El Degas P Bass

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Alcolm X
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El Degas P Bass

Post by Alcolm X » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:34 am

I bought this bass in the mid to late 80s for $80 CDN. I hated the colour (not Metal enough) and proceeded to cover the entire body in stickers. I even glued a number of 'em in the hard to stick areas... including under the pickguard - not only was I moronic, but completely thorough. Over the years it's been misused and readily abused by myself, and anyone I knew who was in need of a bass. Recently, however, I've come to realize that this is a fantastic instrument that's never done me wrong, and always played and worked perfectly, so I've set about fixing 'er up. Yesterday I got the last of the stickers off (save for a few particularly difficult spots that involved the aforementioned glue mishaps) and she looks fantastic... I kinda think that the stickers actually help to protect, and maybe preserve, the body from dings, scratches and whatnot. Now I'm planning to replace most, if not all of the hardware. The bridge and tuners are in particularly rough (rusted) shape, and the pickguard is missing a chunk near the jack... considering new pick-ups, knobs, bridge cover, etc. too. I'm finally giving the old El Degas the TLC it deserves. Here's a few pics, including what looks like a serial number sticker on the back of the headstock.
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Barry
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by Barry » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:11 pm

Hi AlcomX and welcome to the forums!
And congratulations on restoring this nice instrument! :D
I recently did much the same thing with a vintage 80's MIJ guitar that I bought from a teenaged shredder...the stickers were a pain to remove, but it had to be re-finished so I did not have to be as careful as you did.
Charles is the resident ED bass expert and he`ll likely have a comment on the sticker number when he catches up with this post.
Love that Abalone logo!

elDave
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by elDave » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:40 pm

Cool Bass! :D

Looks to be the same vintage and/or manufacturer as mine, it's got the d'Marzio's and coiltap/phase switch.

http://www.eldegas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=129

I've seen these in kandy blue or red like mine, black and sunburst like yours. The sunburst and black versions came with the p'up and bridge covers. I don't know if there were any other variations that year. Charles? Bueller?

Yours also appears to have the brass nut, is the bridge brass too ? On mine the string tree, nut, bridge and knobs are all brass. FWIW I put a set of chrome flats on mine last week and while the strings were off I took all the brass pieces off (except the nut) and polished them to a mirror finish. I did the frets too. It looks great!

Dave

Alcolm X
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by Alcolm X » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:23 pm

The bridge is chrome (and lookin' pretty rough) and I think the nut might be graphite.
I was wondering what exactly the switch was for... thanks for clarifying.
So it seems like this might be a late 70s early 80s model - very cool.

I'm torn between leaving it as is (just cleaning it up), and replacing everything. For around $125 I can get Schaller tuners, a Gotoh bridge, and new pickguard from StewMac, but the more I play it the more I think I should leave it alone. The only issue I've ever had with the ED is that the E string's a bit dead and slightly quieter than the other strings - I figure new pups would be the solution.

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charles
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by charles » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:26 pm

I absolutely love this model line of El Degas P Bass copies (the ones with the inlaid Abalone logo). These are great with the stock Dimarzios, brass nut & bridge, and coil tap/phase switch (I really do not know which it is). Despite the higher end parts, these still tend to go for $200 and less (I have personally never paid more than about $150 CAD for one, including shipping) - another plus, at least as a buyer.

You almost never find both the pickup and bridge "ashtray" covers intact. But most people removed the pickup one for a reason - depending on your style, it can really get in the way. But it looks awesome enough to adapt to having one, if you like the look :wink: .

You might want to monkey with the pickup height (tough on a P Bass but worth it) to address the dead E string. You'll probably never get your hands on an original set of Dimarzios like that for a decent price ever again :mrgreen:

No idea on the label on the back of the headstock. I have only seen similar labels on two other El Degas instruments, ever :shock: and they seem to have no 'modern' purpose - there's no record of these numbers in order for them to mean anything today.

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Barry
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by Barry » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:29 am

charles wrote:...No idea on the label on the back of the headstock....they seem to have no 'modern' purpose...
My guess is that it's an inventory or original music store sticker of some sort. Nothing to so with serial numbers at all.

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charles
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by charles » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:31 am

Barry wrote:
charles wrote:...No idea on the label on the back of the headstock....they seem to have no 'modern' purpose...
My guess is that it's an inventory or original music store sticker of some sort. Nothing to so with serial numbers at all.
That's my guess as well.

Hammertone
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by Hammertone » Sun May 09, 2010 8:46 pm

Don't replace the pickup - it's a very good Dimarzio.
The switch came with the pickup - it's for serial/parallel operation.
Note the brass nut.
Mine, which I posted ages ago on the El Degas thread on the Canadian Guitar Forum:
Fenderoid-Pbass-ElDegas-5337-med.jpg

Hammertone
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by Hammertone » Sun May 09, 2010 8:53 pm

And a friend's, below. Same factory, similar specs, different pickup, different label:
Onyxbass-hi.jpg

elDave
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by elDave » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:38 pm

FWIW I ante'd up the $10.00 over at vintaxe.com to browse their catalogs, including an elDegas catalog. The P-bass has a catalog number of 866, so I assume 866 S would be the 866 sunburst model. The case number is 866 C. The number for the J-bass in the catalog is number 865.

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LastChancers
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by LastChancers » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:48 pm

That is a lovely lovely P Bass. Very pleased to hear you are giving it the attention and restoration it deserves. enjoy it!

jamesbass
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by jamesbass » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:07 pm

Just picked up the same bass with both covers and thumb rest. Mine however says El Degas Electric Bass on the head stock.

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charles
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Re: El Degas P Bass

Post by charles » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:55 pm

jamesbass wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:07 pm
Just picked up the same bass with both covers and thumb rest. Mine however says El Degas Electric Bass on the head stock.
Well, what are you waiting for - make a new forum thread and show it off! :mrgreen:

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