As the other two builds approach the finishing line, three new ones start. I would like to share one of them with you.
It's a 5er fretted for a well known American bassist - a great musician, a fantastic slapper and a very nice guy. Discussing the build has lead us to a very interesting and insightful conversation about slapping.
This thread is the outcome of such a conversation and it really is about building a funk machine
So here are the specs.
5 strings, 34" scale, 21 frets.
21 frets really is the golden rule of slap. Both the future owner and I share the opinion that a longer fretboard negatively affects the sound quality when the thumb hits the fretboard.
Personally I would be happy with 3 octaves on fretless. But my ideal funky fretboard shall not have more than 22 frets.
12" radius, 19mm strings spacing at bridge. Can it be any more classic than this?
The wood combo reflects the owner's preference for a punchy sounding bass with a lot of snap. Maple neck, African Ebony FB, Swamp Ash body.
Since Malagasy Ebony has been added to the list of protected species, we turned to Gabon Ebony. This particular jet black board is exquisite. The FB will sport white MOP block inlays.
Quilted Maple top with black accent line. Matching headstock.
Three laminates neck. Birdseye Maple/Purpleheart/BM. Super thin flat C neck profile, flattening to a D profile towards the heel.
The Purpleheart center laminate will be tapered, much like my previous builds that you have seen on TB.
We had initially chosen Bartolini p-ups and OBP, which we both like very much. We have then decided to go with Delano J p-ups and OBP V/Blend/B/M/T with mid freq.switch.
We chose the V/Blend configuration over the V/V because it allows fast tone changes. When a bassist has to switch back and forth from plucking to slapping, to soloing, being able to find the desired sound by turning just one knob can be quite an advantage.
All hardware will be chrome. I like this choice and prefer it to a perhaps more predictable black. It brightens up the look and, together with the MOP block inlays gives it an edge.
Clear gloss finish.
I expect the bass to weight around 6 lbs +/-.
It just occurred me that, all the woods in this build are supplied by Gilmerwood. I buy wood from them quite regularly and they're pretty good.
(BTW Gilmer, I miss your old web site)
Lastly, here is one of my sketches.
In the age of computers using pencil drawings might sound anachronistic - and it might as well be. But it works for me during the creative development and ultimately I feel that it allows me to better convey the overall vision. In other words, I like drawing... LOL
I am very excited about this build - then again, I am every time
It might move a bit slow at the beginning but it will find its pace as the other builds near completion.
Thank you for following!
ps: The other two builds are both four strings. One of them sports the (in)famous hyper-custom graphite neck that some of you have heard about. Yes, it has finally arrived. And yes, it felt like giving birth