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Best custom bass building company? - Also, talk about your dream bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dwagner, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. dwagner

    dwagner Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    North Dakota, USA
    I'm having a good 'ol GAS and was dreaming of the day I can afford a higher range bass. What are the best companies that make custom basses? I know about Warmoth, but are there others?

    Also, as a double-topic, what is your dream bass if you could make one? Mine would be:

    Seafoam Green finish
    P/J Pickups with White Covers and the P pickups are reversed
    Rosewood Fretboard - 24 Frets
    Spector/Warmoth Corvette style body
    6 strings
    Tremolo Bridge
    All black hardware

    Pretty close to this:


    Yeah, it'll be epic if I can ever make this. What about your dream bass? :bassist:
  2. Brockerboy


    Nov 15, 2012
    mines gotta be a candy apple metallic red five string jazz body, string through bridge, with seymour duncan quarter pounders, rosewood neck with white binding and white pearl blocks, all black hardware, and matching headstock.
  3. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    My dream bass would sound like the fretless Stingray I already have. :bassist:
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    For me it's a 35" scale Hofner violin bass
  5. RedMoses

    RedMoses Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2012
    Call Marco Cortes (Marco Basses), Met him at NAMM two years ago, super nice guy, great basses and relatively affordable when compared to the other custom shops out there.

    He built me the P/J of my dreams, hand wound pick ups, exotic top, light weight, White Burst finish, a fantastic instrument. He also makes his own more modern designs but i wanted a Fender style Bass.

  6. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    There are so many amazing boutique custom builders out there, it would be impossible to list them all. Your list of specs is rather unorthodox, so it's hard for me to come up with one or two builders that I would associate with that kind of build, but that's a mental problem of mine - I'm positive that there are many builders out there who could knock it out of the park. I hear a lot of great things about Stambaugh and Clement, and they're totally custom builders so they could make you what you want. Of course there's dozens more, so good luck with your search!

    Edit: Marco Cortes is awesome too, as mentioned above. I also think JC basses makes totally custom basses, IIRC he did a thread in the Luthiers Corner on a slick rainbow singlecut sixer that turned out really nice.
  7. Wyn Bass Guitars


    I own my dream bass: Wyn 5 string

    Randy Wyn Fullmer does a great job of creating a bass exactly the way you want it.

  8. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Big +1. My dream bass is a Wyn too, although I don't own it yet.
  9. Alex1984


    Jan 16, 2010
    Warmoth or Warwick? My vote's going to our very own JohnK_10, he's a master at recreating vintage Fenders.
  10. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    Only ever considered Warmoth for a custom build (mostly because they seem to do the type of build I want very well), but these other places people are posting look tempting...

    Dream Bass Specs

    BODY: Jazz bass body in Lake Placid Blue with a tort pickguard. Routed for precision pickups.

    NECK: Either a 30 or 32 inch scale birdseye maple neck with a rosewood fretboard; 20 or 21 frets; four strings. I would probably use the standard Fender-type headstock with a matching LPB finish.

    PICKUPS: I'd go with Nordstrand precision pickups.

    CONTROLS: 1 volume, 1 tone. (boring, I know...)

    It's not wayyy out there in terms of customization, but it would work for me. :bassist:
  11. jbossolo


    Sep 22, 2011
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Dealing with Fodera on a custom has been a dream.

    Not cheap, but their customer service and attention to detail is amazing.

    I ordered my dream bass from them but it is a year away and I won't have to set the final spec until December.
  13. dwagner

    dwagner Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    North Dakota, USA

    Those Wyn basses are beautiful...
  14. If you go the custom route, which I have, then you need to decide what sound you are after. That's the most important thing. Tell your luthier what sound you want and then work everything else from there.

    I selected Cliff Bordwell who lurks here at TB. Great guy, great experience and great bass. Cheers.

  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Mine would be a 24 fret 5 string, custom shape with a pair of Delano twin jazz pickups, hard ash body, 5 piece neck and bound and blocked maple fingerboard. With a crazy orange finish.

    Something like this:



    As always, my answer for anyone looking for a custom bass that doesn't fall along Fender-style lines and has some less than standard elements (and I think short scale 6 with a tremolo bridge definitely fits) is to give Chris Stambaugh a call. FWIW mine shown above is 33" scale.
  16. PipeRain

    PipeRain Operator Of Pointy Basses

    Dec 4, 2012
    My dream bass?

    • 4 string, 'cos I can barely figure those out, 5 strings make me lost and 6 make me cry
    • J-Bass body shape, probably alder, but I'm not terribly picky, slightly sharpened horns with deep cutaways
    • 4A Quilt maple cap, stained in either very dark blue with slight blackburst or translucent black
    • 1 5/8 nut width, compound radius, neck-thru in maple, 24 frets, ebony or phenolic fingerboard, 34" scale satin finished back
    • Black bound neck and headstock
    • Offset mini-dot white fret markers with white side dots
    • Truss-rod adjustment at the headstock
    • 4 on left side tilt-back headstock veneered and stained to match body with obligatory pointy headstock. It is, after all, absolutely necessary if one is to play any sort of metal...
    • Graph-Tech nut
    • Rear-routed pickups and controls
    • Input jack frenched into body ala Ibby SR505
    • Seymour Duncan Active EQ P-J pickups, wired for 18 volts
    • Controls wired : Neck Volume-Gibby LP Style 3 Way Switch-Bridge Volume-Overall Tone
    • StewMac 3576 dual 9V battery box on back of body
    • Babicz bridge, simply because I like the lock-down option. Failing that, a Gotoh 201.
    • Schaller BML Light tuners
    • Schaller Strap-Locks
    • Dome knobs
    • Black Hardware if translucent black stain, chrome if blue
  17. Finneus


    Aug 20, 2007
    Oswego, IL
    I love the finish on that bass, way cool.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Ben Lindsey has done three basses for me and I've bought two others he has done for other people. He has outstanding customer service and I don't know anyone who was unhappy with a bass they got from him.
  19. my dream bass would be one of three...

    A Wal MK II bass (I could also live with a MK III or even a MK I, but MK II would be my preference)

    A Rickenbacker 4001 Chris Squire edition (only 1000 made in the early 90's). I don't think I would settle for any other Ric except this one, unless there is one that sounds identical.

    Lastly, an Ovation Magnum I or II bass (not really sure what the differences are). This one would be the most affordable within my means. I see them for usually no more than 1 grand online, whereas the Wal and 4001 CS Ric would cost anywhere from 4-5g, however they are very rare to come by but there doesn't seem to be nearly as big of a demand for these puppies compared to wals and rics. I'm happy with what I've got now (a knock off version of a Stingray made in eurasia) but I feel like everyone and their uncle plays one. I'd feel alot more in my own element with something like an Ovation Magnum...
  20. Simple. 60's spec Thunderbird II. Only difference would be a functionaly intonable bridge unlike the original. I'm not interested in Mike Lull's bolt on version and the current Gibsons don't have the original style chrome pickup and the 3 point bridge blows. Fender has offered it's same design for over 60 years yet if you want the coolest long scale bass Gibson ever made you're S.O.L. unless you pay through the nose for vintage. What's up with that?

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