making a bass, little help!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kirbywrx, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    For my final piece in woodshop this year, im making a bass. Id like some help on a few bits and pieces, so any help is greatly appreciated.

    Im not sure weather to make it a 5 or a 6, I already have a 5 and a fretless 5, but making a 6 seems too complex. Im leaning towards the 6er. Thru neck or bolt on? There is no way in hell i am going to be able to make a neck 110% perfect, so i am going to get my luthier to make me one. only problem then is that it cant be a thru neck. Im really stuck on what to do here!! What sort of woods? i want it to be a 35 incher, and im not sure what the electrics are gunna be. I have to look around on the net and get some ideas for body shapes, so any interesting shapes you guys can give me (aswell as headstocks) would be greatly appreciated! Pros, cons, toss some ideas at me!!

  2. So you did like the idea i told you on MSN??

    I agree that the neck would be hard to make...but you could still make a neckthru by giving the luthier the middle woods and get him/her to do that bit and make a fretboard for you to stick on latter...then in the mean time you could shape the wings (very technical term) then stick them onto what the luthier has done.

    Hope that help...or just make a body and buy a neck
  3. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Yeah, the neck thing is really getting me into a head-spin. Ive found some bodyshapes from warmoth, and ill have a play.
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Jens Ritter, IMO, makes some of the most fascinating and beautiful basses in the world....(I would include Basslabs, but those are composites). Bill Conklin's and Chris Stambaugh's designs also knock me out.

    Go to to see beautiful designs such as this -

  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Well I've decided ill make it a 6 string.

    Body Shape: Ibanez BTB or Warmoth Gecko
    Pickups: Not sure weather it will be passive or active yet. Passive pups: One EMG-HZ45 Active: I cant decide yet, little help?
    Bodywoods: Ash/Alder/Anything i can get with decent tonal qualities with a Flamed Maple Veneer.
    Fretboard: Maple
    Neck Type: I still cannot decide between a thru-neck or bolt-on. Help!
    HeadstockSimilar to MTD 635 or Tobias. Favouring the Tobias.
    Finish Similar to the Lakland in the attached picture, almost black around the edges, fading to a lighter blue/green color in thecenter. Does anyone know how i create this sort of affect?
    Other stuff: Control cavity cover will be bad of the same body wood, Matching Headstock. I cannot decide if the strings should go thru the body, what sort of bridge to use, what sort of machine heads, weather or not to have fret dots, and if so, what.

    I know ive got a lot more to make up my mind on before i actually start, but im just not sure what i have to decide on! how do you all think im going so far? anythnig else i should know?

    Thanks again
  6. Wow that finish is great...i have no idea how to do that effect though.

    It pretty much seems that the neck is what is keeping you from finishing writing the specs for this bass....i think you gotta just make up your mind on stick with it
  7. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Hipshot has a bridge that will let you choose between both top-load AND thru-body stringing. Or, and this is the cool part, you can do both: thru-body stringing on the low strings to increase the break angle over the saddle for better tension, and top-load the higher strings.
  8. As has been discussed dozens of times in the past - No amount of string length before the saddle or after the nut will have an effect on string tension. Break angle does NOT affect string tension. This is a wives tale and is well known to be false by nearly every builder and technician.

    The simple fact is that given a specific instrument, string brand, gauge, scale length, and pitch - there can be only 1 tension figure. This figure will not change unless one of the other parameters is changed.

    Sorry for the bluntness but this belief has to be stomped out at every turn.
  9. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    Ritter basses... pretty cool!
  10. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Moved to luthiers forum for more responses.
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    And it bears repeating.