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Fretless project: Please help me pick my design

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ian Hall, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Well, I'm taking the plunge- I've got a body blank of black limba on order from Larry at gallery hardwoods and and will have the neck pieces on the way as soon as I decide what to use. I'm thinkin' maybe macassar ebony/maple, but I just don't know yet. They are both loosely based on the thumb bass, but I specifically drew them without copying any measurements so I wouldn't be influenced out of an original design. I made the upper horn longer to correct balance issues, and the headstocks aren't quite so "gumby" looking(like my thumb's) Please tell me which style you prefer and why...


    Here's the first body:
  2. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    First Headstock:
  3. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Second body:
  4. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Second Headstock:
  5. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
  6. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    second body with first headstock, mind you this is coming from a Warwick fan who's saving for a corvette so the curvy, blobby;) nature of the second body appeals to me. If somethings to be curved out of wood I think it should look as natural as possible.
    I like the first headstock better just because I do.
  7. I like the first body better, because it's more angular. Both headstocks are pretty similar, but, if you back me into a corner, I'd go with headstock #1, again because of the sharper angles.

    Ian, what kind of pickup(s) are you planning on using? If I may, let me suggest using piezos in the bridge. I recently bought a fretless Ibanez bass with piezos, and let me tell you, they make the bass! ;)

    When dialed in just right, they add crispness and accentuate the mwah.

    Just my $.02

    And congrats on building your own fretless.

    Mike :)
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I'd say go with the first headstock and second body. Such an angular body might not be comfortable, and if the angles are not cut just right, it could easily look shoddily done
  9. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
  10. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    I'm going to be using a set of EMG jazz pups. I got a good deal on ebay- 101.50 shipped brand new including pots. The "tinny" kind of high end tone that the emg's and the piezo pups share could compliment each other- hmmm, must consider....

    My guitarist said that he likes the headstock 1 and body 2 combo also. Another combination suggested was the square horns from body one with the round bottom of body 2, with headstock 1.

    I was also thinking perhaps the round(body 2) style might work better because of the wood being striped in a way very much like a toned down zebrawood- it might look wierd with the square corners and stripes intersecting with them at strange angles.

    I was also thinking of perhaps building body 1 for the fretless, and then maybe use body 2 with a Alder/Quilt top combo for a fretted as my next project. The basic problem is I really like both body designs. I'll probably end up having to build both.
  11. mslatter


    Apr 8, 2003
    I "appreciate" body 1. I "like" body 2. I'd like to see the body of 2 with the horns of 1, too. That'd be a creative blend, riding the fine line between daring and drastic. You're right on the top wood with the angular body, too. Too many straight lines. If that's the top, do a more rounded body. The strength of design 1 is the angles and straight lines. Don't let them get lost in the wood. If I were to do design 1, I'd do it in a less heavily grained natural wood. Mahogany, padouk, and bubinga are all good tone woods that would give some interesting grain without strongly contrasting with the body shape. I might consider going a lighter color natural, maybe white limba. I'd really consider an opaque lacquer finish for style 1.

    Just about anything would work with style 2.
  12. First body,second head stock:)
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Second body, first headstock.
  14. the_kev


    Sep 5, 2003
    Use the 1st body and the second headstock, they look the best together