New Neck for a Once Bitten, Twice Shy Bassist

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Alex Xander, Jul 10, 2021.

  1. In fact it’s twice bitten, 4 times shy…

    I’m based in Australia and twice now American based luthiers have taken my money and delivered nothing. The first was Mike Pearson (Mikeyswood), a deal in which I lost $2000 US, the second was when Harold Cagle (HJC Customs) took the League of Extraordinary Luthiers bass and kept it for himself. The second stung a whole lot as that bass was built using the goodwill of the TB luthiers (very generously trying to make things right), plus some of my cash and parts that went directly to Harold. Both these events are detailed in threads here if anyone is interested.

    Anyway, that was a long winded intro. Both of the above basses were supposed to be 38” scale and tuned to F#. Many years later, I still don’t have that long scale, low tuned bass I long for. I think I have recovered to the point where I would like to try this again. Rather than a whole new bass, I will settle for a replacement neck for an existing bass.

    I have a Mensinger Cazpar 6 string that I would like a 37 or 38” scale neck made for. I know this forum is not a marketplace, but I am after suggestions for someone I can trust to send the body of this bass to them and have them send back the body and new neck. I don’t want to be stung a third time, hence asking for suggestions rather than contacting luthiers directly.

    Beyond the different scale length, the neck need not be fancy. Maple fretboard, 3 or 5 piece construction.

    Suggestions for a trustworthy builder would be much appreciated via this thread or PM.

    If there are any Aussies here that know of someone who can do this locally, please let me know. I haven’t been able to come up with much.

    Thanks guys
    Beej likes this.
  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2021
    LP Custom and Beej like this.
  3. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Nice to hear from you Alex, I remember your whole saga well. :( Mike and Harold were the worst lying scammers the Luthier's Corner has ever seen and you got soaked by both of them. :sour:

    I hope it's not too painful to recount, but remind me again what your original desired specs were?
  4. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Thanks for the mention, but I'm not taking on any new clients until I clear my backlog... 3 booked builds I'm way behind on. Which, at my current pace, is going to take a minute... or two... :confused:
    Besides I'm in AZ. Pretty far from OZ
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  5. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    @reverendrally can probably give you a few leads? (I don't know if he builds for anyone but himself, given the day job, but he's Oz based (IIRC) and likes a longscale from time to time.)
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  6. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    We could always try to list every Australian builder we can think of... :D I know he's not a commercial builder, but @madmaskbass built an amazing Wal-like object at the last build off... :)
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  7. It was quite the stroke of bad luck, Beej. I felt bad for all the people that contributed to the LXL build when Harold took all their work. I do wonder if the bass ever got assembled or what became of the parts at least.

    The basic specs weren’t anything fancy - a passive neck through, 38” scale 4 string fretless with two pickups.

    I may get excited about the concept again, but at the moment I see putting a new neck on a bass I’m not using much as a way of limiting my outlay and exposure.
    ctmullins, Beej and Reedt2000 like this.
  8. That would certainly work, too. I've been away from TB for too long and I've got no Idea who here is an Aussie and if they're commercial or not.
  9. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    I may be able to help you, Alex. I'm an expert on custom necks, and I've built some in the 36" to 40" scale length range. I have a machine shop, and I make up all of my own truss rods and other metal hardware. I know how make necks of that size strong and stable.

    I won't take on the job personally, because I really don't do custom work anymore. Too busy with my own line of basses. But my friend Randy Robinson is a veteran repair and custom work Luthier. He does one-off custom necks. And he has a shop right down the hall from mine, in the same building. I can help him with any special parts and machining that he needs. We're in California, near Los Angeles.

    My suggestion is that you find a Luthier in Australia to work with you on the project. Send Randy the specs for the neck, and he'd build the main structure and shape it to bolt onto the body you have. Your Luthier would do the final fitting, sanding, any modifications to the body, finishing and assembly. The only shipping would be the neck to you.
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  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Only one I know personally is Kevin Brubaker. This sounds like a problem he might like to help you solve. He's in Baltimore MD USA, though. Look him up online. He's a good guy.

    Otherwise, I would think any of the well known luthiers would be for you. I swear, if I'd gone through what you had I'd have used the money for a plane ticket to collect what was mine.

    Best of luck!
  11. Rottie Roo Roo

    Rottie Roo Roo Supporting Member

    As someone who has also been a victim of incompetent/dishonest luthiers - albeit not to the extent that you did - I feel that we need to do something.

    Maybe a registry of some kind? A listing of "approved" luthiers and techs that have earned their stripes? The yellow pages / yelp of techs with reviews and verification etc.

    Lets make it happen
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  12. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Mark me down as a flake. :D
  13. Rottie Roo Roo

    Rottie Roo Roo Supporting Member

    Lol! I don't mean a name-and-shame, but something with a vetting process, like a red seal or similar for techs. Finding techs is a crapshoot, your only resources are local classifieds and OCCASIONALLY Google, though all Google really tells you is that they've spent time and money setting up a business listing. There's no way to tell whether someone can deliver the goods or is all talk.
    Beej likes this.
  14. I don't know any Australian luthiers, but Geoff Cox from Fanblade Instruments is in New Zealand. At least that's "closer". You can look him up on YouTube or Facebook. Hope that helps. :thumbsup:
  15. madmaskbass


    Apr 29, 2008
    Maybe try Ozbass forum I know there is a luthier section with a few pros around. As suggested though an extra long scale neck like that should be done by a specialist IMO as the whole neck geometry would be slightly different to normal.
  16. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
  17. Hi Bruce,

    Fitting, sanding, finishing etc I can all do myself. This sounds like a great solution.

    Could you please PM me the contact details Randy?
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  18. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    In Bruce We Trust!
  19. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Hello Alex;

    He's Randy Robinson, and his web site is:

    I mentioned this neck project to him and he said it sounds good.
    tbrannon, Beej and Joshua like this.
  20. Hi all, I've just come across this thread. Alex, I'm so sorry to hear about your dramas. I too have been ripped off by a US bass maker. SGD. He's been kicked off this forum and I was able to have my purchase refunded by my bank via the credit card. Thankfully it was just a set of pickups.

    There are a number of guys who could (and would) help you here.

    David Searle is in Melbourne and is very, very good. I've seen some of his work close up.

    (3) DJS Guitars - David Searle | Facebook

    Michael is a lovely guy and a seasoned builder now. He's in Melbourne too.

    Michael (@polarisbasses) • Instagram photos and videos

    Phil Mailloux is in Brisbane and is a gun.

    Mailloux Bass Gallery - (

    In Sydney is Jeff Malia, but he's uber busy and often booked out.

    On a slightly different tack. Gerard Gilet is in Gulgong, NSW. He's built more guitars than I've had hot dinners.

    Gilet Guitars

    I'm happy to chat with you if you like. I'm sort of between sheds atm so I wouldn't offer to build anything, but I have some other contacts in Sydney who might be able to help you out. PM me and I'll send you my number.
    T_Bone_TL, tbrannon, Joshua and 4 others like this.