WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Leo got it right.

WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:58 am

Unless I missed it elsewhere, I don't see a thread dedicated to Berry Oakley's Tractor Jazz Basses.

ImageImage

Anyone else have one of these? I made mine out of MIJ, MIM and licensed Fender parts. I had a problem for the longest time with 60 cycle hum, but recently fixed that by removing the MIM Jazz pickups and replacing them with a pair of Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pickups. Talk about tonal variety!

Here's a picture of mine. I put it together with the dot neck to make it representative of the way it was before Berry passed away.

Image

My one regret, if I could have a do over on the build, I'd give the Dark Star pickup a bit of a tilt like on the real deal.

Here's the real Tractor as it is today. It has a '66 neck with oval tuners now. The neck swap was underway around the time of Oakley's motorcycle accident. I don't think he ever got to play it with the '66 neck. Photo courtesy of Berry D. Oakley.

Image
Last edited by BigDaveOnBass on Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Dr. Greenthumb » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:50 am

Thats pretty damn sweet looking! I like it allot!
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Mike Childree » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:51 am

I actually got to lay hands on that bass once....GABBA convention in Macon, and Berry Jr. was playing with his band, Bloodline. If you toured the Big House, it was sitting up on a stand. The action looked a mile high, but I just wanted to touch the thing. Berry Jr. said "sure!" and handed it right over. Couldn't believe it, but I imagine it had a lot do do with me being the only other person in the room besides Jr.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:34 pm

Cool Mike!! Wasn't that in '94 or '97? I have seen video or a picture of Bloodline on stage from that show. Are you a GABBA member now? I am, I am actually on the board now. GABBAfest 2007 is October 6-7 at Douglas Theater. Randall Bramblett Band, Jack Pearson Band, Bonobos Convergence (Vaylor Trucks' band,) Mojo:Saint (bassist Jack Hall from Wet Willie) and a new band called Fly Brothers are scheduled to play. You ought to try and make it if you aren't gigging that weekend.

edit: I think Bloodline played in '94. Berry was there in '97 with Marc Ford and Johnny Neel, IIRC.
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Mike Childree » Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:03 pm

Dave, I was a kind of hanger-on with GABBA back then, due to my activities with the Gov't Mule stuff. I wasn't even a member, but some friends from the Mule list were, so I'd go hang with them during GABBAfest. I went a couple of years but I can't keep it all straight in my head (for good reason!). It was the year Bloodline played outside in the street, Mule as well, and then Mule also did a show inside Liz Reed's that night.

I used to love going to the Douglas....last time I went was when Frogwings played there several years back. Pretty cool thing happened that afternoon...we were going through the Hall Of Fame and I was staring down into a glass case full of ABB memorabilia, and somebody walked up and made some smart crack about the display. I looked up and it's Butch and some other folks, one of whom I thought might be Red Dog. Anyway, he stood and shot the breeze with us for a good half hour. Just a good old homeboy. Macon is just a great place to visit, I always love going over there.

GABBAfest in October...hmmm....sounds like a bike trip!
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:39 pm

Dang skippy! You got a nice 'un for a road trip, too!! I'm probably going on mine, as well, if I can get a buddy to carry my bass and practice amp down. We always have some kind of motel room jam going.
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby ~lightwaveryder~ » Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:43 pm

BigDaveOnBass wrote:Unless I missed it elsewhere, I don't see a thread dedicated to Berry Oakley's Tractor Jazz Basses.



Anyone else have one of these? I made mine out of MIJ, MIM and licensed Fender parts. I had a problem for the longest time with 60 cycle hum, but recently fixed that by removing the MIM Jazz pickups and replacing them with a pair of Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pickups. Talk about tonal variety!

Here's a picture of mine. I put it together with the dot neck to make it representative of the way it was before Berry passed away.

My one regret, if I could have a do over on the build, I'd give the Dark Star pickup a bit of a tilt like on the real deal.

Here's the real Tractor as it is today. It has a '66 neck with oval tuners now. The neck swap was underway around the time of Oakley's motorcycle accident. I don't think he ever got to play it with the '66 neck. Photo courtesy of Berry D. Oakley.


gakkk i can't see the images.

I saw a pic of the tractor once before, but i sure would like to see the images from this thread.



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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Golem » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:18 am

BigDaveOnBass wrote:........My one regret, if I could have a do over on the build, I'd give the Dark Star pickup a bit of a tilt like on the real deal. .........


You can put a hidden tilt on the Ultras, assuming they are seperately controlled. Since each Ultra J has 4 wires, each J-PU being more or less a P-PU without the stagger, you can wire the pairs differently to the controls. The pair of J's can readily be wired to act like a pair of P's, one reversed, and one Fender-style. Of course they are somewhat exagerated P's, as the stagger is wider than a normal split P.

Normally wired Ultra J's:

NN NN NN NN >>>> all 8 slugs fed to "Neck" vol knob.

BB BB BB BB >>>> all 8 slugs fed to "Bridge" vol knob.


Diagonally wired Ultra J's
['B' or 'N' refers to which knob controls which slugs]:

BB BB NN NN

NN NN BB BB

OR:

NN NN BB BB

BB BB NN NN

I wired my J-Bass that way, and am hooked on dialing it up to act like a gaint reverse P-PU
[6's and 9's represent volume on the "0-10" knob markings]:

66 66 99 99

99 99 66 66

Volume difference between 6 and 9 is huge on a passive bass.

Here's a sketch of my wiring:

Ultra-J_X-Wire.JPG


G-K-R-W = green-black-red-white

New basses are red. Used basses are black.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:47 am

~lightwaveryder~ wrote:gakkk i can't see the images.

I saw a pic of the tractor once before, but i sure would like to see the images from this thread.



~lwr~
Sorry man, I did a little rearranging in my Photobucket account and broke the links. I fixed them in my original post.
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
~Duane Allman~
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:51 am

Golem, what I meant by "tilt" is the asthetic tilt, as in the pickup ring.

Imagevs.Image
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
~Duane Allman~
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Location: Evans, GA

Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Golem » Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:40 am

BigDaveOnBass wrote:Golem, what I meant by "tilt" is the asthetic tilt, as in the pickup ring. ....


Well, since it's parts bass [no huge collector $$$] and since it has a PG, beats me what's stopping you :-)

New basses are red. Used basses are black.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:07 am

I'd have to do a little extra routing, and if I do that, then I'll be missing some wood to screw the Dark Star pickup ring into. [smilie=icon_frown.gif]
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
~Duane Allman~
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby Simpleman » Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:33 pm

Should of left the links broken..My Jazz Bass is getting nervous.
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Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby BigDaveOnBass » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:26 am

Simpleman wrote:Should of left the links broken..My Jazz Bass is getting nervous.
Heh heh.... :toke:
I love being alive and I will be the best man I possibly can.
I will take love wherever I find it and offer it to everyone who will take it....
seek knowledge from those wiser....
and teach those who wish to learn from me.
~Duane Allman~
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Location: Evans, GA

Re: WHAT??? No Tractor thread???

Postby eb2 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:39 pm

That is a happening project. If you have to take a bit of wood out, just glue a piece of wood back where you need it, as nobody is going to see it. Go for it.

Does anybody have one of the Fender Custom Shop Tractors from a few years back? It was pretty cool, with the exception of the 70s Guild reissue pups they used on the DeArmond basses. They are a fine pup, but just wrong. I had never seen one outside of the Fender Frontline/BassStreet promo stuff. I suspect they only made a few, and they dissapeared pretty fast. Anyone seen one in the flesh?
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