Birdseye Jazz in progress
I am in between furniture projects, and am at a bit of a standstill building my first bass:
until my tax return comes in, so I decided to crank out another body in the meantime. When completed, the specs will be as follows:
-Fretless Jazz style
-chambered ash body, birdseye top with accent veneer
-Grain enhancing dye job on the top (Dark brown sanded off on the top, then a caramel colored dye over the whole bass).
-Pickguard either tort or clear plexi
-Birdseye maple neck, fretless with lines pau ferro board (Warmoth)
-Either passive or Audere JZ3
-Chrome Hipshot tuners and bridge
Any thoughts or suggestions on the above specs would be appreciated, particularly on the tone wood combinations, electronics, hardware, pickups/preamp side of things... I am new to lutherie (but not to woodworking or playing bass), so I am trying to keep things manageable (proven fender-style designs and parts) for my first couple builds.
That's amazing. I love birdseye, and I love the layer of dark veneer. I'd kill to be able to find tops like you have.
I am spoiled in that I live within 45 min. driving distance of two outstanding sawmills. Most of their clientele is there for large slabs for Nakashima style furniture or rough lumber for cabinetry jobs. The real gems are the boards in the short bins with amazing figure, and you really only need a 7x21" approximate board and a bandsaw with the appropriate setup for resawing.
I build contemporary furniture that uses a lot of figured woods, and now that I have made a few bass bodies, I start looking at my lumber stash quite differently in terms of envisioning guitar tops. For example, here are a few panels that were used in custom casework that would have made wonderful top laminates (pisses me off in retrospect):
I have to admit I thought I was looking at my own post for a moment when I looked at this ;)
Here is a pic of a bass build that I have left stagnating for far too long. You might notice a bit of a resemblance!
1.) Clear plexi pickguard to allow all the beauty of the top to show.
2.) Personally like the John East Retro J preamp on my active fretless.
3.) Not a big fan of Barts. Thinking of trying Joe Barden pickups in p and j builds I'm dreaming up. Love the Barden guitar pickups, expect good things with the bass as well.
Keep us posted-you're off to a great start.
I am definitely not married to any one partcular pickup/electronics setup, but unless they go on sale for about 50% off, I don't think I'll be putting a J-Retro or Barden Pickups in this bad boy. Those two items alone would be the entire budget of the bass!
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