Ric-inspired five-string build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ctmullins, Mar 15, 2012.


  1. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    My next one - a five-string fretted, based on and inspired by the beautiful Rickenbacker 620 and 650 guitars:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two-piece cherry body, 1.5" thick
    Three-piece hard maple set neck
    33" scale 22-fret pau ferro fingerboard
    1/4" quilted maple pickguard/control plate
    Flame maple binding
    Tru-Oil finish
    Two TV Jones Thunder'blade pickups
    EMG BTS preamp
    Schaller 2000 bridge
    Grover "wavy" Titan tuners

    I don't have any Photoshop skills, so I can't do a mockup, but here's the first photo - the cherry body blank, my homemade plywood template, and the neck blank:

    [​IMG]

    And since I'm the opposite of John K in every respect (he's way cool and I'm not), this will take me forever to build...
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    Several years ago I designed a bass like that and drew it in photoshop.

    6002bass-b.jpg

    I am still considering building it ... someday.
  3. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    If I might make a comment, you might want to think about extending that upper horn to allow it to balance better. Your right shoulder and hand will thank you later on...

    p.s. love the look.
  4. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Everything the 3000 should have been, looking forward to this
  5. sonic assassin

    sonic assassin

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    cincinnati
    +1. how much could you stretch the body before it starts to look different enough to notice?
  6. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Feb 5, 2008
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
  7. Nomad98

    Nomad98

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Very interested in seeing this... Should be nice.

    I would leave the body as-is, as opposed to altering the horn. You could solve the neck dive by using ultra light tuners and maybe focusing on a heavy body (maybe cherry is heavy enough).
  8. SallyGrowler

    SallyGrowler

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Cool! Are you considering Stereo Ric-o-sound?

    an 8 or ten string octave coursed would be outrageous!
    (sorry- I'm a Ric-o-philiac)
  9. iamlowsound

    iamlowsound

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Listowel/KW Ontario
    I think the neck dive problem could be solved with strap button placement. If you put the tail button up a few inches and the horn button angled toward the fretboard a bit, I think you would have a recipe for better balance.

    lowsound
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    +1 If you notice my photoshopped design. I lengthened the whole body.

    A good rule of thumb. The way to kill neck dive is to get the strap button from the upper horn to come out to about the 12th fret.
  11. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

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    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Suffolk County, NY
    Disclosures:
    Sponsored by The Letter G
    Subbo. Love it!
  12. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Perhaps, yes. I am not completely happy with the template shape; I may make another one and lengthen the horn a bit. Seems it always takes me at least two templates to get it right...

    The cherry blank is pretty heavy, but it's also pretty big, so a good portion of it will be trimmed away. After my Northern Ash/Purpleheart fretless boat anchor, I promised myself that my next build would be lighter, but I think a hefty body would actually benefit this build... :meh:

    That is, indeed, part of the plan. :)

    No Ric-o-Sound. I tried that once, and it really didn't do anything for me.

    But a ten-string? Don't tempt me! I've been kicking around ideas for a Flying-V octave-coursed ten-string for months now!
  13. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Here is a note to all White Ash/ Northern Ash users. NOT all White Ash weighs a ton, if you are able to hand select planks, you'll find the can be a drastic difference between planks. Be selective, and you'll find you can build basses with White Ash bodies and necks when you are selective about the Ash you use.
  14. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Okay, here's a new template. It's just like the first one except for the upper horn. I've lengthened it by a little more than an inch:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With the upper horn lengthened, it now ends right about the 13th fret of the intended 33" scale length, with the neck joining the body at about the 18th fret. The original template put the upper horn around the 15th fret, and had the neck joining the body at the 19th fret. A small sacrifice in upper register accessibility for what may turn out to be a significant improvement in balance.

    Ric5, thanks for posting your Photoshop mockup, and mentioning that you lengthened the entire body. This new template doesn't quite have the exact proportions of the Ric guitar bodies, but that's okay, because I think this new template looks pretty good, and more importantly, I think it will balance better.

    What do the rest of you think?
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  15. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    oughta be sexy, looking forward to seeing it
  16. MPU

    MPU

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Valkeala Finland
    I think that the new template has still nice Ric vibe on it and for sure will balance the whole bass better.
    Marko
  17. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    Suffolk County, NY
    Disclosures:
    Sponsored by The Letter G
    I think that stretching the upper horn gives it more of a bass look, rather than that of a guitar body with a bass neck slapped on. Very nicely done!
  18. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Just to keep this thread alive, here's the body rough cut.

    [​IMG]

    Two small knots here - one will be consumed by the neck mortise, the other by the electronics cavity.

    Is all cherry this dense, heavy, and tough? Or am I just lucky? ;)

    As soon as my LP Special DC build is done, this one will pop to the top of the pile. :)
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  19. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    Got the sides trimmed with the flush bit, and the traditional Ric-style partial roundover on the back:

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  20. reverendrally

    reverendrally

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    *like* for the template and the body :)

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