Padouk 6string with soundclip

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ZolkoW, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU

    it's still under construction, and for a couple of weeks I won't have time to work on it, but I had to try how it sounds.

    padouk solid body (only 35mm thick), ash 3-piece neck, bubinga fretboard with no radius.

    Kent Armstrong AA6 handmade neodymium soapbar, first part is "neck" coil soloed, then "bridge" coil, the last two is parallel.

    35" scale, the pickup is in the Musicman position.
  2. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    please feel free to comment, I'd like to hear your opinions mostly on the sound.
    the optics are under construction :)
  3. Delicious!

    beautiful look and sound.
    really dig the bridge pickup - and coming from someone who doesn't even like that "style" as such, it's a compliment!

    The only thing I'd do is slap on some flats, and haul out some frets - but I'm just weird like that.

    Anyways, enough of a ramble. beautiful machine! beautiful sound!
  4. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    Thanks, I hope, I would have some time to continue the building.
    My biggest problem is that I miss the 19mm spacing :-(
    it's 17. maybe I get used to it, but at this time I feel a little uncomfortable about it.
    a bigger problem for me, than the 35" scale after 34.

  5. It sounds and looks great! My favourite sound from the pickups is when both coils are being used - it reminds me of Flea's Basses. Was that the intended sound you were going for?
  6. LowEnd88


    May 21, 2009
    love it, definitely reminds me of flea
  7. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Sounds great.
  8. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU

    the pickup is in Musicman position, this gives a very similar tone.. although it's not the same coil size, and magnet construction.
    I wanted a clear sounding bass, I think I succeeded in this :)
    I wasn't sure what I would get, I wanted to test these materials.
    And I wanted a very simple layout, with only one pickup.
  9. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Curious about the bridge placement. Was it just to make it visually match the curvature of the tail?
  10. Ruckus_Instrmts


    Jan 5, 2010
    What is the small wire from the knob to the bridge?Ground? And the screw in the nut?
  11. Very Nice! Padouk will give you a very clear tone. My EliasAP-1 is Padouk, and I love the variance in tone I can get from it. Needs a nice oil finish now and it will lose the orangeish color and get dark. Keep an eye on it in the winter, and re oil when it needs it.
  12. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    yes,it's only optical.

    the wire is the temporary bridge grounding.
    and the small screw is also a temporary fixing, I'm going to change the nut for a metal one, I think.
    I'm not totally happy with the headstock, mainly because of the string angles. on paper it looked OK, but I don't like it very much now.

    thank you for the tip on the oil finish, but I'll put lacquer on it, I like the color, and I hope, I could conserve it.
  13. Sounds great! That thing would sound amazing through some 15's.

  14. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    ..well, I found very many things which I would make differently next time..
    first of all: 6 strings are too many! :))

    okay, here's a tube clip, one friend played my bass at a "handmade guitar/bass venue" last saturday.

    the good news: padouk is great.
    ash neck with 35" scale is great.
    bubinga freatboard is great.
    that handmade Kent Armstrong pickup is great, and the Musicman position is great, too.

    the bass is passive, and the complete rig is fully handmade, too.

    and the link:
  15. whitcomb-basses

    whitcomb-basses Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2008
    Uijeongbu, S. Korea (Military)
    Owner/Luthier, Whitcomb Custom Basses
    I've worked with padouk quite a bit. I've never gotten such a smooth look as you did. Curious as to your sanding/finishing process.

    I've tried grain filler and lacquer but I'd much rather have a smooth, close-to-the-wood finish without so much grain.

    That bass sounds amazing too. Very articulate and vocal throughout. I was always skeptical on single pup basses until now. Great job!!
  16. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses
    When I first worked with padouk, I swore I'd never do it again. Then I saw this beautiful piece with some sapwood in it and couldn't resist using it as a top.
  17. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    thank you, I'll post some new pics soon.
    sadly, this bass suffers from some "prototype illnesses", but I think, I would use padouk again.
    even though it cracks easily (especially if it's QS), and it has VERY VERY VERY fine sawdust, which killed my circular saw's bearings :(. and there was that red dust all over everything...scary)

    I used 3 coats of water based poliurethane lacquer, then sanded back to matte. the pictures above show the bare wood, but you'll get some photos with the finish.

    one pickup: well, it's not a slap machine (and the narrow spacing won't help either), but on a real rig, it's quite usable. If recorded, it can really benefit from a 2 band EQ, as do the Stingrays...
  18. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses
    I remember one time, I almost ruined my carpet because I forgot to take off my shoes after sanding that stuff. Looked like a crimes scene. :)
  19. ZolkoW


    May 8, 2006
    Hungary, EU
    I got some blurry pictures from the actual state-

    the back with some bolts:

    the cheap bridge which replaced the monorails.
    I tried 3 times to get PERFECT alignment with those, but I failed :( Used this one instead.
    Countersunk controls: on/off switch + 4 position rotary for coil selection:

    Flat fretboard, asimmetrical truss rod placement, mini ramps to hide the unnecessarily big pool for the pickup :meh:
    (once I felt that I need more bass... I moved the pickup to match the 36th fret with the "neck" coil, but didn't like the sound. I moved it back to the original (MM) position:rollno:

    headstock.. I like that it's unique, but if I was making it now, I would move the lower strings machines farther from the nut, and align them better.
    countersunk tuners, straight head, zero fret.

    a pic with flash: that's closer to the real colors.
    you can see the difference between the laquered (body) and oiled (mini ramps) padouk.
    the side of the fretboard is also laquered, and the face is oiled - normally I like oiled fretboards, but this time it looked better with laquer. the oil darkened it too much.

    curved face of the headstock:

    back of headstock:
  20. whitcomb-basses

    whitcomb-basses Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2008
    Uijeongbu, S. Korea (Military)
    Owner/Luthier, Whitcomb Custom Basses
    I like your countersunk tuners. Allows more beef on the headstock and still fit them through.

    Does the zero fret affect tone or playability much? I've never played on one myself.

    Looking good with the lacquer. :)
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