First Build, Performer Copy

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mapleglo, Sep 7, 2013.


  1. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    So I've been lurking for a month or so and finally decided to join today. I've been looking to put together a new bass, and originally started planning a Rickenbacker knock-off, but fell in love with JIO's take of the Fender Performer. Since he so graciously posted what amounts to build plans, and offered permission to use his design, I decided to go for it.

    My first step was to draw the body shape in Adobe Illustrator. I had to break it up into 4 pieces so I could print it out. Then I taped the four pieces together on a piece of plywood to make the template.

    [​IMG]

    Next I cut it out with my jig saw.

    [​IMG]

    here's a better shot of my "work shop", at least the outdoor portion.

    [​IMG]

    Rough cut completed.

    [​IMG]

    Next, it was off to the indoor section of my "workshop" to sand the template with my drill press/spindle sander.

    [​IMG]

    With that done, I had paid my credit card down enough to order the neck from Carvin. This is going to be a neck-through bass, maple finger board, 24 fret, and don't yet feel comfortable enough to do the neck myself. Perhaps the next build. So now I'm in wait mode, until that arrives in about a month, according to Carvin.

    In the mean time, I went wood shopping today, and picked up this fine piece of 6/4 S2S hard white maple from the Woodworker's Source. Oddly enough, it was exactly the thickness I was looking for to use for the body wings, and was just wide enough and long enough for both wings.

    [​IMG]

    In my usual style, I'm still up in the air with regard to the rest of the build parameters, even including the headstock. According to the Carvin specs, the head may be just too small for JIO's beautiful redesign, so I may have to make minor mods to it.

    Still undecided about the bridge/tail piece, tuners, pickups, and even whether or not I'll be using a pick guard. Of course, I'll leave the maple natural, with a poly or nitro finish - another decision to make eventually.

    I really like the whole Rickenbacker growl sound, so I am leaning toward either factory Rickenbacker pickups, or one of the copies. I'll have to see what kind of funds are available when the time comes.

    As a final note, I just wanted to mention what a wonderful resource this message board has been. I don't think I would ever attempted this if I didn't stumble across this place. In any event, it looks like it's now a waiting game for the neck until I can continue.
  2. IvanMunoz

    IvanMunoz

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    I{m a big fan of JIO´s work and am very interested to see your take on it!
    Subscribed!
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    :) I wish you could have seen me smiling when I started reading this thread! I'm so happy to see this ultra-cool design (riffed from John Page's gutsy attempt to move Fender into another design-identity square) hybridizing into yet another tb build! I am definitely subscribed and will follow every step along the way!

    Love it! Neck thru, and all maple w/RIC pu's... very cool! What is your headstock going to look like? Is it going to be Fender or set-back (Gibson) style? I'd recommend an Ibanez-like headstock (Gibson set-back style) As in, if you need to 'reduce' the footprint, a smaller Fender-style headstock (like on the prototype Performer - which is more like the Prodigy bass of the early 90's) looks half-baked/make-do, and it doesn't flow w/the Performers curves. Think RIC "wave/curl" headstock meets Ibanez SR series.
  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Thank you for your kind words :)

    I think I'm going to have to actually receive the neck so I can see it in real life, before I finalize the headstock. Playing around on the computer is one thing, but it never seems to meld for me until I can actually see it. The issue with the Carvin neck is the existing headstock paddle shape:

    [​IMG]

    And here's an overlay, with both (pardon the neck width scale issue):

    [​IMG]

    One possible fix is to use to part that will be cut off from the top to add to the bottom. Of course, the seam may be visible.

    Well, like I said, I think I'm going to have to see it person before I obsesses too much about it.
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  6. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Actually, that's a pretty easy fix. (adding the cut-off wood in the needed spots) With everything cut/glued clean - seams will be nearly invisible and neither additions are stress critical.
  7. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Well, that's the current plan. Or, I could just shave the wings off the paddle completely, and add new ones, perhaps in a different wood, per Rickenbacker...
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Location:
    US-NY-NYC
    How do you intend to deal with the scaling? As shown, the tuners don't fall in the right places - you'd have a pretty large angle from nut to tuner on the E string.
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Yeah, I'm not sure why the scale became distorted. It might be due to the way the original photo was taken from which my drawing was traced. You're right about the tuner placement per that overlay though. I'll have to play with it in Illustrator some more.
  10. wraub

    wraub

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    ennui, az
    Disclosures:
    I'll have an IPA, please.
    Definitely watching.
  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    So in my never ending obsession, I played around with the headstock in my spare time at work today. I don't have Illustrator there, so I had to do it the old fashioned way - by hand. Armed with paper, pen, ruler, empty coffee cup, paper plate, and assorted other curved office supplies, I did my best to copy the image off the computer screen on to paper. I think I got it pretty close, and managed to integrate a slight variation of JIO's design to align with the existing Carvin equal double radius lower portion of the headstock.

    [​IMG]

    I think it works, at least on paper. I'll have to have the neck on hand before I go further with it, and also to see what tuners I'm going with. They may have to sit closer together than the original design, due to the bass side lower radius, which may dictate smaller tuners.
  12. Splods

    Splods

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Looks cool, reminds me of the headstock Samick used for their MM copies.
  13. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Early on in my SS designs, I was riffing off of my Parker Hornet headstock and came up with something similar to what you've drawn out. (narrower/smaller) As I was using a standard Jazz bass headstock scale, it still exceeds your Carvin paddle dimentions.
    So I just drew this version based on what you sketched. It stays within the paddle outline and shows your sketch as dotted lines. As much as the right hump can stay in the lower region, I've adapted it higher for adding a bit of stock in the mid-section. Think the classic Tele-style headstock for a reference.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]

    another related hs design I always loved

    [​IMG]
  14. xmaddogx

    xmaddogx

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Ludington, Michigan
    I really like the looks of the Yamaha SBV. I plan to build one when I get some free time...
  15. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    [​IMG]

    This may work quite well.
  16. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    relatives

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]
  17. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Performers are sexy.

    Will you also replicate the unique pickup covers they had?
  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Most likely not. My current plan is to use Rickenbacker 4003 pickups, but that's still not set in stone.
  19. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    northern CA
    Disclosures:
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    another relative

    [​IMG]
  20. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    this is very nice!
  21. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Location:
    phoenix, az
    Picked up this Black & Decker router today at the outlet store for $35.00. It's certainly not professional level but for the price, I couldn't pass it up. Now to shop for some bits and guide bushings.

    [​IMG]

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