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Handmade Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 311fan2001, Dec 3, 2001.

  1. So...what's everyone's favorite handmade Bass? Warwick, Carvin, Conklin, New York Bass Works, Carl Thompson, etc... I personally perfer Warwick and Spector. Their playability is outstanding, the sound is great, and my idol is a Warwick player(P-NUT!!!!!!). Let me know what you all Think.
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Warwicks and Carvins aren't quite "handmade", now are they?
  3. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you can't really call a bass "hand made" if it is carved using a CNC machine.

    personally, i doubt if i will ever again own a bass that was carved by a cnc machine.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    You mean buy, right? For you still have your little crayons, no?
  6. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hee hee, yeah. :D
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Korean Spectors aren't handmade either, but I don't know about the Czech's.
  8. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    If you start out with a quality piece of wood and punch in the right numbers, a properly calibrated machine should do it right every time. I am a believer in quality components and hand assembly, but I don't how much quality you achieve whittling the body down.
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Hey, if CNC is good enough for Ernie Keebler it's good enough for me;). You can't argue with his consistent quality*.

    I really like Elricks, MTDs, F Bass and Zon. Sei looks pretty interesting, along with Stambaugh, Shuker, Mollerup and a few others.

    *"Quality" can't talk.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
  11. Fodera Basses. Totally hand made.They even make their own strings and bridges.Now thats hand made.
    p e a c e
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i'm actually pretty sure fodera outsources their strings and bridges. i doubt they have metal casts in their shop!

    i think that a handmade bass AND a CNC milled bass can both be crap, or awesome. it's all in how hard the company wants to try to make the bass good.

    for example, one of my buddies worked for lakland for a while, and he says they don't make ANYTHING in their plant. they outsource the necks, the bodies, the finishing...all they do in their plant is the frets, the assembly, and the setup. yet they're great basses, because lakland wants them to be. same with warwick (although they don't outsource anything) sure the bodies and necks may be milled, but when it comes down to it they're great basses, and i put them on the same level as a fodera in terms of quality IMO (that is, on the neck thrus, although the bolt on's are still damn good basses)

    i've seen 100% handmade basses that suck, and i've seen CNC milled basses that are better than most handmade basses. so....there.

  13. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    be that as it may, fodera makes their own strings and bridges. so does ken smith, among others.
  14. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    They package their own strings, there's only a handful string factories, most smaller brands are OEMs.
  15. Player


    Dec 27, 1999
    USA Cincinnati, OH
    I used power tools on this. Does it still qualify as "handmade".
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Fodera does make their own strings and have their bridges milled to their specs. Vinnie and Joey and the crew don't actually make the bridges.

    I spent the day at MTD yesterday playing a bunch of stuff (Juan Nelson's old backup), checking out woods - and well yes ordering a 435 with a Myrtle top and Swamp Ash body.

    I am a SUCKER for beautiful work.

    As for the argument that good wood and a CNC machine produce an excellent product - I would say that it is the feel of a luthier hand carving a neck that is what produces the most playable instruments. It is the care that only a human can put into it that ultimately seperates a handmade bass from the plethora of CNC basses.

    That said, there are some really fine CNC instruments - they are just not worth the kind of money some get for them.

  17. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    oh, well, there you have it. i thought they actually made them.

    i knew they made their own strings since i've talked to joey about making me some.
  18. Currently handmade: Elrick, Fodera

    Used to be handmade (by Mike): Tobias
  19. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I don't care who or what made it, how does it sound? There are some "handmade" basses out there that sound like sh*t, and some CNC made ones that are among some of the best ever made, and vice versa. To me, tone, weight, and playabilty are more important than how it was made. JMO.
  20. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    I work with a local luthier who hand makes his guitar and bass bodies. If this kid, and he is compared to Tobias and Elrick, hand makes a body, it does not translate into value, but to the extent that the TLC produces the very best the wood can offer, quality is indeed affected. Now if the giants hand make something, not only do you get the TLC aspect, but what they do translates into value. Thus the high cost of a Fodera, etc. The handmade quality may be equal to the kid's, but the value will be much greater. The trick is to buy an unknown's instrument while he's still unknown, thinking ahead enough to get some verification of authenticity. Then when he becomes famous, your value is exponentially impacted due to age! What do you expect from a business major?

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