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n00b trying to design a custom...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kovachian, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. kovachian


    Nov 5, 2005
    Wuddup fellas,

    The name's Ron. I found this site from harmony central, seems like a good place to go after I get sick of guitars. After searching long and far for a five string fretless in a natural finish, I was having problems finding EXACTLY what I wanted, even though I can't put my finger on exactly what I want. I don't always know what I like, but I know exactly what I DON'T like. So I decided F*** IT, I'm gonna have someone build me a bass. Well after a couple days of doodling, I've finally penned what will be my custom bass. I just have to free up a lil bit more cash and it gets the green light. Here's what I'm thinking as far as specs:

    Scale: 34"
    Body: walnut bottom/padauk top
    Neck: Thru-body, assym. profile, 3 piece mahogany/purpleheart/mahogany
    Fingerboard: macassar or gabon ebony, fretless & lined
    Elecronics: volume, bartolini soapbars each w/3 way switching
    3 band active EQ
    Bridge: ummm...suggestions?
    Tuners: me no care.
    The headstock shape is intentionally left up in the air, as I feel it is the finishing trademark touch and therefore it's design ultimately belongs to the luthier (so long as it's a 3+2 :smug: ).

    This is 100% Kovachian designed, and it's gone through many revisions but this is what I've got so far. I really want it to be balanced and comfortable so if anyone has better suggestions for woods, let's hear it! And I have a sinking feeling that this might cost way more than I can afford.

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

  3. Aj*


    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    That reminds me of a Ritter but unless you have lots of cash then that probably isn't an option.
  4. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Hey Ron, looks pretty nice, I'd only make a couple suggestions, the first being the upper horn. I'd make it a little thicker around where it meets the body, You'd probably be okay with it like it is, I'm just a bit cautious when it comes to structural strength, and that looks to me like the place it would break if something happened to it. so I'd make it a little thicker there and possibly the same area on the lower horn.

    Then there is something that doesnt sit right with me about that little cut out on the left of the body, above the neck pickup, I'd probably smooth it out a little bit, but thats just purely aesthetic and my own personal opinion.

    also, I think it would look sweet with a black Badass V bridge sitting on there. so thats my suggestion there.

    Good luck with it, throw us some pics of it when you have it done. :bassist:
  5. kovachian


    Nov 5, 2005
    I actually inquired once about that bass. I later decided that I just couldn't get over the looks. The seller didn't want to make deal anyways since I lived so far away so that turned out beneficial for both of us.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The little cutout of the upper horn looks bad IMO.
  7. Sutton


    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    I agree
  8. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    I think your design is a little much (in terms of aesthetics).
    For bridge and tuners I suggest going with Hipshot.

    Otherwise.... there really arent too many luthiers out there who do a lot of truly custom designs. Many of the better ones tend to use their own designs and will not put their name on something they didnt design.
    A few questions:
    What's your budget?
    What kind of quality are you looking for? Do you want your pickups routs exact to the 1/100000000 of an inch, or is 1/10 of an inch ok?
    What about build times? Some builders take a long time (up to 1.5-2 years for some) and some take less time (3-4 months).
    What kind of sound are you looking for? IME certain luthiers basses tend to have certain underlying audio characteristics.
    Are you absolutely sure this is bass you want? Back in May I ordered a custom and thank god it didn't work out because now that I think about it, I really dont think I'm qualified to design a bass yet. All of the wood and hardware options provided just too many variables, and I dont have enough experience to KNOW what I want.
  9. kovachian


    Nov 5, 2005
    I'm not 100% on the budget, but at this point I'd prefer it stay under $3K. I know that limits my choices quite a bit, and I'll let a luthier make adjustments to the specs as necessary and still get what I'm after. Life is full of compromises and I'm perfectly willing to do that. As for quality, that's where I will NEVER compromise. I read that DP Custom fiasco thread and that thing is a f***ing nightmare, exactly what I don't want. All I ask is that the neck is straight and true, all strings lined up perfectly, pickups are about where I want them, everything to be even and so on. I don't care for micro-precision tolerances on the body shape, but I want overall fit and finish to be top notch. Quality is to be expected at all price levels, that goes without saying.

    I've never designed an instrument from scratch but we all got to start somewhere right? This is why I'm open to suggestions from experienced luthiers. The body shape is purely subjective so I don't care about appealling to anyone else but me, but I at least want everything to be functionally correct (ie weight, balance etc).