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Do what they say cant' be done...A Warmoth Build

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by chadhargis, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    So, here I am, waiting for my new custom built Moonshine bass to be completed and I'm selling off basses and gear to fund it and re-evaluating my rig and what I like and don't like.

    In my stupidity....I sold one of the very best P basses I've ever laid hands on. My 2011 Fender American Standard Precision V. Strung with LaBella flats it had that old school vibe and after a little neck shim to allow me some more saddle height adjustment, she played like a million bucks. Was fairly light too, especially for a fiver. Stupidly, I sole 'er and I miss 'er so much.

    So I started hunting for a new P pass. A four string this time as the B string with flats on a P bass never just blew me away. It was functional, but I never really rode the B string on the P hard anyway. Mostly played music that didn't require it. I also wanted a good old vintage style P, and that's a 4 banger.

    I hunted high and hunted low. I went to every music shop in town. I played P basses from $149 to $3000. Obviously, the high dollar basses were excellent, but I'm not that cash flush. I set my budget to $1000. Figuring I could score a good used American Fender for that, or a new Mexican P. I tried to like the multiple versions of the Mexican stuff. Nothing excited me. I didn't bond with anything. Then I played a beautiful Lake Placid Blue with a tort pick guard Fender 60's Original....oh mamma. I liked it. LPB has long been my favorite Fender color. I even painted a pedal on my board LPB because I love it so much. I was in love. Then....two things jumped out at me. They are serious about the "vintage" part...looks like you have to remove the neck to do a truss rod adjustment. I could be wrong, but there was no cut out in the body to reach the adjuster. The second thing....the price. Nearly $2000! For a P bass. For a P bass that really has nothing special going for it. Just a P bass.

    So I went on Warmoth's site and started pricing things.

    1. LPB standard P body - check
    2. Maple neck - ooooh wait! ROASTED FLAME MAPLE...oh hell yes!
    3. Fingerboard - same roasted flame maple (with black dots)
    4. Tuners - Schallers...can't go wrong
    5. Bridge - Gotoh vintage
    6. Pickup - Good old Lindy Fralin
    7. Wiring - Emerson kit (insanely clean wiring! I'm a stickler for my wiring)
    8. Pickguard - tort
    9. Hardware and stuff....all accounted for
    Total: About $1100 for everything.

    Yeah...that's expensive, but it's not $2000 and it's EXACTLY what I want in a P bass. Nice big chunky P bass neck (no Jazz bass necks on P basses...YUCK!!). Even got me some LaBella flats ready to string up.

    So they say you can't build a Warmoth and save money. We'll see. I think I will end up with bass just as good as the 60's Original for half the price. Yes, I know, it won't have any resell value. But I've learned my lesson....as a bass player in Nashville, you need a P bass. I will always have a P bass.

    All the items were in stock except for the neck. I couldn't find one premade with the graphite rods in it. So I'll be waiting 4 to 5 weeks for the neck to be made. Then I'll start bolting things together.

    Stay tuned!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
  3. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    So now we wait....4 to 5 weeks. I do a lot of waiting for things.
    JaseyT likes this.
  4. Karl_V


    Jul 31, 2015
    I come from a long line of people who stand in long lines.
  5. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    the american original has nitro lacquer paint but besides that, what you're building is fundamentally similar. fralins are great pickups. hopefully when it's all put together it's as good or better as the original you played.

    did you try a road worn? great necks. my road worn p bass sounds and feels great. buying used and refinishing the body in lake placid blue would most likely come in under $1000.
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    You won't be disappointed in the Warmouth parts. I bought and built a Frankenjazz Fretless years ago using all Warmouth parts, pricey but superb quality. It's the most stable wood neck I own. I think you can probably get equally good bodies for less elsewhere, but the necks are outstanding.
  7. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I considered buying use parts and doing all the proper refin work, but I don't really have the tools or space to do a quality job. I'm not a big believer in the "nitro sounds better" stuff. I've owned both and I actually prefer poly for durability. The neck being roasted maple will have no finish on it. I will give it a few coats of tung oil or tru-oil just to protect it from dirt and grime. I've had great luck with tung oil. Literally wipe it on, let it soak in, the buff off. The neck will still feel like raw wood but it will be protected.

    By the time I bought the body, the tools, the supplies, and worked on painting, sanding, polishing, and buffing all over the time it takes the finish to fully cure....I'd rather just buy Warmoths body and be done with it.

    I have the patience of a 7yo at on Christmas morning. I do plan on dressing the frets and rounding the fingerboard edges myself. That only requires a fret dressing file and a razor blade...both of which I have. Just have to go slow and be careful. Since the neck is not finished, it will be easy to roll the edges. It will feel like a 50yo neck when I'm done.
    HolmeBass and murphy like this.
  8. hypercarrots


    Jan 28, 2009
    los angeles
    sounds good. i have a warmoth neck on a fender body and a warmoth body with a custom neck. both are good products.
  9. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    The difference being the $2k bass will likely still be worth $2k in a few years, if not more. Your Warmoth parts bass is worth much less than you paid as soon as you open the box and will only go down from there.

    - John
    Chrisk-K and RichSnyder like this.
  10. JZQuantum

    JZQuantum Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    I've thought about doing the same for many years. I could never get the cost to be much different than a quality off the shelf bass, so I've not done a Warmoth project yet.

    Keep us informed about how it goes!
  11. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member


    Race you to Milliways! :D
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    A member of the Boyle clan, eh?

    BTW, OP - LPB is MFC (my favourite color)!!
  13. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I'm in the same boat for most of my basses. I order Mia fender necks from stratosphere parts, and then get a custom made body from MJT. And used hardware and electronics. I have 2 basses like this and they've all been between $800-$1100 .They're the best two basses I've ever played .

    20181001_175137. 20180816_171736.
    Crusher47, nonohmic, murphy and 3 others like this.
  14. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Yeah, they've totally kept their $2k-ish value. :rolleyes:


    But I suppose, if one wants to split hairs (wait…wait…let me get my X-ACTO knife), there is a big difference between "worth" and "the price one can fetch for it". If @chadhargis is successful in this venture, then it's totally worth the price-tag, regardless of the price he could fetch for it should he decide to sell it.

    I, and probably a great many others, am very aware the resale value of my own, rather unique Warmoth creation is pooptastic, but "resale value" isn't the point. Often it's to create something that doesn't exist in nature, rather than being forced to buy strictly off-the-shelf items other people say is the way to go.

    (Note: Still a work-in-progress)
    Kubicki Fan, BassmanM, TC424 and 38 others like this.
  15. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    Yeah, I was on the wrong wavelength. Wrong bass. Read to quickly. I thought he had actually found a 60s LPB bass for $2k.

    - John
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
    RedJag and Malak the Mad like this.
  16. TyBo


    Dec 12, 2014
    The beauty of the homegrown route - you can make exactly what you want, often at a price that's a little less than a commercially manufactured instrument (and even if it were to be a few bucks more, it's the instrument that you imagine and put together).

    For me, the critical stage is always early on, making sure the neck is tight in the pocket and the bridge is well aligned to it. I've screwed up one there, but was able to salvage it with a bridge having different mounting holes. I very much doubt I'll ever buy an instrument again, other than what I put together personally ... no need! :thumbsup:
  17. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    All the time. Haven't bought an off-the-shelf Fender in over a decade. even the bass I built from MIA Fender parts is a mutt. Not a collector or much of a flipper, so what someone else is willing to pay for a bass that doesn't have the "F" branding is irrelevant to me.
  18. TyBo


    Dec 12, 2014
    A thing of beauty!
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  19. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    …and maybe I'll finally get around to staining and finishing the damn thing! :banghead: :facepalm: :rolleyes: Still, thanks bunches. I hope I'll be able to complete it this year.

    No problem, John. ;)
  20. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Good things are worth waiting for! :thumbsup:
    murphy likes this.

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