Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.

Rock as is or refinish?

Rock as is
11
73%
Refinish
1
7%
Lace fake paisley
3
20%
 
Total votes: 15

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Zork
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Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:13 am

So, I decided I want another Bass VI as a backup instrument for gigs (when we go back to playing gigs…), as my Squier is my main instrument in the current band. I was looking around on the market and the instruments were either too expensive or too ugly or too rare and I didn't want to get another Squier. So when I learned about the 30" necks from Pit Bull Guitars on this forum, I pulled the trigger for a new project and bought the neck. I then went on and searched for the least expensive, but coolest looking body I could find and ended up with this:

Image

It's a Musima Elektra De Luxe Bass body, made in East Germany and probably in the late 70s. The dimensions of the neck pocket and the bridge location are a perfect fit from what I could gather by now. The shape is super sexy, it's lightweight and has no cracks or any structural damage. It cost me 30€ shipped.
8)

Here's what it looked like in it's glory days (pic from reverb):

Image

Now, my dilemma is the color. I don't like red guitars and the shape would look killer with some kind of greenish or blueish charcoal frost metallic. On the other hand, I really like the patina and checking in the laquer and it appears that there's some kind of veneer on the front and back that's cracking the finish on the glue lines, so preparing the body for a nice refinish would probably mean soaking the thing in epoxy or something.
Another option would be spraying a golden lace finish like a fake paisley over the existing finish. I would go for a look similar to this Danocaster: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/56/e1/89 ... bef3d4.jpg

So help me, please: Rock as is, refinish or lace finish?

Hardwarewise I want to install a Göldo DG Horseshoe Tremolo, most likely the Wilkinson roller bridge (the neck has a 12" radius) and split shaft tuners.
I will use a pair of old Egmond single coils I have lying around that sound fantastic, 3 way toggle, individual volume and a master tone. For the pickguard I want to stay true to the original design and use a 1-ply black material.

So, the neck will arrive next week. Then I need to wait until I get released from quarantine and check the parts bins in the practice room before I order more parts. Then we will see.

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mortron
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by mortron » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:14 am

I would rock it as is. And that's coming from someone who had a similar coloured bass and felt the same about Red. Can always change it later. Can't ever change it back to OG tho.

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Zork
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:45 am

Yeah, Mortron, I think you're right. So, I'll leave it as is, see if the concept works out and if it doesn't grow on me, I can still refinish it in springtime next year.

Here's some progress: I marked the centerline, the bridge position and fixed a bunch of holes that weren't in the right spots...

Image

...and the neck came in today:

Image

It's a perfect fit. Success! Frets are nice, no sharp fretends, too. The woodgrain of both the neck and the fretboard is nice and even. All in all, this is a very decent neck. Only the nut is pretty much garbage, but that's not a problem to replace. Now I need to decide on a finish. Wax, Tru Oil or pore fill and spray paint? Decisions, decisions...

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by mgeek » Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:52 am

Great project!

I feel the same about red guitars, but if the patina is cool like this, then it usually wins me over. Can't go wrong with truoil on something like this. Nice and straightforward

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Zork
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:09 pm

Slowly it's coming together. I shielded it with copper tape. This was the first time for me and I can't imagine for the life of me how to make it look proper and clean. But it's covered by the pickguard anyway and it works, so I'm okay with it.

Image

I had already drawed a pickguard and had it posted here, but then the site crashed. Here's the pic once again:

Image

I'd like to cut out the part under the bridge and have a guard that's leaning more towards the neck visually, but the plugs from the old bridge studs need to be covered. If I eventually refinish the guitar, I will also alter the shape of the pickguard.

Here I traced it to the pickguard material:

Image

And here it is a fter a bit of sawing, filing and scraping. I need to refine some of the curves, but overall I think it's a decent result. And it's starting to look like a guitar.
:)

Image

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Shadoweclipse13
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Shadoweclipse13 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:31 am

That's looking great, Zork!!
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Horsefeather » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:07 pm

Yes, that is looking really good. I was afraid your pickguard curve adjacent to the vibrato unit was going to let the copper show past it but it looks like you got that handled. I'm looking forward to a report on how the Pitbull neck plays once you're up and running.

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by mackerelmint » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:15 pm

Oh man. What a cool project and a good looker. I'm curious, though, if the roller bridge will intonate correctly? Hope so.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Zork
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:23 am

:) thank you guys.

I made the pickguard a tad wider in this area to make sure it covers everything.

As for the roller bridge: I hope so, too! :D
I have a spare tune-o-matic, but this is my least favourite option. I plan to install the bridge as the last step of all, so I can move it around with the strings on and in tune and find the exact right spot for intonation. Then drill the holes and anchor it. I think it should work this way. I'd prefer a rocking mustang bridge but can't find one with a 12" radius.

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by antisymmetric » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:00 pm

It's coming along great, I'm enjoying watching this come together. You should most likely be ok with the bridge- good range of travel in the saddles, plus you can move the whole bridge back and forward on the posts to get extra angle if you need it. Nice work! :)
(...plus it's never too late to "embrace the lace" ;) )
Watching the corners turn corners

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by mackerelmint » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:21 pm

Zork wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:23 am
:) thank you guys.

I made the pickguard a tad wider in this area to make sure it covers everything.

As for the roller bridge: I hope so, too! :D
I have a spare tune-o-matic, but this is my least favourite option. I plan to install the bridge as the last step of all, so I can move it around with the strings on and in tune and find the exact right spot for intonation. Then drill the holes and anchor it. I think it should work this way. I'd prefer a rocking mustang bridge but can't find one with a 12" radius.
That sounds like it probably will. Can't wait to see it finished!
This is an excellent rectangle

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Zork
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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:32 am

So here's where I'm at:

Image

Image

The Göldo Trem came in and it looks awesome. I like it a lot together with the Wilkinson bridge. Hope they work together as good as they look.

I not only cut the headstock to this funky shape, I also died it black with indian ink. I think a black headstock fits the quirky european/east block guitars better.

Image

Unfortunately, the package with the electronic parts went missing in the mail. I'm still trying to figure out, where it is atm. Very annoying, but at least the tru oil finally came in and I started finishing the neck. Good times.

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by bodhi » Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:23 am

Oh man, this looks awesome! I think not refinishing it will probably end up really cool :)
Jazzmaster project (got a body, placeholder neck, some pickups and ideas)
Tokai Telecaster Thinline with Creamery Pickups Filtertron and Tapped Tele
Blake Mills-inspired Strat project w/ Gold Foil and slide pickup

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by Zork » Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:36 am

Jep, the red starts growing on me, too.

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Re: Musima Elektra Bass VI Frankenstein Project

Post by antisymmetric » Thu Nov 05, 2020 3:05 pm

It's coming up great, I like the headstock treatment.
Watching the corners turn corners

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