Fender Classic Player Rascal Bass

MikeEd

Member
Messages
1,158
I bought a Fender Rascal Bass a couple of years ago. I got it mainly for my daughter but I use once in a while it also. She wanted new strings on it so I took it to a local store and had them do a set up on it.

When I got it back it sounded worse. Some of the strings were making weird noises, especially the G string. I took it back to the store and had the tech check it out. He told me there was nothing he could do about. He said there must be something wrong with the guitar or the design. He was able to determine that the noise was coming from the saddles. If he moved the string over a little were it rested on the saddle the noise would go away. He said he had around 40 years experience working on guitars. I wonder if he is not qualified to work on bass guitars.

I could take the guitar to another store I know of where the tech is a bass player. He would probably be able to make it sound better, I hope. I am a guitar player and don't know much about bass.

Do you think the Fender Rascal is worth keeping?

Would a different type of strings work better in this guitar?

It seems to be difficult to get in tune. When you turn the knob on the tuner the string moves farther than you want it to. Would it be worth it to change out the tuners?

Here's a review of the Rascal:
 
Last edited:

NoiseNinja

Member
Messages
2,920
Sounds like that tech is an imbecile moron, and totally incompetent at his work, 40 years experience or not, he clearly haven't learned much in those 40 years. :facepalm

Just an absolutely absurd claim that there is nothing to do to fix the bass, as if it is a completely lost case, because of a bit of rattle at the bridge. :nuts

If nothing else there would always be the option of swapping out the bridge for a new one, though I would think it should be fixable as is.

Hard to say exactly what is causing the issue without a more detailed description, a closeup picture of the bridge and G string saddle, or having the bass to check out in person, but the solution could very well be as simple as to stick a small strip of some insulation tape (also known as electrical tape) on the bridge under the G string saddle screw(s).

I would properly just swap out the whole bridge though, since the 2 saddle construction, 2 strings per saddle, of the Fender Rascal doesn't allow for very accurate intonation, though you should be aware that this might effect the resale price negatively, as you would have to make new holes in the body for the screws to fit a more modern bridge on there that would allow for better intonation (also note that it might leave some exposed screw holes in the body from the old bridge, depending on how much the new one covers, though it is limited how noticeable that is going to be, and if you insist on not having tiny exposed holes in the bass body it would also be possible to actually fix it).

As for tuners, this might seem like obvious, but have you actually tried making smaller turns, here I mean really small adjustments, eventual just doing tiny wiggles back and forth, depending, as you are approaching the correct pitch, it should be able to tune up properly even if the tuners are crappy with the right handling and amount of attention/care, though by the sound of it it might be worth swapping out the tuners anyway.

If the bass is worth keeping, even if you need to do these, what I would call fairly minor, modifications?

I'd say: Hell, yeah!

These were/are great short scale basses.
 
Last edited:

MikeEd

Member
Messages
1,158
Thanks for the response. I'll see if I can do something with those saddles. I think they used a Guild bridge on these and it has 4 saddles.

Are some tuners better than others? Or are they pretty much the same? This is made in Mexico and I know they sometimes use cheaper materials on those.
 

NoiseNinja

Member
Messages
2,920
Thanks for the response. I'll see if I can do something with those saddles. I think they used a Guild bridge on these and it has 4 saddles.

Are some tuners better than others? Or are they pretty much the same? This is made in Mexico and I know they sometimes use cheaper materials on those.

Yes, there is definitely a difference in quality between different brand and models of 3rd party tuning mechanisms, but I am no expert, so can't really help you with any specific recommendations.

I don't think you necessarily need to buy the absolute most expensive ones to get great tuning mechanisms though, you just need to know which are great and which to avoid, which, as said, I unfortunately doesn't possess enough specific knowledge about to be able to help you with, knowing next to nothing about different brands and models of tuning mechanisms.

One more thing though you should be aware of is, that unless you don't mind modifying the current tuning mechanisms mounting holes, drilling them bigger or eventually having to shim, or even plug and drill new ones all together, as well as want to avoid having to drill new pilot holes for screws to secure them to the headstock of your bass, you should make sure the ones you buy actually fits the current mounting and screw holes for the stock tuning mechanisms installed in the headstock of your bass.

But as I assume the current stock tuning mechanisms are identical to standard Fender tuning mechanism as far as dimensions/measurements and mounting arrangement goes, I am pretty much certain, since Fender basses are still to a great extend somewhat of an industry standard, that it ought to be quite easy to find fitting 3rd party tuning mechanisms that'll be direct drop in replacements.
 
Last edited:

atallen

Member
Messages
769
I just took a look at the bridge on these... good luck trying to find a replacement. What a bastard of a design! Noting how long those screws are from the tailpiece to the saddle, I'd not be surprised if the rattle you're hearing is simply the spring around the screws rattling, or perhaps the saddles themselves rattling against each other. With that long a set screw, you're probably going to get a lot of lateral movement of the saddles.

qhvvfvbet8qb5f0nm1sj.jpg
 

NoiseNinja

Member
Messages
2,920
I just took a look at the bridge on these... good luck trying to find a replacement. What a bastard of a design! Noting how long those screws are from the tailpiece to the saddle, I'd not be surprised if the rattle you're hearing is simply the spring around the screws rattling, or perhaps the saddles themselves rattling against each other. With that long a set screw, you're probably going to get a lot of lateral movement of the saddles.

qhvvfvbet8qb5f0nm1sj.jpg

No one says it has to be a direct drop in replacement bridge.

What I suggested was replacing the stock one with a more functional modern bridge.

Would only be an issue if you for some reason insist on the bass looking 100% authentic, or that you got a problem with the exposed tiny old screw holes from the old bridge, in case the replacement bridge wouldn't cover them (as I said, really this is likely to be a fairly minor, barely noticeable, purely cosmetic issue), but on the other hand don't want to invest in a refinish to fix that either.

Good point about the spring of the G string saddle possibly being the culprit to the buzz though, but if this is indeed the case utilizing a longer spring for the G saddle intonation screw, thereby having it exercise more tension, and therefor making it less likely to rattle about, should be able to solve that problem (as an example the legendary Badass Bridge, as far as I can tell, utilizes just about as long intonation screw springs. It's would not be the length of the springs by themself that is the issue, in fact it would be them not being long enough compared to the intonation screws, to exercise proper tension and therefor sitting too loose, which would cause them to being prone to rattling around, that is).

As for the G string saddle possible sliding and shifting about, despite the tiny rail carvings this bridge actually features meant to prevent just that, a strategically placed small strip of insulation tape (also known as electrical tape) stuck to the bridge beneath the G string saddle screws, as I suggested previously in this thread, should be able to prevent this from happening anymore (make sure that the small tape strip is pressed sufficiently down in the saddle screw rails, which the screws though should pretty much handle automatically, if not just press against the top of the G string saddle with a finger, after the tape strip has been placed. I fixed a similar issue, also on a bass bridge that otherwise also had small rails to secure the saddles, doing the exact same thing. Insulation tape has a quite rubbery quality and is therefor quite effective preventing stuff from sliding around).
 
Last edited:

never-enough

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,047
Please just find a reputable tech to properly set it up.
I know it’s made in Mexico but these basses are pretty well regarded and likely to increase in value.
one sold recently on a popular bass forum for $1300 if I remember correctly
id try my best to avoid mods if at all possible…
I’d be blown away if a decent tech couldn’t have it in playing great as is
 

andare

Member
Messages
447
Those saddles need to be angled for proper intonation. have you tried wrapping a rubber band around them, or stuffing some foam under the springs?
As for the tuners there re many good ones on the market, Hipshot if you;re in the US, Gotoh are readily available everywhere.

You should do your own setup and put strings on. Never pay for some charlatan to turn a few screws when a setup must be tailored to your playing style anyway.
For anything related to nuts, frets and drilling I'd go to a GOOD tech. My rule is if the tech works out of a music store I don't trust them. A little research should tell you who works on guitars for local pros. Go there.
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom