Left Handed Ashbory Bass Conversion

No commonly produced Ashbory has ever been available left handed, so I took my own advice and had one converted over.

Example pictures: Click on each picture for a larger view. The blue bass is an unmodified right handed Fender Ashbory
Lefty Ashbory
left handed Ashbory left handed body
lefty bass body
reversed bass tuners

Contributed by Brock Frazier on May 15, 2003

Someone posted a message some months back on the LargeSound.com message board asking if an Ashbory could be converted over to a lefty. I gave it some thought, played around with my Ashbory a little, and came up with an answer. They tried it and reported that it worked. Recently, LargeSound.com Commerce was contacted by someone wanting a left handed Ashbory so I went over to the luthier's just for a quote but we went ahead and converted this one over. Guess curiosity got the best of us!

The conversion involves these steps:

  1. Flip the nut: The nut (the string holder on the neck up against the fingerboard) on a Fender or DeArmond Ashbory is non-directional, and in fact the only difference is that slots are bigger for the bigger strings and smaller for the smaller strings. The nut is held in by a dab of glue, so it can be carefully loosened and removed, and then installed again in reverse, with a new dub of glue.
  2. Flip out the tuner centers: There's two sizes of Fender made Ashbory tuner center slots, the bigger slotted ones are used for the E and A strings and the smaller slot ones are used for the D and G strings. Since the strings are essentially flipped on a lefty, the positions of the tuner centers also have to be flipped. The large, spendle-like centers are reverse threaded on small inner posts. To change out the tuner centers, unscrew all of the centers off the inner posts. Screw the E and A centers on the posts where the D and G centers were and screw the D and G centers where the E and A centers were.
  3. Relocate the body top strap pin: Some people do this on a right handed Ashbory for improved balance anyway, but in this case it's a necessity since the existing placement doesn't adapt well for left handed use. Following the logic of the right handed strap movement mod, the strap pin here is also moved towards the end of the body. The screw hole is covered by simply inserting a black screw into the old hole for a clean appearance.

The result:

One lefty Ashbory! Here's the odds and ends from being a conversion:

The good:

Unlike many righty to lefty conversions, the reach up the neck is as good as it is when right handed. The first Ashbory bass was very similar in shape, and a reversed version of that became the "dogbone" shape common today. In a sense, the body was originally designed to be this way rather than "flipped" like the right handed Guilds and DeArmond/Fenders are.

The bad:

A worthwhile conversion. Though not as nice as a from the factory bass lefty would be if such a thing existed, it translates over much better than a lot of conversions do.