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Considering a Warmoth build... opinions needed!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pablomigraine, May 11, 2011.

  1. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    So, for at least the last 6 months I've been struggling with the realization that I'm just not going to be satisfied with any "off the shelf" bass available in the sub $2k region, cannot afford a true custom, and have to find another solution. I've settled on one of two options... do a custom Carvin, or do a Warmoth build... Id like to hear from those who've done full Warmoth builds.... the good and the bad.

    The void that I'm trying to fill... or in other words, the bass I'm trying to own would look like this:

    Dinky J body; alder with flame top
    Reinforced maple neck & board
    2 Seymour Series II soaps
    Seymour preamp
    Leo Quan thru body bridge
    No pickguard or control plate

    I have access to an excellent shop here locally to do the final fretwork etc.

    After spec'ing this out, this build will cost me roughly $1500 labor and materials. Small price to pay for getting everything I want.

    Any warnings or recommendations from my fellow TB'ers?

    Anyone know anywhere else I can get this kind of package for the same or less?
  2. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Warmoth builds are a excellent way to get a bass you want that is not available on the market . With the few options you have listed it would probably be tough to find a bass that matches . I've done a few Warmoth builds and currently still own 3 of them . The only downside I can think of is they don't hold their value like a name brand " Fender,Lakland , Suhr" etc etc . will
  3. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    Yep, your Warmoth build will be top of the line. Lots of builders/assemblers started out using Warmoth to put together "high end" customs for people. Resale value is gonna kill you though. Have fun on the build.
  4. loinmute


    Feb 11, 2011
    Just remember to figure the scale length from nut to saddle (nodes)
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    I did a Warmoth build but used an Allparts fretless neck. I also bought a P bass with a Warmoth neck and sold the neck and put on an Allparts "Geddy" style neck.

    I would use an Allparts neck again in the future, in a heartbeat. The only way I would spend the money for a Warmoth neck is if it was something cosmetically that I just had to have. And, then, I would only do it if it was one of the new ones with graphite reinforcing rods. No more steel rods for me. Too heavy.

    According to my digital bathroom scale, my P bass is 1/2 a pound (at least) lighter now, with the Allparts neck. I like it a lot better in weight, looks, and feel. And I can't really say that I can tell it sounds better, but it definitely sounds at least as good. I changed strings at the same time, so that part is really hard to say either way.


  6. You won't be disappointed with Warmoth. I'm just building my 4th one that uses Warmoth neck/body. Put together another one that was a Warmoth neck on a MIJ body. I have only owned 1 Allparts neck, but didn't think the quality was in the same league. I have re-shaped 4 Warmoth necks though, as they were just too big for what I'm comfortable. I have one of their new slim taper necks on it's way, with the graphite rods. Looking forward to giving that a workout.

    You might need to check with them about the string through bridge. I'm not sure that's a standard option.
  7. It is now, but only for the Leo Quan Badass III with the string-thru option.
  8. DTF


    Feb 14, 2010
    how much is labor? 1500 seems high, If you have time id suggest doing the work yourself , youll save money and it will be fun and educational
  9. I agree. I also meant to say that the frets on my Warmoth necks have never needed and work to be playable. Ready to go right out of the box.
  10. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    That figure sounds about right. I did a recent Warmoth build and it ended up running me right around $1100 for the entire kit...

    But let me warn you: You may not like the result. Warmoth makes VERY high quality parts, but a good musical instrument is *not* just a bunch of assembled parts; I strongly suggest you find someone with a Warmoth neck and get the feel of it - they are well known to be a bit on the "chunky" side...
  11. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Is this true for the "slim taper" carbon fiber rod necks?
  12. Bassflute


    Jun 24, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: MTD basses and strings; Bergantino Amps & Cabs
    I love these two:



    And I was a guest clinician at a Bass Bash this weekend, and got to hang out with Bobby Vega, and he let me try his '66 Fender Jazz with active EMG's in it - they were kind of hyper-vintage sound (no tone controls, just active pickups). Man did THEY ever sound good, and dynamic range from hell! Incredible...course, so was Bobby's playing. I'm sure if you email EMG they'll tell you what he uses.

  13. kjbrowne


    Jun 14, 2005
    I have built 2 warmoths. The best part of building it yourself is that if its not exactly what you wanted, you are not afraid to tear it apart and replace something.

    I wouldn't hesitate using parts from any of the big parts makers. I even have a mighty mite fretless. Great neck, no worry about the quality of the fret job(because there arent any).

    Warmoth has some very pretty one and 2 piece bodys. If you finish it yourself you probably could build 2 for that price. Everyone has a red, white, blue or sunburst bass, but a natural finish is always unique. If you can wax your car you can do a truoil or poly finish. Go over to the luthiers forum and get a lesson on finishing.

    On the otherhand doesnt a Valenti go for about the price your looking at?
  14. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Does he offer the Dinky J / sadowsky style body?
  15. kjbrowne


    Jun 14, 2005
    Just go to his website. I think his stuff is built off of warmoth and usacg parts. He used to work for sadowsky so there is definately a resemblance.
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I debated both these options, but by the time I priced it out, I could have a really nice production bass for less.
  17. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    No one makes a production model with what I want....

  18. DTF


    Feb 14, 2010
    make it yourself, how did you come up with 1500? I built a walnut dinky J , rosewood neck ebony finger board , 4 band audere , nj4's hipshot bridge and ultra light tuners only thing I bought used was the body and pups, im pretty sure the parts were around 900 granted your body will be around 400 but you should still come in under 1000
  19. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    I arrived at this price using the warmoth online builder for the neck and body (including the finishing there) bestbassgear.com for the pickups and preamp, allparts for the hardware and miscl stuff (hardware, shielding paint etc) plus accounting for a very thorough fretjob and setup, as well as some personal engraving on the headstock, also I will be having my guy do the pickup routing since I want a special placement for them. I tried to be liberal with estimates, so I stand a chance of coming in under budget. I'm paying extra for the specific top and fb I want, plus upgrades for the nut install, graphite stiffening rods as well as a bunch of other stuff Warmoth now charges for that they didnt in the past....
  20. DTF


    Feb 14, 2010
    that makes sense , I know warmoth will route pups wherever you need ,for a price and it will retain the factory look of the finish and special top , sounds like youre gonna have a nice custom one of a kind bass great Idea good luck

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