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interesting heel on MTD-535

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nonsqtr, Jul 4, 2004.


  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Here's an interesting pic. Note the thin layer of black right around the heel, where the neck bolts to the body. The neck is ash, and the body is ash. I don't know what the black part is, any guesses? Then there's also a thin layer of white on the other side of the black part, any guesses on what that is? Any opinions on what this construction might do for the function or tone of the bass?
     
  2. 6-3-2

    6-3-2

    Sep 20, 2003
    I'd say ask the man who builds them. Seeing as it's only at the connection I assume it's some type of re-enforcement of the neck to body connection.
     
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Does anyone else have an MTD-535 that looks like this?
     
  4. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    I've never seen that before on a MTD. If I were to take a stab at guessing, I would have to say that the black is a small piece of ebony. It's possibelt that the Ash neck has a Maple tone plate which is why you see the laminate, but that's just a guess.
     
  5. looks to be a small accent line of ebony, just to make the heel a little more interesting in appearance.
     
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Could be that the slab of ash used for the neck wasn't quite thick enough at the heel, so Mike shimmed it in a very attractive way.
     
  7. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Might be a shim. I was thinking about that. On the other hand, aren't most shims "loose"? Like, a shim would ordinarily be a thin piece of something, that slides in between the neck and the body? On this bass, the ebony and "whatever the white part is" are glued to the neck. I'm perceiving it more along the lines of the "accent lines" that someone mentioned. But, that doesn't mean it couldn't fulfill the same function as a shim. But also, I'm guessing there's more to it than that. I mean, if you were going to use a shim, why not just use a small piece of ordinary wood like most people do? Why use ebony and "whatever the white part is"? Surely that's for more than just looks? 'Cause who looks at the heel anyway? :)
     
  8. I've never seen one like that before, either, but I've only seen one or two ash-necked MTDs (and none in person!). My guess is that Fuzzbass is right, and either the ash neck blank wasn't quite deep enough or the extra hardness of that layer of maple at the heel makes a difference in the bolt-on neck joint.

    Mike
     
  9. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Mike is building a lot of Ash necks now - they sound amazing (actually I am picking up a new on this week) .. and yes, pics will follow.

    I have seent the black stripe on the heel on a few in his shop and asked him about them. It is as some already figured out - a very attractive shim

    Mike Dimin
     
  10. gfab333

    gfab333

    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Believe it or not, based on my experience, Mike Tobias will promptly respond to most any email on his basses. Try sending the pic to him and I'm sure you'll receive an answer that explains the mystery.
    :D
     
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep. The responsiveness of this bass is truly outstanding, which is why I asked the question. I was curious to know whether the construction of the heel contributed to that, or whether it was due to the ash neck, or what it might be. I've played probably dozens of other 535's, and none of them were anywhere near as responsive as this one is. The main difference (that I can think of) is the ash neck, and looking at that, the heel stands out as being a prime candidate for something "different". This is a superb instrument, and I can see why the ash necks would have become instantly popular (assuming they result in responsive basses like this one). The thing is, I'm going to keep an open mind over the next few years and keep an eye on the stability of the neck. People who have 535's have told me that they tend to break in nicely after about a year or so. Hopefully the same would be true with the ash neck.
     
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I am picking up my 535 (E,A,D,G,C) tomorrow afternoon. Ash body with a cool "Rose of the Mountain" Top, ash neck, maple board. I asked Mike about the stability of Ash Necks. He said he uses Northern hard Ash for the necks, not swamp ash. he also gets his ash from a very highly respected dealer and has absolutely no problem with ash necks whatsoever.

    Mike
     
  13. keoliphant

    keoliphant

    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    I just received my 1st 535....ash body & neck, crotch walnut top, maple board. What an amazing bass! Aggressive, punchy, clear, & evenly voiced. I highly recommend ash.

    Ken
     
  14. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    So, where are the pics???
     
  15. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    Is this this one ?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Does that wood truss rod cover do anything other than cover the truss rod adjustment cavity? It looks like a ramp.

    Looking forward to the pictures of the basses you guys are getting. I like those MTDs...

    Tim99.
     
  17. Ari

    Ari

    Dec 6, 2001
    No, the truss rod cover is only that. It is level with the rest of the top so it doesn't serve as a ramp.
     
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member


    To the BatBass, Robin!!


    Holy crotch, that is beautiful. :eek:
     
  19. keoliphant

    keoliphant

    Mar 11, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Nope, that's not it....still available at Austin BAss Traders....Glenn Kawamoto's a great guy to work with. I almost pulled the trigger on that one but wanted a 535-24. I'll try figuring out how to post a picture soon!
     
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"