Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ginner, Barker Bass #99, gets a Graphtech Ghost System

Ginner (see blog post Friday December 12, 2008), built in memory of my mother, had actually been originally intended to have a Ghost System from GraphTech. Now became the time, so the first task was to bore and counterbore a spot for a fourth pot on the face, likewise a small toggle switch. At the time, I didn't have a fourth pretty knob so I used a stock black one just to be sure everything worked.

The serious electronic work started with excavating a filled-in section under the bridge, which accommodates the leads from the individual pickups. Things really get interesting in the electronics cavity--see the images--but if one takes one's time it all makes sense.

The double battery box is a Barker trademark. Some preamps like 18 volts, most work on 9. If 9 is enough, then the second compartment holds a new battery--as handy as a spare could be. These batteries, according to GraphTech, should last 500 hours, but anecdotally that appears to be a bit optimistic.

So we're into testing at this point, refining perhaps, but all in all it's the same bass with a greater breadth of sonic choices. The dramatic makeovers are the purview of cheap television series. This is real world, hands on, down and dirty, mechanics which, though helpful as a musician's tool, still points you back to your hands.

It's all in the hands.