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1st Bass Design - needs criticism

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by callmeMrThumbs, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Here are some basic specs for this 5-String Fretless project. Note that NOTHING is set in stone.

    Style: Neck Thru
    Scale: 34"
    Frets: 36
    Fingerboard: Ebony
    Neck: 3-piece = Maple/Wenge/Maple
    Body: Walnut
    Top: Purple Heart
    Headstock: Angled = Maple/Wenge/Maple
    Bridge: Independent (Brand undecided)
    Pups: (undecided)
    Hardware: Black (Brand undecided)


    I think that wraps most of it up. For pups, I am stuck trying to figure out how to fit a pickup or two between the 4" of space at the end of fingerboard. I'm definately considering a Lightwave system, but it's expensive, and I'm worryied about complicated installations. If I can't find a solution, I'll switch to 24 frets, and use passive J's. Any help you can give me would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks a bunch.

  2. you could always use the bartilini x shape pickups they are very narow and could easily in that space..

    sa for the shape, nice overall design. nice flowing lines.. but i would probably change the upper horn a bit, it looks long and thin..

    good luck on the build
  3. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Criticism eh? Well, Its lacking in color.....Oh, wait its only a drawing.

    I like it, but I'm curious if you realize how little space there is going to be between the 35th and 36th frets?

    Also, in your drawing it looks like your headstock is kind of small. Is there enough space there for five tuners?

    Overall, it looks better than all of my attempts at creating a new design! Good luck. I'll like to know when your done how you felt about this drawing and how helpful it was to you.

  4. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    I like it, struck me as a cross between an older edc model ibby /bromberg B2/hyperbass..... cool design. IMO you should chunk an MM style bart' in there.... Peace
  5. it looks like a wishbass, tho i like the design. stick a J pup in there

  6. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    would it be somehow possible to place a pickup under the fretboard? Just curious..
  7. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I've always had that idea, but I would've have a clue how to do that exactly.

    I was thinking more along the lines of sound, rather than space. I know I could fit two J's in there, but I don't think I'd have that wide of a tonal range, having them both so close to the bridge. My Ibanez's humbucker is 5.5" away from the bridge. I'm considering just putting passive J's in there anyway...hehe.

    Thank you all for your thoughts. The design was really just an original idea made for playability more than looks. If anything, it looks like a Hyperbass and Dean theme, but I definately wasn't going for a Wish Bass look.

    Originally, I wanted to make a tribute bass to Joe Compito, the builder of Victor Wooten's fretless. That's why I chose the purpleheart top. However, I'm thinking of maybe a maple burl, dyed greenish.

    One more thing. This was an atempt to move my original idea onto a scaled drawing. I think the top horn got a little thin in the process. I'll try and put that up later.

    Thanks again for all the help. Keep the ideas flowin, please!

  8. stu FORD

    stu FORD

    May 22, 2004
    i dont know dude. 36 frets, thats a ****ton of frets. if it works, do it up, i would dig it.
  9. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    That's the idea...hehe. Easier and cheaper than making a 6-string, IMO.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the headstock. That's definately going to change a bit. I didn't take measurements of my 5-string's headstock when I measured it to use for this drawing. Hopefully that'll give me an idea of tuner spacing. Thanks again.

  10. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    Now that you mention it, i do see a Compito influence in the horns... make sure you keep us posted once you start the build.... Good luck & peace
  11. 36 frets! you do know that the last 10 frets will have less than a 10mm gap not including the fret overhang either side and the last two frets 6mm and less not including fret overhang so if you used standard bass frets yur last fret would be something like 4.2mm, unplayable.
  12. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Excuse me. I should've said "frets" as in, "fretlines". This is a fretless bass. I should've emphasised that. Yes, yes, yes...it'll be nearly impossible to play those notes intune. But practicing never hurt anybody, did it?

    And no, I'm not doing fretlines. All naked, here.

  13. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Here's a poor attempt at a computer rendering using a program you'll never guess.


    I changed the headstock very slightly to better fit the tuners, and I also made the top horn slightly thicker. I drew in two J pups where they would go just for the heck of it. Comments? Thanks.

  14. teacherguy


    Feb 21, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    Cool design it just looks a little wide.

  15. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    +1 for the MM. If you want more of a J sound, then just add a coil tap switch.

    It WOULD be possible, but somewhat unpractical I believe. Other than the obvious (height adjustment, replacement,...),
    I can also think of a few other problems. For example, if you play at a higher fret than where your pickup is, your pickup has just been rendered useless. Also, if you fret a note right above the pickup, the string will get closer to the pickup by more than if it were at a regular place (past the fretboard), and there would be a noticeable increase in volume. I think.
  16. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Thanks Phil. I like the idea of using an MM bart, but is it very complicated to install? I got a soldering iron for Christmas, but I haven't had time to figure out how to use it yet...hehe.

    The bass, right now, is 13.5" wide, which is a tad more than normal. I tried squeezing it in a little, but I didn't like how it looked at all. The theme here is playabilty and ergonomics, so I'm trying to keep a wide range (pardon the pun) of possibilities.

  17. BillytheBassist


    Aug 18, 2005
    I don't think it would be too difficult.. just get the schematic's to the pre amp etc. to refer too,
  18. sorry mate, frettless, yeah still be abit hard to play that high but should be cool ! gonna look great. 13.5 ain't that big body, most basses are around 13-14. as long as the upper horn get to around the 12 fret, which it does it should balance well straped.
  19. callmeMrThumbs

    callmeMrThumbs Guest

    Oct 6, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    Thanks, Heath. Both of my current basses are about 12" wide, so it might be just a tad different.

    This is just the first stab at this project, and I probably won't be able to start building until spring for various reasons (time, money, etc.). Which reminds me...do you think I could pull this thing off with a budget of $400?

  20. ZanVooden


    Nov 27, 2005
    Peoria, IL
    A $400 budget, to me, seems a little low, espically if your going to be working with that much ebony for the fretboard, and then purple heart. ebony generally runs about $50 a board foot. (dont hold me the exact cost) also it really depends on what type of hardware to use. a decent bridge for a 5 string can be up there as well. pickups as well. if you want to use a preamp thats atleast $150.

    From my experience with buying parts (bridge, p'ups, pre-amp, tuners, truss rod, nut, and 4 sring 24 fret ebony board) i spent $450. the rest of the wood for my bass simple can from my own supply.

    I would set a a budget for $600. just a my thoughts.