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Username: essencetimestwo

Post Number: 42
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 9:58 am:   Edit Post

I am in the middle of changing strings on both of my Essence basses and I am noticing that the fingerboards are quite dirty. What is the best way to clean them? I am also wondering if anyone knows what Alembic charges to install a Q switch with standard Essence electronics and how much it would be if I got the kits myself? Thanks in advance for any help!
Senior Member
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 629
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

In another thread Mica recently stated "you can call to order the Q-switch kit, it's running $55 prewired with installation instructions".
Senior Member
Username: bassman10096

Post Number: 445
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 10:47 am:   Edit Post

I have used rubbing alcohol to clean up dirty fretboards. It works pretty well and quickly. To counteract the drying tendency, I always wipe immediately and oil the wood to replenish lost moisture/stop any damage. Usually I use some Flitz or other metal polish to clean and shine the frets at the same time (wiping off completely and oiling immediately). This seems to clean the fretboard of grime oil and leaves the frets shining.

I'm not telling you this to endorse any part of what I've described as safe for the wood (it does not appear to have damaged anything so far) - I'm not sure if I'm doing damage with either the alcohol or metal polish. Can any of you more experienced and knowlegable offer any advice or tips based on your experience?

Username: essenceman

Post Number: 32
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 2:14 pm:   Edit Post

Do it, Simon!

I installed a Q switch on my Essence 5 a good while ago now. It is very simple to do if you're happy bringing a drill and a soldering iron close to your bass!! If not, your local repairman will do the job no problem.

The supplied assembly instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Good luck,


ps I use lemon oil to keep my fretboard clean.
Username: kungfusheriff

Post Number: 97
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 2:19 pm:   Edit Post

As far as cleaning the wood, I've always vigorously scrubbed the board with the pad of my index finger while the lemon oil is soaking into the board. Once the board is saturated with oil, the excess as well as any finger grime can be wiped off with a soft cotton cloth. A soft toothbrush might work OK too, but I have left marks on rosewood boards with 3M or Scotch-Brite pand, and don't recommend their use even on ebony.
Username: rklisme

Post Number: 39
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 4:06 pm:   Edit Post

I have to agree with Bill on this one. Rubbing alcohol evaperates quickly and does a nice job of cleaning. Oiling the fretboard is good making sure you clean all the excess oil so as not to gunk up your strings. Allow the oil to stay about thirty minutes or so before cleaning off. I have never tried the fret polish idea I think I will give it a whirl. I think the Que switch is a great idea and will open up quite a few more tones for you. Good Luck!

Bottoms Up
Senior Member
Username: bassman10096

Post Number: 446
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post

Shiny frets definitely spruce up an older bass (even newer instruments get can oxidized frets pretty quickly). Although the Flitz doesn't seem to mark up the wood (I try to keep it on the frets and get it off immediately), I'd like to hear other ideas that others use that have proven harmless.
Username: hup

Post Number: 18
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 7:24 pm:   Edit Post

Hey, I use lemoil as well it is really good for cleaning and keeping the fret board in great condition, a few drops inbetween each fret and rub with a nice clean cloth...

Advanced Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 248
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post

I always change my strings all at once; while they're off, I'll first take one of thos four-sided foam manicure sanding sponges and shine up the frets. This is much easier on the steel than files, and the two finest grits will put a fine shine back on them. (These also are cheap and handy for the brass parts as well.) I then take lemon oil (I prefer better oil from a woodworking shop), apply it liberally and let it sit and soak it up for about 20 minutes.

Wipe off what's left after that, string your bass back up and you're back in business.

I'll repeat my other cleaning tricks:

There's no better lubricant for nut screws, bridge screws, etc., than BreakFree CLP. Usually found where firearms and accessories are sold, it's finish and electronically inert, and is sweat proof. Standard issue with Uncle Sam from Berettas to Howitzers.

For gold or plated parts, a great preservative is VO5, the hairdressing in the gpld toothpaste tube. A T-H-I-N film will keep gold or chrome shiny for a long time. All organic and harmless to the instrument.

And for those of us with the glossy finishes, nothing works like MEGUIAR's or MOTHER's cleaners and waxes. If they're good enough for $100K paint jobs on show cars at the Oakland Show, they work great on the best guitar paint jobs from ALEMBIC.

PS: Wax is great for getting that cloudy look off of shiny parts, like the tuning key buttons.

When I go play, I like mine to be like a show car when I pull it out of the case. Everything is perfect, and the prettiest eye-candy most people have ever seen. Then the sound seals the deal!

J o e y

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