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Making of my custom 6 string....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AMJBASS, Nov 11, 2003.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I am having a custom 6 string made for me by one of my local luthiers(Freddy Gabrsek), and I wanted to know what you guys thought of this design...

    I want to use the bass for solo material, and to chord and walk when playing Jazz. So I am going to go with a 33 fret 6 string setup. I think I am going to have the body designed to be close to the same idea as a Conklin. Extended neck with a single pickup.

    -Mahogany body
    -Deep set flatsawn Maple neck with carbon fiber rods.
    -Maple fingerboard
    -Oil, or wax finish on body, with a satin finished neck/fingerboard
    -Either a Bartolini humbucker, or musicman style pickup without electronics
    -Hipshot model A bridge, and Hipshot Ultra-light tuners(unsure of black or gold)

    I don't plan on using any exotic woods with this bass. I want it to be a simple workhorse. I am thinking about leaving out electronics in the bass as well. Pickup to output jack type setup. I am pretty set on this design unless any of you have any suggestions!
  2. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Are you set on the mahogany body? I've never played a mahogany bodied bass I really liked, and I owned one that drove me crazy. When used in a bass, mahogany's always struck me as a wood that doesn't give you much true bass, but also isn't particularly articulate. How about koa or walnut or zebra or ...?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    My Benavente has a Mahogany body, and I really like the tone. It has a nice midrange presence. I want an articulate tone for chording, and I felt that the Maple board matched with the Mahogany body would do the trick. Walnut is an option though, so is a maple body.
  4. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    sounds nice, be sure to post pics in progress.
  5. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003

    Well for the body wood:

    -Mahagony is fairly muddy and dead, but with thick mids.

    -Ash(northern and swamp) is a very good "allround" wood with nice presence (gets better the harder the wood)

    -Maple is very punchy, crisp and sharp sounding with GREAT articulation

    -Wenge is very loud, warm, and toneful, with lots of mids and highs

    -Bubinga is somewhat simliar to maple, only even crisper.

    -Walnut is a very resonant wood that doesnt have "super" highs. But it has a very nice, present tone. Very deep lows. proably great for fretless.

    Remember, this is just my opinion.

    Post pics and sound clips when its finished, okay?

  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    The only thing I'd suggest is using electronics rather than doing the pickup to output route. It's pretty much like putting all your eggs in one basket, and you may not like how the bass sounds in that one mode, and you shouldn't have to rely on your amp to make your bass sound good. Also, on-board electonics allow for much quicker tone and volume alteration than just using your amp-and if something happens to your amp and you're stuck using DI into a club's board, then you are really out of luck. I saw a fantastic Stick player once, but it was very distracting when everytime he needed to adjust his tone or volume, he had to turn his back and adjust his amp because of no on-board controls.
  7. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I agree with Bryan.

    I totally believe in the on-board route. But with the rack setup I like a very basic straightforward route. Power amp with great power and musical sound like the Crest and a basic rack preamp like a Kern or even an Avalon U5 work awesome. There is a number of great pre's like the old Alembic F2b; Trace Elliot V-type is really cool as well as some others. Remember your cab is extremely important as well!!!!!!!

    More then anything I like to plug my bass direct into the power amp and into a great cab. That is the true test and the only way I run basses at the shop.

    So consider reversing your idea, I think your on the right track by not going with all the eq on the rack and in the bass. I know when players have problems and complain about things getting muddy, Its surprising how many guys come to the shop unhappy with their bass and leave loving their bass! They just needed to hear their bass and not the .... head unit and cab. The mud comes from freq from the bass colliding with freq in your rack and all the parametric crap as well as a poor colored cab. It all creates a mess!

    Best of luck and keep us posted on the out come.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    I have a Euphonic Audio setup(iAMP350 & CXL112L), so I am not worrying about amplification. I am already getting a true reproduction of my instruments. I may end up having the bass setup with a passive volume and tone, but I am not going to put electronics in it. I am probably going use a Yamaha midi pickup with the bass, so the electronics won't be neccessary. I appreciate the ideas though!

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    By the way Brian, I used the Benavente last night at a Jazz Jam, and it smoked! I have never had so many complements on my tone! I was playing through a decent rig too(SM900 + Goliath III)
  10. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com

    Even if you go the passive route you could always have an outboard preamp box. But if you have two basses I think you have everything covered with that.
  11. for jazz and solo stuff, maybe he's looking for a pure, clear, unadulterated tone? i think pickup wired to output with a demeter pre, or high end mic pre will do the bass justice.
  12. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    The more I have been playing, the more I have been relying less and less on the onboard preamp to shape my sound. Maybe it is my basses and my tone preference, but I am content leaving everything flat and just varying my playing to change my sound. I have recently been considering going without a preamp and possibly no controls, but it seems just as easy to just leave the preamp alone, since most basses I have been looking at already come with an active/passive system.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey Geoff. That is exactly my feelings on this. I play almost always with my bass flat. The preamp is great to prevent signal degradation, and boost, but I like the natural sound. If anything, I will just get an outboard preamp for this bass.
  14. regarding mahogany... fwiw, i used to own a smith 6 with mahogany core, maple back/top and ebony board and it was quite clear in the upper register.. nice for voicings, jazz, etc.