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Love my bass, hate the look...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by IGotGas, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. IGotGas

    IGotGas Cajun Rocker Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    Baton Rouge, LA
    As a few of you know, I own a library of Basses. However, one brand I play quite a bit in studio, and more importantly (relative to this thread) live.

    I have one problem. Though the finished from the factory are of good quality, they just don't have they eye appeal that, say, my Alembics or Brubakers have. And ya, they don't cost nearly as much.

    So here's what I'm wondering; can a fancy top be added to a finished bass? Sure I know it'd be a year down and sanding and and and...

    The key is I love THIS model of bass. Just want to make them prettier via an exotic wood top.


    The basses I'm speaking of are Lightwave Hybrid basses.

    Yes, I can afford a total custom build. I have several (though not Lightwaves). Frankly, due to some upcoming work, it's more of a time issue here.

    Cost is not an issue. I know many folks say that, but when it comes time for check writing things change. Not here. I'm not foolish with what I'll spend, but I WILL spend to get what I want. Just ask my wife.

    I DO know that paint is an option, but I'm trying to find out if a Poplar Burl top or something similar is an option here. Or not.

    Thanks for any help!!
  2. A veneer top applied through a vacuum press can fit you bill. I'm sure that savvyer builders are going to chime in, but I'm pretty sure that this is the more efficient way to achieve your requirements
  3. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Are the lightwave basses bolt on or neck through? what Kind of carving is done on the top? Pictures will be helpful to get a better idea as to what you are trying to do.
  4. IGotGas

    IGotGas Cajun Rocker Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    Baton Rouge, LA
    It's bolt on with plank flat with very slightly radiused edges. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1374591713.159546.

    The one if want to modify first is a 5 string...just don't have a pic of it. Then I'd want to do this 4 banger.
  5. noiseguy


    Apr 1, 2013
    Yes. There's a guy here in S. FL that does exactly what you're talking about to bodies... veneers and insets. Assume you can find someone locally...
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I would send it through my drum sander untill I took off about 1/4 inch. Then put on a solid top instead of trying to mess with a veneer.
  7. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Yup. Better look, nice clean transition between top and body and the beauty of watching the grain turn around the rounded edges. Adding a layer of veneer is a quick fix in my mind and isn't the optimal method.
  8. The risky part is to see what'll come out under the paint job. Might not be pretty. I assume you'll want the back side natural too?
  9. What about getting another body carved up with the woods you want? It seems that'd be a way to avoid the all the hassles of getting it done, and, DONE RIGHT.
  10. I agree with Hopkins on this one, I have been toying with the same idea on a 1980s (paid 15 quid for it) era cheap guitar to practice on that has been sitting unused for 15 years. I would consider planing 1/4 off the top and off the back, depending on the depth of tummy cuts, and sandwiching the original body in between 2x 1/4" slabs of walnut or Burl wood with a high figure and natural finish. I might put a veneer in between the top and bottom to provide a contrast line to the transition. Then a pleasing round over and high gloss finish to complete the look. One great benefit of doing it this way is that you have a built in template for routing neck pockets and pick up routs. It would require the sides taking back to natural wood though.:hyper:
  11. zenman


    Jan 30, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Here's your answer.
  12. IGotGas

    IGotGas Cajun Rocker Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Yes I believe you're correct!

    Thanks to each of you for your ideas in input!!