Watterson Guitars Hollowbody Bass VI Build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tmoney61092, Jan 14, 2014.


  1. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Hey there fellow TB'ers,

    Back story:
    My name is Taylor and me and my dad started building guitars about a year and a half ago. We've built 6 guitars and 1 bass so far and the people we've let play them love 'em. In doing so we like doing things different, all original body designs(with some influence of course) and an original headstock shape, paisley fabric under a clear coat, cool electronics and controls, etc. Since the recent popularity of the Bass VI returning I decided to commision ourselves to build our own :D but strive for it to be insanely versatile and different(hence the hollowbody), and I think we're on our way to do that.

    I've always been intrigued with the original Gibson EB-6 and also the Fender Coronado so I used the shape of the Coronado as a loose basis for the body. The body is made from Poplar and is a nice weight so far. In keeping with the Gibson/Fender influence, I had a Mastery bridge from a previous Bass VI project that never worked out and bought a Maestro Vibrola to go with it! I was nervous at first but once we got everything mounted and strung up it took the tension really well!

    We haven't gotten the money to start buying equipment to let us build our own necks so I ordered one from USA Custom Guitars. I called up there and talked with Tommy and he loved the idea, we went with a Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard with no inlays to give it that cool smooth look, also got it with a blank headstock as they couldn't do our shape for us(too complicated) but they did do the tuner holes which was nice :). I went with Kluson style with the Pearloid buttons because I love the way they look! Oh and also a brass nut for that extra sustaining goodness!

    The electronics is where I wanted to really go all out. For the pickups I used a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF set for neck and bridge, I used these because both versions of the EB-6 that Gibson made used a PAF in the neck and on the second version it had one in the bridge so after doing a ton of research I found these are the best for the price, and a Duckbucker for the middle which was to aim for a pbass effect with the split magnet and also for that Fender twang in the middle position :). I bought a Stew Mac Free Way 6 way pickup selector which gives every pickup combination except all 3 on sadly :( it will have a master volume and a tone control dedicated to the humbuckers and one to the middle p'up and to top it off it'll have a Rothstein Bass Varitone :D

    Specs:
    -Custom Body shape w/ Poplar top/back/side
    -USACG Bass VI neck w/ Rosewood/Mahogany
    -Bolt on neck
    -Brass nut
    -Mastery Bridge
    -Maestro Vibrola Tailpiece
    -Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF set
    -Seymour Duncan Duckbucker in middle
    -Stew Mac "Free Way" pickup Selector
    -Rothstein Bass Varitone
    -Kluson Keystone Pealoid tuners(can't remember the maker)

    I will continue to upload pictures as it progresses further!

    Attached Files:

  2. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oh and the blue in the cutouts is painters tape. The inside is painted white and the rest will be a metallic frost, also there will be binding around the back and top and in the cutouts :D and I'll be adding string trees once we get further along of course.
  3. IvanMunoz

    IvanMunoz

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Pennsylvania
    Subscribed
  4. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Got the pickups mounted tonight! Also forgot to mention that I hate bridge pickups that are shoved right up to it because it's just too trebly for me, so the pickups definitely favor more towards the neck :D
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1389839756.618399.jpg
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  6. xUptheIronsx

    xUptheIronsx Conform or Be Cast Out.... Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    C-ville, Col, Ohio
    just curious....where does Watterson come from? Last name?
  7. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    yea that's my last name!
  8. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Got the holes drilled for the controls! oh and the circles were hand done so the holes aren't suppose to be exactly in the middle.

    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1390090052.292209.jpg

    We think this is the easiest to wire up our electronics when they're kind of crazy like on this baby! sorry for it not being clear!

    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1390090092.972851.jpg

    That's obviously a mirror image of what it will look like
  9. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Got the controls mounted! Video in my neck post!
    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1390169163.239946.jpg
  10. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    here's the video!



    we still have to do the binding around the top/back/cut outs and paint it but I'm in love with the sound of it! please let me know what you think!
    Orangeclawhammr and Bergi like this.
  11. spanndrew

    spanndrew

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
  12. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    oh and anyone is curious, this is the first bass we built and is my go to now!

    Attached Files:

  13. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    My only complaint so far is that when I bought the Duckbucker I didn't think about looking at the output so sadly it's way under powered and not useable. Fortunately I have a Dimarzios dual rail strat pup that's high output and be able to run with the humbuckers, I plan on swapping them out and seeing how it sounds. If not there's another high output Duncan humbucker strat pup I'm looking at
  14. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Italia
    Hey! First things first: great job so far, thread subscribed and can't wait to see and hear her in her final configuration!

    Even before reading your last post I'd actually thought to ask you about the Duckbucker's tone by itself, since I've got my eyes on them for a while as a possible replacement for the not-very-good stock side-by-side humbuckers in my OLP bass VI.
    (Yes, I'm a slob and wouldn't care about leaving a big rout around them.)

    SD put a Duck (in the "neck" version I suppose) as a middle pickup in their "Everything Axe" (or something) package, and I think I've read somewhere that people mosty intend it to be a "modifier" to the other two pickups (positions 2 and 4) rather than to be used alone.
    However! Have you tried it internally wired in series? If not, consider giving it a shot before swapping it out: I guess it'll change the tone somewhat (beef it up) but also increase the output.
  15. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009

    Thanks for the input and compliments! I'm very excited about this! I had totally forgot about being able to do the wiring in series so I will definitely do that! I love the tone of the pickup alone to be honest!
  16. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Italia
    Good to know! Looking forward to read how it turns out. :hyper:
  17. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009

    Thanks! I'm looking forward to having time to see how it works out! So far I've been getting good feedback on this baby about the look and sound so hoping in the future we will be able to make this for people! Of course if you wanted to order one or a custom we can do that now but the wait time may be a while! At the moment we do all the painting and work in our garage so unfortunately when it's winter we aren't able to paint bc of the temperature and the paint not turning out right!
  18. HaphAsSard

    HaphAsSard

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Italia
    ^ Eh, I wish! I'm not gonna be able to afford a custom build for a looong time, things being like they are (personally as well as in the context of my country's economy)...

    Just found your bass's build thread: dude, hang out more in the Luthiers' Corner! Love it there even though I'm just a passive, drooling spectator.

    Speaking of which, this
    reminded me of this:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f57/burberry-plaid-fabric-bass-thread-945638/
    Great minds and all that, huh? :)

    Oh, and post a pic of that 4 stringer here!
  19. tmoney61092

    tmoney61092

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    today I finally had the time to do the Duckbucker in series and it has far more output! I got all the pickup heights adjusted so the response is all even so no spikes or dropping out :D I got the string tree mounted along with the strap buttons! This baby balances perfectly!
  20. Apolicious

    Apolicious

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    That is COOL!
  21. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's really cool you and your dad do that together.

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