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Leo's custom 4 string fretless B1

Discussion in 'Barker Bass Forum' started by Lee Barker, Aug 20, 2007.


  1. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Well, the progress has been significant enough to warrant the establishment of a photographic chronicle and related entertaining narrative surrounding the construction of a custom Barker for Leo Goff, the Freight Train of Pain of Memphis, USA.

    The lumber has been selected. Now I know that is more than enough to take your breath away, so grab a little oxygen before you peek at this picture of the stunning grain figure that will grace this one of a kind instrument.

    Now I'd better get back to work. I wouldn't want to lose my rhythm.

    Lee
     
  2. WOW...but Lee, I think you forgot to add a few more pictures....Leo
     
  3. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Well Leo I kept thinking about a Stones' song while I was working on the electronics cavity of your new custom B1.

    Anyway, it's looking good, and since I finished this part of the project, there hasn't been any hum at all in the shop. So the shielding is successful!

    I used to hum a lot, then I learned the words. I read them in my very own copy of the Barker Home Humnal.

    I'm going back to the shop now.
     
  4. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    How would stacked pots look on a Barker B1? We'll find out on Leo's custom. I've dry fitted the pots and knobbed them up to see how they ride in the custom inset.
     
  5. JKT

    JKT

    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    I'm already salivating:smug:
     
  6. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Just back from finish...
     
  7. Looks like it's coming along nicely. The wood and finish looks super!!! Thanks for the update and fine job. Now go take some time off and have a great Christmas! Leo
     
  8. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    All safety precautions were observed.
     
  9. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    better pic
     
  10. Kevin Ellis

    Kevin Ellis Supporting Member

    That's beautiful !!:hyper:
     
  11. kithdotus

    kithdotus Guest

    Now that is what I call soldering! :)
     
  12. Tom7

    Tom7 I'm so bright, my mom called me son! ;-)

    Jan 31, 2000
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I'm embarrassed how dumb I am about woods. Is that ash?

    And what are the heavy duty electronics? Will this one be active? Will there be a separate battery compartment to make changing batteries toolless?

    This is very interesting to me; thanks or sharing.
     
  13. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Is that ash?

    It's cherry on the front, and nobody--nobody--would be able to identify most woods in images like that. The back is alder, but somewhat unusual in the figure. This combination is what all the current B1s are, and I really like it for all around response and quality of sound. It's what Leo has on his B1 fretted four, so he kept that as a constant in this fretless one.

    And what are the heavy duty electronics? Will this one be active? Will there be a separate battery compartment to make changing batteries toolless?

    Latter question first: No, it's passive, but the B1 four with the Graphtech Ghost, next to be assembled by the Helmeted Honyocker (me, for me), is powered and does have a double battery compartment accessed from the back. The idea is to have a 9v system with the second slot a dummy for holding a new battery on board at all times. I'm paranoid about bass brownouts.

    The HD electronics pic is something of a piece of humor, which I fall prey to occasionally. What's unique is there are two stacked pots, instead of the typical J bass three singles. Oh, and it's a P-J combination, with Carey Nordstrand's pickups. I'm eager to hear all this in a fretless version.

    And just to be even differenter, Leo specced a bubinga neck.

    I'll have some more pix up this week; thanks for your interest! This bass has been a joy to build from day one and I sure as heck wish Memphis were closer to Oregon so I could hear Leo play it!
     
  14. Well Lee...it looks like you're getting close to having it done. I can't wait to get your report on how it sounds. So when it's delivered, there will be 3 Barker Basses in the Eads, Tn. zipcode. Kevin, who also lives in Eads, has a Barker. So maybe you and Linda need to visit Eads to support all of us Barker owners! Anyway, great pictures, and thanks for the updates. Leo

    Endorsed Customer, Brad's BBQ, Oakland, Tn.
     
  15. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul. Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    but not quite ready to go out the door.

    I am quite smitten with the bottom end of this bass. Leo and I talked about it and agreed that sometimes all the little variables lean the same way and unexpected things happen.
     
  16. Congratulations Lee....Very well done! I can't wait to play it....Leo
     
  17. The suspense is killing me- how is it?
     
  18. Sorry for leaving this thread hanging for so long, but I really needed to live with this bass for a while before I could write anything about it.

    I can report it is absolutely wonderful. The combination did exactly what I hoped it would do. Lee felt the B1 would be the starting point. I wanted to use a fretless Bulbinga neck, with an Ebony fret board.

    There were several reasons why I wanted to use the Bulbinga / Ebony neck configuration. Bulbinga, when used as a neck material, produces a bright mid range, and a thick, well defined bottom. All Barker Basses are noted for their big, round articulate sound. I was curious to hear what the Special would sound like with the Bulbinga / Ebony neck combination in a fretless version.

    P- Bass pickups are noted for their big, full, and round tone. Jazz pickups in the bridge position give even tone, great articulation, and snapÂ…which comes in handy for solos. The concentric tone / volume pots make a lot of blending combinations possible, and I like their clean appearance. Lee suggested using Nordstrand pickups, and I agreed. It turned out to be a very good choice.

    Well, it came together beautifully. This bass sounds BIG...it does, as I hoped, produce a big, round sound...but you can pick out every subtle nuance. It's not dark, and it cuts very well through the mix, and the notes are there with fantastic tone. I'm told this from the front of house sound men, and other musicians in the audience...not just what I perceive.

    The feel of the neck, and the action, as Lee initially set it up, makes playing it a real pleasure. The music I play lends itself well to a fretless, and I prefer the un-encumbered feel and versatility of a fretless bass. The empathy of feel and tone which can be produced with a fretless is what I enjoy. I think a fretless is more "musical", and produces notes that are not as "mechanical" as a fretted instrument.

    Having said that, I still often play my Fretted B1 when I'm outside the realm of Blues and R&B.

    Lee took some of my ideas, combined them with his brilliant design, and produced a bass that gave me what I've been trying to find for a long time.

    Now that I've used it for a while, I wouldn't change a thing.
     
  19. Awesome! Where do you play?
     
  20. Most of my gigs are on Beale St., here in Memphis, Tennessee.

    I do go out for concerts,festivals, and club dates with a few national acts several times a year, but after many years of road touring, I don't do extended road things much at all.

    The Beale St. venues attract people from all around the world who travel here to experience "The Blues", so it's kinda' like they come to here, so we don't have to go "there"!

    If you're not familiar with Beale St. and it's history, do a search on it. It's got an interesting history. This is one link you can check out:www.bealestreet.com/bealesttalk.html

    Thanks for your interest, and Merry Christmas! Leo
     

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