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My personal bass is in the works!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Scott French, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    So I already have 11 instruments going at the moment. It wont hurt much to add a 12th so I can have one for myself, right? I'm sure lots of people would call it an LP copy but really it's based off my acoustic guitar design. The top and back are Burl/Flame Claro walnut from a tree that was about 45 minutes away from my house. I took the top and back out of the same board so they are literally from the same bookmatched set of wood. It's a complete hollow body and the "rim" is three piece ash. It's going to be a 35" 4 string fretless with maple lines, bound fingerboard and body, flame maple/wenge neck, and an ebony bridge with RMC saddles. The electronics will all be off-board with synth on a little strap mounted box (probably ash/claro as well) and if I am feeling spunky I may put fiber optics in this one too.

    Just wanted to share. I got the body together and I am really stoked on finally having a fretless again.


  2. Whoa, that is awesome. You're using a lot of cool things on this! Looks good too. You have to post sound clips whenever you're done.
  3. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    12 instruments, I feel sorry for you when it comes to sandng time. :help:
  4. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Wow Scott, that does look awesome.
  5. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL

    are you lefthanded? The cutout looks like one for a lefty. Either that or the bottom of the bass looks even better than the top.
  6. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
  7. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Thanks guys.

    Cliff, I know... I've not been looking forward to sanding or finishing all of these... but I am looking forward to carving all the necks and doing all the electronics. Some things are nice to do 12 at a time. Some things I'm not a huge fan of even doing one at a time.

    sheepdog, It's a righty... the burl top is completely awesome 100% to the extreme max. Can't see it too great in the pic but once it is sanded and finished the radness will be unmissable.

    JP, I've had my eye on that one. Can't wait until you post some more progress pics of it. I got some spanish cedar in that I ordered a long time ago and also picked up a wenge top recently... thought they would look good together and reminded me of your bass in the works. I ended up going in a different direction with the cedar and still need to find a place for the wenge top.
  8. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    This monster is back on the sanding block. I've got the top and back carving done as well as the binding on the body and fingerboad. The carving is very shallow so you don't really even notice it unless you get up close to the bass.

    Now that the carving is finished and I can really hear the sound of the hollow body at the final plate thickness my plans for this bass have changed. It sounds way to good acoustically to put the RMC saddles in the bridge. I'm going to have to make a nice bone saddle and get an under saddle transducer to keep this a straight up acoustic/electric type of bass. I'll use the RMC/Roland package on something a little more fitting.

    I'm really excited to hear this thing with the 35" scale and nylon strings. The body has a really clear tight bell *dong* to it (top and back) so it should be interesting.



  9. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Cant wait to see the wood on this thing when its been finished. That top is gonna pop out like crazy.
  10. Beautiful work! I really love the look of the dark binding on the body and neck. Will you be binding the headstock, as well?

  11. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Gorgeous! Can't wait to see what it looks like when it's done.


  12. Rhythmalism


    Sep 25, 2004
    That was a very clever design, looks very sharp. That fretboard's come a long way too.
  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Great looking piece of work.

    I also understand why the top and back are where they are. The back might have more contrast, but that top just looks right.

    JP: Your link isnt working for me.
  14. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Mike, I'm not sure yet about binding the headcap. I just did one with the headstock matching the body and bound so I might want to try something else on this one.
  15. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    Scott, I've said it before I,ll say it again, I LOVE your basses. (especially the singlecut) if they sound even half as good they must be awesome! I wanna try one one day :bassist: Keep up the great work!
  16. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Yeah Nick, that's an old thread we have here. The bass linked is finished...and it's for sale now.

  17. Scott,

    I was thinking more along the lines of an ebony headcap with binding, to continue the look of the fingerboard. It seems like, with the body and fingerboard bound, having the headstock unbound would look a little out of place.

    By the way, I'd love to see more of a "gallery" on your site--you have such beautiful designs, and I'd love to see more of your instruments.

  18. By 'nylon strings', do you mean tapewound, or like classical guitar? I read that Bryan Bromberg (I think) had a custom piccolo with nylon strings- any relation?
    The bass looks awesome- any shots of the inside? What I mean is, what does the cavity look like?
  19. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Ah, I see. Thanks.
  20. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Thanks, sargebaker. I'm not sure how close you are to any of these cities but if you want to try out one of my basses my friend Carson will be touring the US with one pretty soon. I'm sure he'd let you check it out if you ask him. http://www.theadvantageband.com/tour.htm

    Mike, This bass will have a ebony headcap. Usually I do ebony then a maple/black dyed maple veneer combo that is 50% the thickness of the headcap. I may try that and just bevel the edge of the headstock so the veneers show through to match (not perfectly) the binding on the fingerboard. But... you are probably right, a bound ebony headcap would match the fingerboard best.

    bassteban, The strings will be nylon filaments with brass round windings pretty much like a classical guitar. No connection to anything other than I like the bass strings on a classical guitar and want to have that feel with a taught 35" scale. I checked my archives and it looks like I didn't take any pictures of the rim before I glued on the top and back. Bassically it is just 1.5" thick hard ash about 1" wide along the entire outline of the body but a little extra wood where the neck is glued on. There was no routing a cavity, the rims were cut to the shape of the body, sanded and glued together. Then that structure is sanded smooth top and back so the walnut plates can be glued on.