Custom bass - need help wirth specifications fairly quickly

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Belka, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Hi all,
    I am writing to ask for some advice about choosing woods and other options for a six string custom I have in the works. I have to be fairly quick however because in two months' time, the luthier is moving to The States full time to start work for a well known guitar maker.

    So the options so far : (probably) singlecut six string bass with wide spacing, Hipshot aluminum bridge and (I think) Gotoh tuners (I can choose gold or black) Pickups will probably be Bartolini custom wound humbuckers, although I could also use EMG, and as for circuits, either Bartolini 3 band, EMG, or maybe, if the guy can get one, the Fodera Mike Pope circuit.

    The bass will have a maple neck and be either set neck or neck through, but I really can't make up my mind about the body woods.

    I can have Northern ash, mahogony, walnut or alder for the main body, and either walnut, bird's eye or flame maple, or purpleheart for the top.

    I would be grateful if you could give me ideas about good wood/pickup combinations. I am after a tone which is modern, yet still with plenty of growl and punch when needed. I really like the Fodera, and MTD sounds, although I know they're different, I'm just a bit lost with all these options.
  2. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Bump! Can anyone help
  3. Faceley


    Dec 28, 2003
    North Carolina
    well i would def go with the mahogony for the body of the bass...that's because it is a widely used wood for making basses, and is proven to give great sound. bookmatching the top is all in ur tastes go with what looks the most pleasant to u. as for the pickups i would go with the barts but if u can get the fodera go for that. well i hope i helped u out a little bit. goodluck

  4. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    From what I've heard..... If you are going to order custom Bartolini pickups, the bass won't be done in two months. There's appearently a loooong waiting list for those.

    As for wood choices, IME Mahogany will give you a nice all-around tone. Not to bright, not to "warm"... If it's a fretted bass I'd probably go for Ash or Alder for that "growl" and "punch"...
    Top wood (unless very thick) won't affect sound too much. It's eye candy.
    Also appearently a neck through will have less punch and more sustain compared to a bolt-on - if I remember correctly - so a set-neck should be sort of in-between then, I guess. (I am going for the set-neck option on my next custom BTW.)

    Hope that helps?
  5. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Is neck going to be more than one piece?
    Body wood Mahogany, make sure it's Hondorus, and light.
    You can go wrong with eather maple or a walnut top.
    When dealing with a custom made bass, its more important, that wood is aged and dryed properly.
  6. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Thanks for the advice. I think I am leaning towards a mahogony body with either a maple or walnut top.

    The neck will be one piece. No laminates.

    I know that EMGs are fundamentally bright and clean, whereas Barts are a little darker with rich mids. Which do you think would be the best match for mahogony? Like I said, the Barts are custom wound humbuckers, so I can't really say whether they are towards the brighter or darker end of the Bartolini spectrum. The luthier said that they are very similar to the Barts that go into Foderas.
  7. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Bump! any more advice?
  8. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Who will you get to build this for you? Why don't you ask them for suggestions about different combination. Afterall, someone like Bill Conklin, Carey Nordstand, Chris Stambaugh, Elrick, Fodera, etc. have been doing this for years and could probably answer your questions a LOT better and more accurately than we ever could.