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exotic uprights

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jonas_oxide, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. has anybody here built a doublebass before? Why have I not seen any of the woods used in electric basses used for them?
    I mean, i could sure go for a wenge necked upright, or with a purpleheart fingerboard, or whatever choice one would make. I just think it could be cool, and would like to see some more interesting choices for such instruments.
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Maybe tradition?

    This is just speculation, but as far as tops go, the exotic tops on BGs are there more (not totally) for aesthetics, whereas the top of a DB is much more involved in the voice of the bass. Plus, a slab of exotic that size might be cost-prohibitive. Again, that's speculation.

    As far as other parts of a DB, I'd be interested in seeing a wood other than ebony used as a fingerboard...definitely satine, maybe purpleheart, cocobolo, etc. That'd look pretty sweet! Other than the fingerboard, I still like the traditional woods of fully-carved DB's.
  3. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    I'll be starting on one soon, I'm looking at doing a stabilized birdseye maple fingerboard...

    the most likely reason that an exotic upright is rare is the price it would cost to make, astronomical...
  4. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    the price woudnt be that be You just have to buy the boards and billets B4 they are cut down.

    I had been contacted about a cocbolo fingerboard for uprights b4 as well as other strange requests!

    I think it would be super cool to do an upright with wenge and a pale moon/black&white ebony fingerboard. the fingerboard would be pricey but you probably spend the same as an electric bass
    and be very very cool!
  5. how thick does the wood for the back of an upright have to be in order to carve it with the proper contours? couldnt you make like a 3 or 4 or even 5 piece back? I just thought it would be sweet if someone made an upright with a purpleheart back, bloodwood, or paduak or something for the sides, and like a cedar top or something with a wenge neck & stabilized wenge fingerboard w/ a lingum vitae nut & tailpeice. i dont know what one could use to substitute a maple bridge, but I would like to see & mostly hear something different come out of upright basses. maybe even make one with all local woods w/ an apple or pear wood fingerboard.I wish I had the means & experience to try it myself, I would beat you to it. I guess alot of it would come down to the size the raw material that would be available, and its price, and workability/drying time/yadda yadda yadda involved with making instruments. If somebode built one, someone would buy it... if it was a comfortable instrument. people spend fortunes attaining some of these things.
  6. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Personally I think too many bright colours would make it look like some sort of kindergarten bass. Now, a DB made with Nigerian Satinwood, that would be the sex.

    Interesting ideas, though. If I had the skill to build 'em, you could be sure I'd be trying some interesting woods. Wilser, are you getting all this?

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I think for most DB players it's all about the sound - that's the only reason to lug around that big awkward thing that is so hard to play (well!).

    So the DB has many centuries of history to draw upon (unlike BG) and huge numbers of examples of different makers trying different options.

    Over all that time - no doubt like evolution - the choices that sound bad have fallen by the wayside and we are left with the ones that sound best!! :)
  8. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    or just make em outta plywood, Kay got away with this. just go find old, old plywood. :D
  9. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo