Best custom bass building company? - Also, talk about your dream bass!
I'm having a good 'ol GAS and was dreaming of the day I can afford a higher range bass. What are the best companies that make custom basses? I know about Warmoth, but are there others?
Also, as a double-topic, what is your dream bass if you could make one? Mine would be:
Seafoam Green finish
P/J Pickups with White Covers and the P pickups are reversed
Rosewood Fretboard - 24 Frets
Spector/Warmoth Corvette style body
All black hardware
Pretty close to this:
Yeah, it'll be epic if I can ever make this. What about your dream bass? :bassist:
mines gotta be a candy apple metallic red five string jazz body, string through bridge, with seymour duncan quarter pounders, rosewood neck with white binding and white pearl blocks, all black hardware, and matching headstock.
My dream bass would sound like the fretless Stingray I already have. :bassist:
For me it's a 35" scale Hofner violin bass
Call Marco Cortes (Marco Basses), Met him at NAMM two years ago, super nice guy, great basses and relatively affordable when compared to the other custom shops out there.
He built me the P/J of my dreams, hand wound pick ups, exotic top, light weight, White Burst finish, a fantastic instrument. He also makes his own more modern designs but i wanted a Fender style Bass.
There are so many amazing boutique custom builders out there, it would be impossible to list them all. Your list of specs is rather unorthodox, so it's hard for me to come up with one or two builders that I would associate with that kind of build, but that's a mental problem of mine - I'm positive that there are many builders out there who could knock it out of the park. I hear a lot of great things about Stambaugh and Clement, and they're totally custom builders so they could make you what you want. Of course there's dozens more, so good luck with your search!
Edit: Marco Cortes is awesome too, as mentioned above. I also think JC basses makes totally custom basses, IIRC he did a thread in the Luthiers Corner on a slick rainbow singlecut sixer that turned out really nice.
Warmoth or Warwick? My vote's going to our very own JohnK_10, he's a master at recreating vintage Fenders.
Only ever considered Warmoth for a custom build (mostly because they seem to do the type of build I want very well), but these other places people are posting look tempting...
Dream Bass Specs
BODY: Jazz bass body in Lake Placid Blue with a tort pickguard. Routed for precision pickups.
NECK: Either a 30 or 32 inch scale birdseye maple neck with a rosewood fretboard; 20 or 21 frets; four strings. I would probably use the standard Fender-type headstock with a matching LPB finish.
PICKUPS: I'd go with Nordstrand precision pickups.
CONTROLS: 1 volume, 1 tone. (boring, I know...)
It's not wayyy out there in terms of customization, but it would work for me. :bassist:
Birdsong. Why? They're right here in a small Texas town, building the best damned shortscale bass money can buy. And if you ask nicely you can help build your own bass!
Now, how cool is that? Name another custom builder that will do that for you.
Dealing with Fodera on a custom has been a dream.
Not cheap, but their customer service and attention to detail is amazing.
I ordered my dream bass from them but it is a year away and I won't have to set the final spec until December.
If you go the custom route, which I have, then you need to decide what sound you are after. That's the most important thing. Tell your luthier what sound you want and then work everything else from there.
I selected Cliff Bordwell who lurks here at TB. Great guy, great experience and great bass. Cheers.
Mine would be a 24 fret 5 string, custom shape with a pair of Delano twin jazz pickups, hard ash body, 5 piece neck and bound and blocked maple fingerboard. With a crazy orange finish.
Something like this:
As always, my answer for anyone looking for a custom bass that doesn't fall along Fender-style lines and has some less than standard elements (and I think short scale 6 with a tremolo bridge definitely fits) is to give Chris Stambaugh a call. FWIW mine shown above is 33" scale.
My dream bass?
Ben Lindsey has done three basses for me and I've bought two others he has done for other people. He has outstanding customer service and I don't know anyone who was unhappy with a bass they got from him.
my dream bass would be one of three...
A Wal MK II bass (I could also live with a MK III or even a MK I, but MK II would be my preference)
A Rickenbacker 4001 Chris Squire edition (only 1000 made in the early 90's). I don't think I would settle for any other Ric except this one, unless there is one that sounds identical.
Lastly, an Ovation Magnum I or II bass (not really sure what the differences are). This one would be the most affordable within my means. I see them for usually no more than 1 grand online, whereas the Wal and 4001 CS Ric would cost anywhere from 4-5g, however they are very rare to come by but there doesn't seem to be nearly as big of a demand for these puppies compared to wals and rics. I'm happy with what I've got now (a knock off version of a Stingray made in eurasia) but I feel like everyone and their uncle plays one. I'd feel alot more in my own element with something like an Ovation Magnum...
Simple. 60's spec Thunderbird II. Only difference would be a functionaly intonable bridge unlike the original. I'm not interested in Mike Lull's bolt on version and the current Gibsons don't have the original style chrome pickup and the 3 point bridge blows. Fender has offered it's same design for over 60 years yet if you want the coolest long scale bass Gibson ever made you're S.O.L. unless you pay through the nose for vintage. What's up with that?
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