Madhat Bass 0001

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by yczi, Mar 21, 2011.


  1. yczi

    yczi

    Jul 1, 2010
    Boston
    CEO: Madhat®
    This is a first. I've been playing bass forever, and been making drums (under the name 'Madhat') for quite some time…I have not once made a bass.

    I have always LOVED the look of boutique single-cuts, and have always searched for new and better way to improve my offerings, so here goes nothing! :hyper:

    This bass will be a hollow-body, single-cut, with a slight (one or two degree) arch in the top and back. It will be built in a traditional hollow-body method…not using a solid blank and routing, but using sides, kerfing, f-holes, and bracing.

    Furthermore, the bass will also include some not-so-common features in most other basses (boutique or not). It will have traditional, passive pickups mounted WITHIN the top (on the underside of it) using a special bracketing mechanism. Will have an extended foot block to allow for string-thru (possibly). Will have a semi-traditional double bass bridge - so no metal hipshot bridges here! And, likely the most foreign feature to most will be the inclusion of Rick Toone's Trapezoidal Neck Profile, with air-craft grade aluminum neck-core, since I've been blessed with his permission! Note that this build with this neck profile is for personal use only and the equipped neck could not be re-sold without permission from Rick. (Read here for more info on the patented profile!)

    The majority of the construction will be done with locally grown butternut, which has physical properties almost identical to spruce, which is the traditionally used wood in archtop guitar construction. The top, however, will be a ziricote laminate. The neck will be made of maple, and the fretboard of pale moon ebony, and a bridge of (perhaps?) gaboon.

    As far as typical tech specs, Warmoth gold frets (as I LOATHE chrome :bag:), Hipshot lites for the tuners, a Lace Drop and Gain in the bridge and a jworrell custom in the neck. The pickups will each be independently wired to their own volume pot, and a varitone knob will act as a bit of a 'mixer'. This will (obviously) allow one to dial in just the right sound.

    As for actual visuals, I have painted a concept of what this thing will look like (using refs of the actual wood to be used), and supplied a slimed down schematic to show you guys what I'm working toward. First cuts begin…now! :hyper:

    As always, any input is really appreciated! :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Subbed. I love it.
     
  3. Looks funky!! Curious to see how it turns out. I kinda think the upper sound hole is too close to the edge for the body round over, don't you think?
     
  4. yczi

    yczi

    Jul 1, 2010
    Boston
    CEO: Madhat®
    Possible. The arch in the schematic is WICKED exaggerated, and the painted version was an older rendition of the schematic. It won't be AS close in the final, playable model, yet will adhere to many of these characteristics :smug:
     
  5. Dig the look. I've never held a bass with that neck design. Is it comfy? I also wonder if combining the hollow body and that neck will result in some neck dive?
     
  6. yczi

    yczi

    Jul 1, 2010
    Boston
    CEO: Madhat®
    Yeah, I've done some experiments carving detached necks, and they fit BEAUTIFULLY with the contour of your hand. I love it, and Rick uses it with every design he makes. He's been doing a series on bass manufacturing lately for notreble.com, speaking of which, if you want a little background, but most info about the necks and his basses/guitars is disclosed on his site (linked above).

    The neck, according to my math shouldn't be TOO heavy. Additionally, a heel block in the base of the lower bout of most hollow-bodies is pretty small to preserve maximum reverberation within the instrument itself (inducing optimal acoustic amplification). This is usually necessary, as electronics aren't too common on hollow-bodies, apart from transducers, yet this bass WILL be amplified via electric pickups. Therefore, although the hollow-body aspect will affect the instrument in a positive light amplified and unamplified, an extended (slightly deadening) heel block should balance it all out. The pickups within the top bracing should also add a balancing couple of ounces :)
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    The design looks very cool. A couple of questions though, respectfully asked:

    Are you planning to forego having an adjustable truss rod in favor of inserting a 3/4" wide aluminum stiffening bar?

    Also, you should be aware that a wooden beam going through a temperature change of 40 degrees F has a thermal longitudinal growth of .003, while the encapsulated aluminum bar would have a growth of .012. So it this thing is built at 60 F and you play a gig in the summer sun, there is going to be some induced stress (due to the .009 differential) that could warp the neck. In this regard (coefficient of thermal expansion), steel is a much closer match to wood than aluminum is.
     
  8. yczi

    yczi

    Jul 1, 2010
    Boston
    CEO: Madhat®
    Update jeden!!

    Here I have some ziricote lumber (1/8" thick), and some 2" thick pale moon ebony, which is about 7" wide (enough for 5-6 fretboards).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, I got some 1" thick butternut, and ripped it into 3/16" boards. I got six planed sheets from two 1" boards, which I then glued down the seam, clamped, dried, unclamped and will be doubling up some some of the ziricote.

    I clamped it using a quick homemade caul here:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And…the final result prior to ziricote gluing. 3/16" in thickness.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. yczi

    yczi

    Jul 1, 2010
    Boston
    CEO: Madhat®
    Yes, I am going to be using the aluminum bar glued into the neck as a permanent fixture, as opposed to adjustable steel rods.

    I have taken all these ideas into consideration, and have additionally confronted Rick, himself, on these matters. He has been using these neck cores for over 17 years now and has experienced zero issues. This seems well tested enough for me. If a small amount of additional space is added around the edged of the tube, and glued in with something such as Gorilla glue, the resulting foam will act as a cushion, transferring vibration but allowing the minimal amount of room required when (if) it swells in these 1/100" increments. Yet, I'm not all too sure one would notice such a SMALL variation, anyhow, even if it does become problematic? Or would they?

    Anywho, on that note, these have been some interesting tests conducted on the matter of aluminum neck cores vs. something such as a steel truss in the matter of vibration transference here. It's pretty interesting.
     
  10. 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.

     
    Aug 1, 2021

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