1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

First build 5 string neck thru

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by liam5206, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. liam5206


    Mar 13, 2013
    Hey guys, long time reader here
    I was wondering what you guys would recommend for a neck wood on my next build. I want to do a double cut neck thru based around a Carvin neck blank and was having trouble deciding what neck wood to go with, as well as a body wood to compliment this
    right now my options are mahogany, walnut and maple for the neck, all solid, with a mahogany or solid flame maple body
    I was hoping to get a nice organic tone, warm while still being clear for chordal work.
    It'll be a 34inch scale tuned e-c , 24 fret
    any advice at all would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
  2. lbridenstine


    Jun 25, 2012
    Any of those neck woods would be fine. I'd personally use mahogany or walnut. I don't know if I've ever seen a solid flame maple body, I think people usually just put a thin layer (~1/4" or so) of it on top. A mahogany neck and body with a flame maple top would look good.
  3. Nidan


    Oct 31, 2008
    Duluth , Ga
    I just finished a build using a flamed maple /ebony Carvin neck thru. I used Alder for the body and a 3/8" quilted maple cap . It worked well and provides a wide sonic range.

    I also finished up a all walnut project , it is a bit brighter , although due to the semi hollow design still has a good amount of fullness.

    Mahogany is a good choice , I'm working on a fretless now with it. It strikes the middle ground between walnut an maple.

    Attached Files:

  4. Wil_Couch


    Mar 12, 2013
    I agree. Both woods are easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and look nice together.

    FWIW, here's my first build, from many years ago. Solid flamed maple body wings with a mahogany through neck


    More photos here:
  5. Lonnybass


    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses

    The Carvin necks are great for building yourself a nice custom instrument without getting into some of the complexities of neck building. I built my first bass this way around 11 or 12 years ago (can't believe it's been that long!) before I felt good enough about my skills to take on neck work.

    One recommendation I have for you is to try and go for a multi-laminated Carvin neck rather than one made from a single block. I think this might help you avoid some potential dead spots - especially important since you're doing a neck through and don't have the option of replacing a neck like if you had a bolt-on.

  6. Wil_Couch


    Mar 12, 2013
  7. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Spector does a lot of solid curly maple bodies, and i believe smith does too. Weight can be a problem.
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Spector and smith do thin bodies and they still end up at the 9lb-10lb range.
  9. liam5206


    Mar 13, 2013
    Thanks for all the advice guys.
    what wood a walnut neck through sound like?
    I personally love mahogany but worry that it might not be strong enough to be a full neck thru relative to maple and walnut.
    id like to do a solid curly maple body just for the simplicity of it, and i also have access to decent flame maple boards and GREAT prices.
    I know Pedulla does solid flame maple basses, but i suspect their balanced tone has more to do with the preamp than anything else. I do plan on using Barts with a pre

    Wil_Couch how does that bass sound and play?
  10. Wil_Couch


    Mar 12, 2013
    I wouldn't worry about the mahogany being strong enough. It is. I've built a couple of 5rs with mahogany through necks. If you're really worried, laminate it with a couple wenge, walnut, or maple stringers.

    I used a single truss rod, and left the neck a bit on the beefy side.

    That bass plays and sounds awesome, IMO. It's really the only bass I've used over the past 15+ years. Take a listen HERE. The songs were (I believe) all recorded on the neck pup. The video is the bridge pup.
  11. Wil_Couch


    Mar 12, 2013
    While the neck material will have a minor effect on tone, it effects sustain more than tone on an electric instrument. Pup placement and style are much more influential
  12. liam5206


    Mar 13, 2013
    Thank you guys so much for all the help.
    I'm open to suggestions of course, I like the idea of mahogany with curly maple.
    It's hard to explain, but I guess I'm looking for a combo of Damian Erskines " Catacomb" skjold and an MVP 5 by pedulla
    Any suggestions other than what was mentioned above?
    Again thanks so much guys
  13. Wil_Couch


    Mar 12, 2013
    Carbon rods are a very effective method for getting some extra support and stiffness in your neck, especially if you prefer a thinner neck. Most luthiery supply outlets have them.
  14. liam5206


    Mar 13, 2013
    I am sure Carbon rods would be definately the way to go, if i was building my neck. Im a little short on experience for that :meh:

    Would maple on maple be too bright?
    I like the idea of solid maple, not as much the weight
  15. Regarding the tone of a neck-through instrument, the wood used for the neck has a major influence on tone. Many companies, like Alembic, use laminates in the neck to add more character to the tone. In a neck-through bass the body will have much less of an influence on the tone. You can read what Alembic has to say about neck wood here and about body wood here. This page has a many nice photos of various wood options.
  16. HaMMerHeD


    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Laminates in the neck are for strength and appearance.
  17. Read Alembic's page. They describe different tonal attributes for different types of laminates.

Share This Page