1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How many have built their own instrument?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hambone, Jun 15, 2001.

  1. Yes, I have and will do it again!

    10 vote(s)
  2. Yes, I have but the tree huggers picketed my house!

    0 vote(s)
  3. No, I haven't ...yet. Now explain this "quartersawn" thing again.

    8 vote(s)
  4. No, I haven't cuz "off the rack" doesn't just work for prom dresses!

    1 vote(s)
  1. I chose to not use the phrase "rolled their own" cuz we would be flooded with bogus entries for obvious reasons ;)

    The question has been asked and I've always sort of wondered just how many have. We've got a pretty large group of folks here and I wager that there are at least 20 that have done it. The other choices in the poll are because this is the first poll I've created and I didn't want it to look wimpy!

    So let's hear it. Have you or haven't you? Of course, only your exotic hardwoods supplier knows for sure.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img src="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1174383&a=8647027&p=45907306"><img src="http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1174383&a=8647027&p=50430783">

    I have & would definitly do it again. Both Warmoth basses:

    5 string: "Sadowsky Wanna-B"
    Maple neck & fret board
    gold hardware
    Gotoh tuning machines
    Schaller roller bridge
    quilted maple top on ash body
    EMG 40 J p/u's
    Aguilar OBP-1 pre-amp

    4 string: "Geddy Lee"
    Bound maple neck & fret w/ blach block inlays
    Chrome hardware
    Schaller BML tuners
    BAdAss II bridge
    Alder body
    Fender American Std p/u's
    70's Jazz decal will be put on.

    I want to build a 5 string to look exactly like the "Geddy Lee". I want to put an Aguilar OBP-1 & maybe EMG J5 set. But funds are low since I just put a deposit on a Sadowsky 24 fret 5 string.
  3. Ha, Nino I forgot about you. You're the resident Warmoth guru. Your choice of parts and vision of what a bass is has my whole hearted approval. A "Sadowsky knockoff" was sort of what I was going for in my first. The next natural finish curly maple body I make will have a finish that will closely match Sadowsky's caramel burst finish. The first time I saw that color I had to change my pants!

    Bravo to your creations!
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I wish I had half the talent to be able to build my own gear. I know jack-squat about all that stuff. :(
  5. I'll prolly begin accquiring items for a new 4 string. Warmoth of course. Prolly just be buying the neck and body as I see em in the thrift catalog. Try and keep it in $200 - $300 at a time. Not in a big hurry, and that way I won't get in a rush, and be able to test fit everything. And I look forward to some problems:) Prolly w/ the nut. I like my graphite nut that's on my Gibson-Tobias, But I'd like to possibly cut one outta Aluminum stock. My T-40 (aka. The Log) has a metal nut, and I love the sustain! I figure I'll get my EE buddy to help w/ the electronics. I'm pretty sure I'll go w/ a J neck p/u and a MM bridge. Besta both worlds eh. Some preamp w/ Treb/Mid/Bass control. Blend of course too. AND a battery box. The carvin I have has one...best thing in the world!

    Any suggestions on p/u and Preamp manuf. guys?

    Really glad I found this forum!
  6. Warmoth P bass (4 string:D)

    heavy ash body (natural)
    maple neck/maple fretboard
    jumbo frets
    Baddass II bridge strung thru-body
    Hipshot Ultralite machineheads
    brass nut
    2X roller string trees
    EMG Select P p/up
    Kent Armstrong double J bridge p/up with series/parallel/single coil selector
    5-way rotary selector for p/up selection and panning using preset pots
    tone and volume controls bypass on vol pull-pot

    I've gigged it quite a lot since I completed it just before last new year.
    the p/up selector idea works brilliantly for me, and there's loads of sustain.
    I can get stingray-like sounds from the bridge p/up run solo in either humbucking mode.

    it's got a few scratches on it and the lacquer's started to wear off the sides of the neck, which I suppose is inevitable with maple fingerboards.
    I'm going to refinish it at some point- I didn't do a very good job of spraying it to start with- lots of overspray on the body :oops: (first attempt at a spray finish)

    getting to the 21st fret is a bit of a pain though with the standard P-bass body.

    ps. Nino- a 5string Geddy Lee jazz would look awesome!
  7. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Hey, Nino. What was the total cost of your Sadowsky "Wanna B?" I am thinking of doing a 4 string version for something to do. Looks like fun. Thanks.

  8. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Hear, hear. I can't even get a pinewood derby car to roll straight. :(
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    A little under $900.00. I highly recomend you get the body from the "Thrift Shop".
  10. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I would, and will soon, build one again. I wanted a super-deep sounding fretless, so I made a semi-hollow alder body with western red cedar top, bolt on neck with ebony board (bought from Carvin), two 14.5k ohm humbuckers made by Gotoh, Sperzel locking tuners, and through-body bridge. I love playing my own bass. Don't worry too much about not knowing what you are doing; I mostly learned from Melvin Hiscock's book. Try it!
  11. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I made a bass from scratch as part of my "design and tech" A level many years ago.

    3 piece (maple/mahogany/maple) thru neck with a mahogany body. Sounded ok, but the neck was quite deep which meant it was not easy to play.

    Just waiting now for Warmoth to finish and ship my Gecko bits to me (July 9th!) to add to the pups and actives sat here ready and waiting.
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS

    The above is one of two jazz basses that I built. The neck is wenge with an ebony fingerboard and I used a Warwick brass adjustable nut on it. The body I got a great deal on from All Parts, it was unfinished and I stained it and finished it using a combination of tung oil and Minwax wipe on polyurethane. The tuners are Schaller mini's my personal favorite, the bridge is an ABM adjustable, and the pickups and electronics are from Bartolini. I also installed an active/off/passive switch on the bass as well. I own a few high end basses, and this is still one of my favorites sound as well as looks.
  13. LiL BaSS DuDe

    LiL BaSS DuDe Guest

    May 15, 2001
    I'd love to build my own bass!

    But right now.. well.. I can barely tune my bass by ear :p

    Maybe in a few years, when I get to a project for Technical in schoo, I'll design a body or something ;)
  14. Here is my creation:


    Most of the building story is there also.

    Phil, I wouldnt' have thought I would like that style headstock on a Jazz Body but you sure made it work in style! Great piece.
  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Hambone & Phil, those basses looks awesome!!!!! Looking @ the back picture of Hambone's bass, it looks like the neck dosen't fit into the pocket properly. I've been told that if the neck dosent fit into the pocket snugly, it can shift in time. I'm not 100% sure on this info, but I've heard it alot.
  16. Nino, the neck pocket was designed specifically for that particular neck. As a matter of fact the entire bass design was oriented around the neck as that was the first measurable piece in hand. It's also the most important IMO.

    The heel of the neck was traced, then scanned to get it into the computer. Then the scan was traced and refined to precisely match the neck itself. About 6 rounds of paper patterning was required to get it to a precise fit. As you know, Warmoth necks have the extended fingerboard and the extended truss rod nut. That makes for some interesting decisions when making a good neck pocket. After the paper patterning, the whole routing file was run for pattern check in MDF. I still have the original test pattern. This pattern showed me that my neck pocket was a bit tight and needed some relief. I modified the cutting file and ran the file through the actual blank. The results were fantastic. Aside from a perfectly matched pocket, I also had a very flat mating surface in the pocket for bolting. The combination is perfect and I can run a body anytime for a Warmoth neck and be assured of it's fit.

    You're right about how important it is - that's why I took all these steps.
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well...I intend to assemble a Warmoth one of these days (after the Pushic and new rig). And now for the "I'm-gonna-tell-you-weather-you-like-it-or-not" part of the post. :)

    I've got a POS Ibanez...but I love the neck to death. The body isn't worth saving, but to me, the neck is. So in the distant future, I'm gonna get Warmoth everything except the neck. But, I'd get a new nut and tuning machines upgrade also. Make my own Franenbass. That way, I can have a 4 really worth my time, as well as "keeping" my first bass, in a sense. Just my plans....
  18. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Hambone, Nino-Brown, thanks for the kind words. :)
  19. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    In chronological order:

    A fretless 'P-Type', (I use that phrase loosely), with soft maple body and 1/4" bookmatched curly-maple top, rock-maple neck and fingerboard.

    Fretted 'P-Type' with basswood body sprayed black and maple/maple neck. Both of these basses used Schaller PBX pickups which sounded very good. I wonder why they don't get more press...

    Fretless custom design, maple neck, purpleheart fretlines, alder body. Carvin electronics, (passable, but I won't go that route again). For the body style, think of those old Brian Bromberg Peavey's. This bass was my main player for a few years.

    Fretted 'J-Type' neckthrough with 3 piece laminate maple neck and fingerboard and Alder body wings. EMG Select pickups, not too bad for the bux. Sprayed this funky olive-drab color. Made it on commission and though it's not my choice for a color, I'll admit it wasn't as bad as it sounds.

    Fretted 'J-Type', maple/maple neck, Alder body w/Tung-oil finish. I got to see the kid I made this one for gig last month, and I will say that this bass sounded and looked pretty good.

    On the bench right now is a 75% complete EURB, 42" scale, maple laminate body/neck, purpleheart fingerboard. It'll use a Highlander pickup. I've taken pictures of this one from the purchased boards through all the steps. When it's done, I'll post a link...

  20. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    lets see...i plan on building two basses in the near future if i can't afford buying a bunch of warwicks :)

    Bass #1 - Frankenbass
    5-string Wenge neck w/Wenge fingerboard, undecided japanese character inlaid in jade at 12th fret
    3+2 headstock, angled back
    unfinished jazz style ash body, no pickguard
    1 bartolini full range J pickup (neck position)
    1 bartolini "bright voice" j pickup (bottom of p/up is where the middle of normal p/up would go)
    1 bartolini "deep voice" j pickup (right underneath the bright pickup)
    electronics would have master volume, blend between the two bridge pickups, blend between the bridge pickups and the neck pickups, and 3 way tone control
    gotoh 206 bridge
    warwick just-a-nut (I if i can find it, II if i can't)
    all black hardware

    Bass #2

    4 string jazz profile wenge neck w/wenge fingerboard and blue LED fret markers
    2+2 headstock, angled back, white veneer
    white jazz style ash body with red tortoiseshell pickguard
    1 emg P pickup
    1 emg J pickup
    electronics with volume, blend, and 3way tone
    gotoh 206 bridge
    warwick just-a-nut
    gold hardware

    there you have it.


Share This Page