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Best custom basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deguello462, May 3, 2006.

  1. Deguello462

    Deguello462 Guest

    May 3, 2006
    Hey guys, just wondering if you could give me some advice on who you would think some of the best custom bass manufacturers are. I've been looking into both Ken Smith Basses and Warwick Custom Shop. I'd appreciate any input anyone has.:help:
  2. Not to say any one of the three is 'better' than the rest, but I've owned 2 Smiths & over a dozen Warwicks, but much prefer my Stambaughs. For less than either Warwick or Smith, you'll get a completely custom piece, unlike any bass in the world, if you like.
  3. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
  4. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA

    Yeah, Carl Thompson...all you have to do is wait about 6 years and one can be yours. :eyebrow:
  5. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
  6. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
  7. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    Meh, IMO Jens stomps their cookies any day.
  8. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    Wal basses are something else, but like Carl Thompson, be ready to wait a couple of years...
  9. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    Designer: Beav's Graphics
    Mmmmmm Wal
  10. didn't he stop taking orders?
  11. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    Deguello462, your probably better off trying instruments yourself. Your question will result in everybody mentioning their own instruments, or one the ones they wish they'd had. You might hear a few new luthiers' names and they might all be good, but in the end it's up to what you prefer/like/choose.
  12. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    Jerzy Drozd takes the cake for me.
    Next in line come Benavente.

    If you've got the cash, check out Nordstrand, Benavente, or Conklin. They're all killer.

  13. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    All the suggestions above will result in a high quality instrument. The best will be determined on which of these can make the bass that best fits your specification/idea of what you want. The thing about true custom basses is they are tailored for the individual and one persons dream can be anothers nightmare.
  14. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    Very true. Also remember that a lot of these guys specialize in a particular kind of instrument with a particular kind of sound. Don't go to Roger Sadowsky asking for a lucite-bodied 9-string electric upright, bedazzled with rhinestones. He might recommend someone but he probably won't make it.

    Back before I realized my playing was more worthy of a dimestore bass than a boutique bass, I shopped around for the perfect cu$tom axe. Spent a fair amount of time talking to Roger, Mike Tobias, and Rick Turner. They all had nothing but praise for each other, and were fast to concede that any comparison was apples and oranges ... each one had a completely unique vision and unique sound.

    The tricky part for you is to figure out whose vision and whose sound best matches what you're lusting for.
  15. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Supporting Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Palm Coast, FL
    For me, the best custom basses come from Ken Lawrence. I have one of his Brase 5's and it is my #1 bass.

    FWIW, I also have a Sadowsky 5-24 (#2), a MTD 535 (#3), a Lakland 55-94(#4) that I use on a regular basis, but I ALWAYS come back to the Brase.

    Dan K.
  16. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
  17. Hands down, it's got to be Wish.

    :bag: :p :smug: Sorry, I had to. hahaha
  18. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    The best custom bass for you is the one that suits your needs best - the one that you like the most.

    IMO there is no point asking which one is the best. Most of the luthiers you'll get recommended here are all good, but different. It all depends on what you want, what you need.
  19. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I love Jerzy Drozd basses, let me add myself to the list of people who consider them the best customs in the world. Beautiful and from what I've heard the playability and tone matches (I exchanged PMs with a Signature 5 owner a while back and he was one very happy man indeed).

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