Building a Bass in Western Australia

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Soulbanana, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Soulbanana


    May 7, 2004
    I'm thinking of getting a bass built for me by a local builder. He's made quite a lot of guitars in the past, but he's only just getting into basses.

    He built me a Tasmanian Mahogany Jazz V body for a Warmoth neck that I bought and it was pretty well done. It was finished very well in Daphne Blue with a nitrocellulose lacquer and the finish was thin and not like the M&Ms finishes you see on many Fenders. The bass sounds great but it weighs a ton.

    I'm thinking of getting him to build me a narrow-spacing 5-string next, almost as thin as a Soundgear neck but not so cramped at the nut, together with a downsized Jazz-shaped body which will be lighter.

    As such, I would appreciate advice on woods, hardware, electronics etc.

    I'm looking for something a bit darker-sounding, almost like a Larry Graham-ish tone. I was thinking of the following specs to start with.

    Downsized 5-string Jazz-style, blackwood core with lacewood drop-top

    34" scale, curly maple, graphite reinforced, 2-way trussrod

    Suggestions? I was thinking of Honduras Rosewood or Cocobolo

    Bartolini XX58S(P), 59 J1L1 (J), NTMB preamp

    Hipshot "A" bridge, Hipshot Ultralite 4+1 tuners

    I'm going to be using this bass for lounge-funk gigs around the Perth metropole, almost like Medeski, Martin & Wood, Porterhouse Quintet, Me'shell NdegeOcello, Erykah Badu kinda thing.

    I've heard that the PJ configuration takes out a lot of low-mids when both pickups are panned even. Is that true?

    Am I on the right track here? If I decide to go ahead, it will be done by early February next year. He's killer with inlays so I'm going to get him to do a Puaua shell thing on the headstock, and one more on the 12th fret.

    'Till then, thanks in advance for the advice, and take care everyone.

  2. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I think the best advice I could give you would be too look at the Warmoth site and all their descriptions of woods. Really good info on lots of stuff. Luthiers corner or whatever it's called is also good.
  3. Soulbanana


    May 7, 2004
    Hi! Thanks for your help. I've already checked out the Warmoth site. I have a Jazz Deluxe V built from their parts.

    I was looking for anybody who might have built a similar bass, especially with the pickup configuration.

    Thanks anyway!
  4. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I've not got experince with the sort of bass you're building, but in the pickups section here you'll find a stickied thread at the top by SMASH with a few reviews of J pups. Also use the search in the same forum for "Dimentos" and "Dimento" as luknfur did a whole series of pickup comparisons and they make interesting reading.

    Another good site for tonewood descriptions is

    Keep us up to date on the progress of your axe.