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Only the world's best CNC machines!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by warrplayer, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. warrplayer


    Apr 16, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    This line of ad copy from Warwick's new German Pro line caught my eye:

    "Only the very best machines in the world are used to carve these extraordinaire bass guitars."

    What a great idea. Now we can differentiate between the quality of various budget axes based on what brand of computer assisted carving machine was used to make them! Somebody start a database, and let's discuss the merits of various robotic luthiers!
    SamJ, StayLow, The Veg and 10 others like this.
  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    As a certified CNC programer and operator I can tell you that there is a big difference in tolerances between machines.
    CORBS, Nobody, RBrownBass and 48 others like this.
  3. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    The features of different types of CNC systems can vary, however. The most commonly used units in the industry are usually capable of 3 axis movement. As a result, their computer-controlled milling arms are capable of moving forward and backward, left and right, as well as up and down. This may be satisfactory for simple two-dimensional shapings. However, when it comes to more elaborate tasks, the capabilities of 3 axis CNC systems are quickly exceeded. We at Warwick and Framus use 5 axis CNC units, which represent the most modern wood processing technique in the industry. In addition to the X, Y and Z axes, 5 axis CNC processing units are capable of two additional degrees of orientation (represented by the B and C axis), which means that their milling arms can also be rotated in 3D space. This allows for the milling of markedly more complex pockets and structures in free space. The resulting increase in processing flexibility allows us to craft perfect instruments.

    So, it's more a matter of being able to make diagonal cuts from a diagonal angle. I guess my 3-axis-shaped Yamaha neck is total garbage.
  4. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player

    Mar 14, 2011
    Anything to attempt to gain an advantage in the market. Any tolerance differences in the machine are minuscule compared with tolerances in tooling, tooling design, properties of the material being cut and programming parameters such as speed and feed to name a few. We're talking guitar bodies here...not aircraft engine parts.
  5. warrplayer


    Apr 16, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Next ad: "Each of our bodies is crafted to aircraft engine part tolerances!"
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Fixed it for you.;)
    quickfix, Templar, tbz and 1 other person like this.
  7. scourgeofgod


    Aug 17, 2006
    I don't think diagonal cuts is what the other 2 axes add per se, simply utilizing the forward/backward+left/right axes simultaneously would provide diagonal cuts, the 2 extra axes allow the cutter to rotate in space, meaning the cutter can rotate side to side and front to back while also moving along the already established axes. It's just more versatility, maybe it shouldn't be an advertising point, but I don't see any reason to make fun of Warwick for mentioning it, just as I don't see any reason to shun instruments that were made on a 3 axis machine. As long as the finished product is well constructed, who cares?
    Atshen and Imaginary Pony like this.
  8. Great, that will give the "tight neck pocket" freaks a new horse to beat to death.
    hover and Obese Chess like this.
  9. Hey, do I recall Travis Bean ads boasting about their alloy necks made from aircraft-grade aluminum billets, and umpteen coats of clear aircraft lacquer? I think I do.

    From now on, I'm using "aircraft grade" as my highest quality rating for everything. Wood, hardware, amps, rat fur, tolex, cables, etc......and of course.....TONE.

    That's what I want...."aircraft-grade tone". Accept no substitutes!
  10. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    I used to work in a shop with all manner of CNC machines as a part finisher. It was a college job. That meant checking parts are in spec, as well as deburring (removing sharp edges essentially) and sanding/buffing/cleaning. There are still some humans involved!
    Atshen and Mechanical like this.
  11. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I'm glad they explained the 5 axes. I was thinking we were going into some multi-dimensional universe that only theoretical physicists can understand.
  12. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess I'm Your New Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    My tone resonates throughout the space-time continuum and across the electromagnetic spectrum.

    *fart, fart, fart*
  13. I'd prefer something organic, myself, gnawed into shape by beavers.
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I'm sure that's true. However I'm wondering about the real advantage. I could well be missing something, but isn't Warwick just saying that the fancier machines allow them to employ fewer humans because the more accurate machines do more of the work?

    I'm thinking it's like the Plek machines: they don't do better fretwork than talented humans, but they do it well enough to replace humans.
    JustForSport, Pet Sounds and Templar like this.
  15. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Beavers? Nope. Wrong kind of beavers anyway. The absolute best basses are never made on CNC even the highest end N-axis ones. The ONLY basses I"ll ever own are so high end they don't even have a name on the headstock. That is to keep them from becoming widely known by the rabble. They are TOTALLY organic! Swamp Ash, Alder and mahogany bass body blanks are shipped to the far North of Alaska where during the long winter months the women of a secret Inuit village gently chew the blanks into proper bass shapes. Their saliva passively soaks the wood resulting in a tone so unsurpassed that it takes a mortgage on your house to put a down payment on these basses. Even the rock stars that own them won't admit to it for fear of leaking out secrets.

    I've said too much about this already!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I just took delivery of a new German Thumb and all I can say is I really want to kiss that CNC machine so I'll leave this little debate and go back to playing this beautiful instrument.
  17. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Correct, although it is a loosing argument here.
    I too have made some difficult parts with Solid Works on a Hauss multi-turret machine, the last big project was reed valve cages for racing 2-stroke Kawa 750's from the early 70'; very complex 4"x3" deep tapered cavities in 6061T6 alloy.
    I've tried to explain to folks on this board that once a design is perfected, using CNC technology is the way to maintain perfection.
    It's a lost cause as many believe that machines = evil and handmade = best.
    These folks have also not attempted to make 100 of the same exact part holding tolerances to the 3rd or 4th decimal point.

    hdracer, do you know if the PLEK machines can maintain anything close to the tolerances of a decent mill or lathe (either manual or CNC)?
    I get the basics but have never seen one in use.
  18. It helps them make the same product over and over holding the required tolerance with minimal issues.
    It still requires people to operate the machines, making sure they are holding tolerance, changing tools
    and adjusting offsets in the machine to keep the required tolerances. They will still require hand finishing to some extent, as well as final assembly. Not to mention engineers and programmers and possibly prototype to design new products and write the required programs.
    SteveCS and jg42 like this.
  19. Well it sounds like it's time to polish up the old snowshoes! I must find this village!
    Twangster101 likes this.
  20. I'd still rather have a bass that's carved by a machine than by a person. Less prone to human error.

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