Coral Wasp inspired build - The Calabrone

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JIO, Nov 17, 2017.

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  1. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    So basically I saw this bridge, thought about it for a bit and then ordered one for my new retro build (that I decided upon simultaneously). I've always loved the Coral Wasp and it's Silvertone cousin the Hornet. I got to see/hear a Hornet up close as the bass player in a band we were sharing the stage with had one. The Wasp was made for less than 2 years in the late 60's - one of the last of Dannelectro's products before the Neptune NJ plant went under. The guitar version was badged the Vincent Bell Professional. The Wasp was short scale (29-3/4"), and the Silvertone Hornet was 34" scale. The body shape is fairly close to the Teisco Del Rey's. There was a more recent (2003?) Dano revisitation of the Wasp, but I think it was also short scale. It had a 1-1/4" body like the Del Reys and current lipstick pu's are available. I want to design my own hs shape - probably closer to the Hornet and it will have a narrower Gibson-style set-back neck. (2-1/4" at the butt-end) Not sure if I'll go 1.5" or 1-3/4" like on my '66 P. I like playing the wider neck although I usually favor 1.5". Nothing is set in stone yet except the bridge which has 2" spacing.

    Set the Way-back machine for 1967 Sherman...



    s-l1600.jpg

    73-Coral-Wasp.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    My gosh, that's a great looking bass!
     
  3. JACink

    JACink

    Mar 9, 2011
    Spain
    I like the general vibe of the Wasp, I'm sure your personal touches will turn it into something awesome :thumbsup:
     
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  4. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Commercial User

    That pickguard is something else. I’ve always admired that material, whatever it is...
     
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  5. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Very cool platform for a custom build. I like the more exaggerated body on the hornet. The wasp has too much of a fender mustang vibe. 24957_00.jpg
    That pickguard is cool though. I wonder if you could use satin swirl drum wrap material to replicate that effect?
     
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  6. Cool. That and the Longhorn are my favorite Danelectro / Silvertone basses.
     
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  7. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I like them both, but I feel the Wasp body is a cleaner, clearer design and the 2 part pg/control plate is way cooler. One of the differences of the Wasp and Del Rey is that the upper horn on the Wasp is a bit stubbier/shorter, which could lead to neck-dive as a 34" scale bass. (as I said - the original Wasp was short-scale) The Del Rey was short scale also but had a huge head-stock so it was as long as a 34" scale bass and the longer upper horn kept it balanced. With all of this in mind I may even consider another 32" scale neck for this one. 32" with a wide 1-3/4" nut. Don't have anything like that and it could be pretty cool. Need to do some pencil and eraser R&D'ing on the scale issues which could lead to Del Rey'ing the upper horn. I also will keep the neck pocket like on the Wasp w/clear access to the upper frets. (the Hornet is more restrictive there) It'll keep the bridge from getting too low on the body also, which is one of the reason these ss basses look so cool. (more like a guitar with a lot of open space under the bridge)

    I have a lead on some NOS crazy plastic material that could work with this one. Aside from that, there are a few sources I can look into as well and I'll look into the drum wrap material. Once again the aim will be retro referential but not tacky. I mean, that swirly-pearl on the Wasp is awesome but is teetering on being kitchy - I don't want garish and if I can't find anything unusual that works I'll go for standard creme pearl which always looks cool.
     
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  8. Looks cool, I'm sure you'll do it justice. As said, that pickguard is sweet. I love how the chrome control plate wraps around the bridge to meet the guard.

    My only real input is that a 1 3/4" nut and 2" bridge spacing might feel weird. That's similar to the layout on my violin bass, and it definitely feels different than your average(Fender style) bass. I like it, but it's not for everyone.

    -Jake
     
  9. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    That works for me! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  10. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    :) Thanks so much for your support! I am digging that pressed metal control plate and thinking I could do something cool with clear lucite that would emulate those bevels. On the guitar version - they did a clear lucite addition that bridged the 2 pu's (additional scratch-plate?) on the treble side which had the "Vinnie Bell Professional" name printed on it. Maybe it was on the bass too as it was attached by the 3 screws on the treble side of the pg like on the example I posted.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  11. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    some background via Gbass -

    Unknown-2.jpeg

    Coral Wasp W2B4 Model Solid Body Electric Bass Guitar (1967), made in Neptune, NJ, Candy Apple Red lacquer finish, hardwood body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case. This is a lovely and extremely rare product of Neptune, New Jersey from the last days of the original Dannelectro company, part of their short-lived "Vinnie Bell Professional" Coral-brand line. After MCA bought Nathan Daniels' guitar and amp operation in 1966, they decided expand into more upscale instruments than the traditional Masonite-and-pine Danelectro creations that had proven successful in the first place. The very extensive Coral line consisted of both hollowbody instruments (with bodies sourced from Japan) and solidbody basses and guitars with slim Fender-influenced contours made entirely in the Neptune, NJ factory. These newer instruments were only in production for less than two years before MCA folded the operation entirely, leaving thousands of parts unused-many of which still turn up today! Authentic, factory-assembled original Coral models are actually fairly scarce today-at least compared to the very popular and budget-oriented Danelectro line. The Wasp bass is a short-scale 4 string (a 6-string bass was offered, but is even rarer) solidbody bass with a number of interesting features. The neck is the standard 24-fret Danelectro Longhorn blank fitted with a spliced on solid rosewood(!) single-sided headstock, with Kluson guitar-size tuners and a factory brass nut. The body is offset in the Fender Jaguar mode but more stylized, with a very thin tapered rim. The pickguard is a fantastic-looking silver swirl 3-D plastic perfect for reflecting psychedelic lights, with a smaller raised fingerrest guard below the strings that is adjustable for height. The bass mounts 2 of the familliar Danelectro "lipstick" pickups, with an elaborate control rig mounted on a sweeping chrome panel across the lower body. The controls consist of an individual volume knob for each pickup, a master volume and a bank of 4 slide switches, 2 acting as pickup on/off and 2 as tone modifiers. The finish on this example is very special-a Candy Apple Red nearly identical to what Fender employed around the same time. The Coral solidbodies were listed as available in "25 Custom Color" finishes on special order, of which this is one. This bass is likely one of a limited number produced at all, and may be nearly unique in this most attractive-and flashy-livery. A superb great sounding, easy playing instrument and a real connoisseur's catch in a 1960's 4-string!Overall length is 45 in. (114.3 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 29 3/4 in. (756 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.)
     
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  12. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I just did some rough measuring and for that body with a 32" scale neck, with a Fender sized head-stock and in the same bridge spacing as the Wasp, the overall length of the bass would be 47" which is longer than a Jazz but shorter that my '64 T-bird. Sounds like "just right" to my ears...
     
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  13. Love the lipsticks and the "bubble-like" appearance of the nicely rounded body. Of course, what could be better than a medium scale neck?

    Nothing in my opinion...

    :smug::smug::smug::smug::smug::smug::smug::smug:
     
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  14. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Hilarious! I've had a similar build in mind as well! My thinking was going towareds either a baritone or a 6-string bass in either medium or short scale and using lip-buckers.
     
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  15. Novarocker

    Novarocker Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2015
    Detroit
    Man I love those coral and wasp basses. They are some of the best looking ones from that era. Good on ya to build one, I'm sure it's going to be awesome all around!

    The curves of the body and the simple but snazzy flair that's unparalleled, IMO.
     
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  16. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Subbed...

    I always love your builds and I'm sure this one is no different.

    I like your style Bro.


    Moonshine :bassist:
     
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  17. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I seem to remember reading in a review of the current reissue of this guitar that the swirl pattern is a separate sheet of vinyl material under the clear pickguard. Might even be something like drum-wrap.
     
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  18. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    DO IT! :thumbsup: :bassist:
     
  19. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    It's on my "To Do" List My big problem is my 'Cool Ideas' list is growing quickly!
     
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  20. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    This is what I was thinking of doing for the control plate - (after a trip to Tap Plastic in SF and buy some thickish scraps of clear for cheap) I'll do the deep bevel on the edges and lay silver craft stock under it, and can do the same for the pg.
     
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