Telecaster Style Bass VI Guitar - completed September 2006
The idea for a lefty baritone Telecaster began in 2003 with an inexpensive Telecaster style body I bought on eBay. It was already painted a cool but very bright blue. The quality and paint was really great and the price was even better. The neck is a Warmoth baritone conversion neck. The idea here is that the neck will bolt onto any standard tele body and scale to 28 5/8”. They have done all the math and so a standard bridge will compensate just fine with the new longer neck. The tuners were from one of my American standard Strats. Most of the other parts are Fender including the neckplate, control plate, knobs, switch etc. The bridge and neck pickup plate are from www.stewmac.com.
The pickups are American ‘52 reissue pickups and they sound really good. After playing this as a Baritone guitar tuned to low B a friend, Jet Weston, recommended using Fender VI strings and tuning down to low E. This turned a guitar of limited use into the perfect tick tack bass instrument. For the record I have seen a red 60’s lefty Fender VI selling for $13,000 out there on the internet. While I would love to own that this budget bass is so much fun to play.
I decided I wanted a more traditional looking Bass 6 to play with Jet Weston and his Atomic Ranch hands. I was so pleased with the Minwax Sedona Red finish on a Palm Pedal Tele I did for a friend that I decided to go to Home Depot once again. First I bought a Mighty Mite left handed Telecaster body on Ebay.
After a number of coats of Minwax Golden Pecan 245 stain, a few coats of Minwax poly spray and some light steel wool working, the body was completed. I quickly pilfered most of the parts from the blue bass body, added a single ply black Tele pickguard and the result was this beautiful traditional looking Bass 6 Telecaster.
One comment on Mighty Mite. I was skeptical of the Mighty Mite body but I must say I was impressed when the body arrived. The grain was very nice and the Fender and Warmoth parts fit nicely. The neck pocket was nice and tight but not too tight, the jack cup fit nicely in the jack hole and all the pickup and string holes were nicely aligned. This Bass 6 has Fender American 52 Reissue Tele pickups, Fender Neck plate and Fender Tuners.
One more note on Bass 6 Strings. Because the string ends are much larger than guitar strings I opted to leave out string ferrules. This way the ends aren’t sticking out of the body. Bass 6 string ends will not fit into standard Tele ferrules.