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Australian Luthiers + Hollowbody

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by grommit, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. So lately I'm looking for a fretless, and while there's the option of getting an upright, I think I would much prefer a fretless electric bass.

    I'm thinking I want something thats going to sound "woodier" than what I currently own (a rick and a cort elrick).
    So something like a Rob Allen Mouse, or a Kinal kompact bass.

    I've never really been able to work with an acoustic guitar comfortably before, so a body of that size is out, but acoustic instruments are not.

    The closest I've been able to find to what i want in a production model so far, is the Godin A4. Which seems to sell for a considerable price(around AU$2000 from what I can gather)
    The only problem is, it's an unlined fretless, and I dont think I would be quite ready for the challenge that presents.

    This brings me to custom builds.
    Ive been working it out, and for about the same as the godin i could have a kinal made. (shipping would be more as well, which i havent worked out yet)

    The Mouse seems to come out at around AU$2800 (with a few options and a case) including shipping, which on the page rob suggests is around $80-$100 US.

    So tell me Talkbass. Specifically Australians. Are there any luthiers around Sydney (well pretty much from anywhere between the city and katoomba, maybe further) who would consider a similar type of build?

    All I really know of are Jeff Malia and the guy who does SD Curlee basses(not that i cant find out anything about him other than his basses on the bassplayer.com.au)

    The tl;dr.
    Want a warm, preferably hollowbody fretless, and/or an australian luthier to build one for me.
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
  3. Without breaking the bank, the Godins are a nice Rob Allen alternative. Use the right set of strings and you should be able to get a very similar tone.

    Since the Mouse 30 is such a specialized instrument, I'd be somewhat leary about ordering one from a luthier who hasn't made several instruments like this. I'm guessing Rob had a few trial and error models when it was first designed, but obviously would have worked out all the bugs.

    Perhaps you could keep an eye out for a used one?
  4. Thanks for the replies.
    A9X i know about that thing with the bass player, and i dont like going there anyway, they dont particularly have to good a range for a bass specialist.

    The jack cassady sounds like a nice idea though.

    spade2you, I'll probably be doing more research into the Godin, but still the unlined fretless is a downside. I guess I'll have to tried out some other unlined basses and see how i feel about it, i can always try put some other sort of marker there anyway i guess.

    A used mouse is probably out of the question as there probably arent too many in Australia, and even then, less that are going to be sold.
    (I just have a dodgy feeling about buying off ebay, especially over seas)
  5. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    In fact, there's a Casady on eBay downunder for $850 right now.
  6. do maton do one offs?
  7. yes, they do...but you will pay for it...
  8. Give allan tomkins a call, he is in Ryde. He will build you anything you want (for a price) & its top quality stuff. He uses all aussie woods & If you have a custom shape in mind, he will build it for you. Tell him Rusty Cochrane put you onto him & He will look after you. I have two of his basses & they are both works of art! Best sounding basses ive ever used. And ive been playing for about 25 years or so now.

    His number is: 0419 602 333

    PM me if you want any further info.

  9. Thanks for that rusty, pm sent.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    The Casady is a really nice bass for what it is but not the most acoustic sounding compared to the Allen or things like that.

    A big +1 on the Godin for that upright-like sound and value. They sound just great and are well made. My only complaint (and the ONLY reason I've never owned one) is they need a refit to lighter tuners to counter the neck dive the light weight hollow body incurs. That's actually something to watch with any hollowbody. If you win the lottery I can personally recommend one of these:

    Going with a local builder sounds like a very good option. Keep us posted on anything that comes of it.
  11. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I have a friend that has a Tomkins bass. Beautiful instument and superb construction, just not what my friend likes in terms of looks and tone. Please note, this is not a slight on Tomkins, just an expression of preference (my friend likes modern and his Tomkins is more classic Jazz)
  12. I believe you can get the Godin with 1/2 lines, which is fairly similar to what Zon does. http://www.basscentral.com/2003/godin.shtml

    Do you currently play fretless bass? If not, it really doesn't matter which you start with.

    You could possibly keep your eyes peeled for reputable dealers having used Godins or Rob Allens. Not sure what shipping is, but you'd probably be able to get one for less than a new one before shipping.
  13. Nah, i dont play fretless currently, and the few times ive played an upright, i've been relatively lost, and while im sure i could pick up the unlined eventually.
    i didnt know about the semi lined, i'll look into that with a local godin dealer.
  14. If you haven't played fretless before, either choice doesn't matter. You'd simply need to give a given configuration a chance for a while. It will take a little time. If it doesn't work, try the other config. Comparing a fretless to an upright isn't quite the same, so I'd imagine you'll have less trouble with a fretless bass guitar.

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