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first finished fretless project w/pics

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RyanHelms, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I posted quite a while back about getting started building. Everyone pretty much said go for it, even suggesting I use Helms Bass Works as a name if go full tilt. After so many posts and help from TB, here's the completed instrument. The respect I already have for builders has gone to new level.

    This is not "scratch build", more like a "change it some and put it together and try to add a personal touch". The neck, body, and hardware are all from WD. I wanted a rear rout body to avoid a pickgaurd and this P was a one-off they had. I added a bridge J, reshaped the horns, drilled for everything, recut the headstock, shaped the fretboard heel, cut and shaped the nut, made the pup trim rings and rear cover from ebony which turned out great, and did the finishing.

    This bass is completely quite since it's fully sheilded in pup routs and control cavity. The P pup is alot more in the middle of the body than you would expect for a P/J because it was originally just a P. I used a volume-blend-tone layout. The neck tone is still woody and open, but has more frettless growl I think because of the location closer to the bridge.

    I'ld love to hear what everyone thinks. Be critical too. The only thing to do now is start #002 and get better. :D


  2. very nice looking bass, though i'm not too crazy about the headstock design, i think your bass looks pretty damn good.

  3. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Good job for your first time out!!!

    You said be critical so....

    1st off, I love the headstock. It's got sort of an "A Basses" type of vibe but cooler.

    I don't like the body shape, to me it looks like Rick Turner's eletroline series body shape and, well, I don't like that body shape either. :)

    I'm not a fan on the ebony pickup outlines either. If you had full out done ebony pickup covers, then that would be different. Also, it doesn't seem to 'match' well with the color of the body wood. It kind of clashes.

    However, this is all personal taste and everyone has their own tastes and opinions. For example, on the singlecut bass poll threads, you have a ton of people who say they hate them, but then you have builders who are backlogged because so many people are ordering them.
  4. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Off to a good start!

    I've never seen those before so I'll definately check it out. This particular headstock shape was my attempt at getting something different from a trademark shape. Not much room there.

    Funny the color of the ebony pup rings comes up, I thought of rosewood (I used headstock veneer from Stew-Mac that is only offered in those two woods) and decided to go with the ebony "theme". Full-on covers is something I'ld love to work up to. Not mention the no small feat of building a neck myself...:meh:
  5. lol, indeed.... heh thats what i was thinking when i saw his post too.

  6. Ryan, I like the looks, no complaints here.

    Congrats on the job well done. I hope it sounds and feels as nice as it looks!

  7. I really like the wood grain. Looks sharp. The pics indicate nice craftsmanship too. Congratulations.
  8. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    You betcha! I'm not biased though.... :rolleyes:

    Thank you. I'm told alder is typically painted because of it's less-than-spectacular grain, so hoping to get a good looking transparent color was chancey. I think it worked.

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