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Thread: Why oval holes?

  1. #1

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    Why oval holes?

    The Old Smoothie is a wonderful bass, and I love the attention to detail like the string tree being for the D and G strings and the pieced together prickup cover. What I'm trying to figure out is why the holes in the pick up cover are oval (except for the ones in the center)? If it was simply made from two 8 pole covers, wouldn't the holes be circular and line up? I am sure I am missing something, so I ask you all to either share knowledge or just speculate wildly
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why oval holes?-smoothie-med-jpg  
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

  2. #2

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    I believe that the original old smoothie was one a kind, and had a pickup made by hand, I guess by Leo Fender. I think the pole pieces are closer together than they are on the 4 pole piece pickup.

    They could have just made a purpose made one, but it wouldn't be authentic to the original with two 4 pole piece covers taped together in the middle.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    I believe that the original old smoothie was one a kind, and had a pickup made by hand, I guess by Leo Fender. I think the pole pieces are closer together than they are on the 4 pole piece pickup.
    Yes, I'm with you on the one off thing, but how can pole pieces between the strings be closer together than pole pieces under the strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    They could have just made a purpose made one, but it wouldn't be authentic to the original with two 4 pole piece covers taped together in the middle.
    Agreed, as I wrote earlier I love the attention to detail
    bovinehost: Yes, I do agree with that, but if there's nothing wrong then there's nothing wrong.
    Beth: I would compare Bongo to Tommy Lee Jones. Bad a$$ and just hot in a weird way...
    cheezewiz: They should take their lace thongs off and play bass.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by strummer View Post
    Yes, I'm with you on the one off thing, but how can pole pieces between the strings be closer together than pole pieces under the strings?
    Not sure, but if you look at this video, I'm pretty sure I see oval holes:

    Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Bass | 40th Anniversary - YouTube

    I'm pretty sure the only one who would really know is Big Poppa. The string spacing may have been slightly different back then, and to recreate the original required that kind of modification, which means some guy has to sit there with a dremel and make the holes bigger I guess.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  5. #5

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    That is a lot of attention to detail. Have seen it, noticed and not really though about it being a deliberate flaw.
    Very cool indeed

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
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    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
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  6. #6

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    Mine has them as well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why oval holes?-smoothie-jpg  
    2018 SR5HHS Cruz Teal - roasted/ebony
    2018 SR4HHS Aqua sparkle - roasted/ebony
    2016 SR4H 40th Anni Old Smoothie - Chocolate burst - maple
    2014 Neptune Blue Classic Sabre - roasted/maple, mahogany body
    2010 SR4 classic coral red/birdseye/maple with Flatwounds
    2008 Bongo 5HHp lava pearl/RW
    2007 SR4HH Blue Dawn LE/RW
    2003 SR5H Natural/maple
    2003 SR4H Natural/RW
    2003 US Sub 5H White/RW
    1993 SR4 Fretless Sunburst - birdseye maple/Pau Ferro
    1993 SR4 blueburst - flamed maple/maple

  7. #7

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    Fun speculation. As for the oval holes, it seems likely that was just the design for the other prototype versions before the Old Smoothie design - at least the ones right before it. So all 8 holes would have been ovals. What advantage that would give, I don't know. Maybe it was just an aesthetic choice.

    As for why the center holes are round on Old Smoothie, if I'm visualizing this right in my mind, they would have to be. Since he made it from the existing covers from the earlier prototypes, if you made the center holes ovals too, the alignment would be off for all the other pole pieces. They wouldn't be center-aligned in their holes. They'd be pushed toward the inside, possibly enough that they wouldn't even fit. I think. Damn it, this is exactly the kind of thing that triggers my OCD.

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