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Cons of a thin Bass?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Porkbun, May 5, 2010.

  1. Porkbun


    Mar 10, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    Im thinking about building a bass and wondered if the body being 1" thick will affect it negatively in any way. I have never heard of such thin basses or guitars (no one measures? Thinnest I can think of is Ibanez SR300) and Summer is coming up and I wont spend a year farting around the house doing nothing. Is it doomed before it even starts, or is it crazy enough that it just might work? Or am I just behind the times? :eek:
  2. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Nothing wrong with a thin bass, just make sure its thick enough to be able to recess the pickups deep enough and can accommodate the pots and electronics you want to use. You should be able to get a neckthrough to be thinner than a setneck or bolt on...
  3. dblbass

    dblbass Commercial User

    Mar 24, 2007
    Beacon, NY
    Owner of MBJ guitars, Maker of fine sawdust for Carl Thompson Guitars
    I make my bolt ons 1 1/4" thick. It works great. Be careful about where you put the input Jack. I put mine on top but I build a "football" to give it more room.
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Like Beej said, pickup and cavity routes would need to be shallow. neck through would be wise.

    Perfect example of a thin one, is the Ibanez "S" series, however, I think the center is slightly over 1", which 'splains why it's a bolt on, then tapers off to the edges.
  5. PseudoSpaceman


    Jul 5, 2009
  6. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
    I am building a 1.25" thick bass right now. Make sure the pickups you choose aren't to tall to fit into the body properly. As mentioned already-- the shallow electronics cavity will restrict the types of active preamps (if you want one). Some of these circuits are attached to really large and long pots.
    Balance is also something to consider- a thin and light body may make the bass neck dive.
  7. Porkbun


    Mar 10, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    WOW that is thin. I dont plan on tapering it to the center though, but its proof that it can be done. :hyper:
    I feel like 1" is the thinnest you can get and still have enough room to fit everything else
  8. bassy7


    Jan 29, 2010
  9. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Bam !

  10. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I was uncomfortable when I built a few at 1", so I want a little thicker and found that I really love 1.25".
  11. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Oh yeah, I forgot about the prestige....

  12. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Maybe neck dive on a 5er might be an issue.
  13. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Yeah, you may want to consider what the lack of weight on the body, and what that will do with respect to ergonomics and neck dive.
  14. Sardine


    Feb 2, 2009
    I just snagged a Synsonics Steinberger copy (guitar, sue me) today, which measures 1 3/8" thick. It's routed for a humbucker, which is a little close, but with slimmer pickups you could easily go thinner, maybe even 7/8" with some reinforcement. The only reason 1 3/4" is the standard is that Leo did it that way. Remember, at that point players were used to jazz boxes, dreadnoughts, and doghouses. 1 3/4" was absurdly thin at the time.
  15. Porkbun


    Mar 10, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    Im speechless

    I plan on making it a 4 string and adding contours, no doubt
  16. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Not my creation but I bet it's a good sitter downer. :eyebrow:
  17. Stone Age

    Stone Age

    Apr 13, 2008
    The biggest drawback is like dblbass said, at 1 1/4" you barely have enough room for the input jack. Easily fixed with a football, or other type of surface mount. It can get tight with any kind of active electronics too.

    The pros of a lighter body are well worth it though, if that's what you're going for.
  18. i was wondering why the other day why people didnt taper the back of the body for weight relief. im starting to wonder how much weight i could take off my stingray this way.
  19. Porkbun


    Mar 10, 2010
    Stamford, CT
    Im still thinking about Active electronics. Wouldnt a wider cavity make more space? I would have to put the 9V flat on its side though.
  20. Frank Tuesday

    Frank Tuesday

    Jul 11, 2008
    Austin, TX

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