hand made bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wotnwhy, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. as some of you may well know from my countless other threads on this subject :rolleyes: i am looking for a new bass for around $500 U.S. and the idea of making one myself has now crossed my mind, this is the plan:

    make the body of the bass whilst saving up money for electronics,

    buy the electronics and save up for a neck whilst putting in and setting up the electronics (or possibly buying just the fretboard if i decide to make the neck myself)

    then buy the rest of the hardware ond put it on

    the benifits of this would be that the bass could be exactly how i want it and i could spend more money on better hardware. + i have made a bass before so i know what not to do and what i need to improve on

    but the disadvanteges are that i may totally fug up the body, have a bad mix of components, or just not like the feel or playability of it at the end

    i'm not really sure on what i'm asking i just want to know what (if any) opinions you have on this idea and if you have any experiences you'd like to share

    thanx for any help


  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    for US$500 you can get a pretty good bass - probably better than you could make for yourself, at least the first time through (no offence intended, it's just that making an instrument is more difficult than it might seem)

    if you are intent on putting something together, why not try the carvin kit bass? i've heard good things about that instrument.

    also, maybe get a warmoth kit jazz bass, and a j-retro preamp. :D boy, i've been selling the j-retro a lot lately :D.

    at least buy the neck premade - that's the hardest part, i would think, and the most easy to fudge up.

    are you looking for something in particular?
  3. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Making a bass from scratch is a pretty big bite. You can get some really good kits from Carvin, Stewart Mcdonald and others I am sure. And they are less than 400 dollars. That would be a great place to start. Then if in the future you really want to build one from scratch you will have a much better perspective of what it takes and how to approach it.
  4. well i've made the body of a bass before so i would know what i'm getting myself into, and it wasn't to bad considering how rushed it was (a G.C.S.E project) and next year i'll have lots of free time to put in some good quality hours working on the body,

    all the other parts will be bought (probably from warmoth) and over a longish period of time which is easier than paying out 1 lump sum, and in the end if i'm not happy with the body i can always buy 1

    plus i have some design ideas that i would like to try out that i havn't seen on any other basses

    AND making the body would leave more money to spend on other parts, and as i said before i could always buy a body if i don't like the one i make

    1 question. would warmoth make a neck to your specs (such as headstock shape, neck width ect) and if so around how much would we be talking about for 1?

    P.S. would the do custom inlays on the fretboard? just curious

    thanx again


  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
  6. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Knowing that you're a Conklin Custom guy all the way, I'm curious what your experience with the JRetro was that has impressed you so. Do tell, por favor.

    I owned one for a while a year or so ago and dumped it on EBay. While it was definitely loud, I ultimately didn't like what it did to the tone of a passive American J.
  7. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I know Warmoth has P and J-width necks, I dunno if they'll make a custom radius or not, though. Stew Mac makes P and J-necks with blank headstocks so you can make your own shape, though.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, i've played 3 different mim jazzes equipped with the j-retro, and i was very impressed with the tone and tone controls. i liked how the tone was brought out and made more alive. i also liked the clarity in the passive tone - much cleaner sounding than the original mim electronics.

    i've never heard them with a low b, so i don't know how that would sound. i am, however, very interested in exploring them further - john east is making a footpedal version of the retro preamp, and as soon as it's done, i'm getting one.
  9. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Is there a company like warmoth that would make a body with back and top laminates?
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Interesting. Maybe MIM upgrades is where it really shines. As I said, in my AmJ, it didn't do it for me. However, I was pretty happy with the sound of this particular AmJ (a really excellent '96) to begin with.
  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Warmoth! Just have to ask, and they'll do it.

    Also, there's USA custom guitars (with all the best luthiers from Warmoth, though I think their headstocks are ugly). www.usacustomguitars.com

    Both in Puyallup, I think. Watch out for cows! :eek:
  12. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    And rednecks.

    I'm pretty sure Warmoth only offers Flame Maple, Spalted Maple, Flame Koa, Quilt Maple, Zebra Wood, Rosewood, Birdseye Maple, Lacewood, Figured Redwood, Burlwood, and Wenge as laminates. No cocobolo, walnut, figured walnut... :(.

    Errrr... I don't need a new bass. I don't need a new bass. My basses are fine. They may be fenders, but they are fine.

    Sorry, the GAS is getting to me.
  13. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    wotnwhy: GO!

    Just take your time, and select everything with care.
    Patience and care are the two things that separate a luthier from a bass builder with music ear. Guess which is better!
  14. Si-bob


    Jun 30, 2001
    Amersham, UK
    Focusrite / Novation
    hey wot!
    don't wanna burst your bubble, but i don't think warmouth ship to UK, and if they do, then its gonna be rather expensive!, correct me if i'm wrong :)

    HOWEVER, there is a couple of british comanies that do the same thing as warmouth
    check these out!


    WD Music Products

    yay, just seen that pincotts are located in the exact town i'm going to Uni, lotsa of bass building while i'm there then :D

  15. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Warmoth does use fiured walnut. They usually have some examples on their thrift shop page.

  16. Warmoth will ship everywhere! They replied me that it would cost something $80 (via UPS express) for shipping body and neck to Istanbul, Turkey. But additional tax applies I think.

    They offer unshaped headstock too. With their 5 string C type neck with no additional cost (but don't take my words, it's better that you ask them). Once I asked how much will it cost to have a 4 string neck with explorer or V headstock, they replied me it would cost something $100 extra!

    That's why I insist on a "ask Warmoth, Mighty Mite,i Usacustomguitars, etc. forum" if possible. As there are lots of thing that everyone would like to know, asking again and again. If they'll accept to make the comments public, it will be more informative for people like us...
  17. i've decided to make the body and just buy everyting else,

    i'm thinking of having an ovangkol body with flamed maple top and bottom (i think the warwick infinity has the same,but only with the maple top), or some other light/dark/light combination

    any ideas? i want the tone to be as "all-round" as it can be, so what does this combo sound like?

    thanx for n e more help


  18. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    it also depends on what you're looking for. i'm sure that some folks don't want their jazz bass to sound super grindy-bright in-your-face, but, since i'm really a rock player, that tone is very appealing to me.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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