Congratulations on the start of an excellent first instrument! It looks like it will be a (more or less) flat top (like a typical acoustic guitar), not an archtop (like a cello or jazz guitar). Is that right?
It is important to establish which one of those types it is, because the distribution of forces from the pull of the strings is totally different on instruments of the two designs, and the bracing and structure must be designed to accommodate those forces in a safe and musically pleasing way.
Hi Everybody else,
Assuming that it is a flat top, can someone with more experience give Bezbass feedback on the bracing for his top? Please?
The torsional forces on the top of an flat top acoustic bass guitar can be pretty high, as there is a fair amount of tension on typical bass strings.
I would sure hate to see such a great first effort distort under tension.
I never made an acoustic bass guitar, but the few I have examined closely have had pretty thick tops, plate reinforcements around the bridge and sound hole area, and plenty of bracing. Yes, that does limit the ABG's acoustic volume potential, but at least the instrument has a chance to survive. I have also seen one that that was "bellying" (failing).
Maybe someone with more experience can comment on the bracing?
As for pickups, Bezbass, considering all the hours you are putting into the instrument, I would recommend investing in a proven pickup design.
Look for soundfiles for the pickups you are considering and see what you think. Maybe try to refine your understanding of what range of sounds the major pickup type options can give you.
Figure out what old and newer piezo's sound like (do you like that old-fashioned piezo "quack," for instance? If not, don't use an older design piezo; go for a newer 360 degree piezo design, etc). Here is a piezo thread I found to be helpful: Piezo pickup system for chambered bass?
Figure out what mini microphone pickups sound like (and try to decide if the ever-present threat of feedback will be a deal-breaker for you and the kinds of music you will play with the instrument).
Figure out what humbucking magnetic pickups sound like (you could mount a Johnny Smith style jazz guitar-like magnetic on the end of the fingerboard, for instance).
Once you get a sense of your tastes, I would recommend spending the money on a good and proven pickup and preamp system. After all, you are putting so much of yourself into the build; you might as well give yourself the highest possible chance of really liking the sounds it makes.