There's nothing worse for many musicians than putting the first ding or scratch into a brand new instrument. It hurts! For Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls though, the more beat up his Yamaha BBs the better.
Here's the process behind Robby's BB414s: First, we take brand new bass from the rack and immediately strip the existing polyurethane finish and have it refinished in Robby's color of choice in nitrocellulose lacquer. "Nitro" is the original finish used on instruments and is somewhat less protective than polyurethane, but it ages very nicely and some argue helps instruments sound their best.
Something that is also unique to Robby's basses as well is that we plug the holes that would normally act as a tone control and pickup selector switch. Robby just wants both pickups on and a volume control wired straight to the output jack. Simple and effective!
Once we get the bass back from paint and into YGD then the fun starts. We beat up on the bass's body and headstock to make it looks likes it's been played all over the world at least one time around by the band. Once Robby gets his hands on it he lays into it even more. Please note that the pickups, Hipshot D-tuner, tuning keys, frets, pickups and electronics are not part of this aggressive "pre-treatment!" The playability has to be in top form.