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Double neck bass thread

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I wanted to start a thread about building double neck basses. In my case I am a 4 string guy I want a four fretted and a four fretless. This would not be another bass I would make to sell on e-bay or for a customer this would be for me. I am tired of switching back and forth when my guitarist calls out the tunes. Has anybody done it? Any advice or tips or links to other double neck basses that have been done before? Any and all info relating to them would be great.
  2. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I see this at the Warmoth site:



    You ought to be able to get the big picture from what they've done and run with it ... a bolt-on neck looks to be the easiest neck attachment method for sure.

    playability would depend a lot on the overall weight and the exact centerline angle of each neck IMO

    All the best,

  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    I'd go headless for light neck weight, and consider something light like basswood for the body.

    I'd try a 2x4 mockup to decide whether I'd prefer the necks side-by-side end-to-end, or staggered.
  4. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I've always been facinated by doublenecks, and REALLY want one (just for the sake of having one....) and from looking at a lot and hearing what the users have said about them, here's my list of things to consider:

    1) the VERY few I have actually held seemed like the 2 necks were miles apart. I'd work on seeing how close you could get them before they seemed like they were too close. Otherwise one neck is always uncomfortably high and the other is barely within reach.

    2) Everyone has a differing opinion on necks being parallel to each other or at an angle, IMO it has a LOT to do whith how your single neck sits. If you keep it parallel with the floor, you'll probably like them to be closer to parallel. If you keep it angled up, you will probably want them at an angle to each other. Parallels should probably be even at the bridges while the angled ones should be staggered so the bridges are strait above/below each other when the bass is held where comfortable

    3) Try to keep the body from getting out of control large, and consider chambering parts of the body to shed weight (JT's is like that).
  5. Whenever the discussion turn to a double necked bass, I think of Derrick Smalls, the bassist from Spinal Tap.
  6. Be careful chambering the body, you don't want it to be neck(s)-heavy.

    Having made a double-neck guitar, one thing that's key is to make sure the bridge locations are correct so that it is relatively comfortable to play the lower neck while your hand/forearm is in contact with the strings of the upper neck. You also want to be able to see the side dots on the lower neck. For these reasons, you may not want a flat-top body, but rather have the upper neck tilted toward you slightly, a few degrees or so.

    The angle (or lack of) between the necks often has to do with the tuner placement on the headstock. If you keep the tuners to the outside, you can get them almost as close as you want. You could even join the headstocks (I've seen this).

    If you do any slapping, you want the fretted neck on top.

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