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Looking for expert ideas

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rhett Holt, Jan 17, 2020.


  1. Rhett Holt

    Rhett Holt

    Jan 17, 2020
    I am wanting to design my first bass and I thought the best people to ask would be ones who have experience designing. Any ideas you would want in a bass are welcome suggestions. I am looking for ideas inevery aspect of the bass, nothing is too small of a detail. Things that I am liking so far are having a muliscale and MM style pickups. I like the growl you are able to get with these, but I want to make sure I am as versitile as possible with my controls.
     
  2. Perhaps a bit basic, but put your upper strap button so the bass balances (at/around 12th fret). Pay attention to how deeply the fretboard goes into the body for good access to higher fret positions. Design the curve on the treble side so it's comfortable on your knee.

    Find a pickup you like, put it in the MM spot.
     
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  3. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I did a thread a while ago titled "Designing a Bass (one way to do it)" that may help you get started. I found the post and bumped it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    Rhett Holt likes this.
  4. rudy4444

    rudy4444

    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    Read and review as many of the "build topics" as you can. You'll learn a lot and avoid many mistakes others have made in the past. You can read my main build topic here, where I tried to incorporate many of my thoughts on design and some of my favorite construction methods and tips.

    30” Scale Compact Semi-acoustic Fretless Bass Build

    As pointed out earlier, try to extend your body horn far enough that your design won't be neck-heavy. A strap connection point above the 14th fret will often balance well.

    Number one tip, do your layout before making your first cut! Most folks don't go on a trip without a road map and building an instrument is no different.

    As far as incorporating a lot of controls for tonal variation, I'm of the opposite school. I want my bass to put everything it's capable of out the jack. Other than volume I'll leave tone control to the amplification equipment. That's certainly a matter of personal preference, though.
     
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  5. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I too have moved to more simplicity and try to do most tone shaping remote from the instrument (see pic).
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. rudy4444

    rudy4444

    Mar 13, 2012
    Central Illinois
    I like it!
    What are you using in that upper body edge control pocket?
     
    Rhett Holt likes this.
  7. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Its a small piezo preamp I got one time with slide controls. I am looking to replace it with another as the volume is a little too touchy and the tone not very effective. For a regular pickup equipped bass a simple volume/tone could be made and installed. I am installing just tone on my new build which I have a thread going on this forum (6 string fretless with ebony neck).
     

    Attached Files:

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