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Moonshine Custom Guitars "51P" and "Rat Rod J" Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zachbass02, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch. Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Anyone here familiar with Rick Wilson's company Moonshine Custom Guitars (MCG)? I first met Rick at church. He and I attend the same church here in Nashville. Over time, I got to know Rick and learned about his company.

    About 1 1/2 years ago, I commissioned him to build a bass that I had long dreamed about. For a very long time, I have wanted a slab body '51 style slab body P bass with the single coil P pickup, a J pick up at the bridge in the 60s postition, a reverse headstock (ala Dusty Hill), and all finished in crushed sparkle red with some light relic-ing.

    Rick delivered in spades! When I first talked with him about this build, he was as excited to build it as I was dreaming it up. We talked about body woods, neck woods, neck profiles, colors, what pickups I wanted, what hardware I wanted, how I wanted the controls laid out, and so many aspects that I honestly hadn't considered. Rick was a wealth of knowledge and awesome to work with.

    So without further ado, behold!!!! The mighty sparkle red slab body '51P!

    20046834_1536404863078198_2439790402432190081_n. MCG ZAK 51 P Style 1. MCG ZAK 51 P Style 2. MCG ZAK 51 P Style 3. MCG ZAK 51 P Style 4. 23559927_1656784107706939_4978241290475871955_n.

    MCG ZAK 51 P Style 5.

    Here are the specs:

    Body: slab style, Northern Ash, chambered

    Neck: Birdseye maple neck and 21 fret fingerboard (edges rounded over), 1 5/8" width at (bone) nut, reversed headstock, dual action truss rod, profile is thick early 50's specs

    Pickups: Lindly Fralin single coil Precision (middle) and Jazz (bridge, 60's spacing)

    Controls: 61 Jazz style dual concentric Volume/Tone pots (passive)

    Bridge: Vintage style with threaded saddles

    Tuners: Hipshot reversed (left hand)

    Finish: candy red metalflake on body, light vintage tint on neck with light relicing with single ply matte black pickguard

    Weight: 10lbs

    Also of note: when I asked MCG to build this for me, I was expecting it to be a parts bass. Meaning that I just assumed the body and neck would be sourced from some pre-made maker and all of the finishing touches would be added by Rick. I was completely wrong in that assumption. All of the wood on this was shaped and cut by Rick at his shop here in TN. The body was made from a template he made of his own personal '70s era tele-bass. The neck was profiled off of a 50s era neck (and is glorious). I saw the pictures of the wood blanks he cut the neck and body from. It was an incredible process and Rick is true artisan of wood working and a true luthier. Here are some shots of the build.

    12573951_1051532861565403_7542737653910032974_n. 12631370_1051532881565401_5037734629058126191_n. 12644703_1051532898232066_6234504829729316710_n. 12651281_1051532844898738_2784585859768389350_n. 14976334_1262238920494795_4401036310127637830_o (1). 14976334_1262238920494795_4401036310127637830_o. 15036514_1262238847161469_3672182089256873439_n.
    18671063_1475933985791953_2007229628086500187_n. 18920369_1483689118349773_2184923899635158762_n. 18922227_1491464037572281_7424382459714263437_n. 18952537_1490378334347518_1211795474871785242_n (1). 19023384_1492062684179083_7616115993544246465_o.

    As for the "Rat Rod J" bass....What can say about this thing? It's incredible. This one was built for Andy Irvine. (If you're not familiar with Andy, find him on Facebook. He's an incredible player and does some great bass gear reviews on his page.) Rick let me check this monster bass out just before it shipped out. Once again, I was absolutely floored by this bass. This jazz setup may be next on my radar. =)

    20171228_191420_resized_1. 20171228_191558_resized_1. 20171228_191641_resized. 20171228_191700_resized. 20171228_191905_resized. 20171228_192041_resized. 20171228_192206_resized. 20171229_141211.


    Rat Jazz...

    Body: Alder, just over 4lbs

    Neck: flat sawn maple with Indian rosewood fretboard, 20 medium frets, reversed headstock, vintage early 60's specs (1 1/2" at nut) and profile, fretboard edges rounded over

    Pickups: Bartolini single coil Jazz style (60's Jazz spacing)

    Controls: Bartolini early model 2 band active preamp

    Bridge: Hipshot

    Tuners: Hipshot reversed (left hand)

    Finish: Foam green over sunburst with matching peghead face with vintage style 3-ply tortoise pickguard, heavy relicing all over

    Weight: 8.2lbs

    Disclaimer: for the record, I do endorse MCG and am friends with Rick. However, I have never been compensated and am not affiliated with his company in any way other than he built me my all time favorite bass that I paid for. I have not received any payment or free gear from MCG. My only association is I love MCG's basses and love talking about gear that I think is amazing.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Tbone76, MrLenny1, Doctor J and 26 others like this.
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Wow. Just wow. And that head, dead sexy! Congrats.
    moonshinegtrs and zachbass02 like this.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    The relic'd Jazz he posted last week was as good as they get.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Very nice, congrats! Really love the fret scraper!
  5. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Wow stunning basses.... I’ll Take two.
  6. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Well.....I've got to say that I'm delighted to see your ringing endorsement of Rick and Moonshine Guitars as I'm in the process of ordering a Resolectro Bass from him at this very moment!!!.....

    We've just about finished thrashing out the specs and I'm expecting a Build Sheet/Invoice from him today....

    I'm very excited about this build and you've just reminded me that I was going to ask Rick to do a photo journal of the build and I forgot....


    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  7. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch. Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Awesome! Can't wait to see it when the build starts. I've not played one of his Resolectro basses yet...even though I really want to.....and also the Slingblade Banjo bass he built. I really want to play that thing to. =)

    Andy Irvine has one of MCGs danelectro style longhorn basses and has done several videos with it. It's freaking insane and sounds amazing. I can't imagine the the MCG reso bass being anything but spectacular.
    moonshinegtrs and Fat Freddy like this.
  8. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    The build should start in February.....I'll be sure to post pics as and when I get them from Rick.....

    I'm VERY excited.....:hyper:
  9. Rick's work is outstanding. Add in the fact he's a really nice guy, you got yourself a winning combination.

    @Fat Freddy
    I'll be keeping an eye out for your MCG posts.
  10. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    That slab-bodied beauty is prompting thoughts in my head that *really* shouldn't be there..I've got from now until tax time to get them out of there completely or...

    :thumbsup: and drool to @moonshinegtrs regardless...

  11. sludgelord3000

    sludgelord3000 Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Beautiful basses!

    I've got a build in the works from Rick. Something that, to my knowledge, no one makes but that I had to have. Before I knew he was a TBer I saw some of his instruments on Reverb and figured he'd be a luthier after my own heart. Can't wait to see my own build pics!
  12. Fat Freddy

    Fat Freddy Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    Albany NY
    Can't wait to see your build pics either.....(Or mine for that matter!....)...:D:hyper:
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  13. zachbass02

    zachbass02 One Hairy....squatch. Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Any chance of getting some details on your build? or is it a secret until it's finished? =)

    That's exactly why I went to Rick too. I had the idea for my slab body P that no one really was building. I decided I wanted it built for me to my specs rather than trying to hack up and modify an already made bass that wasn't quite right. I know several makers are making similar basses, but most of their stuff is spec'd out already (like neck profiles, pickups, or arm contours on the body) and I wanted mine made exactly how I wanted it. And like I said, Rick delivered. I'm ecstatic over how it turned out.
  14. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Banned Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Thanks Guys, I appreciate the compliments.

    And a Huge Thanks to @zachbass02 ! Thank you my friend, it has been a blast working with you.

    I certainly don't mind posting build pics. @sludgelord3000 's project is starting up and I am doing a build thread because it is so unusual (Freakin' Cool)... It's is going to be a fun build as is the Resolectro Custom I will be building for @Fat Freddy (a build thread will be in order for this one too) starting in February.

    And @sludgelord3000 ... you are more than welcome to talk about your build. I'll leave that up to you. It's your creation.

    I do want to state that I also do parts builds; if the basic components of the build are standard specifications and readily available from a quality source (which does include imported components) then I see no reason not to use them to allow the customer a cost effective option. If the customer wants certain specifications or wood choices that's not readily available that is when the custom work comes into play.

    Andy Irvine should have his Rat Jazz soon. I'mm looking forward to seeing his response.

    Moonshine :bassist:
  15. vivaknoxvegas

    vivaknoxvegas El Duderino Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    Very nice, congrats.
    moonshinegtrs and zachbass02 like this.
  16. Border


    Dec 31, 2010
    Spokane, Wa.
    Wow! Congratulations on your new bass. It looks amazing. The workmanship and detail are outstanding.
    I am also keeping an eye out for Fat Freddys new bass, as I am secretly jonesing for a resonator bass myself.
  17. A Future Pilot

    A Future Pilot

    Feb 18, 2013
    It's great to hear the praise for Rick at Moonshine! I just contacted him the other day about a bass build, and we're currently going back and forth via email about it. I've been searching for reviews of his work, and this is awesome!
    moonshinegtrs and zachbass02 like this.
  18. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I also know Rick from church. When I first met him, I had no idea he was a bass player but as we talked, I discovered we had a lot in common. I've had the pleasure of playing a few of Rick's builds and I can say they they are all awesome.

    As others have said, Rick is about as good a guy as you'll come across. He's done some fret clean up on a bass for me and did a great job. Speaking of that, I need to get my Telecaster to him for a little fret dressing. Good think I've got him in my contact list!
    moonshinegtrs and zachbass02 like this.
  19. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    Love the P. But why is it so heavy with a chambered body?
    moonshinegtrs and zachbass02 like this.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    My question as well - 4 banger in swamp ash chambered at 10?

    Also, does anyone have photos of the Resolectro? His website is pretty sparse. My first bass was a Danelectro, and this is something I want to take a look at.

    moonshinegtrs likes this.

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