How to arrange the controls?? (oddball medium scale P-bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mikewalker, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. V, V,T, Toggle all in a vertical line (imagine a row of carrots...)

    0 vote(s)
  2. Diagonal line, L-shaped ( like the pic below)

    0 vote(s)
  3. Diagonal line, L-shaped (but not like the pic below)

    1 vote(s)
  4. Diamond-arrangement ( smaller knobs?)

    0 vote(s)
  5. Trapezoidal

    0 vote(s)
  6. a graceful arc?

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    I'm assembling a Medium-scale maple-fretboard P out of some odds and ends, and having trouble deciding on the knob placement. As it is, it's a bit hard on the eyes, but my various knob layouts so far are not really helping! :) Am I missing out on the obvious?

    The oddity starts with this being a medium-scale neck mounted on a traditional full-size P body. One benefit of this is that it leaves room for a tailpiece behind the bridge, allowing "any old long-scale string set" to work nicely. (saves hunting down medium scale strings...)

    The drawback is that it does look a bit 'unsettling'. I'm going to use an old ABM headless bridge (original Steinberger prototype variety) with a cannibalized "quick-release" bridge plate behind it acting as the tailpiece...

    It's going to be V, V, T and 3-way toggle. (jack will be on the side...) In the pic below I have it set up so it's "ergonomic" for me - but it doesn't look right! Maybe I need to use smaller knobs? (I have these chrome plated aluminum 'bell' knobs laying around...)


  2. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    How about using a 51 P style control plate with everything in one row?
    mikewalker likes this.
  3. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    The traditional Fender body is a symphony of space-age swooping lines and curves. Curved for me. Any though of putting the jack on the end rather than the front? That way you can rotate the control array away from the playing area.
    mikewalker likes this.
  4. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Actually, what looks like a jack is just a bad rendition of a toggle switch there... (it will likely have a side-jack, if I don't change my mind in the next month.)

    I tried and tried, but couldn't find an arc that I really liked, so I'm pretty much sold on this "angle" for now:


    I just found out the neck I thought was a tele headstock is actually a "paddle" headstock, so I will take the opportunity to give this bass a "modified-for-straight-string-pull" version of my favorite 1969 Framus headstock!


    As you can see, the '69 Framus has a much more stylish angle and "fan" than my modded version - but it's totally impractical to execute the identical headstock with Hipshot ultralights. Thus my slightly tilted and widened homage.

    I'm also going to put on a "Famous" logo (adapted from Framus style lettering...) - just because I can!

    Anyway, what could be more famous than a P-bass? :)
    saabfender likes this.
  5. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Continuing with this project...
    I saved myself a lot of work by purchasing a pre-fretted, pre-carved neck from EDEN in California. (The body was custom-cut to my specs by a luthier in upstate NY).

    Problem is, ( as I mentioned above) when the Eden neck arrived, it had a paddle headstock (I had ordered a pre-cut telecaster-style headstock...) :eek:
    Time to have a go at making that sort of "1969 Framus Tribute" headstock (Well, as close as I can get - using modern machine heads and keeping 'straight-string-pull' geometry)...

    The thing is, I do not own a bandsaw! So I decided I would try using the giant old bandsaw at my office. I was a bit leery of that giant blade being able to cut the curves I want, so I bought a small chunk of rock maple (2 bux!) and took it down today to try a bandsaw test. This scrap maple is 3/4 inch, and the actual neck's headstock is only 1/2 inch thick... so I figured if it could navigate the thicker wood OK, then it should be fine for the real thing. It was a bit dicey on the curves, but I came up with a way of cutting off little chunks as I went, to keep the blade clear. I think I have a handle on it now, so tomorrow I'm gonna go back and do the real neck :)
  6. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Suspended Supporting Member

    The key word in your original post is ergonomic. You're building it - for you - so, why on earth would you want something that feels "off", for the sake of looking "good" or "normal"?!?!? Put the controls you want, where your hand wants them, and use whatever knobs make your fingers happy. As The Toecutter said in Mad Max; "This is a threshold moment, Johnny; step through..":thumbsup:
    mikewalker likes this.
  7. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    Actually I hardly ever use the controls, so ergonomics are probably not as big a deal as aesthetics, in this case.
    It really boils down to that middle knob - does it need to follow the curve of the body, or not? I'm having an unusually hard time deciding! :unsure: Perhaps I need to look at it with smaller diameter knobs... ( the mockup has fender bell knobs, like a strat). In any case I am limited by the dimensions of the existing rear control cavity - the body has already gone for paint, so there is no changing that! :)
  8. B-Mac

    B-Mac Happiness is a warm puppy and a great bass Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    If I were you I'd ask the medium scale expert here on TB known as @BassHappy. Only a suggestion.