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My Shuker Custom

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wotnwhy, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. i'm in talks with Jon Shuker at the moment about getting a custom bass done. everythings pretty much sorted out now. and i thought i'd just run the specs and stuff by you to get your opinion.

    -Customized J style body
    -Swamp ash body
    -5 piece flamed maple/wenge thru-neck
    -Birdseye maple fingerboard
    -Master grade quilted maple top w. matching head veneer
    -Custom flamed maple pickguard
    -Individual bridge pieces
    -Seymour Duncan MM5 and Hot J pickups
    -Shuker 3-band circuit + custom internally adjustable mid switch
    -Gotoh GB70 tuners
    -Brass/Corian laminated nut
    -stainless steel fretwire

    the flamed maple pickguard is gonna be a custom design. me and Jon have both been comming up with ideas (although i'm yet to see his. he should be e-mailing them to me tonight i think).
    here are 2 of my designs along with the original pic to show the change to the body shape. which is basically just a repositioned lower horn with a bigger cutaway.


    what do you think?

    also, just for you to drool over. a pick of the master grade quilted maple. i should also be getting pics of some B/E tonight which i'll share with you.


  2. my, my. that is a very fine piece of quilt. i prefer the first pickguard, personally, but perhaps you could cool out on all those talon hooks. i like it, though. very nice specs and looks like it will be beautiful.

  3. thanks man. yeah i prefer the first one as well. i'm pretty sure i'll be keeping the left half of the design (depending on what sort of thing Jon comes up with). but i'm having some trouble comming up with a decent looking right half.

    any ideas anyone?

  4. make the right half curved on top and pointy into the lower horn -- just like on a jazz bass. just my design-layman's POV.

  5. Congratulations! Jon is a great guy and great bass maker. His prices are very reasonable, and he works hard to get you what you want. I have a matched set of 6 strings from him (two of the few in the US) and an ABG he made with his former partner, Antonio Lamaq. You can see one in my avatar.

    As for the pickguards, well, you did ask ... I'd favor leaving the pickguard off entirely. The two designs I saw, with their pointy bits, seems to me to conflict with the flowing lines of the body. Maybe Jon will come up with something. But in any case, beyond the shape question, my gut feeling is that it would be a shame to cover up any of that beautiful quilt maple! Is the maple going to be natural, or are you staining it some color?

    Good decision on the bigger lower cutaway. I found I had exactly the same needs on my basses, and Jon was happy to accommodate me.

    Another option that you may or may not be into: After I heard about THG Knobs, I asked Jon if he could make me some wooden control knobs to match my amboyna burl top. He said fine, and they came out nicely. If you like that look, ask him about this option, and I'm sure he'd be happy to do the same for you. (Say hi to him for me.)
  6. THATS IT!!! i KNEW there was something missing in the design! :D

    i really like laminated knobs that match the body, so in this case it would be swamp ash with a quilted cap. maby with a black laminate. with something like that i think the pickguard would help, because it would put a seperation between the knobs and body, but i know what you mean about covering it up. i thought exactly the same as you when i first saw the top. but i think it needs a little extra something on the top. maby if i come up with a controll plate cover style one like the metal but on J basses. so it doesn't cover up to much of the top.

    cheers for that. now i have something to do tonight ;)

  7. Now that sounds like a cooler idea to me, but that's just my tuppence. :cool: :bassist:
  8. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    Do something like this guard...


    ...and knobs!
  9. Wolfehollow,

    i told you i loved your bass. and now you can see how much it's influenced mine! lol.

    all the designs i've ever come up with are stolen or majorly influenced by something i've seen before. wether i know it or not. and i guess this was the case with your pickguard. but i was, however, thinking of your bass when i said about the laminated knobs.

    no matter how many times i see that bass it still makes my jaw hit the floor! :D

    anyway, i've just sketched another idea. going on what Rich said. and although it's just a rough sketch i think the idea has great potential. cheers Rich! :cool:


  10. No problem. And just FWIW, the new idea looks pretty cool to me. :cool:
  11. just looking at that design reminded me of a bass cleff, so i tried it out


    what do you think? again, it's just a rough sketch. with something like this maby flamed maple knobs would be good so they don't intrude on the design too much.

  12. si_mon13


    Sep 1, 2003
    looks great, i hope to get my shuker plans through, for now i have to keep the sr5.
  13. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Your bass would look cool like this:


    wait, how do you make a pic show up if it's hosted by TB?
  14. Again, it's just my opinion, but to me that looks too frou-frou for a pickguard. That body is very Jazz-inspired, and part of the beauty of that design is its classicism, IMO. To me it's more about lines and curves than about points and swirls.

    Remember also that a pickguard will need screws or adhesives to hold it on. If at some point you decide you no longer like the look of it, you will have to deal with screw holes or adhesive remnants.

    Now this is just a thought, but have you considered maybe, instead of a pickguard, having a design drawn or painted or somehow shaded directly onto the wood?

    Believe me, I'm not trying to be discouraging. But you did ask, after all! Really, though, the bottom line is that you get what YOU like. I have to admit, I'm kind of tickled that another TBer is getting a bass from Jon. I've mentioned him favorably a number of times around here, but I've encountered very few who've even heard of his work.
  15. Hey si_mon, I thought you already put your order in?
  16. Killdar. is it just me not seeing anything?
    EDIT: o, there it is. looks cool. but as i said earlier. on hindsight, a design that big covers up a bit too much of the quilt. cheers though!

    Rich. again, i see your point. but don't worry about being discouraging. the exact reason i asked was so that i could get points of views like yours! it's hard to criticise your own designs because your biased. and in my case. clouded with GAS ;)

    don't know about the drawing or dying ideas. but one of my dream ideas is to have a major flame maple inlay on an ebony board (either blocks or a full fingerboard design). and i had though about doing something like that on the body instead on this bass. but it would just be to expensive at the moment.

    i still like the bass cleff idea. but as you say, the J bass is a classy design and it might be a bit tacky for something like this. but it's an idea i'm gonna keep, maby try and use it in a different project.

    i also see your point about deciding i don't like a design down the road. but for J style basses i've always prefered something to nothing. and i think i'm gonna have it stuck on. screws would spoil it IMO. and so if i ever decide that i REALLY don't like it. i can always have it pulled off the bass and have it re-finished. but i think i'd have to REALLY hate it.

  17. Hey Tom. I just thought of one more thing. I'm not trying to be devil's advocate, but my experience tells me that when commissioning a custom instrument, it's important to figure out as much as you can *beforehand*.

    About the control cavity cover/pickguard. I'm assuming you'd be doing this the way pickguards are normally done, with the control cavity routed out of the *front* of the bass and the controls mounted in the pickguard. If so, this means that if you decide to take the thing off because you don't like it, *you're going to have to put something else on there to cover the control cavity*. You won't be able to leave the front bare.

    Actually, there's something else connected with this. If you glue the cover on, that means that if you need to get into the cavity for anything (such as resoldering a loose connection, or tightening an outout jack, or adjusting a trimpot for the mid control or the active circuit output), you're going to have to pull the cover off to get at the wires, and risk having to refinish for the sake of a simple adjustment. That sounds like a bad idea to me.

    The alternative would be to rear-route the control cavity and then have the controls go through both the cavity cover and the front of the bass. That way, if you took off the cover, it would just look like a regular rear-routed bass. The problem with that, though, is that you'd need particularly tall pots, which might or might not be obtainable in the values you need.
  18. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    My take on it is:

    No pickguard, NONE!!! Have the custom wood knobs and maybe wood covers on the pups. To me with a good quilt pickguards either take ways the "style" or make things to busy. JMHO.
  19. i'm going to be having a rear route for the controls. Jon hasn't said anything about needing longer pots. so i'll mention it to him and see what he says.

    as for working out everything beforehand. it has been apart from the pickguard, which jon is also working on.

  20. i like the first pickguard the best view nice..

    Also been talkin to Jon....we have talked about a totally custom body shape..with a Buckeye'd top,,,but with a blue or purple tint...this is very rare and he at the momeny tryin test piece out and if goin to let me know how they go0o...

    Just cant decided weather to go for the Shuker or go with another GB...the Shukers are great basses but the GB's just have something about them....they are just....well GB's...and still i am supirsed that they kick the butt outta a sei jazz in terms of sound and playability..... :)

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