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NBD: Custom Kinal Kompact in the works

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DaveAceofBass, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I have had a long relationship with luthier Mike Kinal. I fell in love with the design of his basses many years ago (probably more than 20 years ago) when I saw a review article in Bass Player Magazine. Around 2005 or so I traded a Modulus Genesis for a beautiful Kinal MK5B with a Goncalo Alves top. I played it for a few years until I finally commissioned my first custom, a DK5. I later sold the DK5 but loved it nonetheless, it was just too bulky and heavy. Around the same time I tried an SK5B of his with a Cocobolo top at a guitar show, and for me I liked it better than anything else there. I commissioned a custom SK5B with a Myrtlewood top which I still play a ton...it’s the one in my profile pic. I made some mods to the electronics and it’s now wearing a special set of Kent Armstrong pickups and an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. A few years ago I commissioned my third custom Kinal, this time an MK5B with Nordstrand PJ pickups and an East preamp. But I’m here to tell you about the new one in the works...

    The Kinal Kompact is a bass many of us are familiar with. I’ve always had an interest in one but it wasn’t until recently that I was ready to buy one. There have been a few good deals on used ones in the classifieds, but I just wasn’t sure I wanted a piezo pickup only bass. I talked to Mike about doing one with a piezo and magnetic pickup a few years ago, and he said it was possible. Then I bought a used Lakland HB30 and started to play it a lot at gigs. A hollowbody short scale, but a different design than the Kompact with magnetic pickups and a metal bridge. I really liked that bass, it had a great sound, but it wasn’t perfect...I kept thinking about how I’d want it to be different. Then I saw Carey Nordstrand’s new Acionyx bass he’d been working on, which had a lot in common with the Lakland, but different specs. I reached out to Carey and tried to get a set of those Acionyx pickups for the Lakland, but he didn’t have them in the size it needed. So, I reached out to Kent Armstrong and he said it would be best to rewind them. However when Kent received The Lakland’s pickups he decided they didn’t need rewound and instead suggested new pickups. So I ordered a new set of pickups, similar to the ones in my SK5B bass. Well, I decided not to use them in the Lakland after all. Instead, I sold my Lakland and put a deposit on a special version of the Kinal Kompact.

    Mike has come out with a solid body version of the Kompact bass, but what I wanted was more like the Lakland HB30...a shortscale hollow body not that much different from a Hofner, but something uniquely Kinal since I have such a thing for his basses. So Mike and I decided to use the standard acoustic Kompact platform but to modify it to accommodate a metal bridge and use F-holes with magnetic pickups that are mounted to the top via pickup rings. So here are the final specs we are going with and some early pics...I will post more as I receive them.

    Custom Kinal Kompact 4-string
    Mahogany body
    Quilted maple top
    Roasted flamed maple neck
    Quilted bubinga headstock overlay veneer
    Ebony fingerboard & thumbrest
    Birdseye maple dot inlays
    Luminlay SuperBlue 3mm side dot inlays
    30.75” scale
    24 frets
    12” radius
    1.5” nut width
    Bone nut
    EVO Gold frets (.043” x .080”)
    Babicz bridge with string-through-body stringing
    Dunlop strap locks
    David King wood knobs
    Passive electronics
    Custom Kent Armstrong handwound pickups (sidewinder neck, humbucker bridge)
    Stacked CTS 500K Master Volume / 250K Passive Tone
    Noll blend pot
    Villex PRTB (Passive Rotary Tone Booster)
    Two coil tap switches
    Clear gloss finish body and headstock
    Satin finish on back it neck

    Here’s the top I chose:


    and the mahogany body:
    The quilted bubinga headstock veneer:

    The roasted flame maple neck and his “practice” fingerboard:

    More to come...let me know your thoughts. I’m looking forward to my new bass!

    The cool part is I’m going to Vancouver in mid April to pick it up and meet Mike for the first time!
    peterpalmieri, Mili, fretno and 5 others like this.
  2. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Ebony fingerboard & the truss rod
    Bookmatched mahogany back


    May 24, 2011
    Great choice in woods, I look foward to seeing the progress pics!
  4. D02B8F58-77DF-4EA3-A848-B4DB1FB95605. Nice. Here is one up for sale.
    nonohmic likes this.
  5. They look phenominal!
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  6. That's great! Subscribed. I look forward to seeing your progress pictures.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  7. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Wow, I didn't realize Kinal was still in the game.
    That is some beautiful wood you chose for the project, Congrats!
    Look forward to seeing the completed bass.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.
  8. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah he is still making beautiful instruments!
  9. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    17F306B2-0A50-442E-90B8-345B34711F36. 418C7A7F-BFAB-4017-A0C4-C5C57FEE808E.
  10. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Turns out the back will be Claro Walnut...body core is still mahogany.

    The maple top is getting glued up now!
  11. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I though that back piece looked like walnut.
    Maple, mahogany and walnut = the BLT of tone! :D
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, it was something we discussed but not what I requested. That being said he told me he had a beautiful piece for the back and I’m happy with this gorgeous piece...and I do know these woods work quite well together for tone!
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    emjazz and TolerancEJ like this.
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    E7ADEC08-5CAD-4864-A412-9743E24C14AF. C39FA39C-486A-4338-9832-555F659BA41E. 24AB64F8-A9D6-40C9-BD43-1E2E9919E0EB. 2D2CEB0D-6AFC-496D-8AEC-A085F38EF479. It’s coming along...
    emjazz and TolerancEJ like this.
  15. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    96F5D3FA-AE5C-4E99-8690-E634D8F38EDB. 9E83D208-E9E6-492C-9CDF-088B56855FD4.
    Mike suggested these Schaller tuning machines.
    DC8C606B-DA37-4D9D-A8D0-5428B42DF65F. 5D3B3E05-1ACC-4D42-8A6B-4B61AE8CA249.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  16. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I really like the Kompact. I just sold one only because I'm simplifying to only have four string basses.

    This is an awesome project. Looking forward to more pics and your impression once it's done.
  17. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks... this one is very unique, he’s never made one like this.
    TolerancEJ likes this.
  18. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Body, ebony fingerboard with Birdseye maple inlays is done
    Looking at pickup spacing options...Hofner position
    Or maybe more of something like this, with more of a jazz bass location for the bridge pickup

    We will soon finalize the pickup spacing and then those will be routed. The black bridge and EVO Gold frets are on order and the fretwork and rest of the neck carving will be done next. I assume after all of that is done it will be ready to have the finish applied...more updates coming!
    nonohmic, emjazz, Yammybass and 2 others like this.
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    I love the look of the hofner spacing, but if you ever use just the bridge pickup I'd suggest the j bass spacing. If it's just to blend in with the neck pickup then the hofner spacing can work .Different sounds for sure.

    Man, that bass looks beautiful. He should make that a regular offering.
    peterpalmieri and DaveAceofBass like this.
  20. Your instrument is moving along nicely.
    DaveAceofBass likes this.

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