Since “completing” Build #3 earlier this year, I’ve had a little time to contemplate moving forward with a few new projects. I’ve made some small improvements to my work area, upgraded my pickup winding operation, and come up with an idea for an all-new pickup design. On top of all that I’ve had an itch to build another bass. I’ve decided that rather than designing another instrument from scratch, I’m going to make a few improvements on my existing design. Because my next build will be basically the same bass as the previous one, I wasn’t sure if this project warranted a new thread. In a sense, this is could be seen another stage in an evolution, so I felt a new thread would be in order. Hopefully, this thread won’t be as epic as the last one. Here’s the changes I’m looking to make: 1) I want to make a laminated maple neck as opposed to a 1-piece flat-sawn neck. 2) I’m going to make some slight changes in the body - specifically, I want to do away with the plastic battery box and make a dedicated cavity and a wooden cover that matches the finish. If I feel inspired, I might hollow out a little of the section between the pickup and the neck area. 3) A sculpted neck heel. This is a slight improvement that is easy to implement - the challenge will be to make it look good. Most of the sculpted heels I’ve seen are just blobular shapes that don’t really have a shape. It would be completely fair to call me anal, but those rounded heels offend my design sensibilities. 4) I might experiment with a different kind of neck plate. I’ll post some drawings later - this idea may be a bust and might not even be an improvement. 5) The new pickup. From this time forth code-named “Exotica”. There is a chance that this may negate the battery box on article #2, but I’m not making any promises. I’ll be posting a few photos later today.