A little P-bass market research

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassJunkie730, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    I read the commercial user policy, and I'm pretty sure I'm not violating any rules here as I am in no way affiliated with any commercial instrument company, but if I am doing anything wrong please let me know.

    I recently finished a P-J project and I really really enjoyed it! I've been building for about 6 years now on an amatuer level and I'd like to take a shot at a "production run" of a bass.

    With disregard to prices, My question is do you think there is any room for another P-bass clone in the dirth that makes up our musical instrument market place?

    I was working out specs and a materials list today. I'm bouncing around the idea of offering a "meat and potatoes" P-bass that IMO uses the best components I can get.

    My tentative parts list is

    Black two piece Alder body top routed with a fender style 5 hole bridge mount.

    Quarter sawn maple neck with a maple fretboard - 20 frets, 1.625" nut width, a custom back thickness, ( I'm torn between a 9.5" radius and an 11" radius), truss rod access at the head stock. Satin finish.

    I'd like to drop a Nordstrand NP4 as a standard pickup

    Hipshot brass Chrome B-style bridge - top loading (once again I'm also thinking about the vintage style bridge too) with .750" string spacing

    Hipshot Ultralight tuners - 1/2" fender style posts and clover leaf pegs

    A three string retainer

    Electrosocket side jack with a switchcraft input jack

    250K ohm Clarostat pots with a foil in oil .047mf Cap

    Chrome knobs

    Black pickguard

    I haven't decided what strings to offer.

    Tusq nut

    Dunlop strap locks

    TKL Prestige case

    I'm going for something real barebones but does not lack in the materials department at all. I'm really drawn to the idea of building a great vintage bass. Kind of like a late 50's P with 70's styling.

    There would be no options for the run either, just a simple great playing bass.

    What do you guys think? Would you buy one? (please I'm not shopping for orders obviously, just some feedback based purely on specs and a need for a P-bass clone)

  2. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    This kind of bass sounds like the one I want to make as my own project. Perhaps you could make yours with a compound neck radius like USACG offers?

    I think you could get a lot of customers with block inlays and neck binding too. People love that look but no one seems to have caught on to that.
  3. Most likely, you wouldn't make any money. Instrument building is simply a hard market to get into.

    By the way, what would the round about cost be?
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I think you'll be a lot more successful if you offer more than one finish and wood combo. An all black ash/maple PJ will only appeal to so many people.

    Also, remember, components and construction mean nothing if it doesn't play and sound like a good P. That means a strong, full tone, no dead spots, and good bark in the mids.
  5. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    It is almost impossible to make a profitable high end p-clone without offering alot of options, or having a name/brand recognition. If you built a bunch of basses over time for people and they like them, and you build up a reputation, you might be able to turn a profit (i.e. nino and his "valenti" basses) but without offering any special options, it would have to be priced very inexpensive indeed to sell a great number of them, and you would still have to have built up something of a reputation if you want to sell enough of them to turn a profit.

    Have you priced out the cost of all the materiels you have listed? That would be a good place to start this conversation...
  6. Shearstown


    Oct 15, 2005
    A good deal to start would be great. Then hopefully enough poeple would own your basses to create a semi buzz. Plus try and find out what the people would like in the name brands that they don't really offer.
  7. A lot would depend on the selling price. A big problem is that even low-end instruments are ing amazingly well-made these days. Trying to make a buck building and selling basses these days is definitely a dicey proposition. Unless you can afford to lose your investment, I'd steer clear.