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Fretless Piccolo 6 String semi-hollow

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ninefingerbass, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. So as you can tell by the headline I am currently designing a new bass for myself. Here are the specs:

    6 string fretless piccolo short scale
    bocote fretboard?
    3 piece mahogany/maple/mahogany neck bolt on
    bookmatched cocobolo top (2 piece)
    swamp ash body with chambers (1 piece)
    brass nut
    gold schaller tuners 3x3
    Hipshot "A" bridge/single?
    Nordstrand Pups
    Audere Preamp (9V)
    GK-3B internal mdi

    There are still some questionable things.

    This is what I have so far. It started out much differently since I wanted to take a bass and remod it but I had to throw all of it away and start from scratch. I just order the cocobolo and swamp ash and it should arrive in a few weeks. I already have the Nordstrand Pups and the Schaller tuning keys. Luckily for me I have a buddy of mine who is wiling to teach me how to work the machines. I've taken into account weight and size and thought that since this is going to be a piccolo bass I'll go short scale. This bass is goin to be much smaller than usual but hopefully it'll work. The reason why I chose piccolo is for the midi. I understand the latency with larger guages and lower frequencies so to compensate for it.

    I do have a question if someone can help. I'll be leaving the center full for the pickups and bridge but the upper wing will be hollowed out. If I were to place the top on it without an "F" hole, will this affect the sound as opposed to adding one?

    Electronically this will be a pain the the @$$ and a mess inside since the midi will be internal. Fortunately Audere already provides their pre amps prewired so I wont have to mess with that, though it takes away from the fun.

    I've been inspired by the JD Legend bass with the synth/acoustic/electric setup but opted to skip the piezo. I will have a design posted very shortly. Overall it'll be colorful and a difficult task since this is my first official build. Any tips? I might need them.
  2. What's the scale to be? Also, have you played a fretless strung piccolo? I had a fretless 7 but didn't like the way the high F(roundwound nickel)worked. Really hard to get any sustain, & didn't get the fretless tone I was after. I'm sure it was mostly(maybe entirely)me, but if you(or anyone else)can benefit from my mistake(s :D), then great.
  3. I have played a fretless piccolo and liked it very much. My main concern was to play this as a midi instrument but I have thought about putting light guage ADGCFBb strings on it in order to get a bass sound. The scale length; 30'' maybe 32'' I've still yet to make most of it concrete. What I ordered and have so far is going to be the make up of the bass as of now. I am on deployment right now so this might take a while to make as the order will take weeks to come. Like I said before there still are some questionable parts and piccolo is one of them. The idea is out there and I'm considering a few other options. But I do appreciate the concern.
  4. jackcregg

    jackcregg Guest

    Feb 25, 2007
    i challenge anyone to find one of those in any shop, anywhere
  5. I have a 6 string piccolo. Some of my friends call it a guitar, whatever. ;)

    Good luck! Post lots of pics!
  6. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
  7. So I have ordered the wood and have decided on the material. So far I have:

    mahogany/rock maple/mahogany neck laminate
    birdseye bocote fretboard (apparently it was a piece no one noticed)
    chambered swamp ash body w/ cocobolo top

    I ordered two truss rods from Stewmac. Most of the hardware should be coming shortly to my ship.

    I have the design coming shortly, as soon as I get the picture uploaded. The headstock is not matching and will show the laminate which should add a flavorful accent. By the way is there anywhere I can search for "F" hole designs. Since I'll be chambering the body, I'd love to add an "F" hole but have no design in mind. Any help?

    More too come soon.
  8. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    Got everything except the fretless... plus piezo.

  9. Here is the design.

    I have also gotten my Nordstrand DC67 Pick ups and Audere 3 band pre amp. For the bridge I have decided to go for the Kahler 2460. It is a cool design and also can be adjusted up to 6 ways. Obviously it's very versatile. This should turn out to be a fun bass to build/play.
  10. RAHAZ


    Feb 12, 2007
    Ninefingerbass: Nice design.

    Wolfehollow: Did you build that yourself. That is really a great looking instrument. :eek:

    Here is my next project:
    7 string
    27" scale fretless
    Semi Hollow bodied

    Attached Files:

  11. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    Its a guitar!!!:eek:... Damn another lost kid who took the dark side way!!!

    The bass on Wolfehollow's pic is indeed a great looking bass. Actually is one of the nicest basses Ive ever seen. A few months ago I spent almost three hours search the whole Talkbass for that picture.
  12. RAHAZ


    Feb 12, 2007
    Sadly I was drawn to the "dark side" first, only recently learning the value of the low end. :ninja:

  13. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Same, but I found it in only one hour. :D I now have it saved for future influence. The carve, amongst many other things, is really what sets it off for me. The build looks incredibly ergonomic.
  14. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
  15. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
  16. The woods are in. So far I have a picture of the neck and the tuning keys. On one side of the neck there is a beautiful birdseye figure and lovely grain. The other side is a little dull. I'll picture both. I also have the neck, body and top in the shop. I'm going to wait till I have the cut out ready till I commence with this project.

    I have the preamp ordered and waiting for both the bridge and the preamp. I was having a little trouble finding the correct size internal midi pick up and unfortunately bought the wrong one so I returned it. I'm still iffy about trying to get another one.

    This bass should come out very very nice and with all the gold within the woods natural color with hints of red, silver and black. Sounds like a dream come true to me. Ok ok enough now. This is my first build so wish me luck.
  17. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    didnt mean to hijack the thread... its a marchlewski and I wish I could build that well...

    back to the other pic' 6 string at hand...
  18. dblbass

    dblbass Commercial User

    Mar 24, 2007
    Beacon, NY
    Owner of MBJ guitars, Maker of fine sawdust for Carl Thompson Guitars
    beautiful peice of bocote but i wouldnt use that for a fingerboard. bocote is kinda soft compared to ebony or bloodwood or somethin like that.
  19. Jonsbasses


    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Bocote is nearly as dense as Bloodwood, definitely up there in density!
  20. Well things have been looking good so far. :hyper: I have gotten the top and the body glued up and have decided that chambering the ash would not ideal since it is a light weight would. Also the headstock design has changed wuite some bit since it didn't fit the body style. The neck is cut and routed for the trussrods and the headstock is angled at about 10 degrees. Tomorrow will be the glueing for the fretboard and the neck and the cutting of the body shape. Pictures will be coming shortly. The bocote seems to be a pretty dense wood and I think it'll do well as a fretboard. I have chosen nice woods to match the fretboard that it looks very pleasing to the eye. My kahler bridge arrived a few days ago and I freaking love it. It is huge and as simple as it is it seems very complex. After feeling the weight of the bridge I chose not to chamber the body. I figured it was too advanced for me for being my first build.

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