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bass project - solid rosewood body with graphite neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by hbarcat, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I was inspired by an earlier thread on graphite necks in the "basses" section http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=401177 to revive a comatose bass project I was working on involving a solid rosewood body in the shape of a Fender Jazz made by Schecter in the early 80's.

    Naturally the thing is a heavy sucker and since it was very beat up by the time I got it, I decided to completely rework the body, not only to lose weight, but to make it into a custom shape that was esthetically pleasing and tasteful. I chose a shape that is a signature of the basses made by a luthier in Illinois (near where I live), Gene Liberty, whom I have already bought a body from for my first successful bass project a dozen years ago (that one was made of maple).

    I will be re-installing the Jazz pickup in the bridge position but since the hole for the pickup in the neck position was buggered up I decided to route it out for a vintage EB0 (mudbucker) that I have laying around. I want to hear what these two pickups will sound like when combined together.

    I just received my new Moses graphite neck, yesterday and the color almost exactly matches the rosewood body. I think it will look slick when it's done.

    I finished the fine shaping and sanding of the body and also the grain filler, and next up is to spray on some clear. I got a quart of PPG Deltron ($$$ :() and I should be able to stay late after work and use the booth and respirator to spray sometime next week.

    I'll take pictures of what I have so far and link to them as soon as I get the chance, and I'll take pictures of progress if anyone is interested.
    ReasonablyHappy likes this.
  2. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Subscribed! :hyper:
  3. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    First picture:


    Liberty bass body, Moses graphite neck, Badass II bridge, Fender Jazz pickup, Gibson EB0 pickup, tuners
  4. i highly reccomend danish oil for a rosewood body. it would work very well with the oily wood and the texture, and be much easier than laquer which isnt quite ideal on oily woods. would also give it a great smooth feel on the rosewood. you dont really need protection on such a dense/hard wood anyway.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    This is going to be quite the heavy bass.
  6. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Interesting. I'll look into this.

    I have already prepped the wood for the PPG clearcoat with a sealer that was recommended to me by a luthier who has sprayed over rosewood many times. But if this danish oil looks good, I may go ahead and use it.

    Off to google. :)
  7. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    its rosewood, no need to finish it at all, and it'll still look great.
  8. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City
    Cool, love to see/hear the final results.

    As I mentioned elsewhere on TB, I once ~30 years ago played a custom P Bass that was made from a Schecter rosewood body & a Modulus BassStar graphite neck (w/ Bartolini pickup & Badass bridge). As I recall, it was one of the HUGEST sounding basses I had ever -- and perhaps have ever since -- played. Almost unmanageably big sounding (especially since 30 years ago I wasn't quite as capable of managing a huge-sounding bass). Really fat yet articulate, tons of lows, mids, highs... tons of everything really. At the time it was too much for me (too much sound, not too much money...well, no, it was probably too much money for me at the time also!) but nowadays I would love to have a rosewood+graphite bass like that.

    So yeah, keep us posted.
  9. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    Nice. If the mudbucker doesn't work out I'll bet a darkstar would be another option
  10. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I looked at the various options and, while some alternatives to the PPG clearcoat are tempting, I've decided to go ahead and spray. Partly because I'm a professional painter and I have the equipment, facilities and experience so that spraying is actually the easiest of all the options. But mostly because I already bought the paint a few weeks ago. :D
  11. he looks like a hefty fella', i think he can take it haha.
  12. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    I have very little experience with pickups other than the standard P, J, and similar. I think this bass would make a nice "testing ground" for various pickups, particularly some of the more aggressive ones.
  13. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    Actually, the reason I got this bass was because the owner was practically giving it away. It was too heavy for him to play for longer than 20 minutes at a time and it sat in his closet for 15 years collecting dust.

    But I did shave off at least 20% of weight when I re-cut the body.

    One thing I am eager to do is put this thing on a scale when it's complete and get an accurate weight. Maybe we could have a contest and see who can guess the closest. :smug:
  14. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    The finished body is 6.8 pounds. Lighter than I thought it would be.

    I'll be drilling the Moses neck this weekend and installing the hardware (tuners, threaded inserts for the heel). After that, installing the pickups and electronics and giving it a test run.
  15. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Thread resurrection!
    How did that bass turn out?
    What happened?
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  16. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    Wow, I forgot about this thread. That was almost 10 years ago.

    Yeah, I finished this bass and installed the mudbucker pickup in the neck position and a generic jazz pickup I had laying around in the bridge position. I also upgraded the tuners to Hipshot ultralights (black) and A style bridge (also black).

    The thing is, I rarely played it because I was so used to playing my Carvin with an EMG jazz set all the time. I really didn't want to put too many hours on the rosewood because I tend to beat up on them when I play and I wanted to keep the paint looking new. Frankly, i don't like the sound of the cheap jazz pickup and the lack of any mids and highs with the mudbucker made it mostly useless for the aggressive tone I need for my gigs and recordings. And it is too heavy for me to be comfortable with for an entire gig.

    About 2 years ago, I noticed the center seam in the body had sunk and the glue joint was very visible and looked bad, so I decided to take the bass apart and fill the seam and repaint with a 3 stage translucent pearl mid coat along with a matching paint job on the neck. Since then, I've routed out the pickup holes to take MM pickups and I also cut down the headstock to a more sleek outline.

    With all of my bass and music projects going on I still haven't gotten around to painting but it's ready to spray right now. I really want to get to it soon and start playing it before the new year. Hopefully, I'll like the sound of it with the MM pickups and will want to play it more often. I need a replacement for my workhorse Carving since it's developed a lot of problems and has been officially "retired".

    I don't think I have any pictures of the rosewood bass when it was together but I will take some current pictures and post them when I can.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    cataract and gebass6 like this.

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