Please contribute to my Fender Jaguar Inspired (First!) build

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by theNecatoR, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    Seeing that other members post their ideas in this forum and get tons of helpful advice and valuable opinions, I would also fancy very much you contributing to my design.
    I am a massive Jaguar Bass fan, and although my design is very much fenderish in nature, it derives sufficiently to be considered (sort-of) original.

    This is my main idea for the body. You can clearly see where it comes from:
    BassBody_zpsc2abb620.png

    And this is the headstock I drew. I like 3+1 configurations, because they keep the headstock small and therefore less dive-prone.
    BassHead_zpse39215ea.png

    The complete bass would look like this:
    BassDes_zps17799c09.png

    It is called the B'alam and it's my dream Bass. My idea is to build it myself next year (when the money and the work allow it). It is going to be my first build, but I'm going to get help from a professional luthier team.

    The only things that are for sure are:
    Seafoam green with matching headstock.
    Block and bound neck.
    Gold anodized pickguard.
    Zero fret.
    Middle pickup on the P sweet spot.
    Active/Passive switching.
    Series/Parallel switching.
    Ivory/Cream pickup covers.

    Somewhat probable:
    P/J config, but P/MM would also be an option.
    Bridge pickup on the fender 70's jazz position or closer to the bridge.
    String through.
    D-Tuner.

    Not so sure:
    33½ Scale or 34?
    DiMarzios or Delano?
    Aguilar or Delano preamp? 2 or 3 Band?
    Fender American Bridge or Sandberg Bridge?
    Fender Mechanics (I kind of fell in love with the new American Standard ones) or light tuners?
    Alder body?
    Canary, teak, padouk, purpleheart neck? (I want unfinished wood for the neck)
    Ebony, Ziricote fingerboard?


    Any opinions or critic are welcome!
     
  2. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Colorado
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    Just a couple of thoughts on the wood:

    1. Purpleheart is gorgeous, but turns brown over time. Padauk will also change colors over time. A UV resistant will help, but it's good to be aware of the long term color changes.
    2. Since the finish will be opaque I would go with a body wood that will balance weight with the neck to avoid neck dive.
    3. Are you looking for a striped neck with multiple woods? Based on your color scheme I personally would go for a dark colored wood for the neck. Wenge or walnut would look nice.
    4. For this design an ebony fingerboard would keep things looking less busy, but Ziricote is GORGEOUS. You really can't lose with either choice.
     
    SirMjac28 and theNecatoR like this.
  3. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    1. I was not aware they will get darker. What I like is that waxy feel to them, so color changes are not that problematic. Thanks for the info!
    2. You mean like a heavier body wood?
    3. No, I would like a solid neck or maybe one with a skunk stripe. I find wenge marvelous, how heavy is it? And walnut?
    4. Ziricote is really tempting, and it feels excellent to the touch!
     
  4. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Colorado
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    1. You are welcome!
    2. Perhaps. Balance issues involve more than just weight.
    3. Wenge and walnut are both fairly dense heavy woods. I can't speak to them directly for neck as I have not made a neck out of either.
    4. Do it!
     
  5. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    I would like to keep the bass on the light side since it would make gigs easier on the shoulder so I might have to pass on the wedge and walnut necks (or mahogany body). I think I'm going to go with canary for the neck and stay with alder for the body (they are also not that pricey woods) but I now fancy the idea of using ziricote for the fingerboard more every minute!
    What do you think of the design? Would you rock that bass?
     
  6. michaelwayneharwood

    michaelwayneharwood Builder of the Wastelands Commercial User

    May 1, 2014
    Colorado
    Owner Melodious Resonance Constructs
    I doubt my playing would do justice to this bass- nice!
     
    theNecatoR likes this.
  7. JIO

    JIO Be seeing you. Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I've learned the hard way to make sure a conceptual design will be ergonomic and functional once realized. Your design is similar enough to a Jag, but will it sit comfortably on your leg while playing seated? Will the elbow flange/bout provide an arm/wrist rest, or be rubbing you the wrong way while playing? Same with the rear bevel - will it allow a comfortable/stabilizing cradle while standing? It looks like you have the upper horn near the 12th fret so that's good. (less chance of neck-dive) Other things to consider are weight, and will it fit in a conventional case. Have fun - you'll find lots of help here so post away as it develops!
     
    theNecatoR likes this.
  8. Use P/MM BUT add a coil split switch so that you can also get the jazzzzz sound.
     
    darthplagis and theNecatoR like this.
  9. neckdive

    neckdive

    Oct 11, 2013
    I would also be concerned about ergonomics but with the placement of the strap button near the bridge. I think you should cut a piece of scrap plywood in the shape of your design and test the knee placement, strap buttons, etc. Heck, even cut some thick cardboard just to get an idea of how the shape might feel against your body. You may only need small adjustments or none at all but building a full-scale model could save you a lot of heartache if the ergonomics are off, no matter how cool it looks (which it does by the way).
     
    MVE and theNecatoR like this.
  10. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    Now that you mention it, I am also a bit concerned about the strap button at the bottom.
    I am not sure if placing it centered would be a good idea, or offset at the bout.
    And also, I dont think it would fit a regular case, that is complicated already with jags, but it will balance better in my self made bass-stand rack :)
    I will follow your advice and do a proof of concept first!
     
  11. Two words "Racing Stripes".
    Okay now its awesome.
     
    theNecatoR likes this.
  12. To be honest, I don't wanna mess with that. It looks great. 4 words; build it, play it. :thumbsup:

    Edit, if I were to do anything, I think about how the short stubby headstock interacts with the long natural curves of the body. Maybe there's some work to be done there.
     
    Brett Zeppelin and theNecatoR like this.
  13. Duplo42

    Duplo42

    Jan 23, 2007
    I like the design a lot - one thing thou - the headstock, while it's fine and flows nicely, needs to be imho bit longer - the space between D-string tuner and end of headstock is too short/narrow - it feels like somebody took the headstock and shrunken it down lenght-wise. So, just stretch the end of headstock a bit further and it will be in more 'proper' dimensions flow-wise. Hope that makes sense - i can mockup it up later on to show you visually what i mean!
     
    theNecatoR likes this.
  14. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I laminated up 2 pieces of 3/4" plywood cut to my body shape and bolted on my prefab neck to test balance on my first body build. It balanced great, but that was pure luck in my case. Nothing worse than surprise neck dive. Cheap insurance to test the design before making expensive sawdust. If this is your first full build, seriously consider buying a prefab neck with a paddle uncut headstock. Of course, I'm not taking my own advice, first full build neck through in progress. Doh! Cool design and color scheme by the way, retro-tastic! Sub'd
     
    theNecatoR likes this.
  15. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    Something more like this?
    BassHeadLong_zps87911fe2.png

    Old one for comparison
    BassHead_zpse39215ea.png
     
  16. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    Do you know where can I get a bound neck with a paddle headstock? That is a great idea!
    Thanks for the sub!

    I think it looks better now than with the snub nose headstock :bassist:
    BassDesLH_zps23e44937.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  17. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    Since I was not doing much anyway, I did two "Cabronita" versions. I will maybe start there as a proof of concept for the bass, since it is a much simpler instrument:

    BalamCabronita_zpsa3003114.png
    B'alam Cabronita I

    BalamCabronitaII_zpsa5476379.png
    B'alam Cabrinita II

    The measures are a bit off in the mockup, but the concept is there.
     
    God's Favorite Bass likes this.
  18. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    I like racing stripes, but maybe this design would look to busy with them (and they are a pain in the ass to paint! :roflmao:).
     
  19. theNecatoR

    theNecatoR

    Jun 23, 2012
    Germany
    You mean like this?
     
  20. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Yeah, the slightly longer headstock looks better. The elbow bulge might be a hair exaggerated, almost looks like a T-Bird. Hard to say how that would meet your body until you mock it up. i still like the surf green with the bound and blocked neck, Sweet!
     
    Brett Zeppelin likes this.