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Give me an idea for a project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bard2dbone, May 10, 2017.

  1. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Hey guys.

    So I am just finishing up a guitar project where I basically will have a Clapton signature Strat. But it will also have a Turnstyle Switch. Look them up. They're awesome.

    But then I won't have any more going. This is dangerous. I do dumb things when I'm bored.

    So I saw a Moses graphite neck on the evilbay. And I started thinking "I don't have a great outdoor gig bass."

    So a graphite neck will give me perfect stability in changing humidity environments. That's good. But I don't want to make yet another bass just like lots of other ones. That's bad. But I could make any number of subtle changes that would make it a very different and useful animal. That's good. But I can't really decide which to go with. That's bad.

    You get where this is going?

    I'm thinking it needs to be a P-bass shape with black hardware, natural finish, the Moses neck I mentioned above...and what for pickups?

    I first thought the usual PJ set like on millions of other basses. But I've got a couple of PJ set basses already. Then I started picturing alternatives:

    PJ set- but reversed - P in the bridge, J in the middle
    J/MM set - but again reversed, the opposite of my Lakland, J in the bridge, MM in the middle
    J/P/MM set - the traditional PJ set up, but with an MM in the neck position
    MM/P/J set - MM in the bridge, P middle, J in the 'mud bucker spot near the neck
    MM/P set - the current leading contender: MM in the bridge, P in its usual spot
    JJ/MM set - two J pickups pushed together into a functional humbucker in the bridge, MM in the middle

    You see where I'm going with this.

    What is the most bizarre pickup arrangement that is actually tonally useful?

  2. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    The MM/JJ could be cool, I'm debating doing something similar with one of my basses. Anther option is a Mudbucker at neck with a P towards the bridge.
  3. honza992


    Jan 25, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    A Darkstar (or the cheaper Guild Bi-Sonic)? I have no experience of them, but they seem to have something of a cult following and look cool. And chrome can go nicely with black hardware....
  4. jhb138


    Sep 14, 2016
    Double P plus a humbucker at the neck.
    Will_White likes this.
  5. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    Or P/J/P Neck P, Middle J, Bridge P
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    You could toss all of those and start with some unique/different pickups that aren't commonly used. I'd also eat barf before doing a P-bass body, but to each one's own... :D
  7. NIkon4004


    Jul 29, 2016
    P/J and a Piezo?
  8. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    How about making a pup carrier that you can put any pup in you want, and mount it in any position on your instrument, with a pup change out time of something like 20 seconds or less.
    Will_White likes this.
  9. Will_White


    Jul 1, 2011
    Salem, OR
    It would probably take a few carriers to accommodate different mounting patterns, P, J, MM, HB, etc. And you would probably have to have an exposed swimming pool route which might be less then stellar looking assuming you wanted sliding pickups. Along those lines you could do a full length pickguard like a strat with a swimming pool route and separate control plate so you just swap in a loaded pickguard to swap pickups.

    Also along the lines of a strat you could do three 51 style P pickups.
  10. Mark Wybierala

    Mark Wybierala

    Apr 24, 2017
    Central NJ
    I fully understand your position. Making another bass just might prevent you from doing something socially awkward and you'd be doing it to keep the public safe. Been there. Space age neck ought to justify a space age guitar body made from unnatural non-biodegradable materials. How about doing something along the Dan Electro style with a minimalist solid wooden internal structure with formica front and back. Its getting hard to find but in the 60s and 70s there were a number of art deco patterns made by Formica such as the pink and grey boomerang pattern. If I had some, I'd certainly make a few guitars with it. My Home Depot has nothing inspiring -- I've checked.
  11. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    How would an old style P single coil sound a little forward of where it's supposed to be? I think they look nicer than the J pickup.
    The reason I ask is how about a Stratocaster copy using a H/S/S style (H being the MM, so MM/P/P. Contoured P body, custom pickguard with Strat style output jack. Like a Strat, but BIGGER and bassier. Five way switch, Strat knobs...
    jhb138 and Will_White like this.
  12. Mark Wybierala

    Mark Wybierala

    Apr 24, 2017
    Central NJ
    Or, how about something like this... Its a pine tele body upholstered in black Tolex with a recess of 70s Fender grill cloth and a logo. This guitar is fully functional but never had any mojo so I keep it for wall art. It has amp knobs and the pilot light lights up when the cord is plugged into the guitar. Theres no amp or speaker in the guitar and the light doesn't do anything except light up. I did a stratocaster like this and it was an awesome player so its not the tolex sucking up the mojo. I think the pine body just doesn't like being a guitar. I never did a bass in this style but I did do another tele in tweed.

    Scoops and charlie monroe like this.
  13. mscBass


    Apr 15, 2017
    This. This is what you should do. Maybe add a piezo.
    And knobs. Lots and lots of knobs.
  14. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    They both sound great -
  15. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    It's not the most bizarre, but I'd go for double reverse P. And preferably something other than a P body (yawn) or J body (barf).
  16. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I have settled on a P pickup in its usual spot and a sooooort of MM-like pickup in the bridge spot. The MM-oid pickup I decided on is a little bit of a mutant, with one coil worth of the big Ernie Ball type pole pieces, and one coil worth of smaller double pole pieces a la' a J pickup.

    Pretty cool. But what for a Preamp?

    I was originally thinking something like the Audere in my fretless Jazz. But I really like the idea of doing the coils of the MM-ish pickup as 'front coil/back coil/both in series/both in parallel' or some similar arrangement of all four choices. And now I have to find a P pickup that matches well with it.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  17. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    The switching can be on it's own dedicated corner feeding hots and a unified ground to the preamp ala the Warwick $$ schematic.

    I have a SMB-5A sitting around, I was thinking of copying the Old Smoothie setup where the string straddle the poles and I could use a stupid hot preamp.

    I've liked the STC-3p for "clear" sounding basses and the OBP-3 for basses I wanted more grit. I've also used Haz clones, one of Duff's tuneable 3-band preamps is in a box on it's way to me.
    So iow you don't have to settle on any specific preamp if you want to just pull the volume to go passive and run whatever other preamps in pedals or box them yourself.

    The way I like using a humbucker setup is having series-single-parallel on dip switches. The $$, Sarzo bass with Sims, Foderas, etc.

    Humbucker neck + single bridge is where I live. You can vary a lot with blend and tone controls. I have been wanting a P in the bridge for variety. Series or parallel does enough of the P thing that I'm generally looking at what I can do with the bridge.

    For a while I was running a ceramic 4-conductor humbucker in the neck and Alnico in the bridge. I was using the blend to basically give me totally different sounds. When I added in a tapped singlecoil, it just was some sparkle and overtones.

    Sometimes I'll want a palette cleanser and go dual singlecoil.

    Maybe my next project I'll have to pony up for Sims, bc I don't think anyone is doing humbucker-single-split coil in a single package.
  18. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I pictured something like the preamp on my Lakland for a while. I like the three band eq. But I want separate volumes for each pickup, not a master volume and a blend. But that would still be somewhat reasonable...until I started thinking about coil selection and series/parallel.

    Now I picture the preamp looking like Mission Control at NASA.
  19. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Mesa, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Absolutely love this... @Beej ... do you mind if I quote this as a sig. line?

    Anyway... you mentioned "outdoor" bass...
    Moses neck?....cool.
    So...do whatever body shape floats yer nut.... P, J, XXX.. XYZ, ....whatever...

    Now here's your idea... for body construction.
    Make a center beam from ..... wait for it.....

    ABS, PVC, acrylic..... crap... I don't know.

    Then... carve the wings from.....

    Wrap the whole thing with ...

    ...CARBON FIBER!.....
    & Applicable resin..etc....yada yada....

    Then.... do an exterior clear coat, but...
    tint...like a transparent candy ...with a...

    Pink & purple burst!

    Hope it keep ya busy because...
    That's All i got right now...
    Beej likes this.
  20. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Not everything possible is useful to you.
    I default to the PRS rotary selector bc it's easier to cut out selections in the way of ones I can use.

    Dip switches are still cleaner and easier in practice.

    Being able to sweep thru the arc of "no go" when you try a new amp or something is part of being flexible.

    Otherwise you would just hard wire everything like those hack job basses that used to come into the shop.

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