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Luthier's Who Are Inventors

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DeepDeath, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Yes, Inventions are what progress basses

    15 vote(s)
  2. No, A good luthier is always based on quality basses

    3 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Do you luthier's feel it is important to make a bass with something no other bass company has? Like the Warwick adjustable nuts. Or do you think it is fine to make a bass that sounds good and is easy to play, also well made. I feel a luthier should also try to invent new things to make the bass more easier and convient.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I have limited building experience, but I have paid a lot of attention to bass building so that when I start to build more regularily I will have a solid foundation on which to base my designs and construction methods.

    I think on many things it comes down to the cliche "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". There are some things that I have seen used on basses in the past 10 years, but they tend not to be massive departures from the original basses that appeared 50+ years ago. I would personally say it is most important to produce a bass that is well constructed, is easy to play and sounds good. This is more difficult than it seems.

    Despite saying this I am not really a big traditionalist when it comes to basses. I think that if an innovation is useful and improves the instrument enough to justify the cost, then it is probably a good idea. Things I would say fit as good innovations are Ken Smith's use of graphite. It increases the rigidity of the neck, allowing thinner and more comfortable neck designs. The incorporation of the BFTS on MTD basses is also a good example, i have heard many people comment on the improvements that this system offers. I personally feel that Novax Fanned Frets are another good innovation, providing more even string to string tension (feel) and tone.

    I am getting sort of long winded. I guess what I would say that if it is a useful innovation that improves the instrument, then it is a good idea. An invention put on a bass merely to set the bass apart from other basses is, in my opinion, a useless waste of time and effort by the builder.

  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    actually, alembic was doing the adjustable nuts before there was a warwick, iirc. ;)
  4. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    I don't think we need to reinvent the wheel (bass), but I think we all got started thinking we could improve the wheel (again bass).

    side note, there are several ideas on Warwicks that people think they invented since that was the first bass they saw those items on. But, again I also though the Chili Peppers wrote Higher Ground since that was the first time I heard it!:D
  5. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Why should it be an either/or question?

  6. I imagine as long as you patent it and get the checks, the fame is secondary. AFIK, Rick Turner was the first with the adjustable nut when Entwistle was having trouble with his early SS Rotosounds cutting the slots deeper every time he played. I don't know if Turner had it patented.

    And how many Stingray owners know their strap buttons, tapered tuning pegs, and 3 + 1 headstocks were Leo's patents???

    Sometimes, making a uniquely playable instrument without any apparent innovations is an "invention in itself."

    Some, just are just inventions for the sake of being marketed as "better" (I remember keeping my wallet closed when I tried a Travis Bean and got a Precis instead).

    Some are just flat-out questionable -

  7. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Atlansia also claims to have invented them.
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I have to agree with Darrin. God knows that no one in their right mind starts building basses for the money.

    What drew me to building was a desire to work out and refine my own style.
  9. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Actually it was Al Gore.
    Jbchop likes this.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    You can patent anything in the US and Japan. CAT got a patent the other year on a curved rear window, which has been used since the '50s.

    Anyway, what's that "BFTS on MTD" ?

    And for innovations, how about the BassLab material and process? At times, there are steps in the progress.
  11. BFTS is Buzz Feiten Tuning System. it's a system for guitar and bass that's similar to the well tempered piano setup that's the standard tuning method. it moves the nut slighty closer to the first fret, and adjusts the tunings of the strings to be a little above or below (just by a few cents) so that noes will be more in tune all the way up the neck.

    MTD is Michael Tobias....uh......Design? not sure about the D. :D
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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