Cool (if not terribly original) bass idea, needs details

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GobyWan, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Alrighty, here's my idea. (Bear in mind that I won't be able to afford this for several years.) I want to have a complementary pair of basses custom-built as laid out below. What I'd like is exactly how these basses should be built and who should build them - lacking knowledge of woods, electronics, luthiers etc, I turn to you guys to enlighten me.

    Appearance: One (lacking imagination, we'll call it Fire) ought to be a bright red/orange (probably a burst or gradient of some sort) with a top wood reminiscent of (duh) flames and gold hardware, and the other (the Water one) should be a vivid aquamarine colour with a top that looks like (oddly) water and silver/chrome hardware. Pickup covers would be cool in complementary colours - yellowy-orange for the Fire bass and a darker blue or teal for the Water.

    Tone: I want the Fire one to be punchy, raw, powerful and suited to funk (fingerstyle and slap) and rock (fingerstyle and picked.) The Water bass, I'd like to be mellow and warm, suitable for quieter and more relaxed stuff, as well as solo pieces.

    Construction-wise, at least 24 frets (or equivalent on a fretless) is a must, as is a good preamp with a fairly wide tonal range. The Water bass may or may not be a fretless with flatwounds - I'm thinking that setup would be best for the tone I'm after, so I lean towards that, but other suggestions would be appreciated. The Fire bass will definitely be fretted and strung with roundwounds - if a zero fret will help the uniformity of the sound when playing slap, that's something I'd consider. I can currently only play a 4-string without getting mildly confused, so we'll assume that these basses are 4-bangers or 5's strung EADGC for now, although it would be far cooler if they were 7's or 8's.

    So, after all that, can anyone give me some specs on how these things would be constructed and who would be most likely to do it well? Thanks in advance.
  2. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Cant help much here, but check out Mgoods Carvin. The blue quilt maple one. It looks EXACTLY like water.
  3. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    any luthier would probly tackle that for the right price.

    i think Conklin, with melted tops, could do some awsome stuff using wave like patterns of contrasting stained woods to create "waves", and a similar flame style on the fire bass

    with any custom bass your looking at least 2k each most likey.

    Cheers PB

    btw, im starting to build 2 matching basses, one in fretless, one in fretted.....but im goin exactly identical looking ( as far as getting 2 tops from the same slab of wood, most likley m. Ebony, Figured bubinga, or something similar )
  4. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    as for constructions.....

    Fire bass:
    -woods..Bubinga body, wenge/purple heart neck, mixed woods top of blood wood, maple ( for flame tips ) cocobolo, redwood.

    -electronics...Music man style pup, one in bridge, one in neck,Aguilar 3 band EQ, 2 volumes, pushpull knob to activate preamp on the treble control, mid control( pushpull midrange freq), bass knob, passive tone control

    water bass:
    woods- Swamp ash or mahog body, maple/purpleheart neck
    lacewood,purpleheart, quilt maple top woods.

    electronics- somesort of jazz pups mounted bridge and neck, with a good smooth sounding P style mounted midway,
    Aguilar 2 band eq, stacked volume for jazz pups, pushpull pot for P pup with preamp bypass, stacked treble/bass control, master tone.

    thats just my sugestion, i think it would be cool : ) i may have to try to build a set lol
  5. I'd say a simple ash/maple for the fire. Ash body, maple (preferably birdseye!) for the fingerboard. The Water should be rosewood and mahogany or something.
  6. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I don't know about all of the specific specs or anything, but you gotta make the water bass fretless with round wounds. Put an ebony fingerboard on it and there won't be any worries of wear and tear, and you will get a beautiful lyrical mwah singing tone.
  7. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    hehe im thinkin more of an extremem set.....but hey, this aint my bass : P
  8. Just wanted to chime in - I like Pasda's ideas so far, extreme is definitely what I'm going for here. I want these things to be impossible to miss.

    Keep 'em comin'!
  9. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    not sure, but if you could stabalize /stain a "melted" fingerboard to make a wave would be pretty cool to.
  10. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD

    Ooooh, have the fretted on top, fretless on bottom. Melt in the middle between a quilted maple for the fretless and a flame for the fretted. Stain the top in a burst/fade of reds and oranges, and the bottom in blues.
  11. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    would be hard to blend stains like that, at least if you were using diff woods for the tops to blend them

    each wood takes stain diffrently.

    you could do a full on paint job, and so some awsome murial work.
  12. I reckon for fire:
    - Flame maple with overlapped orange and red stains.
    - Wenge fretboard and neck with purpleheart strips
    - 2 humbucker or single coil pups right near the bridge.
    - bolt on connection
    - Maybe a swamp ash body.

    For water:
    -Quilt, birdseye or bubbled maple top with overlapped blue and lighter blue stains
    -Mahogany body
    - Maple fretboard
    - Maple neck with purpleheart strips
    - neckthrough connection

    Thats what I'd go for!
  13. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Well I'm biased but I'll say 2 airbrushed fury's.

    Fretted = Fire
    -Hard maple body with huge growth rings
    -Maple FB
    -drop D tailpiece
    -ZP11R neck P/U and ZP 9 bridge P/U
    -Painted to look like whatever you want.

    Fretless = Water
    -Hard maple body with smaller growth rings
    -Pau Ferro FB
    -Drop tailpiece
    -ZP9R Neck P/U and ZP7 bridge P/U
    -Painted to look like whatever you want.

    Call me shameless but that's what I'd do.
  14. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Why not do 3 basses and name them Earth, Wind & Fire? :D
  15. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i would say take a look at the K6 Custom on page 2 of the NAMM Bass Pics thread... get a top like that and see if someone can dye/stain that to get the fire bass.

    then get a quilted top stained blue for the water.
  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Fire -
    Flame maple top
    Ash body
    Birdseye fb, stained
    Purpleheart stringers in a flamed maple neck
    MusicMan style humbucker in the bridge position
    Jazz in the neck
    Aguilar 3-band preamp

    Water -
    Quilted maple with hints of flame (trust me)
    Mahogany body
    Snakewood fingerboard
    Maple neck
    Bartolini pickups
    Aguilar preamp

    Both with matching pickup covers. I think I'd get them SCs from Chris Benavente, but have Michael Pedulla choose the topwoods and have him finish them. Take a look at the Pedulla booth pictures from Winter NAMM -- first thing I thought when I saw as blue Pedulla buzz was that it looked like water. It was quilted maple, with this tiny hint of flame in it. Looked PERFECT.
  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    If you want to do the four "ancient elements," you'll need to make four basses: earth, air, fire, and water.
  18. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Because I would have to find him and hit him. No one wants that.
  19. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    When you actually have the $6000+ that it will take to do this project, then contact a luthier and get their input.