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Need help quickly

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Joe Nerve, Jan 24, 2006.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I was just given a very generous offer to have a custom bass made for me - and the company wants me to get back to them asap with my desires.

    HELP!

    I love the sound of my MM Bongo, but I sometimes miss the rubberyness and slapability of a Sterling I sold not that long ago. I like the slap happy sound of warwicks also. Sooooo...

    Wood: What's a good light wood that will give me rich deep tones.

    Pickups and electronics: I want the MM/J setup, and I love the Bartolinis I heard on a Lakeland I played about 4 years ago. The Bartolini website didn't help much - can anybody tell me exactly what I'd have to ask for if i wanted those pickups and electronics.

    Any other pickup/electronic recmommendations for a 4 knob/don't matter how many switch configuration that will give me lots of flexibility and something close to a MM sound?

    The rest I think i can handle on my own. :) Although all thoughts and input are welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Why not tell them what you want from the bass and let them decide how to get there? They are likely to produce a nicer bass in a shorter timeframe if they can use materials and construction techniques with which they are most familiar.
     
  3. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Wood: Swamp Ash, can be very lightweight, and is very punchy and still handles deep & clear well. Think 70's Jazz bass, Marcus Miller, when joined with a maple fingerboard. If you want a bit smoother tone, get a rosewood board.

    Pickups: You can't get the EXACT pickups that Lakland uses, they are OEM and only sold to Lakland (in the same vein, at Roscoe, we have pickups that they only sell to us). Closest thing would be to go to the Bart site (www.bartolini.net) and look at the quad-coil humbuckers on the MM pickups page. The single coil is a "linear humbucker", can't remember the exact model though, but it is definitely a noise-free pickup, not a true single-coil.

    With that, you can get the Bart NTMB (the Lakland version of this is called the NTMB-L, and again is an OEM custom preamp, you probably can't get it), set it up with what we use for a control layout at Roscoe: volume, blend, midrange, stacked treble/bass, and get the coil switching for the bridge MM humbucker like Lakland does (it won't be JUST LIKE the Lakie, but close enough most likely).

    Good luck!
     
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    wonderful!

    thanks gard.
     
  5. Believe it or not, Poplar would do what you are looking for. Of course, it's not a premium figured wood but it has tone for days.
     
  6. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Poplar, aka tulipwood.

    Good stuff, that, I think someone uses it quite a bit...

    :ninja:

    ...and no, it isn't Roscoe, but someone that we all know & love!

    :)


    ...look an empty dee...

    :bag:



    ...sorry, being a wisea$$....yeah, poplar is wonderful stuff, although a bit "mundane" in the looks department, not quite as snappy/punchy as swamp ash though, IMO.
     
  7. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    How about spanish cedar for body wood? I honeslty have no clue about how it sounds, but Roscoe uses it quite a bit I believe. Maybe Gard can give us a hint.
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Poplar (Salicaceae - or the Tulip Poplar which is a common tree in the Eastern US) is significantly different from Tulipwood (Dalbergia Frutescens)

    Here's a link for Poplar:

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/Inventory/poplar.html

    [​IMG]

    and a link for Tulipwood:
    [​IMG]

    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/Inventory/tulipwood.html


    I have pieces of both woods in my shop, and believe me there is no way to accidentally confuse one with the other.

    If you're talking bass body, the Salicaceae would be an excellent choice - but it would not make for a good fretboard/fingeboard as it's too soft. If you're talking fretboard/fingerboard, then the Dalbergia Frutescens would be a most colorful choice.

    All the best,

    R
     
  9. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    R -

    I know what you are referring to, we use the "real" tulipwood (Dalbergia Frutescens) for fingerboards, it is very hard, and has an orange tint or hue to it.

    However, if you look at an MTD with a "tulipwood" body, you will see that it most closely resembles the wood in the first two photographs, NOT the third. Just tellin' you what I've seen out there....
     
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    It is somewhat similar to mahogany, a bit more "open" sounding, not quite as defined.

    Not a good choice for what Joe's looking for, but a great wood for certain applications.
     
  11. The confusion comes from the ambiguous reference to "tulip" in the slang name. Poplar has been commonly referred to as "tulip poplar" forever but somewhere along the line someone attached tulip to "wood" really muddying up the water.
     
  12. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I put in my requests... basically Gard's first post with a maple neck. I told them I'm used to the 5 string spacing on a MM - I sent them the specs on Bongo necks, but I think they make basses with thicker, more warwick like necks. Any suggestions on my suggesting exact string spacing so it's not too narrow, or too wide. I've a feeling we're going to be emailing back and forth a handful of times before this actually happens.

    Also - they do all kinds of funky inlays on their necks. I kinda sorta half ass requested that they recreate a tribal mermaid tattoo I have on my arm. What exactly goes into making an inlay, and am I pushing my boundaries with these people? Oh... these are the guys who are making it for me by the way...

    www.minarikguitars.com. Goin for the HALO shape with the blue burst thus far. May also opt for plain ol black or sunburst.
     
  13. Joe,from the looks of their products, I don't think that would be out of line at all. Whoever is doing their inlay is quite skilled and yours doesn't sound near as complex as the inlay shown on the site.
     
  14. Like you've done with the Bongo neck, suggest dimensions taken directly from your favorite instruments. If you've got a couple that fit you well, it would be an easy thing to use those as the target references.
     
  15. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    for the elctronics, bartolini 9J#1 for the jazz, and the MME for the humbucker. I'm thinking an Aggie 4 band or a Bart 4 band for the preamp. For the Aggi, the OBP-3 should do it with the mid freq selector switch.

    good luck, I'm jealous of your opportunity.

    Greg
     
  16. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Hammy, thanks for straightening it out for me. :)
     
  17. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Rodent

    Your info is all correct except: True poplar, genus Populus, family Salicaceae is not the stuff you normally see and are able to purchase. The common lumber wood is Tulip Tree, or Tulip Poplar, or Yellow Poplar, and is Liriodendron tulipifera. It is actually amember of the magnolia family, not the poplar-aspen-cottonwood family.

    And to make matters worse, Liriodendron tulipifera is not only called Yellow Poplar and Tulip Tree, it is also sometimes referred to as basswood.
     
  18. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    Thanks for the correction Peter!

    I'm still a novice with the Latin naming thang ... and have only recently begun to pay closer attention to the botanical names after getting a little charred by duplicity in common names.

    Ahhh ... another of the great benefit of dealing directly with Larry Davis at GH is that you'll never have this kind of problem.

    All the best,

    R
     
  19. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I'm just learning all the species and taxonomony myself, over the last year or two. There's a lot to learn!