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My 6-string custom is here!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by xyllion, May 19, 2004.

  1. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I now have my first custom bass built for me. Late last fall, I contacted luthier Karl Hoyt with my wishes to have a 6-string bass made with a 32" scale and stereo output. Karl took on the project and now I have it in my hands and I couldn't be happier.

    I've been toying around with solo bass work. So, I knew I wanted a 6-string, but I didn't want an off-the-shelf 6 for two reasons: 35" scale is hard to chord and a low B string didn't enter into my plans. Instead this beauty is built with a 32" scale and the strings are tuned EADGCF.

    Karl did an incredible job with this bass. The workmanship is superb. This bass sounds great, looks great, and is extremely comfortable to play. With Karl's guidance in selecting woods, this bass has turned out to be simply amazing.

    The neck is maple/bubinga/maple/bubinga/maple with a cocobola fretboard. The neck is a single-truss rod with graphite stiffening bars. The body is a sandwich of curly walnut/maple/walnut/maple/curly walnut. The body shape is one of the most comfortable that I have ever worn. The contours play a huge part in the comfort. Even though this is a 6-string made from walnut, it only weighs 9 pounds.

    The sound from the neck pickup is a sweet singing sound. The bridge pup offers a warm bark. The Bartolini pickups combined with the wood choices turned out just right for the sounds I was looking for.

    Big thanks to Karl Hoyt for building my baby and for guiding me through the many choices along the way.

    Without further ado, here is a picture. Click on the picture if you want to see a close up of the body or want to see a larger version of this picture.

    <a href="http://www.bassviews.org/showlisting.cgi?lid=262"><img width=400 src="http://www.bassviews.org/perl/showimage.pl/758"></a>
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    That is some of the nicest walnut ive seen on a bass. I usually dont like walnut (cosmetically) - but that piece you have rocks!
  3. excuse me to be so rude, but i'm curious: how much have you payed for this fine piece of art?
    looks demolishing, post some more pictures!!
  4. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I really hate to say what I payed because Karl gave me a deal of a price. I know that he would never quote the price that he actually charged me. So, I don't think it would be fair for me to advertise the price. Let's just say that he is one of the least expensive luthiers that has as much experience in building as he does.

    As for the walnut, I agree. I'm not a big fan of walnut either, but Karl suggested figured walnut and then proceeded to find this piece for me on eBay. I trusted his recommendation and I'm very happy with the result.

    As for more pictures, I can do that. I'll take some more tomorrow in the daylight and pop them on the Internet. Any of you in the San Jose area. I may play this one out at a bar gig at the end of June. It wasn't my original intention to use this at bar gigs, but I'm enjoying playing it too much to keep it at home.
  5. How does it sound? How does it play? How does it balance?

    Looks absolutely stunning, Bob. Congratulations to you, and certainly a hearty "well done" to Karl. Fantastic job... You must be very pleased.
  6. damn that looks nice! enjoy:)
  7. Sweet!! I live on Cape Cod and it would appear that is where Karl Hoyt is located as well....hmmm...i thinks maybe i need to ask for a shop tour :D
  8. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    That looks really nice. I love walnut and that is a great piece. I'd like to see pics of the back. The low E looks to be nearly off the fingerboard in the upper register, though. The roller saddle is adjusted to it's futherest right position to help keep in playable. That's how it looks in the pic anyway. Is this the case? Anyway congrats on a beautiful bass!
  9. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Thanks! Yea, it does look like the E is falling off, but that is not the case. I took a ruler and did some measuring. The E isn't any closer to the edge than it is on my other basses. The traveler on the bridge is fully adjusted to one side because I asked for a tight string spacing. The bridge is adjusted to acheive the smallest string spacing that the bridge allows.
  10. Imagine that bass with an upper horn scroll.........

    ORGASM!! @@$^#!@#2!!~~~!~!!! :hyper: :help: :rolleyes:
  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    The balance is good. I'm not having any problems with the neck wanting to move. The bass seems to stay right where it starts.

    Describing the sound is always difficult for me, but I'll try. When I get more time, I'll make some recordings and put them up on the web. The typical Bartolini warmth is there in this bass, but the sound is a bit brighter than I usually expect from Barts. In fact, I even get a good slap tone out of this bass. The neck pickup is a warm and full sound. The high strings sound amazing through the neck pup. The bridge pup is not as edgy as you get with other brands of pups, but the woods seem to balance the Bart warmth and I get a mellow bark out of the bridge.

    As for playability, I find it very comfortable even coming from playing all 4-string basses. I went with a tight string spacing to keep the width of the neck to a minimum.
  12. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    Great Looking Top!!!

    For some Reason, I think it would look really good with Bubinga, Cocobolo, or Tulip Wood as a top, I think it would Really stand out with that body.

    Looks Great

  13. hoytbasses


    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    Thanks for your kind words, Bob (et al:) admittedly this was a bit of an experiment for both parties (from the standpoint of 32 scale 6 string, stereo/passive wired and tuned eadgcf... NOT from the standpoint of knowing how to build it) We can take some educated conjectures to somehow control the outcome of an off the wall project, but you never really know until you first plug it in....

    I always hate and love that period of time from when I ship a bass and the first impression by the person who commissioned it.(kind of like being an expectant father) ...... Roberto was a gentleman from the gitgo and very pleasant /easy to deal with. He got a great price because I owe him BIG for using his GREAT and FREE picture hosting service. There was a slight surcharge for Bob starting the thread in "the pit" about my logo looking like a LLama (o.k.... o.k... it does look like one a BIT :eyebrow: )

    having said that: I am a dyed-in -the -wool 4 banger player. but I found myself liking this bass alot and it's choice of strings: for 4 players: you can easily root yourself and play all day in the eadg mode, but when it's time to solo, you have those extra strings to fly around on:

    what I especially liked was the chance to build something completely different. After 25 or so years of stringed instrument building : (everything from mandolins and archtop guitars to 6 string acoustic bass guitars and electric uprights and many, many electric basses) it's nice to have a bit of a challenge: and yes, if I were to do it over, I would have made the spacing at the end of the fingerboard about 1/8" wider.

    once again, Bob: thanks! it was fun.

    Karl Hoyt
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  15. I WANT IT!!!!!!!! i have ALWAYS wanted a 6er tuned EADGCF.
  16. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Thanks Karl for the kind words.

    2 weeks of ownership now and I am still pleased as punch. I took the bass to band practice with me this week and it is just so easy to play. Honest, I have been a 4-string player, but this bass plays so well. Finally, I have a bass that let's me play my 4-string lines, but also let's me chord and fiddle in the solo bass world.

    As soon as I get a chance, I'm going to sit down and try to record some solo bass pieces. Unfortunately, it may be a month or two. But as soon as I have anything, I will post it.
  17. may I please ask what kind of bridge is that?
  18. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    That's a Hipshot bridge.
  19. Nice bass