Home Brew Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Lance Jaegan, Jan 19, 2001.

  1. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    In constructing a bass, there has to be a damn good reason, otherwise, it's much safer, and probably cheaper (after you count all the time you spend building the damn thing) to buy a bass. But, in the quest for tone, I am required to build my own, because my finances don't allow me to buy Alembics. I love the Alembic sound, and they're ultimately playable, but I simply can't afford one. (Yea, yea, I can pick up a used one for a little over a thousand, whatever, I still want to roll my own.) Also, I'm looking for something a little different than Alembic tone.
    So, anyways, I set about the task of finding all the parts to get me my dream tone/bass, and here they are.

    - Carvin 24 fret hard rock maple neck with ebony fretboard. Neck-through.
    This was the only place I could find a neck through neck, and it had exactly the woods I wanted, so I wasn't complaining. This is the entire basis of my project.

    -Brass Hipshot Bass Bridge A style, 4 string. .750 string spacing.
    The only place I found this puppy was in the Luthiers Mercantile International Catalog. It's saddles are laterally adjustable too, like the Schaller roller bridge, but it's made out of brass, which the Schaller isn't. A heavy brass bridge will give you lots of sustain, as well as increase harmonic response. Woohoo.

    -Seymour Duncan AJJ-2 Lightning Rods Active Jazz Bass Pickup Set
    Active Jazz = good. Need I say more?

    -Hardrock maple body.
    The tighter the grain, the harder the wood, the brighter the tone. My dream tone was described to me one time when I was reading a review of a Kawai knock-off of an Alembic. It's body was made mostly out of hard maple, with a few other woods, and 2 different reviewers (on Harmony Central) described the bass as a "piano in bass clothing." I love the sound of a piano. I love sustain. I love to play bass. What else can I ask for? I also play jazz, and I think this tone would fit excellently into a jazz situation

    So, what do you people think? Anything you'd change about it if you were going for the same tone/sustain combination I am? I might try a few other pickups on the sucker, and in the future, I might change the bridge, and add piezos. When I finish, I'll be sure to post pics. :D
    Don't expect 'em for another 4 weeks though. :(
  2. Well, Howdy Lance

    I don't want to brag but it was my review of the Kawai that you're referring to. And it sounds like you've pretty much got the combo to duplicate the sound.

    Good Luck!

  3. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    A shortcut maybe? 2Tek Bridge! :D , 2 J-pups...$650 (used).
    Will somebody please buy this dang thang! :p;)
    ( http://www.actionguitar.com )

  4. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Dammit. I was hoping someone would say, "What the hell are you doing? That won't work! Why would you do it anyways?" Darn. At least my GAS has been temporarily solved by ordering all the parts. :) Hopefully my primitive woodworking skills won't screw it up, although I did take 2 years of high school shop! :D I thought about buying a Kawai off of Ebay, but I still haven't seen an FB-2 or whatever with the maple core up for sale on there yet. Maybe I'll buy one off there anyways, it's only 400-500. :)
  5. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Yeah, but they aren't F2-B's with maple cores.
    Back to waiting for my parts to show up...
  6. Sorry Lance but all of these basses have maple cores, even the painted one. All of these basses from the oldest to the newest have a maple core and laminated maple/mahogany neck. The differences are the top woods. Mine happens to me zebrawood, but they also came with flame maple, koa, and mahogany. As a matter of fact of all the F-2B's I've seen and played (probably over 30) all had maple cored bodies.

    Whoops, sorry, that third one is the bolt on variety. I don't have any experience with these (cuz theyz ugly!)

    [Edited by Hambone on 01-22-2001 at 05:35 PM]
  7. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Oh, well that's pretty friggin' cool. Guess I need to eduamacate myself. I'll buy one some day, and see how it matches up to the custom I'm building. :)
  8. That's cool, but I'm gonna write a new rule that says "If you build it, you gotta put a pic of it on TalkBass"