Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
solarbird

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StinkyBass gets a bath

So I've been wanting a bass to screw around with and use in recordings, and I've been playing around with grabbing a used solid-body for super-cheap somewhere and restringing it GDAE and so on. But!

A while ago Brom gave Paul a mid-60s hollow-body bass he wasn't playing because, well, it was stinky. It was stinky because it had gotten all mildewy. Paul named it StinkyBass and put it downstairs and played with it some, but it was too stinky. So it stayed in StinkyCase for a long time, until I was talking about this and Anna remembered it it was there.

StinkyCase is now in another room wallowing in baking soda, and I'm working on fixing up the bass. It cleaned up pretty well on the outside with a couple of hours' work, but the inside of the hollow-body case is a problem. I went at it first with baking soda, then tried alcohol (with a rag on the end of a wire) but couldn't really get to the upper layer very well if at all.

Then I finally I remembered that UV emitter array I built out of UV LEDs to sterilise flutes! And have repurposed it for this:


StinkyBass in UV bath, Stage I

I've since moved the LEDs for better coverage. I hope this works. So far it seems to be, but I don't know whether that'll last - I can't be sure whether I'm just airing it out aggressively or actually doing some good against the mildew. Theory says this should work, but it's always hard to know. They're are all UVA emitters; I don't have a UVC emitter (and they're really expensive and large and frankly kinda dangerous). I also don't know how long it would take; internet data is conflicting! If I had a good UVC emitter the answer would be "five seconds," which is kinda scary. I had the lights in the position seen in this photo for about eight hours, which concentrated the light on the worst areas that I could see; they've been more centrally located since around 11ish last night.

Anyway, once scrubbed and oiled and restrung, StinkyBass sounds pretty good! It's a Klira "Twen Star" model 162, which is a German clone of some other bass from the mid-1960s, and it's not in bad shape. I like the hollow-body part, mostly because I can hear it without having to set up an amp. Since it's GDAE upside down, I can just invert my mandolin fingerings and everything works. Plus it's kinda old-school groovy, with this little violin-shaped body, which ties it back to the GDAE family again. (And I've had a sekrit TV crush on the ENOZ bassist since Series 1 of 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱. *^_^*;;) So I like it.

Except for the mildew stink. That's pretty brutal. But substantially less brutal today than last night, which was substantially less than before the alcohol, which was substantially less than coming out of the case omg. Fingers crossed!

eta: I forgot. I'm kind of weirded out by how TOTALLY DIFFERENT the UV LEDs look in photograph (and live monitor) than in person. Also how much dimmer. These things are crazy bright. I'm looking at StinkyBass right now and I can see the purple coming out through a couple of layers of dryer sheet and screwdriver box. The camera hardly picks this up at all. This must be related to those flower colours I can never get right in photos either.

This post originated at ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん: Solarbird Makes Noises, on Dreamwidth.
Tags: music
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