Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

My first project....finally done!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JPJ, Feb 13, 2003.


  1. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    My first "parts bass" will finally arrive tomorrow, and I can't wait to check things out. I've literally been planing this bass for about 3 years (to make sure I got everything EXACTLY right), and feel confident that I chose the best people to be involed in making the perfect jazz bass...or Fendowsky, as it has been dubbed.

    I went with a two-piece premium alder body and 2-piece AAAAA birdseye maple neck from USA Custom Guitars. I highly recommend Tommy and his crew, as they were great to work with. I purchased a slap of Brazilian Rosewood on my own for the fretboard, and went with small, vintage frets. It also has two graphite reinforcement rods, the truss rod is adjustable at the body via an access route (like you'd see on a Lakland or Sadowsky).

    I had the parts shipped to Pat Wilkins for finishing. The body was finished in candy apple red (w/ matching headstock) and I had a vintage yellow tinted satin finish on the back of the neck.

    From there, the parts were shipped to Mike Lull (of Lull Guitar Works) for the final assemply and set-up. Mike installed the Hipshot Style A bridge, Hipshot ultralight tuners, mint green pickguard, front control plate, and bone nut. He also fully shielded the control cavity and back access plate, and installed the Sadowsky Ultra-Vintage electronics package: 2 Sadowsky single coil pickups, Sadowsky preamp, pots, jack, and vol/vol/passive tone/stacked treble-bass controls. The fretwork was expertly addressed by Mike, the final set-up was done, and the end result will get here tomorrow!!!

    Mike was very impressed with both the visual appearance, the quality of the parts, and the overall playability and tone of the instrument, so it sounds like everything has worked out extremely well....he's heard a few jazz basses in his day! I already have some photos of the bass prior to shipping, but have NO idea how to post photos. If you guys would like to see what I'm trying to describe in about 8 paragraphs get ahold of me and hopefully someone with photo-posting experience can help me out. I'll be sure to post a full review once I get the thing plugged in! :bassist:
     
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Looks like one NICE BASS!!!! A customer brought a Sadowsky in for a repair the same color combo & it's very nice, very vintage & gave me major GAS!!!!

    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=851043">
     
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    <img src="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attachment.php?s=&postid=851046">
     
  4. I bet it plays just as well as it looks.
     
  5. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Nino,
    Thanks for the help with the pics!!! It's greatly appreciated. :D But for the record, Nino DID NOT BUY ANOTHER JAZZ BASS!!! :p I can see the posts coming in now....This one's mine. Just thought I'd clear that up. Hope you guys enjoy the photos.
     
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Yes I did, just not this one. ;):bassist:
     
  7. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I finally had a chance to plug-n-play my new bass, and all I can say is absolute PERFECTION!!! :D As I've already mentioned, the bass is absolutely perfect and exceeded all of my expectations from an aesthetic perspective. However, now that I have had a chance to plug it in, it is just as perfect sounding as it looks.

    Mike Lull did an amazing job with the action and set-up. Instantly, I could play runs and riffs that I could never play before, I would play faster than I could ever play before, and played for 2 hours non-stop with no effort or fatigue at all (seemed like 10 minutes). The Sadowsky electronics package has also contributed to the basses totally amazing tone...this sucka is PHAT! I finally have a bass that sounds exactly like the tone I've had in my head for the last 10 years, but could never achieve. It truely is remarkable.

    If anyone is "on the fence" about buying a high-end jazz, I seriously recommend you check out a Lull for the fit, finish, and set-up, and also suggest that you try a Sadowsky (or opt for Roger's electronics packages) to pop into your bass. I had only had the opportunity to briefly try out one of Roger's basses on a couple visits to Nashvilli, TN over the last few years, and am completely pleased that I took a leap of faith in installing his goodies in my bass. I'm sorry for gushing :bawl: , but I just can't get over how great this do-it-yourself (with a ton of help from the experts) project turned out. :D :D :D
     
  8. Killdar

    Killdar

    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    sounds like ya got a great bass!

    mp3s! wavs! we must have sound clips!
     
  9. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    JPJ,

    The Fendowsky looks awesome! I've been thinking about having a custom 5-string Jazz (porbably fretless) made for a while, and have started to look into USA Custom Guitars.

    Any chance that you could shed some light on how much the parts, finishing + labor cost? I'd love to know how much to plan for all these, and get a better estimate of the total cost.

    Also, did you ever look into the finishing that USA Custom Guitars does?

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  10. JPJ

    JPJ

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for the compliments! As far as USACG finishing....they actually don't do that kind of work. However, they are closely alligned (sort-of like sister organizations) with ROXY finishing. Their prices are pretty good, but you should check out the USACG forum to get answers from people who have used them before.

    As for the cost of a do-it-yourself....the total will vary widely depending on what options you get, who you have do the work, and how much you do yourself. If Nino or one of the other big DIY guys here would have done this project, he could have saved a significant chunk of change doing all of the assembly and set-up himself. Also, I purchased a primo Brazilian RW board for my neck, and also went with a two-piece AAAAA birdseys maple neck...not to mention a top of the line electronics package and a finish from the guy who is considered to be the "best in the biz".

    The whole thing was completed for right around (or slightly under) $2,000. Granted, you can save a lot by not going with active electronics, by going with a different finish guy, not "splurging" in fancy wood, going with standard hardware choices, and doing as much assembly yourself as possibly. Good luck if you do for it, and feel free to ask me more about the process. I can also try to give you more cost details in a PM if you'd like.