[Bass of the Week] Moonshine Custom Guitars MCG Rat Rod J style

The builder of the feature bass this week openly admits that the distressed look is a love-it-or-hate-it thing. But even so, this is still a great build. Seeing a reverse headstock on a distressed J Bass style build really adds to the cool factor.

(Note: YES, there is a demo of this bass. See video below!)

Builder Rick Wilson writes:

Andy Irvine who has the Daily Funk Club (THE DAILY FUNK CLUB – WHERE ALL BASS PLAYERS COME TO LEARN AND SHARE! HOSTED BY ANDY IRVINE) bass page contacted me after seeing pics of a similar bass I built for myself, he was looking for the feel of a well played early 60’s Jazz as with the vintage look as well but taking it even further.

The whole “Relic” look is pretty much love or hate, you either like it or you think the very idea of added wear to a new instrument is utterly ridiculous and I get it, the idea that someone would have this done to an instrument just to pretend it is a real vintage piece is pathetic to say the least. I look on relicing as just another finish option and I do like it when done correctly (IMHO, YMMV, ETC… :D)

Andy, who’s an amazing bass player as well as a really nice guy, wanted an over the top finish; he dug the foam green over sunburst and wanted one that heavily relic’d like mine. he had seen some of my builds with reversed headstocks (apparently another one of those love it or hate it styles), he’s a big fan of them so we went with a left handed headstock.

Other neck choices were a darkened fretboard with the edges rounded and clay face dots. I used 3/32″ pearl side dots (standard on my builds).

Alder for the body, he was looking for a fairly light instrument (it came in at just over 8lbs.). Hardware choice was Hipshot for both the bridge and tuners. Andy supplied the Bartolini single coil pickups and an early model 2-band Bartolini pre amp. I’m a huge fan of Bartolini, I’m old school enough that to me the standard when it comes to active active bass tone is an early model Tobias bass with Bartolini soapbar pickups and that killer 3-band preamp.

The bass came out better than expected. Very pleased with how it looks, feels and plays.


Well done!

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4 thoughts on “[Bass of the Week] Moonshine Custom Guitars MCG Rat Rod J style

  1. One thing about relic basses that always seems to be overlooked is uv light wear on the finish, the color of this bass just seems to bright and vivid for how much wear it has, now I know different finish “tan” differently or not nearly as much as say nitro, but bright relic just always threw me off a bit. I built a little “tanning bed” for my relic builds to do some nitro tanning and even did some tan lines using the hardware and pickguard and then breaking off a corner piece so you can see the true color and the line from the guard.

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