Hi folks. Ive been reading this corner of TalkBass over for the past week or so and, while I found a lot of very helpful information, Ive got some questions. Im planning out my first bass build and I wanted to run it past some of you more seasoned luthiers before I pull the trigger. Before I get into my questions I'll explain the project. Im planning on both a 4 and 5 string fretless bass (4 string first and if all seems good onto the 5 string). Neck-through, multi-laminated, steel reinforced, neck with a 34-36 inch Ebony fretboard. Ive got small hands so the neck is going to have to be very thin (as in a 5string Ibanez pushes my hand to its limits and maybe slightly beyond). Body will be Walnut with laminated strips of something else (probably purpleheart but its mostly cosmetic so Ill decide that later). Probably gonna custom design the pickups and/or pre-amp. If I end up buying some pickups I was thinking 2 EMGs would probably work best. Either active or duel. Pre-amps...well I dont have much experience with them so Im not sure what Id choose if I end up buying them. So, question number one: Ebony fretboard. I chose that because I want fretless basses that will survive without the wood getting gouged out too quickly. Frankly I could have way more fun with artistic design if I used more a more colorful wood or even a combination of woods. Everything Ive read suggests that Ebony is far and beyond the strongest for a fretless fretboard. So the question is, are there any other woods that are just as tough or better than Ebony (and please, woods only. Im a woodworker and Ive little interest in branching out into other materials unless absolutely necessary). Question B: Walnut body. Will laminating the body cause a loss/distortion in the sound of the bass? As in, do I need to find the biggest pieces of Walnut I can or will shorter pieces laminated together work just as well? Question the third: Truss rods. I was thinking that with steel supports running through the neck and the fact that it is fretless I probably wouldnt need a truss rod. Is this a valid though or am I showing just how much of an armature bassist I truly am? Last question: Pickups/pre-amp. If my friend bails on me about the custom pickups and pre-amp how does the EMGs sound? Maybe suggestions on a good quality pre-amp? Im hoping to end up with a bass that will be able to produce something like the sound on this video (although in a perfect world itll be able to handle an entire range of sounds for me) . So, if anybody has thoughts or suggestions le me know. Once Ive got the specifics on the requirements for this build Ill start on the cosmetic designs. Ill keep you all up-to-date on the progress. P.S. Sorry for the long winded post.