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It's done! It's done! My FBB custom 5 is done!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Peter McFerrin, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. Here it is, in all its glory:



    The digital pics are a little grainy and Matt's photographic technique isn't exactly BunnyBass quality, but I still think it looks awesome.

    Here are the specs:

    5-piece through-body neck--maple mains, bubinga stringers and fingerboard; 34" scale length, 24 frets, 16" fingerboard radius, 1.75" width at nut, 0.90" depth at first fret, "D" profile (like a Warwick)

    Black walnut back, ribbon stripe bubinga top

    Bartolini M55C pickups in SST ("turbo") configuration, NTBT preamp with concentric bass/treble

    Schaller 3-way adjustable bridge (0.75" spacing), Gotoh GB7 tuning keys
  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000

    Three questions:

    1) Who's FBB?

    2) Did you design the body shape?

    3) How much does it weigh?
  3. 1. FBB is Matt Schmill, a Massachusetts luthier trained by Jack Read. By day, he's an artificial intelligence researcher at UMass-Amherst. His website is at http://eksl.cs.umass.edu/~schmill/fbb/pages/

    2. It's loosely based on his Jive body shape, but with a radically different upper horn for better balance because of the heavy neck.

    3. I don't know, but probably in the neighborhood of 12 pounds. 'Sallgood--I've played some heavy basses before without too much trouble (nothing kills your shoulder like a Thumb Bolt-On 5 with a cheap strap).
  4. Nice.. very nice.. :D

    The headstock looks a bit like the standard " Read " headstock..
    (for example : http://www.readcustom.com/bass6.jpg )

    so.. how does it sound ?
    How 'bout a picture of you with the bass mounted, so we can see this baby in it's correct position ? :D
  5. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    very beautiful bass, let us know how it sound.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Hm, I thought it looked like one of Matt's basses. I know him better as the guy who created the Bass Gear Review Archive http://www.bgra.net
  7. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Super nice, analog! I know how the pics must not do justice at all to the true beauty of the walnut and bubinga.

    I came within a hair of buying one of Matt's "in progress" basses a couple of weeks ago but opted for a Skyline at the same price.

    Helluva good guy to deal with. He even told me he didn't want to sell me one if I wouldn't be happy with his Warwick-style, baseball bat, necks.

    I guess you had to ask for the Barts since he seems to favor EMG's. He offered to do the same for me. Very accommodating.

    As Allo says - what kind of tones are you getting out of it???
  8. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    georgeous lookin bass ya have there. i love that body shape! ill be another to request that you let us know how it sounds! (recorded clips??)
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  10. Very nice indeed. How does it sound?
  11. I'm getting it within a week--Matt said he needs to tweak the setup a few times before he ships it.

    Given the wood and pickup combinations, I expect it to sound a little bit like a Thumb Bass, but with a more defined midrange. I'm going to see if Matt can't make some audio clips.
  12. Digable! I owned one of Matt's earliest basses (#002-97) for some time, and if it wasn't fretless, I'd probably still own it now. It's good to see that he's still building, and it looks like he's really gotten the hang of it. He was the first custom guy I'd ever communicated with; and it was the first time I realised that a handmade bass could actually be pretty affordable. Have fun!
  13. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I sure like my FBB fretless! Matt's a great guy, builds some nice instruments.
    I'd put the B string on my 35" fretless up against any I've played so far.
    I'd been thinking about resurrecting the old thread that turned me on to that bass, but wasn't sure if that was bad form or not. I never really got around to giving it a proper review...

  14. Very nice. I love the body shape on it. Although I wouldn't beable to handle that neck.
  15. Hey Hey Hey!!!

    You're going to LOVE the Bass!!!!! I had Matt make my Bass a little over a year ago. When I got it and looked at the neck I thought "oh-oh, it's thick" but when I played it I changed my mind in a second. Not only does it play great, it sounds great. EVERYONE that sees and/or hears it is VERY impressed. A good friend (and pro Bass player) played it and said "I wish I had a Bass this nice".

    And isn't Matt waaay cool and easy to deal with?
  16. Rockin'. Which bass did you get? I like how he has pics of every bass he's built on his website.

    Oh, and yeah, he's really cool.
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    That bass puts the Funk in Funky. It's like Gumby's mutant brother...But, surprisingly, it's not wholely unatractive. Maybe if it was a bit thinner...
  18. Take a look at how short the body is in comparison with the neck. It needs to be that wide, for balance purposes. Balance was also a reason I went with black walnut for the body and maple/bubinga for the neck, rather than my original plan of a mahogany body and jatoba/purpleheart neck.

    Of course, I had to have the ribbon-stripe bubinga from the moment I saw it. I've seen plenty of pommelle bubinga, but I'd never seen the supreme beauty of ribbon-stripe until I saw the Alembic PJ-equipped 4-string on the "For Sale" page. I would consider that bass if it were a fretless.

    AllodoX: I asked for the headstock to be somewhat after the fashion of a Hanewinckel or Yamaha TRB headstock. I think Matt did an excellent job on it, and the angled tuning keys are a really nice touch.
  19. I got my FBB a few months back and I like it more and more every time I pick it up. Fortuneately, I live about an hour away from Matt and I got to drive over there and get it in person. I also played some of his other basses. If I had the cash money, I'd get the 036-01 with the Lane Poor pickups. That bass is killer! 033-00 is pretty nice too. Congrats on the bass!

  20. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Duke! That is one sweet bass! Now you got me GASing for an FBB...just, wow. That is awsome. I sunnedly need to play that bass. And I kinda like the fretlines. Those make it look a but cooler, IMO. Thumbs up!

    And what kind of wood is that top?

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