Acrylic and Aluminum Bass - No wood.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Playbyear, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    Interesting experiment

  2. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Strange marketing concept. Build an advanced, exotic and unique fretless instrument with a new sonic possibilities.

    Demo it with "converted", formerly coated strings through a distorted, cheap practice amp, playing busy and fast runs that to some extent hides the tonal character and fretless "bloom".

    sing-modulator likes this.
  3. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    He did say it's not for sale.

    - John
  4. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Yup. He also sells other basses. I would guess it is in his interest to show the "selling points" of this unique design as well as promoting a general "vibe" of professionalism, "right tool for the job" and in some way representing setups for potential buyers of any of his products.

    Could we expect buyers of an exotic, fretless, hand made instrument to typically use it either for:
    A. Punk, grunge
    B. Jazz, melodic pop, power ballads

    Let us put it this way: I am a potential customer of his, and I already have another, unique, luthier bass.
    After this demo, I had ZERO interest in checking out his other instruments.
  5. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    I didn't take the video as negative at all. It was an experiment and he acknowledges some mistakes. I watched a bunch of his videos... I admit being fascinated with the builds and processes.

    I got to his stuff while looking for videos of the old Alcoa aluminum DB's.
    he said that an Alcoa was his #1 as working musician.

    He demonstrates everything through an ampeg BA115 or direct in or both. That's just his playing style.. he's not bad... I think more of a jazzy DB player.
  6. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Everything about this is terrible, IMO.
  7. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    if that builder wants to sell stuff, he needs some serious marketing assistance.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  8. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    Until yesterday, I was only aware of the Alcoa DB and the Kramer 5000 with its aluminum neck.
    After a New Year’s Eve of watching YouTube videos, I find there are many aluminum basses and guitars. Some all aluminum, some with a wooden neck. There are other non-traditional material as well.
  9. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Birmingham AL
    Check out the Aluminum Neck Club thread here on Talkbass if this is your jam.
    Also the Aluminium Axes group on FB
    + the many builders of such fine instruments that are active on social media, such as:
    Electrical Guitar Company
    Travis Bean Designs
    Robot Graves Industries
    Alef Guitars
    Bastin Guitar
    Developing Nations
    Gletty Guitars
  10. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    They are interesting to me, but I’m not buying one... yet
  11. Warped offspring of a Kramer and Armstrong acrylic. Then the head fell off.

    I like different, so I can see where this might lead. But everything about it screams “heavy”. And cold.
    Playbyear likes this.
  12. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    Really throws shade on the whole ‘tone wood’ thing! :D
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Whoa now! The Kramer is the offspring of the Travis Bean :D

    Interesting idea, sounds like a bass, but while I like a cool gimmick, I'm not especially enthralled with the idea. Points to the guy for pointing out where he made a couple mistakes, though. If he ever builds another one, I'm sure he'll do much better, and it won't have that crazy bow or a too-low zero fret.
    jamro217 likes this.
  14. I like it. Anytime you have something unique and new (even if it tips its hat to other designs) you have a natural resistance from the purists. The idea of tone coming mostly from the electronics rather than the wood is reinforced here. With the cap off it sounds like a Ric, with the tone dialed back it sounds a bit like an aggressive scroll bass. Impressive. I admire the man's honesty. The body shape is a little too pointy for my taste, and I don't like headless instruments, but bravo nonetheless.
  15. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    With the kinks worked out, a full scale length and some different pickups, I could probably like this.
  16. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    The limiting thing about this idea is...material density. Acrylic is denser than most wood - there are a couple of woods that are in the same density range, but the last time you saw a bass made out of Lignum Vitae, was...yeah, never. Swamp ash is about half the density.

    Aluminum has a density of 2.7, which is in the ballpark of 3.5 to 4 times the density of maple. The one thing he's done right with that bass is make it headless, which helps a bit, but no matter what, that bass has gotta be heavy.

    You could make a car out of Platinum if you wanted to, but, like this bass, the fact that you're using a more exotic or more expensive material doesn't always translate to better performance. The right material for the right job is key.
  17. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I’m mean, ok. Cool... From a builders aspect. But that tone was crap... to my ear anyway.
  18. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    That's true (I've played a Dan Armstrong, so I know what it's like), but it's also possible to make a thinner body than standard Fender dimensions, which can make up for the greater density.
  19. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    I like the Tim Sway videos...He's not afraid to experiment, he's not ashamed to screw up (and detail it), especially if he learns from it, and a lot of his stuff is creative and fun. Most sounds pretty good, too.
    I also like that he reclaims and recycles materials to make instruments, like the ones he's made from hollow core doors...

    The road to genius is often littered with scraps of creative concepts and intentions...sometimes, it's kinda fun to see. ;)
    Playbyear and whitelines like this.
  20. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Check this one...