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NBD (sort of) - Custom headless content

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frank77, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Frank77

    Frank77 Supporting Member

    May 2, 2011
    Montréal, Canada
    So, I recently had a custom headless bass done by a local luthier which I received around Christmas time. It sounded great and looked stunning, but ergonomically it wasn't working for me. I hadn't done my homework before spec'ing the bass, and it turned out that this body shape didn't work for me. Because of the small body (and more specifically the short top horn), the bass didn't balance right and I felt like I was always stretching out...as if my left arm was a foot too short to play this instrument.

    "Before" shot:

    So after playing it for a while, I figured I was confronted with a decision: Accept the idea that this bass would be a closet queen and get zero rehearsal/gig time, or spend a bit more and get a new body done in order to have a functional bass. I went with the latter and I'm quite happy with the result. I took the opportunity to further simplify the controls, too.

    "After" :


    Now, it falls exactly in the right place and stays at the right angle with absolutely no effort. There is a clear difference between this bass and my other "traditional" basses, which I thought had zero neck dive (I guess they do, just a little). The Aguilar pickups sound pretty good, too. I'm bringing it to the next rehearsal, for sure. I canceled the individual volume pots for each pickup - I found very little "resolution" with that circuit anyway (by the time you hear one pickup's influence on the overall tone, it's pretty much all the way up). Once the pickup height is adjusted to get the right blend, the 3-way switch by itself gives me the tones I like anyway.

    It is not particularly light nor particularly heavy (I didn't weigh it but I'd say it's in the same ballpark as my other basses). The nice bonus is that it fits in a guitar gig bag, even if it's a standard 34" scale bass.
    BassmanM, fretno and lgrankin like this.
  2. ronin614


    May 15, 2008
    New York
    I’m kind of digging the Mark King-esque vibe of the original, but the second version is pretty nice too.

    I’m glad you made it work for you.
    Frank77 likes this.
  3. Frank77

    Frank77 Supporting Member

    May 2, 2011
    Montréal, Canada
    Thanks! It's a shame the first shape didn't work out, but that's totally on me - I should've tried long scale basses with a similar shape prior to giving the go-ahead. It was a cool-looking dumb idea...probably would've worked much better as a short scale.

    I think I like the new look just as much, though. I've been playing it regularly with my band and it sounds pretty good. Ironically, despite the modern look of this bass, the Aguilar P pickup gives it a much more "vintage" sounding voice than my LB-100!
  4. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    It's not only the shape with the short upper horn, but also the position of the bridge. Look at how far away it is from the edge of the body compared to the second version.
    Frank77 likes this.
  5. Frank77

    Frank77 Supporting Member

    May 2, 2011
    Montréal, Canada
    Good point, you just made me notice that!

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