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"bodyless" bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ehque, Jan 10, 2006.

  1. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    hey guys, new to talkbass. just ordered a BTB1206E, its taking forever to arrive, and im already GASsing for another bass.

    wanted a really transportable one, so was looking at a bodyless bass. (a la chapman stick, but conventional playing style). wondering if i could get the 6 string neck-through neck from carvin, and slap passive soapbars and a bridge on it, with seperate outputs and no knobs on the bass.

    i think the pups will stick over the side quite a bit, and will need to back with crossbars of wood there. helps to hide the wires too.

    anyway my question really was, will the "body" part of this thing hold up to the string tension? cos the truss rod really only acts on the part with the fretboard...

  2. Add some slight body wings to encase the pups, and add a "natural edge" for your thumb to anchor on, saw off the headstock, get some bridge tuner sets, and make a small enclosure in the back for wiring, or wire straight to the jack and have at it. Sounds minty. give it a shot!

  3. klocwerk


    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Yeah, it'll be structurally sound, the wings are pretty much there for looks and a bit of tone. But you'll be seriously running the risk of smacking the pickups right off the bass if they're hanging over the edge. And if the p'ups are over the edge the bridge will be too, yes? not really sound design.

    My advice would be to pick up a steinberger copy, some guy's selling a body+neck Honer one for $100 in the 'for sale' forum. Pick that up, slap in some p'ups and electronics, and you're good to go. It's about as small as you can get and still be stable.

    If you really want to go with the carvin neckthru, slap some wood on the side of it to make the 'body' wide enough to support the electronics and bridge. That way you'll have stability.
  4. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Get a maple board, a good, dry, quartersawn piece. About 5x3/4x60 inches. Cut off some 15-20" and glue them to form the base for the pups, i.e. double the thickness (you will need this to avoid recessing the pups right thru the instrument...:eek: ). Taper off the neck part, shape it and flatten the fingerboard part. Add a headless tuner/string retainer kit and pups and jack and go!

    That is as simple it gets...

    If you still want the Carvin neck, yuo will have to add some thickness and width, to accomodate the depth and length of the pups - and also the jack.
  5. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    im thinking this design will warp fantastically without a truss rod. any ideas on that?

    also is it possible to build a bass neck very very straight then dump graphite reinforcement up the wazoo on it, so it doesnt warp? im talking about a fretless here. there's no point in bow on a fretless, right?
  6. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Warp? It will bend under the string pull, but I understand warp as something the wood does due to internal..mischief.:rolleyes:

    To fully neutralize the string pull is not possible, unless you make the neck really thick. The best effort you can do, still avoiding the truss, is to add a layer of graphite or top and back of the neck - actually the top should go to the bridge and the bottom at least to the pup. The top layer can then double as fingerboard. You should use a 3-4mm thick layer on each side, and make the center out of a perfectly quatersawn piece of stiff wood, eg ovangkol or - aspen! Aspen can be increadibly stiff, 20% stiffer than black maple, and is very lightweight.