1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Über-Jay 5er Quilted Maple Funk Machine.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by miziomix, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    As the other two builds approach the finishing line, three new ones start. I would like to share one of them with you.

    It's a 5er fretted for a well known American bassist - a great musician, a fantastic slapper and a very nice guy. Discussing the build has lead us to a very interesting and insightful conversation about slapping.

    This thread is the outcome of such a conversation and it really is about building a funk machine :D

    So here are the specs.

    5 strings, 34" scale, 21 frets.

    21 frets really is the golden rule of slap. Both the future owner and I share the opinion that a longer fretboard negatively affects the sound quality when the thumb hits the fretboard.

    Personally I would be happy with 3 octaves on fretless. But my ideal funky fretboard shall not have more than 22 frets.


    12" radius, 19mm strings spacing at bridge. Can it be any more classic than this? ;)


    The wood combo reflects the owner's preference for a punchy sounding bass with a lot of snap. Maple neck, African Ebony FB, Swamp Ash body.

    Since Malagasy Ebony has been added to the list of protected species, we turned to Gabon Ebony. This particular jet black board is exquisite. The FB will sport white MOP block inlays.

    Quilted Maple top with black accent line. Matching headstock.

    Three laminates neck. Birdseye Maple/Purpleheart/BM. Super thin flat C neck profile, flattening to a D profile towards the heel.

    The Purpleheart center laminate will be tapered, much like my previous builds that you have seen on TB.


    We had initially chosen Bartolini p-ups and OBP, which we both like very much. We have then decided to go with Delano J p-ups and OBP V/Blend/B/M/T with mid freq.switch.

    We chose the V/Blend configuration over the V/V because it allows fast tone changes. When a bassist has to switch back and forth from plucking to slapping, to soloing, being able to find the desired sound by turning just one knob can be quite an advantage.

    All hardware will be chrome. I like this choice and prefer it to a perhaps more predictable black. It brightens up the look and, together with the MOP block inlays gives it an edge.

    Clear gloss finish.

    I expect the bass to weight around 6 lbs +/-.

    It just occurred me that, all the woods in this build are supplied by Gilmerwood. I buy wood from them quite regularly and they're pretty good.
    (BTW Gilmer, I miss your old web site)

    Lastly, here is one of my sketches.


    In the age of computers using pencil drawings might sound anachronistic - and it might as well be. But it works for me during the creative development and ultimately I feel that it allows me to better convey the overall vision. In other words, I like drawing... LOL

    I am very excited about this build - then again, I am every time ;)

    It might move a bit slow at the beginning but it will find its pace as the other builds near completion.

    Thank you for following!


    ps: The other two builds are both four strings. One of them sports the (in)famous hyper-custom graphite neck that some of you have heard about. Yes, it has finally arrived. And yes, it felt like giving birth ;)
  2. Looks fantastic, I can't wait to see more!

    And I know i'm not alone when i saw that the pencil drawing is fascinating. Please post more of your sketches.
  3. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Thank you! I will :)
  4. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Beautiful choice of woods and nice hardware. The maple/purpleheart laminate should be very stable. Single coil pickups? It should be a beauty and sound great.
  5. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.

    From the Delano website:

    JSBC 5 HE: This ultra slim „twin-coil in line“ humcancelling soapstick bass-transducers are precision engineered to bridge the gap between two different schools of bass pickup design. The tightfocus and pristine harmonics of a classic single coil, but fully humbucking.

    Delano makes great p-ups and they've always sounded good to me. I'm going to test their soapbar too on the fretless 4 that is nearing completion. I also like the building quality. It looks very sleek and high tech.

    I like Barts too - the alternative we considered for this build. They are quite a different animal. They sound great on another Ü-J and I'm going to use two of their J CB again on one of the another builds at hand.

    Ultimately I would like to choose one brand for my standard builds. So I'm hoping to learn a lot from this comparison.
  6. lx_night


    Sep 3, 2008
    Oklahoma city
    I agree with the hardware choice and the pu blend options +1. headstock looks interesting.

    I also think its super cool that tunning is on the bridge but you still kept the hedstock! Very exited for this thread.
  7. Cool! subscribed!
  8. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Subbed, because basically every build you start is amazing, well documented and the resulting product is epic. :D
  9. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Thank you! You guys are always so kind :)

    Hey lx_night, I'm glad you find this hybrid style interesting. If you like to see what the build is gonna look like once it's done you can check my previous or current builds. They all share the same concept. You'll find them here on TB under Über-Jay and Über-M. Pictures are also available on the Ü-J Facebook page - link in my signature.

    Thank you!
  10. Spino


    May 21, 2006
    Hey Miz !Nice design on this one ...one thing tho...the line which joins the two cutaways does'nt seem quite right ...if it was more continuous and one overall curve it would flow better or go up 2 frets on the lower cut to join with the upper cut at right angles ??
    I might be wrong tho ??? Greetz
  11. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Hey Eagle-eye Spino ;) you're absolutely right. The culprit though is the fingerboard which I have drawn as a 21frets but it's sitting in a 22 frets position. In other words, it will be one fret higher. See... on a sketch one takes some liberties... LOL... anyway, rest assured, the actual bass will be exactly like the other Ü-Js.

  12. TomA1234


    Jul 27, 2009
    Fareham, England
    Looking forward to seeing the outcome of this, along with who the customer is too.
    Son of Magni (Thor bass) did a build at one point that turned out to be for Steve DiGiorgio, that got quite a big reaction.
  13. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Thank you Tom :)

    I haven't done much so far because, hear this... when I looked into the veneer treasure chest I found blue, green, tobacco, red and yellow ones... but no black. Right. :rollno:

    I had used the last one for another build I'm on now and completely forgot about ordering them. Now it just so happens that the closest place where I can buy good ones is online @ LMI.... right behind the corner eh? They should be here in about one week. But I seriously want to relocate close to a veneer factory :help:

    Anyway, I thought I'd take full advantage of this post, instead of just whining, and share something with other aspiring builders.

    One hardly hears about this little tool, yet it will make one heck of a difference in your building enjoyment ;)

    A moisture meter. 25 bucks well spent. That is, unless you like to see your build doing the La Cucaracha for you.


    It will tell you how much moisture the wood you're buying still carries or whether the boards you're storing are dry and ready to be used.


    In fact, it will also tell you the moisture content of that slab of concrete you are considering to use as a (chambered) body.

    Get one. Seriously.

  14. :D
  15. I find your builds to be incredible and the weight expectation is right up my street! if I ever get some spare £££ I'll be throwing it at you for one of these beauties :)

    I like your hybrid design too, I'm actually in the process of converting a headless of mine back into a headed bass because it's bridge is cheap and trash so I'm converting the bridge into a String through by removing the mechanism and fitting a new neck with a headstock and the "normal" tuners ;) It's a shame really, I do like headless basses a lot . Keep up the great work Maurizio
  16. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    So do I. The first bass I ever built many years ago was a headless - I still have it. It was crap really. It still is, I believe :D And I still have a Steinberger first series. Great bass. In a category of one really.

    As much as I am happy with this hybrid solution, sometimes I think I should come up with a headless design that I like. It would be a fitting tribute to that first attempt. This, and a single cut are two nuts I have yet to crack. We'll see :) thank you BarkerBass.

    BTW, I thought of starting another thread about the ongoing build with custom graphite neck. But with three threads going on right now I thought I'd wait. Those who are interested will find pictures here
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.


    Better and better every day. Enjoying every post.:hyper:
  18. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I just noticed - is that a custom-made bridge? Or is it a regular model with a custom top engraving?
  19. That is a very sparkly and pretty neck, quite unlike the graphite weave necks I've seen before, I look forward to the build thread on that beauty ;)
  20. miziomix

    miziomix Über on my mind Commercial User

    Sep 28, 2009
    Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Paris.
    Bass builder @ MüB.
    Hey Stumbo, my friend. thank you very much :)

    That's a standard ETS bridge with a custom engraving.

    Thank you. That's called black Prism finish. It's quite cool ;) I'll start a thread on TB at some point. For now I'll upload pictures on FB.