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body question

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by GODSBASSMAN, Apr 25, 2015.



    Feb 2, 2005
    S. Carolina
    Ever thought about:
    How thin can a solid body bass be? With or without electrical potentiometers. No neck dive allowed. how could it be constructed?
  2. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

    For my build style, the main determinant of body thickness is the output jack. I've heard that 1.25" is about as thin as you can reasonably go, but you might be able to go thinner.


    Feb 2, 2005
    S. Carolina
    Well, the jack could be parallel. What about piezo setup...is that a very thin component? I know it needs a buffer. How thin is that?
  4. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    The Ritter Princess Isabella baritone guitar is said to be only 1" thick. Not that I've ever seen one in person.


    Feb 2, 2005
    S. Carolina
    This site supports your post. Pretty "Chiclet".
    Ritter Princess Isabella CO Baritone Guitar
  6. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I think some Ken Smith bassee are around 1.25" thick. You can use a side mounted barrel panel jack, which only needs a 1/2" mounting hole. The depth of the pickup route is the deciding factor for me. And if you are going bolt on, you need enough meat under the neck to be stiff. Best to do neck through if you 're making a very thin bass. Lace makes a very thin surface mount bass humbucker that could be used.
    scottyd likes this.
  7. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Ric basses are 1.25" thick, and the pickguard mount pots use up 1" of that depth. I suppose if you have just the thickness of a plastic control cavity cover below the pots you might get it to 1-1/8". What's driving the desire for something thinner? If you are concerned about weight, the body could be chambered. If its that light, balance will be an issue unless the top horn is pretty long.
  8. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    I'm NOT a builder. But my instincts say that the building materials are the ultimate deciding factor. By this I mean if cut thin, they are rigid enough to hold up against string tension. Carbon fiber build with a somewhat external output jack anyone?
  9. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The thinnest body would have to be neck- through design like a Ric, so the body thickness is determined by minimum neck thickness, which is around 1" on most basses, maybe 7/8" at the thinnest. Any bolt-on would need more meat under the heel.

    Edit: sorry, Hammerhead already said this, didn't read his post. What he said.....
  10. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I've built some thin ones, but have gone back to 1.125-1.5" thickness with chambering to control weight. I agree with gilmourisgod though, I think the body for practical and aesthetic reasons needs to be at least as thick as the neck, so you're looking at probably 7/8" or in that neighbourhood. You can buy tiny pots, so that's not an issue, a barrel jack can be installed in wood that thin, so as long as you had thin enough pickups, like those lace ones mentioned above, or a piezo setup, maybe even with outboard preamp, you'd get a thin bass...
  11. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    It depends on the profile. If the body is sculpted towards the edges it would look like a flying saucer (or a closed hi hat) when sighting down the neck. The edges could be wafer thin and widen to a stout enough piece to mount the bridge and controls. A Thunderbird has narrower wings than the middle, doesn't it?
  12. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I remember a verrrrrry thin Curbow a long time ago. You could cut bread with it.
  13. friendlybass


    Jul 19, 2012
    Put the electronics on the outside and youre limited to the thickness of the neck
  14. eulogy77


    May 14, 2008
    That was a a Greg Curbow american petite, I own 2 international petite but the american flat top petite is much lighter and thiner, to balance the neck dive he installed a tone block( a brass block under the bridge, for the ones that where rockwood
  15. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    I've gone as thin as 1" but wound my own pickups for it. pickup thickness is probably the most important faactor. AUDERE controls are great for thin bodies and tight control cavitys

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