I'm trying to buid a 5 string and i need advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ratamahatta, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    hey, im new here and i dont know very much about bass yet, i have a 4 string ibanex sdgr 300 and i wanted to buy a 5 string for the longest time. Well my grandpa was talking to me the other day and said he would help me build my own 5 string. so i have no clue what type of wood to use or what kind of ceck to buy, or pickus ect. so if anyone has any past experiences with good or bad pickups, string,s body type, pre-amps, anything you can think of pleas help me out.
  2. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    if anyone decides to help me out i found a few types of wood i think would be best please tell me youre opinions if u have any

    quilted maple
    flame maple
    zebra wood

    i cant wait until i start on it :hyper:
  3. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    My take is, if you have no clue on what or how to build, then don't (especially if it's something you are planning to play). You can buy a put-together kit from Carvin or Warmoth for next to very cheap now a days if you're really wanting to assemble one.
    Believe me, you can buy a good used 5 string for cheaper than it's gonna cost for you to make one.
  4. well, if you're looking to have a nice bass for sure at a lower price, then you should just go out and buy a bass, but if you're like me and you want to learn about how a bass is really built and/or just interested in building a bass, then i think you should go for it. There's a lot of good information in this forum, and there's a lot of nice people who'll answer questions (even my stupid ones :D ). Finding a good book on bass countruction would be a good idea. I'm sure it would help you avoid some of the pitfalls that may be associated with building a bass. If you're unsure about anything, just ask! :)
  5. dabshire

    dabshire Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2002
    Allen, TX
  6. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    I have mtd neck for sale brand new...5 string

  7. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    OLP MM3 is a good 5 string. It's a low cost Stingray copy. Musicians Friend might still have some black refurbs for $140(cost me $150 total with shipping). It's a pretty nice bass and the pickup is nice and hot.
  8. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    yeah u just wanted something a little more custom. Im starting to learn more about building them every day, and im thinking abnout going to the warmoth store in peuaulope *sp* for ideas.
    thx for the help it's very much appreciated
  9. Mahagony body with a complete macassar ebony top, and a wenge/ebony neck with an ebony fretboard. And macassar ebony pickup covers, control cover, knobs, and headtsock.

  10. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    uhh.... huh?
    sry i dont know much about basses yet i just play them.
  11. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    There are a lot of good threads in the luthier's corner.

    It's true that it would be cheaper to buy one than to build one. If you want to learn how to build a bass, that's a totally different thing.

    If you are going to build a bass, I would suggest that you use the bassic woods that most basses are made from. I wouldn't start with the figured maples and the other fancy woods.

    Good luck.
  12. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    i think im going to use zebrawood
    my grandpas really good at working with wood so he's gunna help me make a really cool body.
  13. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Well if you haven't decided already, you can always use mahogany as a body or whatever wood you like, and get a fancy top for it
  14. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    no im not gunna put anything over the wood i think im gunna put a finish ont it.
  15. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Run, do not walk to www.mimf.com It is a forum for luthiers. You will find a lot of information there about just how big of a job you have put in front of yourself.

    A mahogany body core with zebrano face would look nice, but beware of the allergic reactions that zebra causes. Get Melvyn Hiscock's book, Build Your Own Electric Guitar It will tell you most of what you need to get started.
  16. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    now im thinking tiger maple
    im never gunna be able to make up my mind:help:
  17. ratamahatta

    ratamahatta Guest

    Sep 8, 2003
    well is started, it's tiger maple with a wingy inlay around the edge of the body wingy fret boarde and the bottom is slotted into the neck so it looks really kool, the wood is light so i got 5 black machine heads, the head style is like an ibanex but a little bigger cuz of the 5 strings, the body type resembles my ibanez sdgr 300 but its bigger and i tweaked around with it alittle, got a couple posts for tone and volume and a pick up switch to go to bridge tale or both of my bartoini soap bars. What do you think?
  18. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    Here are a few things you would want to think about. When you want to choose woods

    1) What kind of tonal range/sound would you want?

    Each wood will definiately change. The body/neck will probably change the most in your sound. If you want a Neckthrough, the neck is very important, but in your case, I'm guessing you will be building a bolt-on.

    2) How much do you want the bass to weigh?

    Every wood has their own weight. Especially on the neck/body. Alder/Poplar/Mahogany/Swamp Ash woods seem to be more on the lighter side. If you would want a heavier bass on the body, try something like Northern Ash, Maple. For necks, You could do anyway.

    If you ever played a Fender, they usually consist of "Alder" body, "Maple Neck", "Rosewood" or "Maple" fingerboards.

    But before you go to the weight part, make sure you figured out what kind of tonal sound you would want from your bass. Choosing the woods are the hardest part. If you have any doubts, call some luthiers up. I'm sure they will give you a general idea of sounds.

  19. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    I don't have an exact figure, but depending on the quality of parts you buy, what kind of pickups, etc you can easily spend $500+ for a bass that is more or less up in the air with regards to how it will turn out. I've got roughly $700 in mine so far, and I've been working on it [including design] since August. Research, read, and relax. There's plenty of info available here-you just have to find it. Enjoy though, if you aren't having fun with what you do, do something else.

    That's all
  20. Zon Bass

    Zon Bass

    Jan 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    Trust me, as someone who is currently building a bass, you would be much better off just buying used.

    No matter how good you are with wood building a bass is a daunting task, especially for someone who isn't really familiar with the instrument.

    Second, price wise you can get a much better bass for the money. Wood will cost you much more than you think and all of the parts add up really quickly too. Not to mention all of the templates and jigs you will probably end up making and only use once.

    In conclusion, the only reason you should build your own bass is to gain some knowledge.
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