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Fifteen-string bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Whammytap, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Whammytap


    Oct 17, 2004
    Kansas City
    For my next project, I was thinking about making a fifteen-string fretted bass- BEADG tuning, with courses of three strings.

    What on earth kind of neck would take this sort of tension? And should I compensate some of this tension (and playability of such a wide neck) by shortening the scale length to 32"? I'd rather not use a solid graphite neck (can't afford it anyways) but how about carbon fiber neck rods? Dual truss rods?

    And does anyone have a source for two-way adjustable truss rods that require a shallower routing channel than 7/16"? I have been using Hot Rod truss rods, and it's hard to carve a shallow neck with that huge truss rod in there!

    Whams :bassist:
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    been done... JAUQO had one made by Warrior back in the day...
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    For the truss rod go to lmi. The following is just speculation I disavow all knowledge as the the workability of it. :D Do laminates both horizontal and vertical to the fingerboard. Use Maple, Wenge and either Purpleheart or Bubinga make you upper horn come up to about the 9th or 10th fret position. Good luck....t

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
  5. Whammytap


    Oct 17, 2004
    Kansas City
    Thanks, JACQO and DZ for the site reference--I had not known that 15-string basses had already ever been made!

    And Tjclem, thanks for the lmi referral. Their truss rods are 1/16" shallower and also cheaper than Stew-Mac's! I always do use a variety of neck laminates but had not thought about reversing the orientation of alternating layers. Maybe I will contact Warrior about the 15-strings I saw on that page.

  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    from talking to the guy that built J's bass i understand he used a very thin but strong carbon steel rod that allowed him to make the neck very thin to J's specs.
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Which LMI model of truss rod is cheaper than the Hot Rod? Last I checked they were more expensive. Is it a two-way rod?
  8. Whammytap


    Oct 17, 2004
    Kansas City
    Stew-Mac Hot Rod for bass: $18.98
    LMI standard welded end truss rod for bass: $15.75

    Each has a few advantages over the other. The Hot Rod has heat-shrink tubing over it, but requires a 7/16" slot. The LMI rod needs silicone to prevent rattle, but requires only a 3/8" deep slot.


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