Saturday, 20 June 2015

Bass Restoration - Kent Armstrong. . . . .

After a bit of research and a few pointers from readers,
I decided to approach  Kent Armstrong, to confirm that 
the pick-ups in the Reeve, were his. 

This was his reply and the subsequent conversation: 

Yes they are mine that I made many years ago !!   
What do you need to know ???

Kent, Hi.

Just a few questions. :)

On that type of pick-up, could you put a date on them - sort 

of 19** to 19**.
What sort of output would they have - they seem nice and punchy!
What would the connections be? 

The tabs to solder to, on the underside

And finally - Until I took them out, I was convinced that they 

were wooden covers.
Is the grain part of the mould?

Look forward to your reply.

Cheers. :)

Well let us see they were made in the early eighties . 
They are ceramic magneted to give that crunch. 

They are made from a wooden master but are cast epoxy .
The connectors are from left to right either way 

1= finish coil one ,2= start coil one,3= start coil two 
and 4=finish coil two.

Hope this helps you ??

I am in the process of cleaning up all the brass parts, at the moment.

A thorough clean of the board and the frets - re-solder the broken 
joint and a few other jobs.

Details and pictures next time.

On a different note, an avid reader of this blog - Hi, you know who
you are!! - has asked if I would be doing another part of the collection
with Lars Mullen.

All I can say at this stage is. . . . . let's see what happens next spring!

Cheers. :)




Friday, 5 June 2015

Bass Strip Down - Reeve Headless. . . . .

More Parts Removed.

The bridge is a fully floating type and this one seems to be hand made,
as a one off, using engineering equipment.
As yet, I don't know if the brothers did this in house or put the work 
out to a friend.

The string anchor has also been made from scratch. 

This was not an "assembled from a box of parts" instrument.

I have someone who remembers Reeve and as a younger player, had a Reeve
high on his list of instruments to have.

I remember them.

They were very well known in the Luton music scene back in the 80's and had a workshop next to their house on Gooseberry Hill.

Their attention to detail was truly astounding for the time and, as a fresh faced teen, owning a Reeve was high up on my list of 'must haves'.

Sadly that never happened.

Maybe when it's finished, he should have a go.

Underneath the grime, the position markers are brass and even with a gentle
clean, come up like gold.


The purpose made strap button and adjustment tool are also removed.
Looks like the original slot-head screw!

Last of the brass parts, for the time being -  are the control knobs - Vol, Tone and Five Position Switch, which from my trial run, give a great deal of tone variations.

The only thing I couldn't take off, was the tuners!
Every single key but one, in the toolbox and the one I didn't have. . . . was the one that I needed!!

That will be off soon.

Back with more.

Cheers. :)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Bass Restoration - Pick-ups. . . . . . .

Stripping down work has now started. 

Sure looks like wood!!

When I did get both pick-ups going, I was pleased with the output.
Having started the strip down, I was quite shocked to find that they
are not wooden covers - they are carefully moulded resin!
What a surprise.

I currently have no idea of the make.
They would be around 25 - 28 years old, I believe, so could be anyone
of the specialists from the 60's, 70's or 80's, who would have developed
more and more advanced pick-ups, over the years.

I am sort of thinking of Rainbow/Armstrong??
Needs more investigation.
If anyone has any clues, drop me a line in the comments.

Back next time with other parts removed.