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Thread: RD-4 build. An ode to doom metal.

  1. #1

    RD-4 build. An ode to doom metal.

    So my kit came in this weekend and it was surprisingly (or not really) good quality...

    The Good:
    -The neck fits the body flush and tight. Better than most major brandsí fully built instruments.
    -The neck is straight, the frets are clean, and the headstock is preshaped, thank god.
    -No parts were missing, which is nice as something to note.

    The Bad:
    -The body had 2 imperfections: one ding and kind of a gouge. Pretty sure I can sand them out.
    -The pickguard was hot off the press! In that, the shavings hanging off of it werenít cleaned off, a quick touch of sandpaper will fix it.
    -The body was multiple pieces, like 3 or 4. Between that and the imperfections my original plan of staining might have to changed. Time will tell.


    So my first impression upon opening it was this thing is SOLID. It has a good weight to it and seems well balanced. Weíll see it IS an RD after all.

    Plans/mods/upgrades:

    Bridge - going string through, anyone have tips on where to get ferrules? I canít find top ferrules for the life of me.
    Pickups - Dimarzio Model J
    Electronics - Going mad scientist on this one. VVT w/Series Parallel switch, onboard OD/boost. Also relocating the input to the side instead of the front because FRONT INPUTS ARE STUPID!!!



    Chapter One: SAND, SAND MORE.

    150 grit followed by 220. Damn itís smooth! Need to pick up 320/350 to make the neck smooth, possibly hit the body one last time. Little bit of hole cleaning too.

    That was it for day one, as I work a late schedule and I was sanding at 4AM in my apartment and my neighbors/fiancť/cat already think Iím a loud stupid asshole.



    Cat Tax:



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  2. #2
    Member DarkMark's Avatar
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    Nice looking kit. I like the shape. I like the cat too.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkMark View Post
    Nice looking kit. I like the shape. I like the cat too.
    Thank ya!


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  4. #4
    Member BJMtz's Avatar
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    Wow that's a cool looking bass. I've never noticed this one in the shop before. Have you compared the size of the Dimarzio Model Js to the pickups it came with? On my RCA-4 the J pickup is a tad bit smaller than most normal J pups and would require routing of the body to fit.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BJMtz View Post
    Wow that's a cool looking bass. I've never noticed this one in the shop before. Have you compared the size of the Dimarzio Model Js to the pickups it came with? On my RCA-4 the J pickup is a tad bit smaller than most normal J pups and would require routing of the body to fit.
    I havenít. The body cavities are routed pretty big. So worst case Iíll have to make a new PG, which I was throwing around regardless.


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  6. #6
    Mentor Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Cool as. The bodies are almost always multiple pieces, but it looks like you have a pretty good grain match. Once stained and assembled it can be hard to notice. Also dents will come out with a bit of steam - a clean rag and an iron will do the trick most of the time.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Mountain View Post
    Cool as. The bodies are almost always multiple pieces, but it looks like you have a pretty good grain match. Once stained and assembled it can be hard to notice. Also dents will come out with a bit of steam - a clean rag and an iron will do the trick most of the time.
    Thanks. One is a chunk missing so that trick might not work. The other might be a dent of sorts, so that would work.

    Still might stain anyway, thereís enough going on that it might be hidden. The bottom curve has a pretty obvious cap though, thatís what Iím worried about.


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  8. #8
    Mentor Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Well its up to you, but if you do stain and don't like it there isn't anything stopping you from going a solid over it afterwards. When I did the Black Cherry build in my signature- I initially stained it red and didn't like it - so I stained jet black over the top instead. It wasn't until I cleared that I saw it had a deep, subtle purple stain as a result of the two stains. Completely unintentional, but it looks unreal. There are lots of possibilities - and sometimes boo-boos turn into happy accidents.

    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Mountain View Post
    Well its up to you, but if you do stain and don't like it there isn't anything stopping you from going a solid over it afterwards. When I did the Black Cherry build in my signature- I initially stained it red and didn't like it - so I stained jet black over the top instead. It wasn't until I cleared that I saw it had a deep, subtle purple stain as a result of the two stains. Completely unintentional, but it looks unreal. There are lots of possibilities - and sometimes boo-boos turn into happy accidents.

    I REALLY like that color man!


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  10. #10

    RD-4 build. An ode to doom metal.

    Okay so I sanded the body 120 - 250 - 325, and a quick shot of 400 on the neck. Smoooooooth!

    My choice of color? Black Rit Dye!


    I got the idea from the Guns and Guitars channel on YouTube. I had the dye lying around and figured Iíd give it a shot.

    Iím actually pretty happy with how it looks, it looks weathered:



    Despite how much I sanded (and boooy did i sand!) there were still some deep pits I didnít catch and they were clear as day once I started dyeing. In my frustration/haste I attempted to pack the color into those areas and made some dark spots. I grabbed some rags and tried to rub it off but rubbed other areas in the process and the result is honestly pretty cool IMO. Good thing Iím not into ďprettyĒ guitars. It looks like a chunk of wood from the Black Pearl.

    The neck on the other hand, came out DAMN GOOD:


    The neck thus far has honestly been the All Star of this build. The frets were damn near perfect out of the box and it took the dye like a champ. Iím super happy with it. I might put another coat but it looks great as is. Weíll see how it looks once dry.


    Cat tax:




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    Last edited by Matt Pike's Shirt; 10-08-2018 at 05:53 PM.

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