Custom neck inlays?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RS, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    About how much would a luthier charge to put some
    block inlays in a maple neck? Would this change the tone? Any other concerns?
  2. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Probably would charge the same amount that it would cost to buy a custom neck from warmoth...they make bass necks with black block inlays and binding...I'm gonan get my neck from them if I can't seem to get a graphite neck like I want.
  3. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    just outta curiosity, anyone know about more elaborate inlays put onto an existing bass body? as in warrior style, but not so elaborate... just curious.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    The cost is largely going to vary with several factors, such as;

    - Do you want whole abalone/mother of pearl shell slices used or Ablam? Or shell at all?
    - The luthier. Some luthiers are more expensive than others. One may charge by the hours spent on it, another by the entire job (like the inlay being done on my custom).

    I own one bass with large blocks of mother of pearl inlay in an ebony neck - it doesn't sound any different than plain ebony I've played. Like the wood, shell is hard and dense.

    No other concerns whatsoever. It just feels, sounds, like the wood and doesn't get as dirty over time.

    The only thing I would be concerned with is the luthier's inlay skills. I was in a luthier's shop not long ago and his rather crude inlay looked like it might pop out in a year or so. The seams where it met the wood were huge.
    Then there are real inlay artists like Larry Robinson -

  5. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I just bought a new bass with no fret markings except for tiny dots on the neck binding, which are barely visible in bright light.

    This is the first bass I have ever had with no markings on the fret board. I love everything about the bass except this. It's an expensive neck through so only a skilled luthier will be trusted with the job.

    I don't want anything elaborate and was hoping it could be done without removing the frets.

    Can anyone help me out here?
  6. Bassmouse3


    Nov 12, 2001
    Valby, Denmark
    :D Hey Nanook! Good news! I'm guessing it's a warwick, not that it matters... Anyway, if what you're asking for simply is getting fretboard dots on the fingerboard face (3,5,7 and so on...), it is actually dirt cheap, atleast in my experience. It's just a matter of drilling holes the size of the dot inlays, with a special drill. Any competent luthier will be able to do this in a matter of an hour or so.
    Just one question though; don't you think it's a shame to inlay a nice uncluttered fingerboard? At least just consider having the dots on the edge of the fingerboard enlarged for improved visibility onstage.
    Bets of luck, Bassmouse3
  7. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Sounds like good advice. Maybe the dots could be a little bigger but not much as the binding is pretty thin.

    Maybe in time I would get use to it anyway. I will wait a while before deciding.

    Maybe some kind of stick-on marker would work????? Anybody ever see anything like this??

    Actually, it's an Elrick but I have been eyeing a Warwick fretless. Seams like a lot of the more expensive custom shop basses don't have fret markers.
  8. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I know what you mean Nanook. I am going to be ordering a Cirrus and it doesnt have markers on the fretboard either. It is going to take me a bit of time to get used to that.
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    If you wanted to see if if you could get used to just having larger side markers, to keep the front clean-looking, why not try small stickers or a little paint on the side to try out the visual effect?
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Nanook - This place manufactures inexpensive, stick-on/applique inlays in many designs. They are real abalone in your choice of shell.

    They say they're "permanent but removeable" (oxymoron time :confused: ). I guess they mean they don't slip around but you aren't stuck with them for life.
  11. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I'd love to get one of the 5" x 9" sheets and put it on the face of my Ashbory, but I don't think it's worth the $$$$, unfortunately.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    That would cost almost as much as the Ashbory, wouldn't it? At least you wouldn't have to worry about killing body resonance - what body?!?!

    It would be cool, though. The closest thing I've seen is what our guitarist had in my first band - a Dwight (read - Supro) with a pink, totally mother-of-toilet-seat, body. We were all ashamed of it and nowadays people would sell their mothers for it.
  13. You could get some of the straight Paua Abalam purflings from stewmac make and racing stripes. :eek: :D
  14. Doesn't Larry Robinson rock??? I'm taking a class with him in April....I can hardly wait! :D

  15. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I just want to put 1 miserable custom Inlay at the 12th fret. But I dont think that I can do it here in Ecuador.
    I could posibly learn how to do it myself, but I dont want to risk my Warwick.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    You are one fortunate woman, Lisa. (Forget the beads when you finish the class! ;) ).

    I agree - he rocks immensely.....more because he executes the customer's vision rather than his.

    So, when you finish, let me know when I can get some inlay that is just nutz done!
  17. hey nanook, do you actually use the markers on the face of the neck, or is it just a cosmetic desire? because it occured to me that i never even look at them, i just go by the ones on the side of the neck. i'd have to hunch over to make use of the ones on the front.
  18. I'll definitely let you know. I'm really excited about it! I wanted to get into the December class, but didn't have the cash, so now I have to contain myself for 5 whole months! :eek:

  19. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    warrior basses has a custom inlay shop in-house, i do believe...
  20. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    I must say, there are some excellent ideas here. The shell stick on's look great.

    Never realized that I do notice the fret markers until I got a bass without them. Mostly they are noticeable when sitting down practicing but they are also useful on stage.

    After a little experiment, which involved putting on some paper stick on dots, I found that all I really needed was some bigger dots on the side where they are now. The existing ones aren't much bigger than this *.

    The paint idea may be best. The reason is that the bigger dots have a larger diameter than the thickness of the fretboard so permanent markers would overlap into the neck wood and the stick on's wouldn't stay put with the palm on the hand rubbing on them constantly. The paint would only be on the surface and could be removed.

    The other option might be having the L.E.D. markers installed. does anyone have these and do you like them? How much does it cost to have them installed?