SOLD Custom J - Fender, Allparts, Audere, Dimarzio, Babicz, Hipshot - 4 pickups

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by Doner Designs, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Custom Fender Spec Jazz Bass – Doner Designs Prototype - $1,000

    This bass was built as a prototype and for personal use. We build for charity auctions and do not build guitars or basses for sale - this piece is a gently used personal item that I would like to sell simply because I want to build another jazz bass. I like building more than playing. Goal is to fund a personal build project, so I'm not interested in trades.

    Asking price is $1,000 shipped, which is about 40% off the estimated $1,700 new street price of the parts listed below. This particular bass definitely has some sentimental value for me, so I may not move much on the price at this time.

    • Allparts J neck with black inlays and gloss finish - $500 new. Truss rod adjustment is at the heel, but with the hard finish, including fingerboard, it’s very stable. Quality/feel is amazing - as good as my Stingray.

    • Three piece maple body routed for four pickups, battery box and preamp cavity with natural finish – $150 new

    • Three Dimarzio Area J pickups - $200 new

    • Dimarzio Willpower neck pickup - $100 new

    • Audere 4 band pro-Z preamp - $200 new

    • Babicz bridge – $120 new

    • Hipshot tuning machines and Xtender - $150 new

    • Tonestyler 6 - $75 new

    • Custom Marcus Miller style red tort pickguard – $100 new

    • Eight knobs, switches and other misc parts - $100 new

    • Shipping in Continental US - included
    Controls are master volume, master tonestyler, bridge-pair volume, neck-pair volume, bass, low-mid, high-mid and treble. Toggle switches are on/off for each pickup and a Z mode switch for the Audere preamp. The dual jacks both get the same signal but make it easy for connecting two amps. Tonestylers are designed for passive circuit use, so the effect on this bass, particularly with the flatwound strings installed, is quite subtle. Condition is excellent but not mint. There are a few tiny surface/finish nicks and blemishes (bass has never left my smoke-free house). There is also a spot near the mudbucker where the pickguard does not lay perfectly flat - it's perfect for storage of a pick but I forgot to photograph it.

    A photo of the body without the pickguard is included so as to be full disclosure about the fact that the routing dates back to our earliest days. She’s a little ugly under the hood, but the buyer will own a piece of Doner Designs history (for what little or much that might be worth to someone). Routing was done manually with hand drill, dremel and chisel.

    Currently strung BEAD with LaBella flats with G string included. Will change to EADG before shipping if buyer desires. The 442 plate on the back is taped for one of the pictures (refers to 4 band EQ, 4 pickups, 3 coils per pickup). I never routed it for rear entry. The plate is included and I’m willing to cut out the back door for an additional charge. I would drill mounting holes and install the plate (without routing) for no charge. An Olds 442 die cast model is also included.

    Thanks for looking.





    IMG_0089.JPG IMG_0095.JPG IMG_0092.JPG IMG_0098.JPG IMG_7724.JPG IMG_8426 CROP.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
    etherealme likes this.
  2. Ballin'bass


    Jun 16, 2014
    Madison, WI
    Dude this is SERIOUSLY cool. I would love to see how this thing sounds. First hand, I mean. Too bad I am totally broke. Seems like a good price for a sweet build.

    Don't suppose you have any sound samples of this beast of a bass-thing?
    Doner Designs likes this.
  3. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Thanks! Sorry I don't have clips and it's not really in my skillset to do them, but will try to describe. Two of the J pickups are in standard position, so those sound like any J bass. The additional bridge pickup is too thin by itself but sounds great paired with the other pickups because it seems to add some punch. The Willpower is wired in parallel and has a very deep tone but is a lot more articulate than a mudbucker or even a normally wired Willpower. The two outermost pickups sound great together if you roll off the far-neck a tad to balance things off.
  4. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    After a few requests for clips, let me try doing a more thorough job of describing the tone...

    Two of the J pickups are in the standard positions and the pickups are DiMarzio Area J which sound like vintage singles without the hum (they are inline split coils). The extra J pickup is more growly and thin. You can use it by itself if you add some bass boost with the onboard preamp, or when paired with another pickup it sounds great too. As with a piezo, it gives fingerstyle playing more of a plucky sound.

    The Willpower is wired in parallel to reduce the output and give it a more balanced tone. It's still much deeper and a little higher output vs the J pickups but is much more useful than the traditional series wiring. My favorite setup is to pair the far neck pickup with the far bridge pickup and roll off the neck just a hair.

    The Audere preamp is very tansparent. When set flat it sounds exactly like passive and it doesn't add any gain. The nice thing is that with 4 bands of EQ you can use any single pickup and balance out the tone using the preamp.

    One thing I learned from this bass is that the next time I build a 2 pickup J bass I want to put the bridge pickup in the 70's position (which is about 1/2 inch closer to the bridge). I might also move the neck pickup an inch or so closer to the neck.

    Hope that helps. I know I'm a little overpriced for a parts bass because I'm not very motivated to sell at the moment - I have two other build projects in the works (one for me and one for charity). I'll listen to cash offers (no trades please) and may drop the price a bit when I get caught up on other projects and am ready to start another build.

    One more thing - there is a slight pucker in the pickguard near the Willpower - works perfect for storing a pick. Photo added here since I already have 10 in the original post.

    Thanks for looking!

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015
    etherealme likes this.
  5. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Price dropped from $1,200 to $985 (to 60% of parts value).
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  6. etherealme

    etherealme Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Whoo! Look at the knobs on this one! Wow. I too would love to hear all of the tone options you've described. Wish I could drop dime on this today. This thing looks pretty sweet and gnarly all at the same time. Audere Babicz and Dimarzio alone are stellar combinations for a jazz. :thumbsup:

    Good luck with the sale. The price is right if you ask me!
    Doner Designs likes this.
  7. Doner Designs

    Doner Designs Steve Doner Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2012
    Metro Chicago Area
    Doner Designs is an alias for Steve Doner
    Sold on for asking price - $1,000 shipped.
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