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Thread: Left handed AGB-30 build

  1. #1
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    Post Left handed AGB-30 build

    Hello everyone,

    New member from the USA here, starting my first build. I am a lefty and a big fan of Gibson EB/SG basses and I was thrilled to see Pit Bull offered a kit with that style of body and that I could order a custom left hand kit. It showed up this week and I am ready to start planning out the build. I already have many questions for the forum.

    I laid everything out and all the parts are there. It was a bit of surprise to see that the kit did not include or have a hole drilled for a toggle switch, and that the jack is on the side of the body instead of the top - both of those details are shown in the image on the site. Not a huge deal, but it does lead me to my first question:

    There are EB-3 wiring harnesses that you can purchase that have the 2 tone/volume controls and a 4 way switch. Would I be able to use those types of harnesses with the 2 pickups that come with this kit ("mini bass humbuckers")? I don't see why not but I am far from an expert.

    A big asthetic goal on this build is to have a 4 or 3 way rotary swtich with a chicken head knob like you would see on the original EB-3 basses and even on the Epiphone SG basses of the last few years so a drop in harness and drilling a new hole for the switch sounds like a good route.

    The scale length checks out but the neck was not an exact fit. The picture below is how it looks when clamped into place, do I need to sand the neck or the pocket in this case?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am looking forward to the journey of this build and appreciate the input of the forum members!

  2. #2
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    Hi SGhunter, welcome.
    I see no one has replied to your post yet, and though I am of little help to you, this will bump the thread .

    Re the pickups, I see no problem with that, but other will have to shime in on that. Re neck, I would sand down if you can get away with that scale lengthwise, or shim if you can't. I have seen pictures of people who glued it in like this without a problem, but you just want to make sure that the neck is straight on the body (therefor I would). Strings could help you in checking the straightness before glueing it down.

    Looking forward to your build!

  3. #3
    Mentor Trevor Davies's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome SGhunter.

    Shame about the missing hole for the switch and the jack plug being different. Hopefully this is not a major problem for you. Is there room for the switch in the electronics cavity?

    Not sure about the electronic harness either.

    Quite sure that the end of the tongue on the neck does not need to meet the back of the pup route. Quite often there is a gap. Setting the scale length is most important and (I agree with RocknRolf that the neck) needs to be straight.

    Hopefully others can add more to this.
    PitBull Builds: FVB-4, LP-1SS, FBM-1, AG-2 (Runner up GOTM May 2021), TB-4, SSCM-1, TLA-1, TL-1TB.

    Scratch Builds: Pine Explorer, Axe Bass, Mr Scary (current), Scratchy Thinline (current),

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.

    Sorry to hear about your issues with the kits. Left-handed kits often seem to have significant differences from the right-handed versions. As always, take pictures and complain to Pit Bull directly. They rarely read these forums so the only way they know something is wrong is if you email them. If they don't know things are wrong, they can't try and get them corrected.

    Those neck tenons are there to provide more gluing area for the neck and they certainty aren't built to fit snugly against the rear of the neck pocket. I'd position the neck as you've shown it in the photo. You wouldn't want it any nearer the pocket as you need a small ridge left to rest the pickup ring on. I'd sand the glue excess off the rear of the neck, but leave it at that.

    The kit pickups will work with a bought harness. My only concerns with using a bought harness are a) unless you can get a left handed version made the tone and volume pot positions will be reversed, b) the output jack wiring length may be too short to run it to a side-mounted jack and c) a lot of harnesses are built with minimal extra cable lengths and I doubt the kit holes are an exact match for the original Gibson holes.

    If you are any good at soldering, I'd try and get a parts kit for the harness and make it up yourself.

  5. #5
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    @RocknRolf, @Trevor Davies, @Simon Barden -

    Thank you all for the replies. I went ahead and ordered a harness with consideration for the location of the jack and it is being made with extended wiring. I did not however, consider the positions being different for tone/volume and can live with it if I dont end up changing it around. There should be room in the cavity to add the switch and based on some of the Pit Bull info and like Simon mentioned, I am figuring that I will probably need to ream the existing holes to accomodate different pots.

    Thanks for the input on the neck, the scale length was spot on at 30.5" with the saddles set in the middle positions so if can glue it like this I probaby will leave it as it.

    I will put some strings on to test the straightness. These tuners slip in from the back and are held on by 4 screws so my next step is probably algining the tuners and getting holes driled.

    Any tips for test fitting the bridge? This is a 3 point bridge with inserts that let the mounting screws go into them. The PB guide mentions masking tape or tubing but the bridge would never be flush using that method.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Using masking tape or tubing to hold the posts in is about the only way to test the bridge out for alignment short of pushing the bushings in. You can use masking tape to help keep the bridge in place during testing as there's nothing but string tension to hold it there otherwise and the saddles aren't held in either.

    We'd recommend using ordinary string or thread, rather than bass strings, to test out the neck/bridge alignment. Clamp the neck in place and fit the bridge. Tie a stop knot in one end of a piece of string, pass it through the E saddle on the bridge, up to the E nut slot, down through the E tuner hole, up through the G tuner hole, through the G nut slot and back down to the G saddle. You only need to pull the string with enough tension on the string to see how the strings line up with the edges of the neck. You don't need to put it under full working tension and you can then put off drilling the tuner locating screw holes until after you've applied your finish (it's a lot easier and prevents finish cracks if you wet sand and water gets in the holes).

    But do check the tuners all work smoothly, as sometimes you get one that really is rough or very loose. Better to know now and get a replacement sent than find out just as you are finally putting it all together.

  7. #7
    The other peculiarity with Pitbull left-handed kits is for some reason they wire the pots back to front, so for example turning the volume pot clockwise turns the volume down. I have two commercially made left-handed guitars, (Fender and Ibanez) and neither one is wired like this; they're wired the same as right-handed models.
    Apart from the counter-intuitiveness of this, they haven't sourced proper reverse-taper log pots, so the "crowding" characteristic you get using linear-taper (non logarithmic) pots is actually magnified when you wire a log pot in reverse!
    I previously built a left-handed Strat copy, and I only corrected the wiring for the volume control, thinking it wouldn't matter so much for the tone controls.
    When I strung it up and started playing, I thought I must have had wiring fault, because the sound was very muffled.
    That's a bit problematic because on a Stratocaster you have to remove the strings again to access the pot and switch wiring.
    I eventually discovered that all of the tone control "action" was limited to the last 10 or so of rotation in the clockwise direction! Basically a reverse-wired logarithmic tone control pot acts more like a tone "switch...."
    Last edited by Keith Walters; 18-01-2022 at 08:40 AM.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    If you do go for fitting some anti-log pots for the full left-handed experience, sourcing left-handed knobs (with 0-10 or 1-10 markings) can be quite hard as there aren't many suppliers that have any, and the choice is normally pretty limited. So plain unnumbered knobs with hopefully some sort of dot position indicator, are a lot easier to find and use.

  9. #9
    You can make a case for left-handed scissors (or guitars!) but I just don't see how it would apply to volume or tone controls....
    Actually, when you think about it, when they started making radios in the 1920s, I wonder who decided that turning the control clockwise would make it louder.
    With just about all taps and stopcocks, (water and gas) turning them anti-clockwise increases the flow.

  10. #10
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    I used tape to get the bridge fitted and used the string method described above and the spacing looked good. However, I ordered a bone nut with the kit which it came with, but it is right handed. I contacted PB but I guess I need to wait to get that addressed before going further in this area.

    For the controls I got a new harness with the 4 way switch, so I need to make 1 new hole and widen the existing 4. Two questions about this, it is a mahogany body:

    1. For the new hole, is it best to drill from the control cavity vs the top?
    2. For the existing holes which is the better route - using the correct size bit and drilling them out, or using a hand reamer? Also, the same question about which side to work from.

    I have a drill press and a reamer.
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    Last edited by SGHunter; 21-01-2022 at 10:31 PM. Reason: added photos

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