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lightweight short-scale 5'r

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JIO, Apr 24, 2018.


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I have a commission to build a very light 5'r and need to find a source for roasted ash and as light as possible. If anyone has purchased such I'd appreciate that contact info. The size I need is 20"x14"x1.5"

    :) Thanks! Once I find and order the ash, I will convert this inquiry thread into a build thread for it.
     
    ICM likes this.
  2. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    JIO likes this.
  3. JIO likes this.
  4. Hey JIO

    A second vote for American Specialty Hardwoods, Jerry will take good care of you. What I got was impressively light. I actually bought the four piece that needs gluing up - the grain matching is fine, it will look pretty much like a single piece with the glue up. Why not save a few bucks especially if you are painting it.

    He does have it in 1-2-3 or 4 piece, priced accordingly. He is also fine with doing some basic millwork - I had mine re-sawn so I have a top that is 1" thick and a back at 3/4". I don't think he even charged for the millwork. Pat of Wilkins fame turned me on to Jerry a while back. At the time, Pat was getting a lot of his roasted wood from him. My hunch is that he still does.
     
    the baint likes this.
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Thanks man - I just ordered from them - 2.6lbs! - perfect! :thumbsup:

    I almost asked Pat - love that our world here is in the correct orbit! :) I'm sure the slab I'm getting will be in the same league.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    BassHappy likes this.
  6. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
  7. I have purchased a number of pieces from Bow River and have been very happy with them too. Nothing roasted though.

    Good luck with it.
     
    JIO likes this.
  8. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Now that the body blank is on the way - here's a primer on my commissioned build. I'm making a short-scale lightweight 5'r for Chris Kuffner. I first met Chris about 4 or so years ago. He had a custom bass made by Gary Fried (SoCal) and I did a moon-gold leaf finish on it. At the time he was touring with Ingrid Michelson of "Girls Chase Boys Chase Girls" fame. Since then I've seen him performing with her a couple of times, A Great Big World and Greg Holden. This fall he'll be touring again with A Great Big World and wanted a 5'r for their sound. Chris is a relatively young player but has back problems so weight is a primary issue. He got the short-scale bug borrowing his friends Callowhill. Sadly, Tim Cloonan passed away in 2016. Here's a tb thread from that time - Tim Cloonan of CallowHill Basses Passed Chris is currently in SF until early May so he brought the bass with him to study. He owns a vintage Musicmaster (short-scale Fender) and started with that as a reference. He likes the retro vibe so we'll be keeping that in mind designing his 5'r. Dan Ransom (SF) is making the neck (5 piece quarter-sawn maple w/inset rockwood stabilizer bars & setback hs) and I'm designing the hs and body.

    Here's some pics of the Callowhill -

    IMG_2325.JPG
    We'll be using string-through ferrules either on the back or the bottom like on my Calabrone.
    IMG_2328.JPG
    Cool sculpting!
    IMG_2324.JPG

    IMG_2327.JPG
    We'll be using Hipshot "Pops" - same footprint of the machine, with paddle keys.
    fullsizeoutput_f4b.
    Yes, you read that right - 2oz's under 6lbs! Crazy light!
    fullsizeoutput_f4a.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  9. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Initial sketches by Chris and myself are zeroing in on the design - it will have a P/J pu setup and an Aguilar pre. I'll be sculpting the body ergonomically for ultimate comfort.

    fullsizeoutput_f4c.
    My hs design will have tapered edges (inner line) and stay maple. The circles are for tuner insets for Hipshot and Sperzel. My design gives the B-string more post-nut length.
    fullsizeoutput_f4d.
    So far - Chris likes this aged/amber'd LPB colour. The pg may be clear with gold-leaf underneath.
    image3.
     
  10. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    According to the headstock, that Callowhill was built Owen Biddle, formerly of The Roots. Biddle played a sweet white Callowhill most of the time he was in Fallon's houseband on Late Night before bowing out of the group.

    I miss listening to him play every night. For me, he was the most interesting and inspirational late night bassist since Will Lee.
     
    the baint and JIO like this.
  11. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Love the vintage vibe on the body designs. The one on the right is especially nice with the RIC'ish continuous swoop on the cut-aways. 2 + 3 headstock is what I'm thinking for a medium scale 5-er, for the same reason; give the thickest strings more room.
     
    JIO likes this.
  12. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yes, made for Owen Biddle it was. It's a sweet little (it is 40" long) 5'r. The petite size will fit in the overhead storage of a airliner - a big plus for a professional musician.

    The one on the right is my initial draft but it's now more like the one on the left which is Chris's sketch. Here's a more recent version:
    fullsizeoutput_f4e.

    It will be 1.5" thick with deep scallops and ergonomic sculpting. In this version, the elbow scallop will butt up against the bridge which will be on a higher flat plane. From a distance it will have a retro vibe, but up close it will be very sculptural. Things can and probably will change before it's finalized - it's the nature of the beast.
     
  13. littlebooner

    littlebooner

    Jan 27, 2012
    Kelowna, BC
    Looking forward to another week to another JIO build thread! I was having a bit of withdrawal after the winter build off finished lol.

    I already love the cross between vintage and modern. Best of both worlds between ergonomics and aesthetics.
     
    JIO likes this.
  14. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Very nice design, I love seeing somebody who can still draw in the CAD age. It cool to watch you hone in on the design, sub’d!
     
    JIO likes this.
  15. That looks nice! I would love to have one too. There are not a lot of choices for short scale 5s
     
    JIO likes this.
  16. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    :) Thanks! It's like breathing to me - nothing more direct from my eye to paper. It's cool that Chris has drawing chops - make collaborating on his bass's design much easier.

    :) Thanks! Chris's dad is Hap Kuffner - a guitar industry guy from way back. (works with Ned Steinberger) - if this bass comes out as nice as we're designing it, we will discuss the further production of them with him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    HotelX and Gilmourisgod like this.
  17. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It's been great having Chris, Bess and their awesome new son Orion here the last few weeks. They head back to NY in a few days. Bess was one of the 2 guitar players as part of a theatrical show here in SF that is slated for Broadway in NYC. ("Head Over Heels" - music of the Go-Go's) Historically, it is the first all woman (music) pit. (that's pretty cool right?) We saw/experienced the show and it was amazing - so fun! We had them down to Pacifica for a day for a nice coast-side hike and dinner. Part of creating this special bass for Chris is getting to know him better which is wonderful as Beth and I have a new set of friends - but it also informs me on the intimate moulding of this bass to his dream/ideal. Especially a player as savvy as Chris who grew up (through his dads industry association) with the giants of modern electric bass. (Dan Lakin, Ned Steinberger, etc) I don't want to come off as namedropping - but as you know these cats are at the top of the heap in our world and anyone who dreams of occupying their own slot in that stratosphere would feel honored to be given a crack at being part of it - and I accept that challenge. This is going to be an awesome bass and as I told Chris (and this is a fact) - it will become more awesome because he will be rocking it.
    Write - it - down! :bassist:
     
  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    Oddly enough, Ive been thinking about short scale 5 strings. I was looking at one of those Ibanez Micros the other day. What strings do you plan on using?
     
    JIO likes this.
  19. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    We're not to that phase yet - Chris is going to do the research there and I'll let you know what we come up with. The Callowhill B is tight and sounds great - that bass dispels all conjecture about needing 35" scale for a 5'r.
     
    mapleglo likes this.
  20. littlebooner

    littlebooner

    Jan 27, 2012
    Kelowna, BC
    I play a multi scale with a 36-34” fan. I love the low B. But I’ve come to the realization that the scale length affects the tone more than the playability and doesn’t necessarily make the B better. The quality and build of the instrument makes the low B great, not the scale length.

    I don’t know if I missed it, but have your undecided on the exact scale length for this short scale?
     
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