GW Basses & Luthiery

  Music Man Stingray Restoration / Customization

After seeing the Rickenbacker I restored / hot rodded for myself, a local progressive metal player ask me about doing something similar for his old Music Man Stingray. The body had been refinished once from original black to clear many years ago. That refinish was pretty thin and was already wearing through in several spots, and had a bunch of the usual dents and dings, etc. Craig wanted her restored and some hardware updates and changes made. We talked it over, both of us agreeing NOT to drill any new holes or make other mods of that type so that all of the original parts and pickguard could be put right back on if desired at some point down the road, so here is what we came up with:

  • Strip and refinish just the body in clear gloss poly over oil with a urethane barrier
  • Leave neck as is
  • Make new white pearloid multi-layer pickguard with gold pickguard screws
  • New Hipshot Model A Bridge, solid brass in gold finish
  • New Schaller Tuners, gold finish, same model as original so all screw holes line up
  • Make new control plate, output jack mounting plate, bridge mounting plate to cover original bridge holes, and battery cover plate hand crafted from solid brass
  • New gold knobs, strap buttons, and thumb rest
  • New output jack, no other changes made to electronics

And the work begins...

Gold hardware is almost impossible to find for these basses, so we decided I'd simply make some by hand out of solid brass plate.

Body stripped and sanded, checking how original bridge fits...

...compared to how a new Hipshot bridge fits. The original threaded mounts are exposed, so I'll make a new solid brass plate that is the same shape and size as the original bridge base to go underneath and cover these holes

Craig wanted the amber glow that oil gives, so I put a few coats of oil on first before a urethane barrier and then the new gloss finish

Putting the final touches on the new brass plate to go under the new bridge. All mounting holes are drilled and countersunk, and I even stamped the original serial number into it

New gloss finish on the body is done, checking the fit of the new bridge plate and bridge


Control plate traced onto brass plate and ready to cut out and drill...

... and done, next to the original. Not too bad, eh?

Final assembly with new pickguard made from using the original pickguard as a template...

All built up, setup, and ready to plug in an go!

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