Questions about Novaks and Hipshots

thornev

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I forget from where I downloaded this picture. Anyone know where I might be able to get that bridge? I've scoured the internet for several days with no luck. If I could find one with different screw holes, I could maybe drill out the 2 holes I would need for the stock screws. I thought Allparts for sure but no.
 

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fronobulax

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I forget from where I downloaded this picture. Anyone know where I might be able to get that bridge? I've scoured the internet for several days with no luck. If I could find one with different screw holes, I could maybe drill out the 2 holes I would need for the stock screws. I thought Allparts for sure but no.
Label looks like that is a Newark Street bass which suggests the bridge was installed after 2013.

It looks a lot like the bridge that was on a 90's "reissue" (or maybe "second generation vintage" ;-) ) Starfire bass so that information might help you widen your search. Might also have a DeArmond connection.

Discontinued - no longer available but perhaps useful for search terms.


Looks like the same part was listed on eBay and is now out of stock.

If you suggest a mod to my bass that requires drilling holes I am going to run away screaming. So I collect horror stories about some mods to justify my fears. Knowing that my concerns may be misremembered or overblown I do recall some conversations about bridges for 60's Starfires, 90's Starfires and Newark Street Starfires not all using the same spacing for mounting holes. In think it is the Newark Street that doesn't fit the others but if I overcame my fear enough to actually attempt the project I would consult @mavuser and @mellowgerman who remember these things better than I do.
 

thornev

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Ya know, I keep forgetting in my maniacal search why I want a replacement bridge. I want it for sustain and better resonance which means it must be in contact with the body. And that brings me back to the curved top issue and how these flat bridges won't work without some creative support work. Sigh.
 

fronobulax

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When you say sustain I immediately think of an Alembic style bridge which has a big ol' heavy brass "plate".

See http://www.chubbuckguitars.com/benc...bic-bridge-1999-dearmond-starfire-bass-97-lbs for someone who did the mod on a DeArmond several years ago. There are other examples so I just picked one.

I am not sure the parts are available from Alembic now. Alembic's preferred approach seems to be to get them to Alembicize your bass.

Maybe 15 years ago on another forum someone ("Marco"? in case anyone else remembers The Dude Pit) was making the parts. He was politely asked by Alembic to stop doing that and he complied.

Anyway that is another rabbit hole to go down.

If you really want to be overwhelmed by choices, the current one pickup Newark Street Starfire Bass is called the Starfire I and you can see they have revamped the bridge. That might remove the need to flatten things and replace it with the need to hide the old bridge holes.

1-7-1500x630.png
 

thornev

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Thanks, frono. You're a wealth of Starfire knowledge !

I did see the Alembic mod for bridges. Sending my bass out for work is not really an option right now. I'd rather have the satisfaction of doing whatever work myself. Right now I'm waiting for two ToneStylers and then I can install the Novak BS-DS and get some very cool tone options for both pickups. Whatever I do with electronics, I want to do it only once since it's such a challenge getting access to it.
 

fronobulax

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Thanks, frono. You're a wealth of Starfire knowledge !
The folks who have corrected me numerous times might have a different opinion but thanks.

During one of the factory tours at New Hartford before the Newark Street and GSR Starfire basses were in production, a FMIC employee was asking attendees about Starfire basses and everyone kept pointing at me. I was able to answer the questions and have often wondered if the decision to use a '66 "sweet spot" as the inspiration for the Newark Street bass, instead of a '67 neck position was influenced by what I said :)
 

mgod

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Maybe 15 years ago on another forum someone ("Marco"? in case anyone else remembers The Dude Pit) was making the parts. He was politely asked by Alembic to stop doing that and he complied.
He made one for me - good memory. A bridge and a sustain block. I put them on an EB-3 carcass that I put a pair of Dark Stars in.
 

thornev

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Here's post #1 in my modification project. Task one is getting the electronics out of the Starfire II bass. As said in other threads, the pots won't fit through the F holes nor will they fit through the holes for the pickup wiring. Makes me wonder how Guild got the wiring harness into the guitar in the first place. I was able to get the master volume and 3-way selector out through the pickup wire holes, but that's all.

I also had to extend the ground wire that's connected to the steel plate on which the bridge height adjustment screws sit. The other end of it is soldered to the neck volume pot and I need more length so I can get that pot out. I soldered some wire I had lying around to the ground wire end at the steel plate so I can pull the ground wire through the inside of the guitar and the volume pot out of the bass.

So I'll have to drill out the bridge pickup wire hole so it's big enough to get the pots out.

Anybody have better ideas? Thorne
 

lungimsam

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It must be done to get the electronics out.
I round filed out the sidewall of the bridge pup wiring hole to get the pickup wire hole bigger and worked perfect.
It was a square hole from factory. I just widened it up.

Use aquarium airline tubing to get electronics back in their holes. Works good. You can do it. It is fun to do.
Amateur tip: You can get a really wide roll of low tack tape and cover the entire bass with it as a protective layer. Personally, I would not leave it on longer than 8 hours though just cuz I'd be scared of the adhesive interacting with the finish but I know of pro luthiers who use low tack tape on finishes to protect them.
 
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thornev

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I used a 1/4" drill bit to drill out one side of the bridge pickup hole. With that I was able to get out all the electronics. And yes, I'm using aquarium air hose on the pots. One came loose and I was able to reattach it. I used string so I can pull the output jack and pickup selector switch back into their holes. I used a soft rag around the pickup hole to ensure the top didn't get damaged. I'll take a picture later. Off to get a haircut now.
 

lungimsam

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Excellent! Do post pics of all your steps so we can see and get some ideas!
 

thornev

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Getting out electronics. The wire is the ground wire which is found under the steel plate on top of which the bridge height adjustment screws sit.
 

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lungimsam

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Thanks for the pics!!
The II's have a bound fingerboard?!?!?! I never noticed that before!!! The Bisonic I's do not. And a quick Sweetwater image search shows some II's that are bound and some that are not. Bizarre.
Wow! The drill did a much cleaner job than my filing ability allowed on mine. Nice work!!

Here is another, possibly uninvited, amateur tip: Replace bridge ground wire tape with a small piece of copper shielding tape that has conductive adhesive.
 
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thornev

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Thanks for the tip, sam. I do have some copper tape. But it's not double-sided I don't think. Whatever I use has to be double-sided so the wire and the steel plate conduct. I have a quiet Starfire so luckily I don't need it in the electronics cavity.

On to step 2... replace neck Bisonic with a Novak BS-DS and replace its volume control with a push-pull so I can leverage the Bisonic/Dark Star coil tap feature.
 
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Happy Face

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That’s the challenge in getting the new bridge installed straight-where to align the screw holes.
I have 4 basses. Two have gotten hipshot replacements (Gibson, Ric).
Two have survived with their originals(Pbass and STARFIRE!!). I like the Starfire bridge though I wish the e saddle intonation slot was longer.
I think the foam is your best option if it is a small gap. Trying to make a wood base would be hard. Taking a leaf from the Starfire, foam is a good idea.
Have you pondered routing out the E-string slot a little? Some risk, I suppose, but I've done it twice.
 

thornev

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It turns out the roll of 2"-wide copper tape I have is indeed double-sided. So I will use it for the chassis ground (I know the guitar is not normally called a chassis. In this case it's as opposed to signal ground.)

Happy - I suppose by "E-string slot" you're referring back to my statement that the E string sound was muddy with the flat wounds I was using. No, I hadn't considered that. Good thinking. I plan to put Pyramid Gold flat wounds on when I complete the wiring mods. If that E string is also muddy I definitely will consider doing something with the E-string saddle. Thanks.

EDIT: Come to think of it, in addition to checking the saddle slot for the E string, the nut slot could be complicit in the muddy sound with the flat wounds I was using.
 
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thornev

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For tonight I'm done. I partially completed adding the 2 ToneStyler pots (the pots with the psychedelic blue cases). The bridge pot is attached. The neck pot requires getting the push-pull volume pot I ordered. I did get a long-bushing pot, but I believe that is too long so I ordered the normal bushing size pot. I know I can use a nut to limit how much of the bushing goes through the hole, but I prefer to install the proper size bushing.

So next up is attaching the new volume pot and then attaching the BS-DS pickup. And then the next biggest challenge - getting the whole harness back into the guitar. The ToneStyler pots are smaller so no sweat there. But the new push-pull pot seems a tad larger because it's a DPDT.
 

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lungimsam

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You’re volume pots gonna be 250k, 300k, 500k, or 1MEG?
 
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