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Über-Groove with graphite neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by miziomix, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Hi there! Two of the current threads are pretty much finished so I thought of starting a new thread.

    As some of you know, I'm currently abroad and unable to work on the builds at hand - the Funk machine and this one - until I'm back at the end of October.

    This build started in June and the build is almost finished. In fact it started a lot earlier, when I commissioned its fairly complex but Über-cool graphite neck.

    Some of you have followed the build on the Facebook page. I thought it would be nice to share the experience here on TB.

    The owner is a cool Indian bassist based in Mumbai. We met at one of my gigs, where I was playing one of the Ü-J prototypes. We ended up chatting over a few drinks about builds and graphite necks. Fast forward to a few months later, I receive an email from him and start discussing specs in details.

    Here they are:

    34" scale, 24 frets.

    Graphite neck with black prism finish. Fiber optics - red/front, blue/side.

    Two J Bartolini. Aguilar 3bands OBP with mid freq. toggle.

    He also wanted a body shape different from the Über-J. Something a bit more extreme and modern. What a coincidence... I was just waiting for the right moment to build a new model. In fact, this design was ready before the Ü-J. But I decided to go with the J first.

    This model is called - guess? - Über LOL.... Über-Groove.

    His bass has a name too - the Anti-Matter.

    I showed him some sketches.

    Here the are.

    [​IMG]

    The very first thing he decided was the top. I had shown him some Claro tops I had just found and thought were incredibly unique and a gutsy choice. He loved them at a first sight.

    Sandeep is a really cool guy. He know exactly what he wants and he is very open to suggestions. He can immediately tell a good idea and decide on unconventional, unorthodox solution in two seconds flat.

    Here is the top.

    [​IMG]

    Keeping those knots in the picture was our mission. Not an easy one since the body shape is not fully symmetric.

    Neck

    The first thing to do was to order the neck. His requirements together with mine made this quite a challenge.
    I need it to have a paddle-like headstock as close as possible to the one I had designed; no tuners holes; not angled. Also, Sandeep wanted truss rod access at headstock, where the two fiber optics unites were too.

    Moses was the only maker who took it on. Another builder was able to do everything, but fiber optics. So we went with Moses.

    I have to say that, it was a bit of a pain for both them and us. Once combined in one neck, the specs proved very challenging and the 3 to 4 months lead time became four, five.... It was kinda tough to keep calm and collected when deadlines were being pushed month after month.

    Eventually the neck arrived, after nine months. Steve at Moses told me that our specs had made the neck such a complex project that they had to find new ways to go about with building it. In the end, he said, this was a one time build. They won't make another one like this. So, there you go - a true custom build LOL

    When the neck arrived though, it was so sweet that the long wait was quickly forgotten.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still, somewhere in the communication flow something had broken and the 24 frets had become 21 and the extended neck heel had become the standard J replacement. That's unfortunate.
    But the neck was so cool that Sandeep decided to go ahead with 21 frets.

    So everyone was cool. Everyone but me. The body I had prepared would not work with 21 frets. I had to make changes to the design, make a new template and a new body. Oh well.....

    Body.

    The main asset of this design, compared to the J or M, is flexibility. It's the one I'd go to for extended range, three octaves, extreme contour and so on. So, paradoxically, making it fit a 21 frets neck was its baptism of fire ;)

    [​IMG]

    Here's the new design. It does seem to keep the basic spirit of the original one.

    The woods selected for the body were Alder and African Mahogany. In the end I felt that Mahogany was complementing the Claro better than Alder.

    One of the deciding factors was that I had Mahogany in both flat and quarter sawn billets. Since the bass had both top and back laminates, a quarter sawn core seemed the most intriguing aesthetic choice with the nicer looking grain being on the sides, rather than on the back/front.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Midnight here. I'll post the rest of the build as soon as I have the time.

    Thanks for reading this.

    :bassist:
  2. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Your builds are always impressive. Autosub'd.
  3. natw42

    natw42

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    Always love your builds. Sub'd!
  4. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Wizardry! Supporting Member

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    Sub'd, this should be magic.
  5. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Thank you guys! I will upload more pictures soon :)
  6. droppedurpocket

    droppedurpocket

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    I followed the über m fretless olivewood build, outstanding work btw.

    Subbed!
  7. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Thank you!

    Today is my day off. After having spent the last three days with my eyes glued to a camera and monitors there's no better way to give them a rest than staring at a laptop screen ;)

    so...

    [​IMG]

    The M on the 15th fret stands for Maurizio, Moses and for Sandeep's family name. What a coincidence eh? :D

    Here's a picture of the selected parts. Black plated tuners/bridge units; Aguilar OBP3 with mids freq. toggle; Bartolini CB series in their X shape, narrow Soapbar design - I like these, both sound and design wise.

    [​IMG]

    Chambers

    Sandeep is a big guy, he doesn’t really care for a light bass. Still, building him a heavy one instead of a light one seemed foolish. Especially when I can have fun with chambers.

    [​IMG]

    Adv: Our proprietary Constellation (™®∞) chamber design increases low and high mids by way of adding porosity to the wood. The diameter, depth and placement of each hole is based on the desired tone. Based on client's requirements we run our proprietary models and finalize a unique template for a true custom tone. Predictable, customized tone is our mission.

    OK, don't shoot...I'm joking... LOL.... But, hey, it sounds cool, doesn't it? That's marketing at its best.... best part is, who can prove that wrong? ahahahhaha

    [​IMG]

    As you have probably seen in my other builds, I like to route channels connecting p-ups and electronics cavity before gluing the top or the back. This way the wiring is easy and neat. You can see the channels in the picture above

    [​IMG]

    This is the Claro set for the back. It would make a great top. But that’s what Anti-matter is about - excessive, in your face, over the top (ops, unintended pun).

    Finally, we looked at a few test pictures with alternative placement of the toggle. This is the one we both liked, where the toggle is closer to the mids knob.

    [​IMG]

    The knobs are only for placement. We haven't decided yet what type to go for. Any Anti-Matter-ish outrageous idea? :)

    thank you for reading this far :bassist:

    Maurizio
  8. jmorbita

    jmorbita

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    You had me at "Hi there"!!!
  9. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

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    Loosk like a great build, Sub'd.
  10. metallutca

    metallutca

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    I'm always intrigued by your builds. They all have something special and different from what we normally see. I really appreciate the small details and process that you share. If the owner sees this, he/she will love the instruments more and more!

    Can't wait to see Anti-Matter comes to life! Sub'ed!! :D
  11. metallutca

    metallutca

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    Best part of this update! LOL!! :D
  12. cccy

    cccy

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    so good.
  13. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Thank you Redmoses, jmorbita, Metallutca and cccy!

    Time for an update.

    The picture below shows one of the differences between this bass and the Ü-J - the shape of the area under the tuners. This solution works well especially for players with large hands, like Sandeep, and I intend to use it for the J and M when appropriate.

    [​IMG]

    The edges will be shaped in a finger friendly fashion.

    The cavity cover. Little dents and imperfections will be taken care of later on. In this picture you can see that the Claro set was a little too short for the body. But we liked it so much that we decided to go for it and found a few solutions to make it fit.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, some pictures of the contoured body. It's not at the final stage yet. But you get the idea.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The knots have been filled with sawdust and CA. This had to be done a few times. The slope for the tuners unit is at the usual angle and depth. The bridge instead sits a bit higher than usual to match the slightly thicker neck heel.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you for reading this far and good night :bassist:
  14. dremy2006

    dremy2006

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    looking good
  15. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    Thank you dremy2006!

    Here are pictures of the progress made before I left.

    Graphite neck. Threadded inserts.

    [​IMG]

    Drilling the graphite neck and inserting the threads is pretty straightforward. These are the screws that came with the neck. As always, drilling a pilot hole first is a good idea.

    Incidentally, I found some really nice threaded inserts in Milan and left behind an empty shelf :D It's too bad I couldn't find smaller ones for the p-ups. But I still have three weeks to find them ;)

    [​IMG]

    Lacquer.

    Since the beginning we were wondering whether this build would look better with satin or clear gloss finish.

    I did some tests and eventually we both felt that clear gloss added the right touch to a bass that aims to be kinda over the top - just look at that neck LOL!

    Judge for yourself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These pictures were taken while spraying the first six/eight coats. Subsequently, four more coats were added. I believe it's done. The finish has been curing for three weeks now and it will continue doing so for the next three. At that point I will be back and the build should be ready to go.

    Next update in three weeks then.

    Thank you :bassist:
  16. suraj

    suraj

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    A great build..!! I guess I'll have a chance to see this bass in Mumbai when its here :D

    Out of curiosity, where is the switch, led's, and battery for the fiber optics ? Since there are no fibers coming out of the neck, i'm assuming it is somewhere near the headstock. Can you post pictures of it :) ?
  17. metallutca

    metallutca

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    Something like this?
  18. suraj

    suraj

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    Thank you :) I should have just done a search :p
  19. metallutca

    metallutca

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    No problem. I'd like to see the back of the headstock pic from Maurizio too :D
  20. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Supporting Member

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    I'm sure you'll have a chance to see the bass in Mumbai - and pretty soon I should add ;)

    As for the switch, it's pretty much like those featured in the link posted by Metallutca - thank you man! I will upload a picture as soon as I get back to Milan, where my laptop is.

    BTW, one of the visible features of this custom neck is in the way the optic fibers have been inserted. Usually that requires two strips of wood - you can see that in the video. If you look at the pictures of this neck you will see none. That was a tricky thing to accomplish and I'm glad Moses agreed to do so - even though they won't do that ever again ... LOL

    :bassist:

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