Watterson Guitars Hollowbody Bass VI Build
Hey there fellow TB'ers,
My name is Taylor and me and my dad started building guitars about a year and a half ago. We've built 6 guitars and 1 bass so far and the people we've let play them love 'em. In doing so we like doing things different, all original body designs(with some influence of course) and an original headstock shape, paisley fabric under a clear coat, cool electronics and controls, etc. Since the recent popularity of the Bass VI returning I decided to commision ourselves to build our own :D but strive for it to be insanely versatile and different(hence the hollowbody), and I think we're on our way to do that.
I've always been intrigued with the original Gibson EB-6 and also the Fender Coronado so I used the shape of the Coronado as a loose basis for the body. The body is made from Poplar and is a nice weight so far. In keeping with the Gibson/Fender influence, I had a Mastery bridge from a previous Bass VI project that never worked out and bought a Maestro Vibrola to go with it! I was nervous at first but once we got everything mounted and strung up it took the tension really well!
We haven't gotten the money to start buying equipment to let us build our own necks so I ordered one from USA Custom Guitars. I called up there and talked with Tommy and he loved the idea, we went with a Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard with no inlays to give it that cool smooth look, also got it with a blank headstock as they couldn't do our shape for us(too complicated) but they did do the tuner holes which was nice :). I went with Kluson style with the Pearloid buttons because I love the way they look! Oh and also a brass nut for that extra sustaining goodness!
The electronics is where I wanted to really go all out. For the pickups I used a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF set for neck and bridge, I used these because both versions of the EB-6 that Gibson made used a PAF in the neck and on the second version it had one in the bridge so after doing a ton of research I found these are the best for the price, and a Duckbucker for the middle which was to aim for a pbass effect with the split magnet and also for that Fender twang in the middle position :). I bought a Stew Mac Free Way 6 way pickup selector which gives every pickup combination except all 3 on sadly :( it will have a master volume and a tone control dedicated to the humbuckers and one to the middle p'up and to top it off it'll have a Rothstein Bass Varitone :D
-Custom Body shape w/ Poplar top/back/side
-USACG Bass VI neck w/ Rosewood/Mahogany
-Bolt on neck
-Maestro Vibrola Tailpiece
-Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF set
-Seymour Duncan Duckbucker in middle
-Stew Mac "Free Way" pickup Selector
-Rothstein Bass Varitone
-Kluson Keystone Pealoid tuners(can't remember the maker)
I will continue to upload pictures as it progresses further!
Oh and the blue in the cutouts is painters tape. The inside is painted white and the rest will be a metallic frost, also there will be binding around the back and top and in the cutouts :D and I'll be adding string trees once we get further along of course.
Got the pickups mounted tonight! Also forgot to mention that I hate bridge pickups that are shoved right up to it because it's just too trebly for me, so the pickups definitely favor more towards the neck :D
just curious....where does Watterson come from? Last name?
yea that's my last name!
Got the holes drilled for the controls! oh and the circles were hand done so the holes aren't suppose to be exactly in the middle.
We think this is the easiest to wire up our electronics when they're kind of crazy like on this baby! sorry for it not being clear!
That's obviously a mirror image of what it will look like
Got the controls mounted! Video in my neck post!
here's the video!
we still have to do the binding around the top/back/cut outs and paint it but I'm in love with the sound of it! please let me know what you think!
oh and anyone is curious, this is the first bass we built and is my go to now!
My only complaint so far is that when I bought the Duckbucker I didn't think about looking at the output so sadly it's way under powered and not useable. Fortunately I have a Dimarzios dual rail strat pup that's high output and be able to run with the humbuckers, I plan on swapping them out and seeing how it sounds. If not there's another high output Duncan humbucker strat pup I'm looking at
Even before reading your last post I'd actually thought to ask you about the Duckbucker's tone by itself, since I've got my eyes on them for a while as a possible replacement for the not-very-good stock side-by-side humbuckers in my OLP bass VI.
(Yes, I'm a slob and wouldn't care about leaving a big rout around them.)
SD put a Duck (in the "neck" version I suppose) as a middle pickup in their "Everything Axe" (or something) package, and I think I've read somewhere that people mosty intend it to be a "modifier" to the other two pickups (positions 2 and 4) rather than to be used alone.
However! Have you tried it internally wired in series? If not, consider giving it a shot before swapping it out: I guess it'll change the tone somewhat (beef it up) but also increase the output.
Thanks for the input and compliments! I'm very excited about this! I had totally forgot about being able to do the wiring in series so I will definitely do that! I love the tone of the pickup alone to be honest!
Good to know! Looking forward to read how it turns out. :hyper:
Thanks! I'm looking forward to having time to see how it works out! So far I've been getting good feedback on this baby about the look and sound so hoping in the future we will be able to make this for people! Of course if you wanted to order one or a custom we can do that now but the wait time may be a while! At the moment we do all the painting and work in our garage so unfortunately when it's winter we aren't able to paint bc of the temperature and the paint not turning out right!
^ Eh, I wish! I'm not gonna be able to afford a custom build for a looong time, things being like they are (personally as well as in the context of my country's economy)...
Just found your bass's build thread: dude, hang out more in the Luthiers' Corner! Love it there even though I'm just a passive, drooling spectator.
Speaking of which, this
Great minds and all that, huh? :)
Oh, and post a pic of that 4 stringer here!
today I finally had the time to do the Duckbucker in series and it has far more output! I got all the pickup heights adjusted so the response is all even so no spikes or dropping out :D I got the string tree mounted along with the strap buttons! This baby balances perfectly!
That's really cool you and your dad do that together.
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