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8 String Fretless Curbow--in progress pics.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassmonkeee, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I went up to Curbow's shop today to check out the progress on my 8 string fretless, and some other stuff. While my original plan was to have him put the neck on my Peavey Palaedium, it has now become a completely custom bass from the ground up.

    Bass Specs:
    Quartersawn Rockwood Light neck
    Black Rockwood fretboard, no lines, 29 frets
    8 string (octave pairs, octave string treble side)
    Carved burled elm top, with a mahogany back
    oil and wax finish-natural with amber grain enhancer
    Black hardware (Gotoh tuners, Schaller bridge)
    (2) quad coil bartolini pickups-each will have a switch to select between P, J, or quad coil config
    EMG 18V BQS preamp

    Some pics:
    The neck blank sitting on top of the body blank
    The mahogany back-dig that swirl
    Burled elm top-it doesn't look like much now (the burls didn't photograph well.) See below for a bass made from this same piece of elm--mine will be the same color, but with oil and wax instead of poly[​IMG]
    Rockwood light neck. If you think 9 piece necks are stable, try 75 pieces. :D Not to mention 2 graphite bars, and a Rockwood fretboard, too.

    Curbow said that it should be done in time to make an appearance at the Atlanta Get Together on May 11th.

    When it is done, it should look, sound, and play amazingly. I can't wait.
  2. Congrats,, that will be a fine looking, and fine playing bass!
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    That looks like it's going to be a beautiful bass! I'd love to play a 8 string fretless someday, and the Curbow looks like a pretty cool one.

    I just wish he'd have a regular tilt back headstock rather than a set back headstock. It was my only really design gripe on a Curbow...makes the string angle funny. However, didn't seem to impede playability or sound, but just bothered me! :)

    Anyhow, it's a beautiful bass! Is the fretboard going to be a darker than the neck like it looks in the picture? It's cool looking! Congratulations! :D
  4. berklee46

    berklee46 Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2000
    Looks great Jason. I can't wait to see how it comes out!

    Next time you're at the shop, if my Ripley happens to be there, I'd love to see some progress pictures of that too. Turns out the body didn't end up being sent out for the refin until the other day, so we're about 6 weeks + behind schedule...So, if I've got to enjoy it through pictures, that will suffice for now.
  5. pedalpointer


    Mar 25, 2002
    Looks good, man. Is it a lefty, or are the pics just reversed?

    Too bad I don't like the bodies on Curbow basses that much, otherwise I might have him make me one. I play a fretted 8 string, and it rules.

    Is there anyone else that would make an 8 string fretless? Or a 12ver fretless?
  6. Jason,

    That's the new body shape? I like it--still looks like a Curbow design, but slightly offset in the waist. I might go for that, if the single-cutaway idea doesn't fly.

  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    No, it'll be a righty. The pic you are talking about is of the back. But, since it is just a block, it's tough to tell.

    As for anyone making an 8 string fretless, Pedulla has the Mark Egan bass, and there have been a few custom 8 string Rics, but the custom shop doesn't like doing special orders if the person with the 8 string fretless is to be believed.

    I'm sure most custom makers would be happy to make you one, but I'm sure it'll cost you if they have to make a headstock template for it.

    Greg would be happy to make you one, I'm sure. He'll do any body shape you want. Besides, I can't imagine a better wood to use for the neck than rockwood with the extra tension of the octave strings. My neck is going to nice and thin, but still be stable as heck.
  8. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Yeah, I think he told me that it's the shape of a new prototype for a possible Cort bass, but I could be wrong.

    It's funny you say that about the single-cutaway. I was thinking that I might not bother with the single cut, and just go with this shape for any 6 string I have made. Great minds...something something something. :)
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Sorry to hear that about the body. Greg's been super crazy recently--moreso than usual--getting his luthier school up and running. I do know your neck is almost done. I saw it on Saturday. It's cut out, radiused, and has the heel of the headstock cut. It'll be finished in about another week, or so.
  10. If the Curbow's not for you, Zon is the obvious choice, since 1) they make a killer fretless, and 2) they offer the 8-string Sonus as a standard model. There's an upcharge for fretless, but still, it would just be an option, not a total custom job.

  11. Somehow, the notion that it might be the next Cort design is a tad disappointing. Having a nice handmade bass that looks like a copy of a Cort... :(

    Still, it's a nice shape--it reminds me a lot of my Wal MkIII, which should make it very comfortable and familiar. I'd really like to see how it looks as it comes along a little further, especially with the top carved.

    What's your impression of the feel of the Rockwood Lite vs. the regular Rockwood? I really like how the regular Rockwood feels.
  12. pedalpointer


    Mar 25, 2002
    Excellent, I like Zon's basses. I'm going to look them up right now. Maybe I could get one this summer if it's not too much money. Thanx.:)
  13. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Eh, I am not too concerned with it looking like a Cort (if they even make it). I mean, who is going to mistake a burled elm 8 string fretless for a Korean bass?

    I'll be sure to post more pics if I get back up there before it's finished. I'm looking forward to seeing it both carved, and with the grain enhancer to pull out the burls.

    The rockwood light feels about the same as rockwood. I've only played rockwood lite necks for short stretches at a time, but it feels just as nice.

    I had forgotten about the Zon Sonus 8 string. Those things look nice. And, with the new satin finish on the back of the necks, I think a Zon is the only non-Curbow bass I would buy. Granted, it still has the rockwood fretboard, which is what I love for fretlesses, anyway.