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ACG - the pale understated fretless one

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scoopbass, Apr 26, 2010.


  1. On my visit up to the Moffat Bass Bash in Scotland last weekend I just happened to go to Alan's workshop and specced up two more ACGs for myself. They'll be my fifth and sixth ACGs.

    This is the build thread of the pale understated fretless one. I'll do a thread on the other one when I give Alan his deposit as I wasn't able to put a deposit down on both over the weekend. Very soon...

    The thinking behind this build was quite simple. The two basses that Alan has built for me so far have been really loud, in your face, visual pieces. There was the scribbly spalted beech top and spalted maple fretboard of the Recurve and the feast of flaming redwood that was the Finn build. Both were very busy and Alan admitted to me that he had reservations but figured that, in the end, I'd chosen well enough to stay just the right side of taste and decency.

    I wanted my next four string to be a fretless and I wanted it very understated by comparison to the others.

    I knew, pretty much before I arrived at Alan's, which top I wanted for this, which will be another Recurve 4. And I was also pretty much convinced of the wood for the body core. I wanted a nice piece of lightweight spanish cedar. I have a spanish cedar core on my redwood finn and love it for it's lack of weight.

    So, the top...

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    In detail

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    No contest. Understated, still beautifully figured, but definately understated. That's a lovely piece of masur birch.

    But I wasn't really sure about the contrast between this and the medium brown coloured spanish cedar. Ten seconds later I had a brainwave and asked Alan to pull out a few blanks of white limba - which can vary hugely in weight. I chose a nice lightweight one and that together with a 4mm wenge accent sorts the body.

    The neck is to be made from exactly the woods, in the same pattern order as my redwood finn. From the centre laminate outwards wenge, bubinga, maple (or sycamore, I'm easily pleased ;) ). Like this...

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    The fretboard is going to be jet black ebony with white quarter lines on the E string side (not the G). It'll be strung with TI flats.

    Piezo bridge with ACGs own single coil at bridge and MM sized chappy at neck. ACG EQ01 filtering preamp.

    I love this stage of a build. It's exciting...
     
  2. Alan's work is awesome, and he is a super nice guy.
     
  3. +1000

    One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and, as you say, his work is unbelievable.
     
  4. eude

    eude

    Apr 13, 2006
    London
    Gonna have to + another 1000 here.

    Eude
     
  5. Some more images.

    The spec has changed slightly as I altered the body shape from Finn to Recurve.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. eude

    eude

    Apr 13, 2006
    London
    I picked that very body up at Alan's a couple of weeks back, literally lighter than air!
    Crazy stuff!
     
  7. That was one of the reasons I chose that combination of woods. I went through a number of billets of wood in Alan's store for the body, judging them solely by weight criteria. The billet of limba I picked (limba can vary in weight substantially) was a real featherweight. Even with an ebony 'board I think this will come in about 7.5 lbs.
     
  8. Alan's just sent me this pic of the ebony fretboard with the quarter fretlines. It's looking great, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Some more pictures. The bass has now gone in for finishing so it'll only be a matter of a few weeks before it's available to me hopefully.

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    I'm delighted, obviously.
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Looking great! :cool:
     
  11. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Wow! That is gonna be slick!
     
  12. Thanks guys.

    I'm really looking forward to getting hold of this one because of two things - the pickup combination is really exciting me, I'm very keen to discover the sounds I can get out of it, and, secondly, because I've never really spent that much time playing fretless, I'm determined to become as competant with this as I am with a fretted. This bass is going to get a lot of practice time on it.
     
  13. It's finished and I've got the photos but to be fair to Alan, I'll not post them here until after I've paid him the outstanding balance which will be tomorrow (Tuesday). The bass should be wth me on Thursday or Friday, hopefully.

    Got to say, I wanted understated yet still beautiful and I think Alan's done it superbly. I really couldn't be happier with how it's looking. It's a really lovely bit of kit.
     
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Fantastic! Can't wait to see the finished results, and I'm sure it will be amazing!
     
  15. eude

    eude

    Apr 13, 2006
    London
    Nice one matey, can't wait to see it!
     
  16. Put you both out of your misery, Mike & Ewan...

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    Many thanks to Alan. Best luthier, IMHO, in the whole wide world.
     
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Ooo, gorgeous! Is that Alan's standard finish, or is it oil? It seems to have added a touch of gold to the colors of the woods, making them much warmer a richer--truly spectacular!
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Beautiful! Consider me officially jealous! :D
     
  19. Looks great! Wood looks awesome . . .
     
  20. It's the standard finish, Mike. I agree, it's really brought out the less obvious figuring in the wood brilliantly. I didn't want a really in your face aesthetic with this one and I think it all works exactly as Alan and I planned it to. All credit, however, to Alan for a stunning execution of the plan.

    Now coming from you, with your amazing instrument collection, I take that as a *real* compliment. Thanks, Tom. :D
     

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