My Journey to the hidden Luthier!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by arvidgunardi, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. I live in Indonesia. Incase you don't know where it is, it's where Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi coffee originated from. Bali island of paradise...ebony, and other exotic wood comes from. I heard that there's a really great guitar/bass maker in the city where I live(Jakarta). I found out where it is, and decided to visit. When I arrived, the place would be considered as slum to most Americans...dirty alleys and etc. Just about a few metres from the place, I heard a really distinct distorting guitar sound whailing away!! I knew I'm in the right place. So I went in to this really beat up place...and only to realise walls of really exotic looking guitars. From Ken Bebensee, Warwick, Ken Smith and etc. Wood ranging from Koa, Bubingga, Mahogany, Ash, Flame-quilted maple etc. The basses looks extremely irresistable!! The nut where people would normally use brass, plastic and elephant (teeth??forgot what it's called), they use Buffalo's bones!! Neck-throughs, set neck, bolt-ons. Anything you want, they did it! Except you have to get your own hard wares. And the price ranges from Indonesian 1.5 Million Rupiah..equivalent to US $150!!! The price goes up with options like multiple wood lamination, extremely hard to get wood(like ebony), and etc. Unfortunately they don't have web site, nor intend to have one, nor plan to expand their business and mass produce. Their bass/guitar sounds as good or better than any famous Luthier's basses/guitar. They spent an avarage of 4 months and up to make one bass. I will post Pics of the place and their product. It's wild man!!! They throw away huge chunks of left over bubinga, mahogany simply because they're so cheap here. I am not bull****ing dudes!! I have pic to prove next time! For records, I own an Alembic Rogue, G&L L2000 and etc...I know how a good bass should look and sound.
  2. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I'm dribbling, man !
    I can't wait to see those pictures.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    PLEASE, keep us posted, I'm going to Bali this summer (to attend a friend's wedding ceremony) :)
  4. I will. Be sure to drop by Jakarta(Capitol city).
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Don't forget to tell the name and address of this fella. Ehrrr...a map would be handy, from what I hear about Jakarta geography ;):D
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If you would be so kind to answer arvi, I have three questions -

    Does this luthier play bass?

    By saying you have to provide your own hardware, do mean this guy will sell you the body blank and you have to have someone put in the pickups, bridge, tuning gears, frets, truss rod, input jack, etc???

    Does this guy use a router and pre-cut cavities for the hardware, electronics, frets, et al, or is it just a solid block of wood cut into the shape of a bass?
  7. He install everything until it becomes a bass. However, the way his clients do it here is get their own PU, electronics(preamps), bridges, tuning peg and etc then give it to the luthier and he'll install all for you. Trusrod are from them...and he specifically uses single rod. I'm not sure if he plays bass or guitar. But some of the worker doesn't. The guys name is Witirto...I'd have to ask his permission to give out his phone no. wait up for the PICs
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Thanks arvidgunardi! So it looks like if I got the $150 body blank, it looks like a few hundred more to get it finished, at least in the US. Still, a very good propostion! I always wanted to have some kind of exotic wood inlay set into the body like a logo or a symbol.
  9. Rick, I was just from the place again, took couple of pics...with his version of Warwick, Rickenbaker, Ken Bebensee...with exotic wood. Give me about 2 more days.....and I'll prepare all the pic for all of you!
  10. mullet_head_81


    Jan 27, 2001
    Too bad I live in Oklahoma....:(