Bass Building Cost

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by manbearpig97, Dec 3, 2012.


  1. manbearpig97

    manbearpig97

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Hi all, sorry if this is in the wrong section, but as it's related to bass building, I felt this is the right spot. I've been looking for a new bass, and none of them are really within my price range and have what I want. How much do you find it really costs to build a bass to your exact desires? Would it be cheaper, ore more expensive than buying a bass that's exactly the same?
    Thanks in advance
  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    In terms of parts and materials, it's relatively inexpensive. Should be under $1000 for just about anything within reason.

    However...the real cost of building is in the tools and consumables (glue, sandpaper, finishing supplies, etc.). It gets very expensive very fast.

    I put about $800 worth of parts and wood into my first build, and about twice that in tools and supplies.
  3. sharp8874

    sharp8874

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    well do you have all the necessary tools to build one in the first place? a good belt sander, router, table saw, and a jig saw? if yes then you could probably spend about $150 on basic wood like maple for a neck and basswood for a body. and then i find that the other parts usually cost about $250 or more(if you buy cheap or used parts) so in the long run yes it can be cheaper and is often more rewarding than going and buying a bass but on the downside it can take awhile and if you screw up you could end up with some weirdly glued boards.

    hope this helps
  4. James Mobius

    James Mobius

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Location:
    Boston
    I spent $200 on materials for my last build, a 2 string bass with one pickup, split into 2 actually, there was a savings! but I already have a workshop since I'm a carpenter. I have hundreds of dollars worth of gear in my shop, and over a decade of woodworking experience. if you have a buddy with a workshop, buy some band aids and get going! :D its profoundly satisfying to play an instrument you designed and built yourself.
    come to think of it, I think $200 is what I originally spent on materials for the first bass I built back in 84, a fretless, originally a 4 string, now it's a five. and with upgrades it's material costs come to about $350 probably. however, time is money too, if I paid myself to build my last bass, I'd want about 2 grand for it based on hours put in at my carpentry rate. its a labour of love though.
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