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Need some help with Warmoth.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Demon, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    I started considering getting a warmoth bass, but there so many parts!:O I really have no idea whats best etc, so i could use some advice on what parts. Im looking at a bass with a budget of about 700 USD (EXCLUDING SHIPPING AND TAXING). Is this achievable? What im looking for is a 5 string fretless. So, could someone whos experienced with parts and warmoth help me out how to achieve a 700 (possibly 800) dollar 5 string fretless? I noticed they have something called Gecko series. Whats the difference in quality? Which is cheapest? Heres some guidelines of what im looking for.

    5 string
    Not to heavy.
    Fairly slim and thin neck.
    Not so wide string spacing.
    It should be able to have good ability to cut through distorted guitars.
    34" if possible, and 21 'frets' is enough. (these two are far from neccesary though)

    Also, is it hard to put it together without proffesional help?

    Reason im looking at warmoth is the lack of 5 string fretless basses, especially ones that i can get in Sweden at a reasonable price. There was a ibanez gwb35, at bassnw that i couldve ordered, but someone got to it before me, and now the one available is around 1000 USD, when ordering from european sites
  2. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Hi neighbour,

    I built me a Warmoth bass, it's great! Look here. Warmoth is good quality stuff.

    You can save some money by doing an oil finish yourself, using a single passive pickup, and scouring for cheap Showcase parts.

    An example:

    G5B94 body including Kahler bridge $269
    GN126 neck $295 plus fretlines $40 (I think)
    Five Gotoh GB7 tuning machines $10.50 each = $52.50
    One ASB5 pickup $105

    Nearly complete, and just tipping $700.

    Good luck!
  3. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Cool! Does it include any type of finish? Or is that even neccesary? Also, if i want a "small" neck, do i need a "small" body too? Im 15, and 165cm, thus my arms and hands arent exactly long/big.
  4. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    You may want to keep a regular sized body to help balance the tuners. Also, try buying parts on the talkbass classifieds - I saw fender Marcus Miller pickups selling for like $20. The pots and wiring for a passive set up should only be another $10-15 and you have a killer passive J.
  5. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Exept for the part where i have to pay 200 for the shipping too. Icant buy parts from different people, since i live in sweden. Ill have to buy the whole load from warmoth. But if i get a medium body,can i have a small neck?
  6. Oden


    Jun 11, 2005
    Budapest, Hungary
    The Gecko small and medium parts are not compatible. Their neck pocket/heel size is different. If you need help with Warmoth parts feel free to contact me.
  7. The ASB5 is an active pup, not a passive. I'd recommend saving $45 and going with the SSB5, or maybe an SMB5A or SMB5D if you like a MusicMan sound (personally, for a single-pup setup, I'd prefer SMB5A and add a DPDT on-on-on switch for series/split/parallel wiring, a nice inexpensive way to get several tone options).

    +1 on the oil finish, tho. I'd also take a took at using neck woods that don't require any finish (check out their bass neck wood description page). They're more expensive than maple, but the maple necks require hard finishes that I'm guessing you'd need to pay Warmoth to do. So instead of getting a maple neck and paying them another $70 to finish it, I'd be inclined to get some really cool neck woods for that extra $70 and leave them unfinished. My own Warmoth has an unfinished purpleheart neck with ebony fingerboard; sounds fantastic, looks super-cool, and feels and plays better than a finished neck IMO.

    The neck finish factor highlights an important fact, though, which is that there are a lot of other little things that go into a complete-from-scratch bass besides the neck, body, bridge, tuners, pickups...

    You want a nut (for you I'd recommend Warmoth's precut Corian nut if it's available for the neck you want), pots (at least for volume), knobs to put on those pots, a capacitor for the tone pot if you want one, a jack, possibly switches, shielding foil, wire, neckplate, neck screws, possibly pickup screws. Warmoth has bundled a bunch of the little things together in Gecko hardware packages, so you might check those out.

    Then there's the more discretional stuff, like tone circuits, pickguards, jackplates, etc. You also need to get certain tools if you don't already have them: power drill and bits, screwdrivers, soldering iron, maybe hex wrenches depending on the bridge. Then there's the oil for the do-it-yourself body finish (DIY means cheap, not free). Also don't forget that this bass does not come with strings, so there's another $25. :) This stuff can really add up.

    I'm not trying to discourage you, though. Warmoth is a great way to get yourself an affordable custom bass. It's a bit more work than it might seem at the surface, but it's not beyond a beginner's ability. It's also well worth it. I have 9 basses, but the Warmoth is my favorite. I have plans to build several more of them.
  8. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    Here is the thing, international mail isnt that expensive. I just got something small that weighed about as much as 2 pickups and it was under $10 and took 3 days (from Germany). It's the big stuff that gets expensive. Also, ship stuff as a gift so you don't have to pay customs.
  9. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    Some great woods that can be oil or wax finished or in some cases unfinished:

    Pau Ferro

    Bubinga (can someone confirm)
    Walnut (can someone confirm)

    If it were me I would go for a Bubinga body and Wenge neck for a Warwick sound...but that's me.
  10. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    Im talking from USA, not Europe. But anyway. My heads gonna bust. All these woodtypes, specifications, etc. Hard when you know NOTHING about this. :( Ive decided i want a small Body and small neck, because it will probably fit my hands best, and id prefer the 17.5 mm string spacing. Ive also chosen single pickup, since its cheaper, and warmoth says it gives a more focused tone. Not sure wether passive or active. which cuts through best? Also, do i need to get a body from the showcase list to get that free kahler? Or do i get it with any gecko body?

    So far:

    *small* Gecko Body with cheapest possible finish, that still looks decent.
    *small* lined fretless Gecko Neck that doesnt need a finish
    Single pickup
    Durable fretboard

    what wood types are best? I want it to not be to heavy, but still pretty durable and cheap so ican stay to the 700 dollar budget.
    I dont care about all those addons that make it look better, etc.

    So, i need to know wood types. I want a fretboard that is durable.
  11. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    The cheapest combo is swamp ash body with maple neck and fingerboard, it is also the lightest combo. But youll have to give the neck a finish or it will rotten in 2 weeks (sweat is really bad for maple)...
  12. contakt321


    Jul 31, 2006
    New York, NY
    I live in USA and got my stuff from Germany - international mail isnt bad for small things...

    Anyway, best of luck.

    Read about wood choices and sound, etc on the Warmoth site.
  13. moro

    moro Geek

    Sep 5, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    This is worth repeating. Everytime I've priced out a Warmoth bass, it's come to $1000 or over. All those little things add up. Make sure you account for *everything* or you'll find yourself going over budget.

    Another thing that people forget about is shielding. Whether you go paint or copper tape, the stuff isn't cheap.

    Good luck. Building a bass is a lot of fun! But I think people often make the mistake of thinking that it's going to be cheap. It's not.
  14. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    So, even if i go close to as cheap as possible, i wont get one for 700?
  15. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    No, not really, especially since you'll need to pay shipping and taxes and stuff.

    It could perhaps be done with a 4-stringer though. Mine was IIRC around $500 excluding pickups and tuning machines, which I had from before.

    There you go. I'm not familiar with SD pickups, and I didn't really read the description.
  16. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm
    700 is excluding the shipping and taxes. But maybe i should ask in classifieds if anyone has a 5 string fretless for sale and can ship to Sweden:)
  17. mmm I think that you will spend more than U$s 700 on the warmoth. lets see:

    All alder body: $190
    Body finish: $180
    Neck (wenge with pao ferro fretb. (no finish): $330 (for a fretless I'd choose an ebony fretboard)
    Passive PU: $59
    Cheapest tone circuit: $96
    Hardware: $183

    TOTAL U$S 1038

    To this add a set of strings, shipping, and a case if you want

    Are you the guy that wanted a 5 string ESP or Spector for metal? do you really want a fretless for that style?
    If I were you I'd buy a fretted Ibanez btb, spector legend, MM sub 5, etc.
    look at this
  18. moro

    moro Geek

    Sep 5, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    I just found the spreadsheet I made to spec out a 5 string Jazz from Warmoth. It came out to $1200. But in your case:

    -$175 DIY finish
    -$100 passive electronics
    -$100 single pickup

    So that gets you down to around $825. I guess if you go with cheap tuners and a cheap bridge, you can shave another couple of dollars off of that. But I think $700 will be tough.

    An option that came up in another thread is getting a used MIM Jazz V and defretting it yourself.
  19. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    It seems like there are a few problems going on here.

    First off, if you're dead set on building your own bass, sit down and make a list. Start from one end of the bass to the other, and list every part that you're going to need. Be specific, for instance if you're going to use a bridge that strings through the body, you'll need to add string ferrules to the list. You'll need to remember things like neck bolts and mounting plate, or even a string tree for the headstock. Get them all down in one list and try to itemize the cost of each piece, and estimate what you're going to spend on shipping. Don't forget any extra costs that might be hiding (taxes, etc.), or what you're going to have to pay for someone to cut the nut and set it up initially. Once you have this number, add a few extra hundred dollars for additional suprise and hidden costs.

    Second, may I suggest that you're jumping the gun by doing this now? It doesn't sound to me like you've got the playing or gear experience to make informed decisions about the parts you're looking to buy. These projects tend to go much more smoothly when you're trying to accomplish a specific end goal and have the knowledge to get there.

    I also feel like you're never going to be close to your dream custom self built bass by bargain shopping for parts. Its always going to be the lesser of instruments for it. There are guys who have made decent affordable basses around TB, but most of them have loads of experience and know what to spend and what to save the cash on, and how to spot a great deal when they see one.

    I've made a homebrew custom instrument. I planned along the way and was very specific about what I was doing. About $1500 bucks later, and almost a full year of order & build time, I have a spectacular instrument.
  20. Demon


    Mar 17, 2006
    Sweden, Stockholm

    Probably me. And yes, i want a fretless. Ive seen a fair share of examples with fretless in metal, and it works just fine:) But not in traditional heavy metal probably. Burning skies, im in noway trying to achieve a "dream bass", just something that would fit me well. But maybe iam rushing by getting a custom. But its really stressful, since i really want a new bass, but the 5string fretlesses are very limited in numbers at 700 and below, especially since ordering from US does cost quite a bit, and most european internet stores dont have many fretless 5 stringers. Ive only found one bass in my pricerange, which is a dean edge, but it doesnt have lines, which i really want. The Ibanez gWB35 as i said is probably my only other choice, but i havent found one that ican afford yet.

    But where on this site can i make a topic about wanting to buy a 5 string fretless? Classifieds seem to be for advertising only, and id need to be a supporting member.

    I also found this on ebay. He ships to europe.
    A 5 string carvin fretless, but the owner doesnt seem to know the model and hasnt posted any specs. anyone know anything about it?
    Its just so frustrating:(

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