Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by barroso, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    i'm more and more convinced that handmade basses sound incredible. when i started getting interested in luthery and decided to design my own instrument and build it with the help of a skilled italian young luthier i searched the web for handmade basses. look at this doubleneck beauty:

    i'd like to share comments and opinions on your handmade bass and on yout experience (ups and downs) with handmade instruments
  2. Dave Pushic (DPcustom) is building my bass, I can't wait its gonna be sweet:D
    this will be my first handmade bass, so I'll see how I like it. it should sound awesome. one thing about handmade is, the bass is built with passion and not an assembley line.
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    From my experience,
    -Get exactly the options you want
    -Fit and feel of instrument is not variable, like in some mass produced basses
    -Attention to detail is much greater
    -Generally, handmade basses have better components (hardware, electronics, etc.)
    -instruments plays and sounds better

    -Can be long build times if luthier is busy
    -You pay for the advantages

    Overall I personally prefer handmade basses, now that I have crossed over I have difficulty finding interest in any of the good mass produced basses.

  4. Depends on how you want to define "Handmade". To me, it is an instrument where the components (woods, electronics, etc) are chosen to meet the client's needs for that particular instrument, the client is given some room in the design and it is assembled by or under the watchful eye of the original designer, usually in a small shop with a few highly skilled experts.

    I only know of a couple of luthiers that will give the client much, if any, room outside the luthier's designs. Zons, Conklins, Foderas and Dingwalls are "handmade" but still always look like Zons, Conklins, Foderas and Dingwalls. Ken Bebensee and DP Custom allow much more customization, but often at the risk of loosing their own identity and perhaps some control of how they are perceived in the marketplace.

    In the end, it is the how the instrument works as a whole that really matters. Just having the option to select the "best" individual components does not guarantee excellent results. I really don't care is the luthier uses a template and bandsaw or a CNC machine or a mold (graphite necks) as long as the end result is excellent.

    It is the attention to detail and quality combined with the luthier's skill and vision to create a great instrument that makes the instrument great. I've seen really poorly executed handmade designs, so that in and of itself is no guarantee of quality. But I do agree that the smaller shops usually produce better quality than the mass produced shops.

  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    IMO,it dosen't matter if it's hand built or machine built as long as QUALITY PARTS are used. But most of the time, when a bass is a production bass, the quality of the wood is over looked. But I've had MIM Fenders, w/a little modifications, sounded & felt great. Now I own a hand built Sadowsky bass that beats everything else I own/have played. I love my 2 Warmoth basses very much. My Ric gets little play time but I don't see myself selling it. Latley, I've been in a 4 string mode & my Spector NS-2 & NS-4CR are getting ALOT of play time. I have a cheapo Essex Jazz copy w/Fender p/u's, an EMG-BTC pre amp & BadAss II that sounds & plays great & is a back up to either Spector when I play live. But just because the Sadowsky is the best IMO, I still play my other basses & they are still great in their own way (Hand built or production line built).

    If you feel inside you that the bass plays great & feels great, it dosen't matter how it's made, who it's made by or how much it costs.
    <a href="http://www.theoremnyc.cjb.net"><img src="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1174383&a=8647027&p=56864555&Sequence=0&res=high" border=0 width=350></a>
  6. I love my Elrick New Jazz Standard Bass, it's 4 strings, Ash Body and Quilted Top, with Bartolini Soap bars and Bartolini Pre Amp, Bolt-On, all the tones that I could hoped for in a bass, thinking of selling my other basses since the variety of tones out of this bass is incredible, sustains like crazy. Even more tone options when I run it through my Eden WT-800 and Epifanin 4 x 10. The bass was worth every penny, and when my friend played his Fender MIA Jazz Bass, the Fender sounded clanky.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My main bass is handmade. I'll probably never buy a factory bass again.
    Handmade basses don't have to be more expensive than production basses. Most (German) luthiers offer excellent basses even in the lower end of their product palette.

    Marleaux, Human Base, Bassline and others offer J-style basses that are no more expensive than Fenders, but comparable to Lull or other Super Fenders.
  8. If it's made in a one or two-person shop, I love it!!! Factory made instruments are "product." A true custom is "art." The instrument represents the luthier and the expression of their art to the world - not a bunch of anonymous, hourly wage, production line, slugs.

    With something that is supposed to be your voice, the communication between the luthier and the client is crucial to realizing it as fully as possible.

    Factory instruments are just nameless compromises and usually overpriced for an alder/maple combo. That isn't to say they can't sound and play better than a luthier's work. But that can be more a result of the client's poor choices than the luthier's skill.

    One thing that bites is that a lot of the young, novice, players here get the feeling they have to have a custom bass to be "worthy." They seem to have the impression they need one. Hell, I couldn't have truly appreciated one until a couple of decades of playing later. Nor did I know what I wanted until I found my sound.
  9. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Thats an awesome bass...basically a handmade 4080 except it has a 5 string bass instead of a guitar and jazz pickups...not much point in a double neck though....
  10. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    My Aries 6 was made in a 2 man shop in Croatia. It kicks ASRSE!!! My Eshenbaugh 5, built by Mark Eshenbaugh out of South Carolina, will be ready in January. Hey Atlanta people, go to GC, there's an Eshenbaugh fretless 5 in there. Go check it out.
  11. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Esh 'n Stambaugh, what? IS that a collaborative doubleneck?

  12. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Eshenbaugh is his actual name.:p