Finally !! - my Gecko 5 is here

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by =^..^=, Jul 26, 2001.

  1. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Its taken a while but the last bits for my Gecko arrived this week. A couple of evenings spent putting it together etc turned into this little beauty
    <div align="center">
    <img src="">

    Full build is a one piece swamp ash body with a quilted maple top. The finish is a tobacco burst. Neck is the usual Gecko maple/purpleheart with an ebony fingerboard.

    Pups are EMG CS (neck) and DC (bridge) and actives are EMG BCQ @ 18 volts..

    Tuned Low A, D, G, C, F just to be different ! Just waiting on my Nanowebs and a Custom gauge set of Prisms to try out now...

    Ok thanks to - Nino for championing Warmoth and pointing me there in the first place, Killer B for the excellent advice on EMG pup selection, CB56 for the flush mount Dunlop strap locks and last but not least to Paul and all the mods for providing Talkbass where I got all this great info from.
  2. BigJH


    Jan 20, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    SWEET BASS!!! That is very nice. Hope you don't mind me asking but how much did you have to drop to get the fine instrument. I'll be expecting a full report on my desk by monday on how well it plays! :) Again nice bass and congrats.
  3. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Ooops - should have put the prices..

    Warmoth provided the body, neck, finish, bridge, machine heads and shipping to the UK for $1050.

    The EMG S were about $500 (converted from £ sterling)

    So including a few misc bitz about £1,600.

    I'll put a few words together on how it plays over this weekend - gigging it on saturday so that will be fun !
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Congrats. If she plays & sounds 1/2 as good as she looks, then you got one HELL[​IMG] of a bass!!!!! Your gonna have heads turning[​IMG] & when you hit that low A heads will be rolling[​IMG].
  5. Very nice bass. Excellent choice in finish on the quilted maple.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Very nice, GF!:)

    Be sure and post a review after the gig.
  7. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    More sort of mental notes than a review - but here ya' go. Good job BigJH's didn't say he wanted it first thing on Monday Morning :)

    Ok - plugged it in at home first of all. All controls set flat with a 50/50 pup blend. The sound is quite middly despite the new strings, but then they are stainless steel and not the nickels I'm used to. A quick play up and down the neck doesn't show any obvious dead spots. A quick wind down of the action and take a bit of the dip out of the neck. The A is quite flappy, but is obviously an A - very low. Need heavier A, D and G strings, maybe 10 in the case of the A, 5 should do the rest.

    Soundwise - Lots of sustain - notes just ring and ring, Neck pup gives a reasonable imitation of a jazz, just a bit 'rounder'. Bridge is quite middly. Notes are clear and well defined, plenty of attack. Possibly need to re-knee the treble boost - it seems a little low - I'd guess without looking that its on 2.5k as it seems to operate on similar frequencies to the parametric - maybe put it up to 5k to widen the range when I've got a

    EQ a slight cut in the middle and out comes a nice even sound, bright enough for a little slap (hee hee) but still carrying a nice rumble, dial in a little 'extra' neck pup and a bit of bass boost.

    OK - onto the gig. Flatten EQ on amp, add a bit off volume - that A is very low - shakes the windows :)

    The sound seems to cut through quite well, I'm playing at lower vol than normal but I can hear myself quite clearly - and there's nothing in the monitors. With the bass being tuned down 2 semitones I've got to play everything differently - instant transpositions... Got caught out a couple of times, but nothing major, the extra string makes some of the changes easier - so I can go down rather than up. Everything is two frets higher - and therefore closer to my body and a little easier to play. Hmm that riff in F becomes quite easy - and doesn't make my hand hurt !

    Dave (the sound guy) commented on one of the notes sounding a bit louder than one of the others so maybe I found the resonant frequency of the room. Cool - next time I'll try boosting the Eq at that point during the soundcheck and see what I can rattle loose....

    General thoughts

    Neck is very nice - to look at it seems wide but it's not that deep, so its not a stretch. This is the first 19mm string spacing I've played that I actually like and can get on with - up to now I've preferred 16.5mm, but I knew that I'd get used to it so I wasn't that worried.

    The body is quite well rounded, but is noticeably bigger than my Warwick Thumb - the problem is the finished neck drags on my thumb, but I'll get a callous there pretty quickly. No worries. I've just got to play more. Lots more. Hmm life is so hard...


    1. Cut nut slots too deep - jacked the action up to compensate, new nut blank on order... (stupid, stupid, stupid)

    2. String Winding over nut - thanks to the shop I got them from... told them it was 35" extra long scale and I wanted to tune to Low A - he was so busy telling me that it wouldn't work that he sent normal scale strings..... The nice people at Overwater say they can get me any gauge I want (up to 145) as long as I buy 6 sets, so I'll be spending some money
    with them I think !

    I think that sums it up. Generally I'm happy with it, its mine, its unique and people notice it - can't ask for much more really.

    Hey Kin - post your thoughts.
  8. BigJH


    Jan 20, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    That sounds like a killer bass! Thanks for the review. I'm a pretty lenient, as long as it was on monday. Are yo sure those are only mental notes. Your job must require you to be very technical. Are you like an engineer or researcher? That was a very indepth review. Now my G.A.S. is rising. But it will be taken care of shortly. Thanks again for the review :)
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Looks cool, i going to see if i can talk my bro into making a fretless out of warmoth parts, since i can't buy an other bass for about 5 years.
  10. agyeman

    agyeman Member

    Mar 6, 2001
    How much tax did you have to pay. I live in the UK too, and I am put of by the prospect of import taxes.

  11. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Thanks BigJH - I'm a computer geek in my day job which means I usually have to remember lots of little bits of info about a lot of things, so this was no problems. No notes written down - everything just stuck in my memory.

    Got to be honest its real nice being able to pick every single part that you use. Then to put it together with your own hands (even if it is just like a big lego kit). Before finally taking it to a gig and putting it to good use.

    Remind me in 6 months and we'll see if I'm still using it, or if I've gone back to my Warwick !
  12. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Man that gecko is a sweet looker. I was thinking about getting the parts to put one together one time... but then I realized I'm don't know where to start to put that beast together. It looks good though. Did the bass body come finished like that or did you do that yourself??? if you did You are my new personal hero... anyway.. peace and good luck with your new bass
  13. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !

    £166 Vat + customs duty, I bought the bridge + machine heads from Warmoth so I paid Vat etc on these aswell, but they worked out cheaper than the UK prices anyway. The customs rate they worked on was better than that days exchange rate so I saved about £25 on the VAT

    I wish I could do that finish ! Your hero is one of the guys (or gals) in the paint and finishing shop at Warmoth.

    To put a Gecko together is real easy - it only took about five hours.

    1. Bolt neck on (four bolts - the two short ones go near the bridge)
    2. Drill body for flush mount Dunlops - most nerve wracking bit. The new drill bit would not drill the swamp ash without over heating. Drill carefully and slowly.
    3. Fit machine heads - line 'em up how you want, drill a small pilot hole and screw them down.
    4. Solder cable to bridge for an earth - Fit bridge
    5. Fit pickups
    6. Insulate the body cavity - I used sheets of self adhesive copper - this took the longest at about 2 hours.
    7. Solder PUP leads onto the actives, fit pots and jack
    8. File nut down
    9. Fit Strings
    10. Basic set up
    11. Quick play and more setup...
    12. Gig !

    If anyone wants more details then either PM me or post back here

    The next step is to make a new nut similar to the Brass Warwick Adjust-a-nut.

    Mmmm metalwork...
  14. Or, you could pay a tech do do all that..add about £200 on top.

    To be honest, I'd get Warmoth to drill all my holes, and if possible cut the nut. I'd do the electronics myself, as they can be repaired, but me miss-cutting a nut or letting my drill bit slip would mean no more bass.
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Beauteous bass! I love the body shape - I handled a five at a guitar show, and was very impressed by the balance.

    I've tried pestering Warmoth into making the Gecko as a four, but no soap so far. They feel there'd be no market...
  16. benjamintowle

    benjamintowle Guest

    Apr 3, 2001
    usa tewksbury mass
    i been planing to make a 6 for a while.finnaly got the ? its going to sound dumb were did you put the strap locks.i am not too sure were to put them.

    o yah do any of you know if emg pickupswill work with the cravin on board preamp.
  17. KIN


    Jul 17, 2001
    It certainly is a tasty looking bass GF. it sounded pretty good too.
    Let me have another go when you've got it set up properly, l can't
    give a true opinion untill you get the right gauge strings etc.
    It sounded good anyway even with a slightly wobbly low A.

    I still think your a sick person playing in that range. :D

  18. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Benjamine - the strap locks are on top of the left 'horn' and right behind the bridge, just above the centre line of the body - as they are flush mounts they are tricky to spot (which is what I wanted)

    Pantera - The only difficult holes to drill were the straplocks which at 9mm is a big hole and the finished swamp ash is tough stuff - every other major hole is drilled. You file the nut down before glueing it on so if you take too much off you just throw it away and make another (don't tell anyone but I realised I done mine wrong so its not glued on) As they only cost about $3 its not a major problem.

    Kin - thanks for telling me about Overwater. Chris is sorting me out two nut blanks which should be here tomorrow so I can make another one up. And I'm not going to rush it this time... They can get made almost any gauge that you want - up to a .145, so I'll probably go .140 .120 .95 .075 .055 which should be about right. I've got to order 6 sets though so I'm gonna have to put some gigs in to
    pay for 'em