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New custom idea brewing in my brain...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TimBosby, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    So I may order a custom neck-through. That's the one thing missing from my collection - a sweet neck-through. 4-string, fretted.

    Right now I am considering Mark Garza (Garzguitars.com). Not that well known yet but those who own his stuff say it's amazing. And he built basses for Mike Watt and Kira Roessler, so...
    But I also may check with Stambaugh for a quote.
    Bass needs to be about $2500 tops, and even that's pushing it.

    Right now I'm thinking...

    -Maple, alder, or ash body with koa (possibly flamed) top
    -Bubinga, walnut, or mahogany with figured (flamed or burled) maple top

    If I go with a koa top I'd probably want a lighter body, maybe ash. If I go with a maple top I'd probably go with mahogany or something darker. I like contrast. I'm open to other exceptions too. The most "exotic" wood I've ever had on a bass is ebony :meh: I keep changing my mind though so I'd be open to other top/body wood combos.

    -Undecided on finish. Definitely natural/clear but how to get there? Clear coat is all I have experience with. I tend to polish my basses rather obsessively. I am intrigued by oil, and there is no upcharge for it. Mark uses Tru Oil, says it only needs to be waxed a few times a year. I'm intrigued by the idea of oil offering more resonance, but not wild about the maintenance (especially if it involves any sanding... ugh!) Maybe some sort of satin or French polish...surely there is a middle ground?

    -Maple neck w/ wenge fingerboard. Two stringers, maybe purpleheart or wenge? I'd also consider pau ferro, bubinga, maybe macassar ebony fingerboard. Open to suggestions here too.

    -Large pearl/abalone inlays... I started a thread poll about this earlier with 4 choices. Still not sure what I am going with. See attached picture for 8 options (I added four more.)

    -Bartolini or Aguilar 3-band preamp. Probably Bart because I want this baby to be smoooooth.

    -Kent Armstrong lipstick jazz pickups

    -All chrome hardware

    I've attached a crude mockup for your viewing pleasure :D

    Attached Files:

  2. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Hmm. I'm having a hard time deciding between:

    Swamp ash body / figured koa top


    Koa, walnut, mahogany, or bubinga body / burled maple top

    Or something else entirely... :meh:
  3. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    tim, i would go with koa! i love the look of a koa bass.
  4. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Yeah they are so gorgeous! Expensive though. We'll have to see how the quotes come out.

    Emailed Stambaugh and Hanewinckel too.

  5. Soverntear


    Mar 17, 2008
    not on the list but id go buck eye burl top
  6. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Eh, buckeye burl looks cool but not really for me.

  7. I'm pretty sure Pete Hanewinckel uses Bart pickups and preamps standard. His pickup options might be somewhat limited, but it's always worth asking.

    Here's my Hanewinckel.


    I went with Pete's handwound dual-coils in a passive bass. The controls are Volume/Blend/Tone, then there's the In/Out switch (see diagram below) and the Villex Passive Rotary Tone Booster (PRTB). Personally, I'm not really digging Pete's handwound pickups. The tone is just too dark, and the output is still rather low. The lower strings don't seem to have enough fundamental (it seems like it's mostly just higher harmonics I hear). Just not at all the tone I was aiming for (which was something similar to my Yamaha 4-string only in a 5-string). The PRTB has settings for 0db (natural), +4db, +7db, and +10db, but more highs are rolled off with each subsequent setting. I kinda wish I had just gone with some Nordstrand Dual Coil pickups. Otherwise, his build quality seems quite good, although the oil finish on mine certainly isn't very protective or durable. I really hope we can sort out this issue I'm having with the tone... :bawl: Plus, the handle above the shoulder straps on my gigbag broke as I was putting the bass into my van on Friday night.

  8. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Haven't heard from Pete. Got good responses from Mark and Chris. Now...to raise some money...
  9. Yeah, he hasn't responded to my e-mails for the past few days either, but I'm sure he'll respond soon...
  10. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    It's all good. I'm just zeroing in on what I want and trying to figure out a scheme to raise cash. At this point it's either going to be:

    African mahogany body w/ burled maple top


    Swamp ash body with koa top


    Tung oil finish double cutaway body
    Maple neck with two purpleheart stringers and wenge board.
    Abalone/pearl eyeball inlays (large abalone circle inside MOP oval)
    Two Kent Armstrong lipstick style jazz pickups
    Bartolini 3 band preamp
    All chrome hardware

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