A Conklin Groove Tools 7 String Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by giedosst, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    Hi guys!

    I'm in the market for an extended range bass and was looking at the
    Conklin Groove Tools 7 String Bass. Now I am a fretless player and was looking to convert any instrument I got my hands on into one but I was wondering if anybody on here has a GT 7 that is fretless and what they think of it. I have the defretment down and I know what to do but I was wondering if i could find a radius block of 16 mm that would be wide enough and I was wondering if those cats that do play this monster are able to find nylon wrapped bass strings for it, because those are my string of choice! I love the idea of that high high range!

  2. Lloydtownsend


    Aug 23, 2010
    Sorry guys I messed up. I forgot I can't offer to sell stuff. I'm new. I meant no disrespect sorry.
  3. I can't speak of my experience on a fretless GT7 since I haven't played one (yet), but I have played a few fretted GT7s as well as the Bill Dickens signature and a few non-Groove Tools Conklin 7s and the GT7s are great basses for the money IMHO. Incredibly easy to play and very comfortable despite the wide neck. Sometimes the fretwork is a little sub-par but anyone with the right tools and know-how to level and recrown the frets can take care of that for little dough.
  4. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    Will most likely need to get a nylon guitar string to use for F
  5. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    I was planning on defretting it my self since I got that down. I just need to find a radius block that is wide enough for the fingerboard...
  6. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    Hmmm like from a classical guitar? What would the gauge be?
  7. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I have a fretted Bill Dickens Conklin 7 and I'd highly recommend one. I will note that I had to have frets pleked because of buzzy notes. In converting to fretless that would be a non-issue. I also own a Bass Mods 7 which is very nice but electronics are much more standard. I don't know, Bill Dickens style bright edgy electronics may be overkill and wasted on a fretless. The Bass mods is a very well constructed instrument, but tone is a bit plain vanilla.

    And getting nylon wrapped bass strings in thin sizes is a major hassle. I had trouble finding a nylon wrapped C string for my fretless Carvin AC50 that I strung with a High C. A seven string set will be a nightmare unless you can get a string company to do custom sizes for you. Note that in my case La Bella sold a "C" nylon wrapped string but it was the wrong diameter and too thin sounding. (It actually might work as the high string on a 7) Eventually I ended up using a Fender nylon wrapped G string for a C string. Worked great. Just to give you a taste of the hassle you may be in for. Used to be "Big Bottom String company" that had great rapport with all the manufacturers and I'd just tell them what I wanted and he'd order it special. Took a while, but solved all problems. Unfortunately they closed their doors some time ago. Now life is not so easy.
  8. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    That might be problematic with magnetic pickups....
  9. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    I know both sets of strings well! Doesn't the sound difference and gauges throw you off on the instrument or does it work out? I find that when I mix and match Fenders and LaBella I can hear the sound difference and it really pisses me off!
  10. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    Does anybody know what kind of gig bag will fit the conklin monster?
  11. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    There is a sound difference, and of course the gauge of the Fender "light" G for a C string was just a tad off. But the wrong size of what LaBella called a C string was just SO wrong, that the minor differences were like success! The biggest irritation was that the C string was just a tad too thick and tuning it up to C gave it more tension which was irritating when playing it. But not irritating enough to make me give up on EADGC. I have gone back to standard tuning, but the reason was I just wanted to have it easier playing in many keys. So the solo range had to suffer a bit. It's just too bad that Carvin doesn't build an AC60 with a properly proportioned string set for it.
  12. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
  13. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    All I can say is I just measured my Conklin Bill Dickens 7 and the outside string spacing is about 3 3/4" or 95mm which doesn't fit any of the bridges except maybe the last one.

    I also measured my bass mods 7 and it is 108mm or about 4 1/4" which is wider and within the range of the first bridge.

    If it were me I'd consider those individual bridge things so you could set the spacing to fit the neck etc. As for what is on a GT-7 I don't know, because it's a single piece bridge but not like any you listed.
  14. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005

    Thanks bassbenj!
    I notice on this video :

    Nathan Aweau - Awesome Bass Solo (HiSessions.com Acoustic Live) - YouTube

    Nathan Aweau has what appears to be a hipshot A on his Conklin. I emailed him, I hope he responds! Also I emailed Conklin custom shop askign about a proper radius block for this neck (because I want to make the Conklin GT 7 I'm getting Fretless) and here is what they said:

    "Hi Steve,

    We actually have a method of roughing out the initial radius on our big floor mounted belt sander. After that we finish it up with a flat block that we just follow the rough radius and it takes two or three passes to work across the full width of the fingerboard.

    We would suggest the same to you. Just use flat blocks and follow the existing radius.

    Hope that helps.

    Best wishes,

    Bill and Mike in the Conklin Custom Shop"

    I emailed them back asking for a bit more detail and I am still waiting (it's the weekend) no big deal. Since I don't have a belt sander what could I do? Since I do not have the option of a good radius block what I was planning on doing was removing the frets, crazy gluing thin pvc binding strips (not sure if I should do black, white or cream...the black would be sweet!) in there place and very gently sanding down the strips, ever so gently until they are almost level with the fingerboard, and then use a nice 400-600 grit sand paper to gently smooth it all out, then epoxy the neck. I'm very hesitant on trying this because I have no way of correcting the radius if I lose it! I can't think of any other way to do this!

    Any suggestions?

    Also bassbenj, can you tell me about the bridge on the GT 7? Is it easy to intonate? I ask because I would be using it on a fretless instrument and you know how important a properly intonated bridge is for a fretless bass!

  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I don't know what to tell you about the bridge. On mine it's sort of standard "high mass" kind of thing. It has the usual sort of cast looking base plate with a heavy back end and somewhat thinner sides. It's held down by six large wood screws. It has nice large cast-looking saddles (shaped, not round rods or anything like that). and the saddles are raised by two setscrews and intonation is by a long screw to the back of the bridge. In other words. pretty much a standard nice bass bridge with nothing weird.

    I've intonated this bass as has the luthier I took it to to have it Pleked and neither of us had any problems doing it.

    On an unlined fretless it's a bit trickier because there is no defining fret. My method in that case is just to intonate each string octave harmonic point to be located exactly on the octave marker location. Since the strings aren't actually depressed there may be a slight variance from the marker to proper playing pitch but in my cases it's been so minor as to not be a concern. To me in a fretless the important thing is to intonate so the octave points of all the strings form a nice straight line perpendicular to the neck.

    If you find it useful you could compensate a bit for the strings going sharp as you press them down, I don't find it necessary. Some fretless players don't find intonation necessary at all! Although I'd point out that even fretless instruments that don't have adjustable saddles usually have the whole bridge tilted so that it more or less gives the straight across the neck thing at the octave I was talking about.

    With a lined fretless you just line up the harmonic nodes with the fretline. I use a fingernail or credit card edge to exactly find the harmonic node on the strings at the octave. Maybe some pro fretless techs can tell you what they do.
  16. My conklin gt-7 fits In my warwick gigbag. I would personally keep the fingerboard flat and put some type of finish on the fretboard an use stainless steel strings. I use daddario pro steel 6 string set and a xl .020 for the high f. I've tried a lot of strings, the pro steels aren't as clean as nickel but the B string is leagues better. Nickel also causes the issue in that I haven't found a nickel high f. With nickel the stainless steel high f sticks out like a sore thumb. And yeah I second a 100% nylon string will not work with a magnetic pickup. So I don't know what you could do about the high f.
  17. Godin a4/5 case
  18. EricaBass

    EricaBass Guest

    Nov 26, 2016
    Hi just got my cgt7 on ebay tonight for 375 can't wait !!!!! did you find yours??
    chow Erica
    I play now an 8 string wide fret maestro but I installed 2 EMG passive plus I installed mojotone caps yup a girl that rewires lol
  19. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Wow, that's a great deal.

    I played a fretless GT7 many years ago, found it very intriguing. I noticed that "mwah" on the thin high F string wound up sounding more like a sitar than like any archetypal fretless bass sound; a cool sound but not something I could use every day.
  20. EricaBass

    EricaBass Guest

    Nov 26, 2016

    Wow Nice, I never played ever a fretless at some point want to check it out !!!!! Is the GT7 heavy I did not receive it yet will this week!