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Choose a body wood and pickup for my custom fretless 5.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pickles, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Instead of selling this bass:


    I think I'm going to build a new body for it instead. This one was an OK effort, but its pretty messed up.

    What I want from you guys is help choosing body wood and a pickup.

    I think I'm going to stick with Poplar for the body, which seems to compliment graphite really nicely. I was also thinking about mahogany or alder. Pretty sure I'm going to copy my lakland DJ5 for the shape. Maybe poplar with some kind of top? I'm going to order a body blank from Warmoth.

    More importantly: the pickup. You can see I routed a few positions, but found that that bridge pickup sounded best by itself. It is a little toward the neck from where a J bass bridge pickup would be. I'm thinking of going with a wider aperture humbucker in the same basic position, to fatten up the sound a little but retain the character. I had also though about an MM tri-coil with the rear coil in the same location as this one, so I could still get this same basic sound, or use both for more bottom end.

    I don't really have a "design goal" in mind, since I don't actually play fretless much at all, I just want to make a cool bass. Lets hear some ideas.
  2. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    How about Korina? Fairly cheap, warmer tone and looks cool ... not sure Warmoth will do a blank out of it for you though.

    If you want to stay with poplar it might be cool to get some cool top like a spalted wood of some type.
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    If you are just going to get a body blank, you should really consider going with Larry at Gallery Hardwoods.

    I could be wrong, but I imagine that Warmoth will charge a premium for the wood even if you are just getting a blank. After all--they are a retail organization who purchased the wood from someone else, right? Why pay a middle man when you are planning to do the work yourself?
  4. I like EMG 40 series pups for fivers. Nice clarity with a BTC, priced within reason and easy to find, new or used.
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Not a bad idea. I love my Korina MTD ... anybody out there have a korina fretless?
  6. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    If you have contact info, please send it my way!
  7. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    It all depends on what kind of sound you want. All of the mentioned woods would make great bodies. You might also through ash in the mix. It also might depend on what top you intend on using, if any.
  8. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    I thinking Korina as well. Walnut also works very nicely for fretless.
    As for the Pickup, I find MM style pickups in the bridge position sound great. Carvin makes a fairly inexpensive yet very good pickup like that.
  9. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    OK, then, I'm thinking: Korina body with a stain (maybe crimson), and single Nordstrand pickup, either an MM5.3, Dual Coil, or FatStack.

    A white pearloid pickguard and front routing sounds appropriate to me.
  10. Bassosaurus


    Aug 27, 2005
    I'm thinkin' that's going to be pretty heavy in a Lakeland sized body like your're talking about - though i'm not positive on korina's weight.

    I'd stick w/ alder (my choice w/ that neck), light ash, or poplar - add a top if you wish - walnut (as said) is supposed to compliment a fretless well. bubinga might be nice, I really like it's red/brown shade. even korina just for the top if you find a nice piece.
  11. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    I'll throw a vote in for Butternut (a member of the walnut family). I wish I could tell you what my fretless w/ butternut body sounds like...but, it's not here yet... :bawl:

    Also big throw down for Larry @ Gallery. You'll find no better...
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Hmmmm. I do love my Alder/Walnut modulus Q5 :bassist: