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Custom Built Instrument (Cross between 6-string bass and guitar..)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by OysterBoy, Oct 2, 2005.


  1. OysterBoy

    OysterBoy

    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Is such a creation possible, and feasible?

    Some of the specs I'd need...

    Tighter spacing then is on a typical 6 string (but not as tight as on guitar).

    Thicker strings then on a guitar, but not as thick as a typical 6 string set; perhaps just low tension bass strings? Though they'd need to be thin enough to strum with...

    Guitar-scale fretboard (slightly longer, if possible... is that possible ?)

    Pipe-Dream :

    On-board "pedal" to alternate between low / bass octaves, and higher, more guitar favouring octaves.


    Is any of that possible, and if so, would it even be worth it?

    Now, what I'd want it for...

    I'm a huge fan of slap bass; but its just not my thing, I can slap, but only barely; and to be honest, I don't want to learn it. It sounds terrific, but its not for me. I prefer fingerstyle, through and through. Now, I've tried learning guitar, but I'm too far dug into bass to commit and really learn guitar; mainly because of the strings. I just can't deal with those things, as again, I'm almost purely fingerstyle. That being said, blues-rockers have really opened my eyes to the "higher ground"; a sweet, squealing melody is something I'd like to be able to add my arsenal. So is it possible to compromise between these two instruments?
     
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Like... a baritone guitar?
     
  3. adouglas

    adouglas

    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
  4. OysterBoy

    OysterBoy

    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
  5. to me it sounds like you want a baritone guitar, but never the less, have you considered the charile Hunter type guitars?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    How about the Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom? I've got the Japanese version, the Jaguar Bottom Master. It's similar to the old Fender Bass VI, except the Bass VI had a 30" scale (like a short-scale bass) while the new Baritone Custom has something like 28.5". It's usually tuned EADGBE - the lowest four are the same as a regular bass (you can also think of it as an octave below a regular guitar). Do a search for jaguar baritone custom and I bet some stuff will pop up...
     
  7. OysterBoy

    OysterBoy

    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    That doesn't look bad at all.

    How much, just guesstimating, would such a project cost, from scratch ?
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have been considering a similar instrument for pretty much exactly the same reaons! So consider me quite interested, too! I've also considered the Danelectro baritone guitar, or maybe a custom instrument. I think TBer Phil Maneri ("Uncletoad") of Fifth Avenue Fret Shop in Columbus, Ohio used to make some baritone guitars. I've also talked to Pete Skjold about building me one.

    Tom.
     
  9. OysterBoy

    OysterBoy

    Sep 19, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    The most critical thing, it would seem (to me), is to have the right string spacings. Not so wide as to make strumming a workout / nuisance, but not so narrow as to limit playing to almost soley picking. Beyond that, the rest of the issues can easily be solved / dealt with (besides a bass-scale neck, which makes strumming / chords a bit more difficult), for example, a digitech wammy pedal (I believe thats the unit) can cover the octave shifts.

    I'll definatley worm out some more info on such a project; not just for this one in particular, but in actually building an instrument (Such as cost, process, physics / science involved, etc).

    Add me to MSN if you're also interested in pursuing something like this.

    alx754@hotmail.com
     
  10. why not buy a guitar with a wide string spacing and buy an octave pedal?
     
  11. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    "Yea, too bad it's ugly as sin, and just doesn't seem quite right."

    [​IMG]

    hey dude this is my e-e ernie ball silo bass and pretty much outplays shergolds and vis ... until you acctually play one you will never really know and dont for one second mix up one of these babies with the chinese OLP...it might look similar but thats all it is.

    ps.. the korean schecters arent cutting it on the pickup front and the japanese fender jag customs are a little short and cant quite hold it on the low e. Apparently there is a low e bari ultra out????

    danelectro... never heard amazing things ...now the gretch sounds like it might be worth a twirl but all these guitars are made in asia as far as i can tell..good luck.
     
  12. well, there is always the fender bass VI, it has a longer scale than the barijag, but its also more expensive
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    For you guys who have played them, do you have any thoughts on which would be easiest for a bass player to pick up and play chords, etc? It sounds like OysterBoy and I have similar experiences. I do own an electric guitar (and an acoustic), but the string spacing is my main issue. My big fingers just don't like the skinny neck. I can play guitar okay, but I think I could play better if I had an instrument that fit my hands more comfortably.

    So, for playing it like a guitar (but with more roon), which instrument is the best choice? Or all they all about the same?

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  14. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu

    1600usd sould see you right..but thats just the japanese version.
     
  15. DaveBeny

    DaveBeny

    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    How about this:

    [​IMG]

    It's a custom Status Electro that was built for Jonas Hellborg a couple of years ago. Rob Green will build it on a custom basis.

    Spec:
    EADGBE tuning
    32.5" scale
    26 frets
    14mm string spacing at bridge
    80mm deep body

    Jonas has no problems slapping, playing fingerstyle or strumming chords on his.
     
  16. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    32.5!! thats moving away from the 30 inch limit into shortscale bass territory ...if its more than 95 on the low e..well the tone will be all wrong.

    having said that it looks like it might be fun!
     
  17. hieronymous

    hieronymous

    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Just looked at your blog - I think I'm beginning to understand what you're looking for. Let's see if I've got this straight: You already play bass, huh? But you also want to play something that's more "guitar-like," with extended range and wider string-spacing than a regular guitar.

    I wonder if the Fender Bass VI style instrument might be either a) too narrow string-spacing-wise, and b) too low? Maybe something more like an A-A baritone? It seems like some people are buying the new Jaguar Baritone Custom and stringing it B-B or A-A - that is, between a bass and a guitar. Do you want to be able to play real "bass" on it, or do you you want to play guitar? I don't think you can play full chords on the Bari Custom - too muddy - but it seems like people are playing 3 or maybe 4 note chords on the upper strings. But I think those folks have guitar chops already! I use mine to play single note stuff, but I should point out that I use it with a pick 95% of the time...

    Am I off the mark here?
     
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    If your directing your comments to me (as opposed to OysterBoy), then at least for me, yes, you have hit the mark exactly. But, if possible, I'd like to keep standard tuning, as I already know my chords fairly well on electric guitar. I'm sure I'd do some single note playing (with fingers, if possible), but yes, I want to be able to play chords (like a guitar).

    Now, I have picked up some (standard tuning) baritone guitars and cranked out some chords that sounded alright. I can see where it might be bit on the thick side, but I think I could EQ that to an acceptable level.

    So far, that Ernie Ball Silo Bass looks pretty darn intriguing.

    Tom.
     
  19. zazz

    zazz

    Feb 27, 2004
    Cebu
    fair point... if you go for the e-e on a 28-30 scale then you pretty much rule out bar chord stuff...these guitars are set up for two string chords or one string bass fills. If you go for the a-a then the possibilities for further 3 string stuff comes into play ..but even then a power chord is going to require some heavy amplification to handle the overtones in a measured manor.

    i must add that the silo bass is so well made ...it takes on the advantages of the stingray in terms of being able to slap and pop it and also you can play it gently like a vi. But like a silhouette guitar ..put some A-A,s on it and you can really do something with it. Also bare in mind that the silo has 10 pickup settings emulating both serial vi and humbucker shergolds...very versatile

    The vi is all about tone which is caught up in the jazzmaster bridge arangement but you cant slap it ..it just isnt done on this guitar. .

    if you want a straightforward a-a guitar and keep the costs under control well the jag customs would excell in this area.

    If you do go for the e-e in the end be very prepared to hear how many tracks by bands such as New Order, The Cure, Placebo and The Cocteau Twins get their individual sound..its all a product of a 95 low E set on a 30 inch scale....not to mention the 50s type sounds like Twin Peaks.