Hopefully this series will encourage folk to get in there and bring a few more old warhorses back to life! It is certainly a fun thing to do and you get to learn so much as to why a particular bass sounds and plays like it does…

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