First Custom Made

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SM2, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. SM2

    SM2 Endorsing Artist : Curt mangan Strings

    Sep 12, 2016
    St. Augustine Fl
    Hey guys, I am about to embark on the custom made instrument journey. Would like some input on builders, share your experiences please. This is a rather large investment and I want to make sure I get it right.

    So far I have looked at a couple of the obvious big names. Fodera while it would be wonderful, the quote I got was astronomical. That's not to say the finished product wouldn't be worth it, just outside of reality for me right now. They quoted me $11050.00.

    What I am looking for is something unique but not was out there. Something somewhat reserved in shape and design. Neck Thru, 5-9 piece laminate neck (purely for looks). Very versatile.4 string, 24 fret active electronics with a true bypass to run passive if desired. The appearance is very important to me. When I strap the thing on, I want people to know right off the bat that this is not an off the shelf bass
  2. imnotded


    May 31, 2015
    Northern CA
    I have been looking at custom builders the last few weeks. I quickly realized I cant afford a completely custom bass at this point. But I did find some good info. They all add up pretty quickly, but from my little bit of research Wyn guitars looks like a promising place to start. 4 string guitars start at just under $4k but his upgrades dont seem to be terribly expensive.
  3. SM2

    SM2 Endorsing Artist : Curt mangan Strings

    Sep 12, 2016
    St. Augustine Fl
    google turned up Drake as well. Anyone have any thoughts on him?
  4. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Here's my take on the custom bass journey. I think it is important to know the exact features of what you want. I think the best way to determine this is to start with a used version from the builder (if possible) you are considering. I went through 3 used Alembics before I ordered my custom. I used the best features from each used bass to plan out the one I ordered. The end product was exactly what I wanted and I'll keep it for the rest of my life. Same thing with my NYC Sadowsky. I knew exactly how I wanted the bass to turn out before I placed the order. Again, I have another bass that will stay with me to the end.

    I realize it is possible that you can't find a used version of the bass you want. If this is the case, before you order, make sure you know exactly what you want in your custom.

    Best of Luck,
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member


    I bought and sold almost 100 basses (mostly used) before I had two customs made (Valenti and Fodera). I have had these two for longer than 90% of the previous ones as I knew exactly what I wanted. They will both likely be with me for many years.

    I would agree with trying as many of great customs you can before buying new. If that means buying something used but close to what you are thinking of spec-ing out or even driving/flying to a well stocked bass retailer, both better ideas in the long run IME...
  6. SM2

    SM2 Endorsing Artist : Curt mangan Strings

    Sep 12, 2016
    St. Augustine Fl
    Good ideas. I have played a few customs, not many. I do have a pretty good idea of what I want. I am lucky enough to live not too far from Bass centeral. About an hour and half away. I know they are a Smith and Fodera stocking dealer. I am however leaning towards using a smaller builder to keep costs down. I checked Wyn as Imnotded suggested, and his stuff looks impressive, as does Drake. Down side is, there is nowhere to go check one out other than buy a used one somewhere.
  7. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    I would say there are two paths people take to get a custom build. One is starting with specs and then finding a builder. The other is starting with a builder and then figuring out the specs.

    I would cap the price a lot lower if you start with specs and don't have a particular builder in mind.
    Wisebass likes this.
  8. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Go to the luthiers forum here on talkbass and ask the same'll get plenty of options ;)
  9. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Dovetail 3 piece maple neck. You don't need the 9 piece neck through purely for looks, trust me.

    For Sale - Fodera Monarch 4 Victor Wooten
  10. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Bordwell, Stambaugh etc.