Hi there! Two of the current threads are pretty much finished so I thought of starting a new thread.
As some of you know, I'm currently abroad and unable to work on the builds at hand - the Funk machine and this one - until I'm back at the end of October.
This build started in June and the build is almost finished. In fact it started a lot earlier, when I commissioned its fairly complex but Über-cool graphite neck.
Some of you have followed the build on the Facebook page. I thought it would be nice to share the experience here on TB.
The owner is a cool Indian bassist based in Mumbai. We met at one of my gigs, where I was playing one of the Ü-J prototypes. We ended up chatting over a few drinks about builds and graphite necks. Fast forward to a few months later, I receive an email from him and start discussing specs in details.
Here they are:
34" scale, 24 frets.
Graphite neck with black prism finish. Fiber optics - red/front, blue/side.
Two J Bartolini. Aguilar 3bands OBP with mid freq. toggle.
He also wanted a body shape different from the Über-J. Something a bit more extreme and modern. What a coincidence... I was just waiting for the right moment to build a new model. In fact, this design was ready before the Ü-J. But I decided to go with the J first.
This model is called - guess? - Über LOL.... Über-Groove.
His bass has a name too - the Anti-Matter.
I showed him some sketches.
Here the are.
The very first thing he decided was the top. I had shown him some Claro tops I had just found and thought were incredibly unique and a gutsy choice. He loved them at a first sight.
Sandeep is a really cool guy. He know exactly what he wants and he is very open to suggestions. He can immediately tell a good idea and decide on unconventional, unorthodox solution in two seconds flat.
Here is the top.
Keeping those knots in the picture was our mission. Not an easy one since the body shape is not fully symmetric. Neck
The first thing to do was to order the neck. His requirements together with mine made this quite a challenge.
I need it to have a paddle-like headstock as close as possible to the one I had designed; no tuners holes; not angled. Also, Sandeep wanted truss rod access at headstock, where the two fiber optics unites were too.
Moses was the only maker who took it on. Another builder was able to do everything, but fiber optics. So we went with Moses.
I have to say that, it was a bit of a pain for both them and us. Once combined in one neck, the specs proved very challenging and the 3 to 4 months lead time became four, five.... It was kinda tough to keep calm and collected when deadlines were being pushed month after month.
Eventually the neck arrived, after nine months. Steve at Moses told me that our specs had made the neck such a complex project that they had to find new ways to go about with building it. In the end, he said, this was a one time build. They won't make another one like this. So, there you go - a true custom build LOL
When the neck arrived though, it was so sweet that the long wait was quickly forgotten.
Still, somewhere in the communication flow something had broken and the 24 frets had become 21 and the extended neck heel had become the standard J replacement. That's unfortunate.
But the neck was so cool that Sandeep decided to go ahead with 21 frets.
So everyone was cool. Everyone but me. The body I had prepared would not work with 21 frets. I had to make changes to the design, make a new template and a new body. Oh well..... Body.
The main asset of this design, compared to the J or M, is flexibility. It's the one I'd go to for extended range, three octaves, extreme contour and so on. So, paradoxically, making it fit a 21 frets neck was its baptism of fire
Here's the new design. It does seem to keep the basic spirit of the original one.
The woods selected for the body were Alder and African Mahogany. In the end I felt that Mahogany was complementing the Claro better than Alder.
One of the deciding factors was that I had Mahogany in both flat and quarter sawn billets. Since the bass had both top and back laminates, a quarter sawn core seemed the most intriguing aesthetic choice with the nicer looking grain being on the sides, rather than on the back/front.
Midnight here. I'll post the rest of the build as soon as I have the time.
Thanks for reading this.