1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Making my own J clone - help!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IvanMike, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Well i asked this in the now closed and infamous sadowsky thread so I'll ask it here

    To those of you who have built their own J-clone basses with Warmouth or other parts - how much did you end up spending and were you satisfied with the results?

    I've been thinking of making one with a classic V-V-T setup and adding an aggie or sadowsky onboard preamp for a total of 5 knobs

    I love a lot of the J clones out there and Occasionally i even find a fender i like, but i'd like to keep this under or around the 1k mark

    thanks for any help, and please kids, no fighting!!!!!! :rolleyes:
  2. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Valenti, man. Do it Valenti-style. I priced out a good active jazz bass from Warmoth with all the parts to be over $1,000USD. Nino Brown does an amazing job with Warmoth stuff.

    However, you can build for far less than that. A used body and neck off of eBay, electronics and hardware...it can run you less than $400 if you're good at scrounging.

    EDIT: I'd only suggest doing it yourself if you really know what you're doing/are REALLY bent on doing it. People really underestimate how large of an effect poor quality/excellent quality construction has on sound. If you do brand new, I'd definitely go with Nino.
  3. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Now that I've seen Nino's Valenti's I agree. His prices are super-reasonable.

    One of my fretless J's is a Warmoth swamp ash body and a Warmoth maple neck with an ebony fingerboard. I found the pre-finished body in their 'Thrift Shop', I had the neck from another bass. It originally had DiMarzio Model J's, it now has EMG's with a passive tone knob. Besides the neck, everything else was bought at discounted prices. But when I total everything up that I bought to complete it, a Valenti would've probably cost me less.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well then tell me about this valenti thing
    maybe nnino will show up - nino was in that sadowsky thread
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    All prices taken from Warmoth website:

    $185 Ash Body Rear Rout
    $165 Most Solid Colors
    $151 Maple/Rosewood neck
    $50 Satin finish on neck
    $120 BassLine Single Coil Jazz p/u's
    $100 Aguilar OBP-1
    $30 Gotoh 201 Bridge
    $46 Schaller BML's
    $4 Neck Plate
    $12 Control Plate
    $20 WBW p/g
    $16 shipingg

    $899 Rough total

    I didn't include knobs, pots (not exactly sure of what lay out you'd like), String tree, screws, nut, case, etc.
  6. boo


    Oct 12, 2002
    Consider buying parts from USA Cutom Guitars......just like I did. Tommy at USA CG is a tumbs up guy and very nice to deal with. ;)

  7. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ditto that about Tommy & the USACG guys... They do great work, & they're over the top in regards to customer service...
    Additionally, they're little overloaded right now. Thier delivery times are longer than Warmoths. But, you can get a true custom spec neck here...

    At Warmoth, you can get the existing profiles they have in memory. Also, you can get all the other parts you'll need for finishing, kind of like a one stop shop. INCLUDING finishing. They do a pretty decent job, at a price thats too good to pass on.

    You can save money, going passive... The pre-amps add at least $100 right off the bat.

    With mine, I ran over $1000, maybe a little over...
    Warmoth Black Korina Body, w/ custom routing, w/ Trans Finish = $435
    USA Wenge Jazz Neck, $230 + $45 for blank
    Bart NTBT + PJ pups, $260
    Hipshot ultralites $80
    Assorted Hardware ie neckplate, screws, bridge, etc. $60

    Adding that up, yea,,, $1100...

    Do it, because its a labor of love... Not because you think you can make money at it. OH yea,, no strings, or knobs, or nut.

    Oh, one more thing... about Exotic Woods.

    Warmoth has quite a bit of exotic woods IN STOCK. If you want exotic w/ USACG, you'll need to provide your own blanks. It's just an extra-step, but is kinda nice because you can pick your own blanks... Say,, for example if you want to give Larry some biz.
  8. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    Depends what you are used to. I put together a nice Warmoth bass about a year ago. Painted body, maple neck and board, Dimarzio ultra J's, Sadowsky pre, Gotoh bridge, etc, etc. Problem is that I own 3 Sadowsky's. Ended up never using it because it wasnt up to par.

    Parts cost me about 1K. Hope this helps

  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I went the Valenti route once and Im going it again.
  11. wingnutkj


    Mar 27, 2003
    My Warmoth/Moses Jazz:
    Warmoth thrift shop body + UK postage & customs = £200-ish (I can't remember exact price)
    Moses fretted graphite neck = £200-ish
    Bill Lawrence pickups = £70-ish (plus a couple of months wait)Gotoh Tuners = £30 off eBay
    Baddass II Bridge = £15 off eBay
    Control plate, pots, screws, etc = £30 or so
    Clear pickguard (not pictured) = £20
    Finishing materials = £10
    Paying local luthier to fit neck, supply & cut nut, set-up, supply knobs and generally help out = £100

    So, call it about £700 for it, which is about the same as a Fender MIA Standard jazz or an Aerodyne round here. So why bother making it? Because it's mine!! Well, almost mine. I acquired the parts I wanted, fitted the relevant bits to the body and did the finish; I left the neck stuff to a professional, because I don't have the tools or skills to work with graphite (I broke the first tuner screw I tried fitting and took that as an omen). Playing it for the first time after he'd finished with it was a great feeling - all the anxiety about whether the pile of bits I'd accumulated over the space of a year would actually work went away when I discovered that it did indeed work, and sounded pretty good as well.

    It's my now main gigging bass - looks good, sounds good, and the neck is pretty much indestructable. The only downsides are the weight and that the edges of the fretboard are quite sharply angled (which can be painful after a while of playing with my bad LH technique :) ) - they could do with a slight radiusing.

    I think my other Jazz (a Fender MIS body, MIJ '75 RI neck, Bill Lawrence pups & standard strings-through body bridge) sounds very slightly warmer, which I put down to differences in wood & bridge type. But, it's got a bit of a dead spot in the usual place, and I can't get the action quite right on the A string, so I don't like playing it out.