Gene Simmons LoBue Tribute Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassgod76, Feb 2, 2013.


  1. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    First, if you dislike Gene Simmons, please save the trolling for another thread.

    It has been a few years since doing a bass build/mod. I'm back!

    For the longest time, I have associated the LoBue as an iconic KISS guitar. It's symmetrical body shape, no frills style, and unreal neck access screams rock and roll to me.

    [​IMG]

    With that being said, I felt it was time to build my own spin on such a cool instrument.

    First, I wanted to work with a mahogany body. The original was made from mohagany, so I wanted to do the same.

    The neck on the original bass was short scale and 24 frets. To achieve this without having to make my own, I picked up a Danelectro neck.

    [​IMG]

    To get the LoBue look, I will dowel the tuner holes, trim the sides of be headstock, and add wood to carve out the new headstock.

    I know the original bass was set neck, but I wanted to make the build as simple as possible. Besides, I like the extra adjust point with a bolt on.

    The tuners I'm using are the same ones he currently uses, so I figure these would be appropriate.

    [​IMG]

    The original LeBou had a DiMarzio mudbucker. Since Gene now uses EMG, I decided to update the LoBue's pickup configuration.

    I'm not a fan of a Jazz bridge pickup, I decided to add a EMG 35DC to the bridge. Besides, Gene seems to have bold tastes. He might as well have a bold set of pickups!

    [​IMG]

    I thought this bass would be significantly smaller than my 34" basses, but the body and the neck position make it just as long as my Jaco tribute bass.

    [​IMG]

    Measuring the scale. The point at where the nut begins is where I measured. The scale almost seems a shade smaller than 30" scale.

    [​IMG]

    To aid my journey, a very nice TB'er auto cadded a picture for me to base my build on.

    This is my problem..
    I positioned my pickups and bridge according to the 30" scale. Does it look there is too much space between the bridge and the end of the bass?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Or is this an optical illusion?

    Maybe I should shorten the drawing I have?
  2. Waterpilot

    Waterpilot

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Location:
    North of Seattle
    I can't help but am looking forward to seeing how this turns out!
  3. Blazer

    Blazer

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Disclosures:
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Be sure to make a soundbite clip when it's done and pump out the bassline for "100 000 years" since that's one of my alltime favorite Kiss songs.
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    In this picture, I assume you are measuring from the 12th fret?

    If so It looks like you can move your bridge back a good 1/2". I have never had to move a bridge forward for intonation purposes.

    But there is a lot of room between the bridge and heal on the bass on his bass as well. Its because its a 30" scale and the heal of the neck is out past the body instead of sitting in a neck pocket that is routed into the body.
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  6. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    I thought the end of the scale had to rest in between the bridge to allow saddles to intonate. Am I wrong?
  7. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    And yes, I was measuring from the 12th fret in this pic.
  8. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    I love playing 100k Years!
  9. Jaymi

    Jaymi Pink Bass Man

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    Nashville, TN
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    Endorsing Artist: Jaydee Basses
    Looks good!
  10. THand

    THand Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    First of all...sub'd! :hyper:

    No, you are right...but it doesn't have to be exactly in the middle. You could probably scoot it back a little and be ok. But...that body drawing is based on the neck being a 34" scale, so it is probably a little big for the short scale.

    I think you should cut it out as is, then cut your neck pocket. Bolt the neck on and then see how it looks. You may need to reduce the size of the body a little with a belt sander. Just use a pencil and draw new lines on the body if you want to reduce it...I'm kinda surprised how well it works with the short scale as is, tho...looks good.
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I wouldn't measure your scale length to the center of the bridges travel.

    Maybe leave two or three turns to move forward, but no more than that. The reason being, you may run out of adjustment on your E string if you have the G saddle in the center of its travel. I have never had to move a saddle forward during initial intonation
  12. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    This is why I go to Talk Bass. You guys rule. TH, your cad adjusts the body size based on neck scale?
  13. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Or someone can get me a rendering based on 30" scale. ;-)
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    hmmm ....

    I am not a big fan of Gene ... But that looks like a cool bass build ...

    I would have went with the bridge position mudbucker.
  15. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Okay, good for you.
  16. THand

    THand Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    If I remember how I did it correctly, I think I started with Carvin's 34" neck-thru, and scaled an image of Gene's bass underneath and traced it to that scale, matching the frets spacing. That's how I think I did it...and if so, it stands to reason the body would be a hair bigger, but not much....

    But, I may have matched the nut width instead of the scale length...if that was the case, it would be very close...I don't have those images or CAD files anymore, since I changed positions at work...heck I'm still waiting for them to install AutoCad on me again, or I would just redo it for ya...sorry:(

    I think if you cut out that body shape and mount the neck, you'll know what you need to do...it looks so close just looking at the pic, you may be ok as is.
  17. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I think your bridge is pretty close to the picture of the original bass. I think whats throwing your eye is that you are using two pickus which makes it look like there is less distance between the bridge and neck
  18. THand

    THand Supporting Member

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Good point.
  19. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    I'd say you can, and should, move your bridge toward the tail by about 1/2". The reason is that the only string that will be close to the original scale (30" in your case) is the G, and even it will most likely not exactly 30", but probably something more like 30-1/16". I have neither seen nor heard of anyone adjust saddle position forward of the scale mark for correct intonation.

    What I do is to adjust the G-string saddle to about 1/8" shy of fully extended, and place the witness point of that saddle directly on the scale line.

    If you install the bridge in the position you are showing, you probably won't have enough space to adjust the E-string saddle for proper intonation.
  20. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Yeah, I look at the bridge in relation to the volume knob and they look about the same distance. Also, Gene's bass has and imprint behind the bridge of his old bridge so that may be throwing my eye as well.
  21. bassgod76

    bassgod76 Cort bassist by obligation Supporting Member

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    Mar 13, 2003
    Okay, I will adjust and take pics. Thanks for your help, guys

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