NBD: dbk 6 string - I built this one from a kit!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dkelley, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. So this is a first for me.

    I grabbed a kit from Combine Guitars - their 6 string bass kit.

    Solid ash body, maple neck with rosewood fretboard, 34" scale, 6 string (roughly 17mm spacing at bridge although I haven't actually measured it). 24 frets, bolt on (5 bolt), stock chinese pickups, after market chinese 3 band preamp (so yes it's an active bass now). Fender style bridge but with tracks for the saddle feet which helps stability under aggressive right hand playing tremendously.

    I've never done this sort of project before. Sanded, sanded, sanded, sanded... oh and then I sanded and sanded. Next day I sanded and sanded. Then I sanded.

    Ash and maple are both finished with circa 1850 Tung oil. Ash turned out beautiful with it, imho.

    pickups aren't in my budget, but fortunately I currently quite like the stock pickups. Thick heavy yet articulate low strings (pitch wise), aggressive and punchy with lots of presence in the higher string (pitch wise).

    Preamp is a mings 3 band - sort of the goto of cheap chinese preamps. perfectly fine, but mid control is moderate - useful but moderate. bass control is excellent. treble is in the presence area, so it can be useful in it's own way, but it's far from, for example, a stingray treble control which is much higher in like 10k-ish area.

    Anyway, sounds really good so far, and after a LOT OF FRET WORK (sanded frets for days to get them even and with low action), this thing plays VERY well and is comfy and useful all up and down the neck.

    being 34" scale makes it more comfy for me than my other 6 which is 35", although my other is far nicer build, woods, neck through, access up high is better, etc... but for a bolt on, this DIY bass gives decent access to the top frets and is comfy for sure.

    Also being ash it isn't super heavy. I haven't weighed it yet though.

    Going to put it through my paced in a rehearsal tomorrow night, so we'll see how it compares to my otherwise #1 warwick 4 string.

    The logo on the headstock is 3d printed - my initials. that's a b, not an h. LoL

    IMG_1641.jpg IMG_1642.jpg IMG_1644.jpg IMG_1636.jpg
    tindrum, Yahboy, Riff Ranger and 5 others like this.
  2. You can see that I haven't crowned the frets yet after leveling them. LoL. But once I'm perfectly happy with fret levels, I'll grab my crowning file.


    Feb 10, 2016
    Michigan USA
    Very nice. Having built a kit i can relate to the sanding comment!
    dkelley likes this.
  4. Thanks :) yea it's endless. Even now I come across something where it's sanded fine but I wish I'd shaped it slightly differently. But whatever... it's good enough.

    Now I need to talk to them about sending me a version of the same kit in fretless. You'd think that would be an easy one-off for them. But we'll see... prob depends who makes their necks for them in china.
    JRA and UNICORN BASS like this.
  5. You can see how bad the fretwork was up high by seeing how 2 or 3 of the higher frets are REALLY FLAT on top, where I sanded them like nuts, and at that not evenly across the fret, because it was higher in the middle than at the edges, higher under thin strings than under thick strings, etc.... but only certain frets. So that was the leveling step, which I always have to do on cheaper basses, but not often as much as I had to in this kit. But the end result is awesome, and even though I'll play it like this for a while as I find what little bits of fretwork I still need to do, eventually I'll crown the tops so tuning (specially way up high) is more accurate.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  6. Looks really nice! I had a fan-fret six string for a while, never could get used to the string spacing. I went back to five, but this makes me think.....
    dkelley likes this.
  7. Thanks Yea.... I really like this bass so far.

    Again you need to be prepared to learn how to tape up and level the occasional bad fret. Its scary and maddening but worth the trouble imho.

    And the body grain is very evident to touch as well, which i actually like, so painting would be tough if you want a smooth finish. But if you like real wood then i highly recommend this. The three reasons i like this kit are the ash and Maple solid wood, the 34" scale, and i wanted another 6 string.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    that's a really cool piece, @dkelley --- and from a kit no less! the coolest part is that you crafted (sanded?) it into a player. and i agree with you: a fretless version would be in order. congratulations on your new instrument! :thumbsup:
    dkelley likes this.
  9. Thanks! That makes me feel good about it. Cheers