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My "Sex Scale" Headless 6 string almost done!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dirk Diggler, Apr 24, 2006.


  1. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Hello everyone,
    Well it was an exciting day as I got to finish up my project. It's amazing how much fun it is once things are actually up and running. I've played until I can't anymore, so that's why I'm posting this. In any case I like it a lot, flat fretboard, and the frets are really interesting at first, actually easier to play not watching at first. The tone is wonderful with the Barts and Bart pre, it reminds me of a cross between a musicman and a warwick, really hi-tech and interesting, plenty of zing. It is very different from my Frenz basses and all other basses I have which is great, just what I wanted. :) The only downside is I may have to do a little pickup movement or replacement with wider ones. The low B just isn't coming through as strong as I'd like. They are just 6's turned on their side. It's audible but I'd like it to be more present, if you listen to the body it's all there.
    If you want to see the pictures from the whole build go here:
    http://bonzoestewjo.com/gallery/main.php
    Here are a couple of the finished pics as a teaser.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Dirk
     
  2. Kibuddy

    Kibuddy

    Apr 30, 2005
    I love that top! Beautiful, awesome job!
     
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Looks good.

    Do you know how the coils are arranged in those pickups? From looking at it, depending on how the coils are arranged it is possible that there isn't any part of the coil under the B.
     
  4. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Hey Geoff,
    Yes actually looking at the pictures makes it appear more obvious. They are Bart M56CBC pickups and the way they are placed actually symetrically, but if I look at the screw placement it does favor the high C side. The C side is actually 1/4" from the screw so I figure I can split the difference and move 1/8th and not adversly affect the look too badly. They are dual coil humbuckers so they aren't pole type pickups in my understanding. It's interesting really playing with the split coils I can actually make the B disappear completely using the pickup pan.

    In any case I'm going to try routing a little wider and moving them to favor the B. The body tone is fantastic so physically it's great, now I just have to get the sound out as well electronically.

    Oh yes and an FYI the top is Masser Birch from our pal Larry @ Gallery Hardwoods, he also provided the Ziricote fretboard.
    Dirk
     
  5. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Hey Dirk Great job

    im really digging the look(not to sure about the tail though) the Masser Birch top looks super and is really set off by the darkness of the rest of the woods and finish

    Any chance you could give me some info on the tunning system and where you got it? from what i can see it looks like the one statu use on there king basses,thanks to your words of encouragement ive decided to have a go at on headless neckthru section as well as the body on my single cut 6 and ive been looking around at tunning systems so any light you could throw on the one you've used would be helpful

    i look forward to checking out some sound samples as soon as you sort out your pickup positioning

    Laters
    Thonk
     
  6. Zetora

    Zetora

    Aug 16, 2004
    England
    Now that is nice, different ... some may even say weird, but really cool.

    Truely good stuff :bassist:

    Zet.
     
  7. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Thanks for the kind words, I realize it's not going to be everyone thing. :) But with that said I can happily call it mine. And in good news a move of about 1/8 inch of both pickups the B is now as beefy as it needs to be, I am so happy and surprised by the tone of this bass. I can't wait to play it out Thursday.
    And Thonk, those tuners are ABM's that I got wholesale through Allparts and a friends music store, and they still were expensive! They no longer stock the 6 string head piece, I had a friend make me a brass one. You might be able to get at a better price since ABM is a German company I believe.
    Anything else I can help with let me know.
    I'm off to play until I can't anymore. :)
    Dirk
     
  8. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    Nice job Dirk, I really like the "valley" for the tuning knobs. I don't usualy like that kind of tuning system because it hangs off the back edge, but your design is cool. Keep up the good work.:)
     
  9. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Racine,Wi
    Can I see a couple of shots of that headpiece, is it built to your design? The bass is really cool, I LOVE headless basses man, working out having one made at this moment with a great luthier whose made me a bass before and the headpice was the focal point of many discussions.:)
     
  10. The body style just isn't for me, but thats a really thoughtful and inovative deisgn on the bridge-tuners part. I hate how they generally hang off the back, but thats definatly a cool new design. Keep it up.
     
  11. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Thanks everyone for the kind words, I do agree with the bad concept of the headless tuners hanging out over the end. I'm still not sold on the ode to Alembic with the horn but what the heck. :)
    The scoop/valley took a while to shape needless to say.

    Lo end PUNCH here's the only picture I have of the nut/string grabber. It was designed with my headless Frenz bass string grabber which as an ABM. But a friend helped me and cut it out of a lump of brass. Pretty much drilled straight through and then from the top down tappped and fitted with the set screws.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. teacherguy

    teacherguy

    Feb 21, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    AWESOME JOB!!
    Very organic design! An original for sure!!
    I hope you get your B string issue resolved!
    ENJOY!

    Jon
     
  13. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Hey Dirk

    Thanks for the heads up on the ABM system,i think im going to go with the status set £20/$30 each for the tunner & £30/$40 for the retainer + its close to home so next day del

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Glad to hear you got your pups sorted out did you manage grab us any sound samples yet?

    And many thanks for the offer of help its much apresated,im into the heavy reading phase atm (got the hiscok and Koch books on the go as well as a million threads and forums)but i'll be sure to post for help with anything thats gets me stumpped
    ;)

    Cheers
    Thonk
     
  14. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Hey Thonk,
    That is a great price on the tuners. But I may be wrong but don't those headstock pieces require double ball strings? If so that would be a deal breaker for me. But the price is right if those are just string clamps. Still it's not that horrible to build your own, I think next time I could do it myself. The hardest thing would be tapping for the set screws, brass is easy to tap from what my friend said.
    He's used to working with aluminum and steel, but I've never tapped metal anything, but I'm always up for a new adventure. :)

    Oh yeah and on the sounds, after playing more I think I may be trying some different pickups, it's good but not perfect yet.
    Man I absolutely love the middle 4 it's just I'm really pushing the limits on the outside 2. I may include a clip when I get a chance.
    Dirk
     
  15. Thonk

    Thonk

    Sep 14, 2003
    UK
    Hey Dirk

    The headstock retainers do both dbl and standard string sets the first recesses are for dbl set 2nd have grubs that allow you to clamp standard strings down and as a picture is worth a 1000 words heres one that show all you need to know :)

    status.

    also found this great idea while browse the status site

    [​IMG]

    The ' BendWell ' allows vibrato effects.
    Both double-ball and regular string can be used.
    Double-ball strings simply hook into the recess in the 'top-nut'.
    Regular strings can be locked into the 'top-nut' using the
    screws supplied with the bass.​

    Looking forward to some sound clips

    Cheers
    Thonk
     
  16. C-5KO

    C-5KO

    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada

    That bendwell system look really cool.

    Dirk,

    I haven't seen too many wenge body - is weight a big factor in your bass?
     
  17. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Ah very cool and yeah that bendwell idea is a great concept, I hadn't seen that before, nice.
    And the Wenge in my bass is only about 1/2 inch thick on the back of the body. I haven't weighed it yet but it feels like it is a little heavier than my Frenz headless. But that bass also has Wenge on the back, but a smaller body.
    Dirk
     
  18. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Ah yes well in my usual style of just playing anything for tone examples, here's some crap that will at least give you a bit of an idea of it's tone. Just straight into the board and then into the computer, tone flat on the bass both pickups.
    Please forgive my playing. ;)
    Dirk
    http://bonzoestewjo.com/Audio/Aardvark.mp3
     
  19. mslatter

    mslatter

    Apr 8, 2003
    Especially the upper horn, which looks like an upside-down, um, organ.

    Very ambitious and daring project. That HAD to feel good to get running.
     
  20. Zetora

    Zetora

    Aug 16, 2004
    England
    That has a nice tone to it there, me likes. The desgin does grow on you too, its two thumbs up.

    I really do like the chose of woods there, they go well as i am sure your more than aware.

    Would you say the multi scale is more comfortable to play? I dont know why but I would expect its a bit awkward playing the low B near the nut ... though obviously I haven't played one before.

    Zet.
     

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