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Help needed in the basics

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by punkmetal, Aug 22, 2005.


  1. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    I hope this is the right place to ask questions

    I have been looking every which way and can not find any thing about tuss rods on line.
    I know almost nothing about tuss rods, but all I really need to know is
    1) what kind for a 35'' scale 5 or 6 string
    2) where to get one
    3) how much
    4) can I make my own

    also if I do a NT design do I need a tuss rod? I have seen a few guitars without tuss rods but I think a Basses has to have one. But I don't really know.

    Also with electronics, I know that I want to use EMG-45J and EMG-45P Pups (if a six). What controls would you recommend for these? I just need a bass, treble, volume, and tone control (to my knowledge). But I am unsure about brand, does the battery connections come with or what do I need, and where to buy from.

    I don't plan on starting this project for at least a couple of months. I am currently just gathering all the information I can. I have most of the plans drawn up but have a few major details left out due to uncertainties on what I want.

    thanx in advance
    Andy
     
  2. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    I'm fairly new at this myself, but I will do my best.


    Truss rods do not run the whole length of the neck. People seem fond of the "Hot Rods" available here. It looks like a good system to me. You will be mostly interested in the 24" rods. There are, of course, other types of truss rods, so you may look around to see what kind you like best.

    Truss rods are not absolutely mandatory, but I would not recommend building anything without one. You will just end up replacing a lot of warped necks.

    You CAN make a truss rod, but I don't see why you would want to. If you are really interested, a simple googling would problably get you some good info. Otherwise, Melvyn Hiscock's book "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" has some instructions and pictures on how to make them.

    Stewart-MacDonald and LMI are great resources for (bass) guitar parts and books. Also, Allparts is pretty good, too.

    If you plan to make a 6er, you will want to use 2 truss rods.

    If you are using EMG pickups, I would recommend using an EMG pre-amp as well. They are well-matched for each other. I'd recommend their BTC system...and just add a tone control knob before the output. (Melvyn's book has good schematics for tone/volume controls also). EMG pre-amps have the added benefit of being very easy to install and wire. They do come with 9v battery connections, I believe, but not a separate compartment. If you don't want to open the electronics cavity to change batteries, you will probably want to plan a battery compartment cavity. Personally, I like Carvin's compartment.
    Good Luck,
    -HMH
     
  3. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    Yeah I am currently looking for a copy of Melvyn Hiscock's book "Make Your Own Electric Guitar" at a couple of book stores. No luck yet but o well. I did find out that the electronics that would suite me the best are the EMG's thanx. I am looking for something similar to a Warwick FNA jazzman confiuration but with out the push pull because i don't think I'd really need it.

    thanx so far
    back to the searching for me
     
  4. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    I still am interested on any information and advice on building a custom bass at home but I have had this on the back burner for a while

    my current main bass is a Warwick rockbass corvette classic. It has a bit of wear and tare (band directors fault) on it but is an excellent bass. I actually like the tone of the alder body. The damage it has is 4 chips in its finish. If I striped all of the finish off it would look exactly like a Warwick rockbass corvette SE. I was thinking of striping it and then pin striping along the edge of the veneer and then giving the maple a white stain finish and the rest of the body a transparent black finish to give it a type of tuxedo look. then maybe if I had some extra cash buy a set of EMG or Bartolini pups to put in it. and if I get crazy buy a set of single string saddles to replace the bridge. :bassist: sounds good to me but i don't know if it worth all the trouble.
    Is it ???
     
  5. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Well if you are a big fan of the indi bridge (single string saddle) look, then go for it. Any upgrading is worth the cost if you are pleased with the outcome. Keep in mind that changing from a one-piece bridge to an indi bridge system is mostly an aesthetic change, and if you so choose to ground your strings afterwards, it can get pretty complicated.

    Personally like EMG pickups a lot. I haven't tried the 45J/P but I am sure they aren't crap. My favorite pickup, back in the day, was the el cheapo EMG select. They were like $40 for a P/J set and they gave a killer percussive sound when used with some quality strings (custom made from bronze piano strings). I plan to use a 40HZ on a narrowish 6er that I am building right now. It won't have a pre-amp. As a matter of fact, it'll only have one pickup and one knob (stacked concentric volume/tone).

    Alder is certainly a good sounding wood. If memory serves, a lot of Strats are made from alder. It's not a particularly good looking wood, so it will generally be painted; doesn't look *bad*, just not extraordinarily good. I used to own an Ibanez TR bass that was solid alder. I was very happy with the sound.

    If you strip the finish off and decided you like the grain, by all means put a nice finish on it. If you don't like the grain, fill in the dings and dents, and repaint it. Either way, it could look very cool. In any case, I would test out my finishing ideas on a piece of scrap wood, if I were you.

    Oh, and I ordered my copy of Melvyn's book from StewMac; though any self-respecting luthier shop or online site should have it.


    -HMH
     
  6. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
  7. Tim__x

    Tim__x

    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    The standard tone control will not work with buffered pickups like most EMGs, nor will it work after a pre amp; but it isn't really necessary.
     
  8. I build my own trussrods and when I get home and get around to it, I'll post a pic of one with my particulars.
     
  9. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    punkmetal,

    In my opinion melvyn's book is better than "build your own guitar" I own them both (and many others)

    Check out projectguitar.com to see many online tutorial on guitar building and it's forum. I recommend spending tons of time looking at webpages of guitar and bass building to see how it's done.

    You can start with my online pages that show how I built my 5 string and 6 string bass ;)

    www.geocities.com/philmailloux
     
  10. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Punkmetal,

    It occurs to me to clarify my statement:

    When I say that, I mean only that fretted, stringed instruments were made long before the truss rod was invented, and are still being made to this day. However, I do not know of any bass guitar maker that builds basses without them.

    -HMH.
     
  11. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    Phil those basses look awesome!!!

    does anyone think a black and green sun brust would look cool. And do I need to use a sprayer like that?
     
  12. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    I was going through some of my ideas for the bass i want to build and one of my ideas that would be the easiest for me to do (woods easier to get) is a maple neck and a maple body. what kind of sound might i expect from this.
    all i really know when it comes too shape is i want the top horn (or w/e its called) to be a scroll disign and an over all smaller body with a unique shape.
     
  13. Googling, or a search here for "truss" rods might do the trick.... :D
     
  14. punkmetal

    punkmetal Guest

    Jul 19, 2005
    WI (milwaukee area)
    yeah that was a misspell