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Bass Kit

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CBNJ, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Feb 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'm looking to spend less than $200, just to get into 'building' basses. I don't have a P bass either, so this makes it that much more attractive. Can anyone comment on this kit? Anything better for a little bit more?

    Please don't suggest kits $200+. :)

    At this price range, what's the preferred wood - pauwlonia or poplar?


    Or would something like this be better? http://byoguitar.com/Guitars/Electric-Bass-Kit---Stingray__BYO-STINGRAY.aspx
  2. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    There is a company called Grizzly tools. The make table saws, drill presses, and other heavy shop equipment. The owner is a guitarist and a woodworker. In their catalog they have a number of guitar kits.

    They do make a bass kit. Quilted maple body... it's more than you're looking to spend, but the quality/price ratio on these are excellent.
    Here's the link to the bass kit...

    and here's the link to all the other kits they produce...

    The also sell parts. It's worth, a look, at least.

    I've done business with Guitar Fetish, too. Very good people to deal with.

    Also, Carvin makes a bass kit that you can customize. It's based on their B40 (bolt on neck bass) and it is a excellent kit, though more expensive. Again, it doesn't cost anything to look. Here's the link for the Carvin kit...

    Here's all the Carvin kits, including 4 and 5 string basses.

    I've built a Carvin 5 String fretless with active electronics. It's a excellent bass.
  3. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    Interesting, I didn't know kits like this existed.
    After a quick look and assuming it matters to you, I didn't see any info on the weight, truss rod, adjustable pups or fret board side markers.
    The write up mentions "glue". Where would glue be used? Tuner ferrules maybe?
    Kinda cool and certainly economical to boot.
    Have fun!
  4. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    Not sure about the glue, but, as I stated, I built the 5 string Carvin kit. the neck is a standard Carvin bolt on neck, truss rod and all. Weight depends on the body wood. I selected alder for the body, maple for the neck, and rosewood for the fingerboard. The finished bass weighs in at about 5 lbs. and in drastically lighter than my Ricks, and Fenders.
    It sounds and plays great, too. Action is super low, about 3/32" at the 12th fret.

    The build took me about 6 working hours over 5 days. I used a tung oil finish, because it was easily doable in my office. It took some minor soldering to install the electronics, but, no big deal.
    overall, I saved somewhere between 40% and 50% over ordering the same bass build by Carvin.
  5. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Feb 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the input! I'll check it out.
  6. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    I did a Saga build once. I was generally unimpressed with the wood and equipment. I ended up paying about as much as a Squier Affinity to build something a lot worse than a Squier Affinity
  7. Myself, Id so for something a little higher quality than a GFS, Grizzly, Saga, or other low priced kit. YOu may like the body and neck ok, but the rest will likely be subpar. Most likely the hardware will be junk you'd want to upgrade anyway. Even self aggandizing GFS admits as much describing their kits. The body will prob be ok. The neck, a crapshoot, prob ok but I'll bet it will need fretwork.

    If I did order the GFS, Id lean toward the poplar because its prob a little heavier than the pawlonia, to eliminate some of the risk of neck dive. But poplar you'd prob wanna paint, as it dosn't look too great in a natural finish. Palwonia does look great natural however, nice grain, but if you want it slick you'll need to grain fill it.

    For an entire kit, Id go Carvin. You can trust the quality.

    I'm prob gonna build a P at some point. I'll prob go with a Fender licensed neck from Stew Mac. The body and some of the hardware I might go GFS as I've had good experience with their tele stuff. Pickup, I'm a Lawrence/Wylde man. This will cost more but will be well worth it.
    My advice,aim higher, be patient, take your time, and order parts as you can afford them.
  8. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    While these inexpensive kits look attractive, the end result may be disappointing. It might be a good learning experience and if that is what you are after that's cool but you won't end up with a particularly great playing or sounding bass. I would aim higher.
  9. javadog


    Mar 13, 2010
    I was just looking at the Carvin kits. There is an incredible number of wood and upgrade options available. The down side is, of course, if you upgrade most of the components it really jacks up the price. Hate it when that happens.
  10. Sure, one can go buy an assembled bass for the same price (and it may or may not be a better bass) but its fun to build one.

    I didn't build a bass. I picked up a 12-string Tele copy guitar kit on eBay. It was around $140 and I probably spent another $30 on rattle cans, etc, and I installed a better five way switch because the original was junk, as were the strings. It plays good and sounds nice.

    The experience of building it was a blast.
  11. Photo evidence:

    It's different than a bass kit because you can't find an assembled version of a 12 string Tele.
  12. I've done one tele and have another on the bench. Its addicting. You don't really save any money, but its fun and you wind up with something unique. I will do a bass someday.
    This has a $45 GFS pawlonia body, finished w just plain ol shellac. Lawrence/Wylde pickups, Wilkerson bridge and vintage style tuners, CTS pots. The neck is an Allparts I bought form a luthier who had already finished it in nitro, rolled the edges, and installed a bone nut. Got $400-$500 in it, the $185 I paid for the neck is the biggest ticket item.
    I love it.
  13. bal704

    bal704 Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    In the Great Southwest
    If the OP only wants to build a bass, and isn't that concerned with how nice it's going to be, the GFS (or any of the ebay kits) will work. I've built a Grizzly kit, and wasn't impressed. They are out of the OP's price range anyway.

    If the OP wants a bass he will keep and enjoy, I'd go with Carvin or Warmoth.
  14. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    That's very true, but you still end up with a bass for cheap, or relatively cheap,when you compare it to a finished bass of the same model and options.

    My B50 active/fretless finished out at a little over $600.00 with a fitted case. Ordering the same finished bass would have cost another $398.00 above that ($998.00 total).
    ...and that was 5 or 6 years ago.

    A $400.00 savings on a $1000.00 bass for approximately 6 actual hours of work to assemble and finish the bass, is well worth it, especially when you consider how the finish product turned out, plays, and sounds. I'll take a40% discount from the street selling price anytime.
  15. TimboZ


    Jan 4, 2009
    South of Buffalo
    +++ on the Carvin kits.

    I built one a few years back. The Carvin necks are AWESOME.
  16. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I'm building a through-neck bass using a Carvin neck, and I totally agree that they make excellent necks.