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Yeah I tried to shortcut my way into CBGs. But the world had other ideas and I missed out on both the CBGs on ebay I considered getting. I used to have an old kids bass guitar I got given maybe 20 years ago and the last time I saw it was on the basement wall. Hmmm. There's a bookcase there now.
I removed top few shelves of books and tilted the bookshelf and sure enough the guitar was still there on the wall. A bit of gymnastics stood on a stool, tilting a bookshelf and I managed to grab the top tuner and lift it out over the bookshelf.
Not too bad considering I hadn't seen it for at least 10 years. I cleaned it up and plugged it into an amp. It worked, well sorta. I removed the strings, cranked the bridge up as high as it would go and stuck on 2nd to 5th strings from an Adagio light gauge set. I tuned to open G (GDGB) and spent the next couple of hours having fun playing. Only one pickup was working, and the sound would cut out and crackle - fixable for a bit with a thump. The pots are noisy but work. All that aside, it sounded surprising good - far better than it did with bass strings.
So all in all, I think I have the perfect donor for parts for my first CBG build. The scale is 23 3/4" and with the tail and bridge both being surface mounted, the major work will be mounting the neck (with a new higher nut) and fixing the electronics. I can't wait for my boxes (I'm getting 3 random ones) to arrive so I can pick one and get cracking.