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Explorer basses...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by L-1329, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. L-1329


    Aug 8, 2004
    Does anyone know of any five string explorer basses? Seems that I have caught a bad case of gas for one but my search is coming up short. I called Warmoth but they can't build a body with a five sized neck pocket. Are there any other shops like that that could make something unusual like this? Appreciate any suggestions...
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Aside from the fact that it wouldn't balance at all, I imagine a few custom luthiers would take on such a task. Mike Dolan springs to mind.

    To my knowledge, pretty much nobody has made a custom Explorer bass, and even fewer have made a 5 string.

    Gibson just started making a 5 string Thunderbird...it's not an Explorer, but it's in the ball park.
  3. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place


    I have no experience with actual Gibson explorer basses, but I
    think we're talking about the Explorer body style made by other
    companies/luthiers. That said, I have owned an Aria bass in this
    style, and currently own 2 guitars and one Alembic bass that are
    essentially Explorer shaped. They all balance perfectly. By
    balance, I mean rest at a comfortable playing angle, a bit
    steeper than 45 degrees, but can be adjusted from there and
    will stay put, but they do not lend themselves to hanging 'bout
    the ankles with the neck parallel to the floor.

    I'd have a hard time imagining that one extra machine head and
    a slightly bigger neck would make that much of a difference.
    That massive body does serve a purpose. If you have sick
    amounts of money Alembic will make you anything. I'd get in
    contact with some luthiers who were in my price range with
    their standard models, and ask, it can't hurt.

    If you're adventurous and handy with tools, or know someone
    who is, I've been told by someone who's done it that it's not all
    that hard to make a neck through using a Carvin neck and bass
    body of your choice. I'm not that adventurous myself.
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Sorry, when I said "pretty much nobody" I was referring to high end/custom jobs (or at least Warmoth quality). The only one I can think of is Alembic's Entwistle Spiderweb. Aria, Kramer, Jackson, and some others have made Explorers, sure, but I don't think any of them were anything but budget to midrange stuff. I actually just played a Kramer explorer the other day in a pawn shop, and it wasn't what I'd call quality... And I've still never seen an Explorer 5, custom or not.
  5. I'll have to agree with you on that, they are pretty rare, and I
    wouldn't call my Aria exactly top notch. You'd have to get a
    custom commissioned, or try a hack job yourself. I had one
    for a while; an Aria ZZB with a Wilkinson 4+1 bridge made a
    narrow width 5 (but I like em narrow). It was fun, but I
    ended it up selling it for lunch money. Kept the bridge though.
    Next up for it might be a Burnside "by Guild" "The Lance"..

    Gotta love cheesy 80's pointy basses. Or hate. Whatever.

    I'd think if you could get one made, it'd be cool, and unique.
  6. L-1329


    Aug 8, 2004
    Well I may have spoken too soon, I just got an email from the Warmoth custom shop and they said they can build their Explorer body with a Deluxe 5 neck pocket, for an extra $110. That means that I can use their five string deluxe neck with the angled headstock. So now the question becomes, are you all who have bought from Warmoth happy with the results? Also have any of you essentially had the whole bass made and finished by them? I have no tools or space to build, but could have the neck and body completely finished, and only have to add the hardware and set it up. And there are still a lot of choices I need to make if I am going to go through with this idea, and I don't know if I can stop myself! The balance issue has me thinking though...
  7. Hey , What about that guy Ed Roman, He's got a huge inventory, and could probably make you one.
  8. abngourmet

    abngourmet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    Alembic's been making Spyders since 2002 or so. They're not cheap, though. Here's mine.
  9. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Warwick just came out with an explorer shape. Bass Northwest has one. I'm sure Warwick would make a fiver for you- big bucks though. :bassist:
  10. L-1329


    Aug 8, 2004
    That Alembic looks sweet! Here's what I'm thinking. Assuming this can be done well, I'm thinking a Warmoth alder body w/ flamed maple top, translucent blue finish, with the deluxe 5 neck pocket. Then a Warmoth angled headstock deluxe 5 neck, w/ matching headstock veneer. Maple neck, satin finish and an ebony board. Without even getting into pickups, hardware and a pre I am up to about a grand. This would cost a lot! I did find out that their neck specs are just about identical to my Carvin LB75 wide neck, and I have always though that was the best playing bass I've tried yet. I would have to do this one piece at a time so I could afford it. Is there anything I am overlooking here? Seems that this could be very possible...
  11. I think Warwick makes a similiar shape in 5.
  12. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma

    i bought a warmoth explorer body off of ebay awhile ago and although i havent gotten a neck yet i can tell you that it is a nicely done job making it. it still needed sanding and paint but you should do that anyway.

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