"Q-bass" is born

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Ken McKay, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. I built this bass for my son Quinn who is 12 years old. He played cello last for a couple years and took right away to the bass. He bowed very well right from the start and took very well to the change in finger use.

    Here is the specs:

    The top is Englemann Spruce, the back is Big leaf Maple with some mild but interesting figuring. The sides are well figured maple and the neck is moderately flamed maple. It has French style individual tuners and the bridge is fitted with Boehm adjusters.

    Overall body length is 43 "
    Upper bout is 21"
    Center bout is 15"
    Lower bout is 25 1/2

    It played well from the start with deep low end and nice upper register.
  2. I carved a Q on the back of the scroll

    Attached Files:

  3. A note about the varnish. I antiqued it using a glazing technique. It has a yellow ground with orange, brown, amber coloring. Here is a close up showing some of the shading. The photos didnt turn out too good though.

    Oops that file is too large, I will crop it and re post tomorrow

    Here is the scroll, I like a "sqashed" scroll with a little ovalness.

    Attached Files:

  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Very nice looking Bass..... What does it sound like?

    The Bass looks a bit too tall for him. Have him lower it a bit. Also note his thumb. Thats gonna cost him down the road..... Now's the time to develope good technique.

    My 13 year old plays my 7/8 Shen that I have used in Orchestra but he plays it all the way down on the endpin.....
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    It looks great, Ken...lucky Quinn!

    Make sure to post it over at the MIMF forum. They never get any DBs posted over there.
  6. Humberto

    Humberto Supporting Member

    Looks like a beautiful bass that has a lot of love built into the sound. What a nice thing to give a 12 year old...I'm sure your son will treasure this for many years. Thanks for sharing this with us.
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    That must be a family trait...no endpin...lol
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Seriously though, that looks like a sweet bass for your son. He's a lucky kid.
  9. Thanks for the kind words...as far as sound, it is not exactly like the bass I copied. I copied an old german, 1900 or so, bass that I got from Paul Warburton years ago. It was a particularly loud bass with a punchy low end, great for jazz. I added violin corners but kept most everthing else the same dimensions. As it turnned out though the bass is not as punchy and is more whooshy with a fuller low end retaining a nice singing quality up the G. I have it strung with spirocores as a point of reference but will change that soon since I don't think they are the best choice for my son who will be playing in the school orchestra.

    I haven't got the set up just right yet either, the neck needs to get about 5 mm thinner and a few other things.

    I will try the closer photo again.
  10. Scroll with drawing.

    Attached Files:

  11. That's a great looking bass. How long did it take to complete?
  12. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Ken, I love the bass, great job. I love that has the look of being old but not pe-aged. I also love the Q on the scroll, nice touch.
  13. Ken....Man, i'm impressed. Your luthier skills have come a hell of a long way since the last work I saw you do!
    As everyone says, what a beautifully loving thing to do for your son....and as everyone also says, he's a lucky kid.
  14. Thank you!

    I worked on it off and on for a couple years. I could probably estimate it at a gazilion seconds. :meh: Actually I work very fast and find that the faster I go, the more it comes out looking deliberate and correct. For example the neck/scroll took me about 2 days in a frenzy.Also, I finished it twice since I didn't like the first color... does that count?

    It was well worth it and I will do it again!
  15. That means a lot comming from you Paul. I wish I could get you to test drive it, but being 2400 miles away, I can't just shoot over like I used to do.
  16. Great looking work, both the boy and the bass! I really like the wide angle photo from below the bridge! That's the kind of distortion I've been harping on. It looks like the bass is "giant". Something like that Dragonetti photo. Two years? Well that answers how long it might take me to finish that design you've got me started on. But the result you created is indeed an inspiration. The "Q" is a particularly nice touch. The "Mighty Quinn" is probably feeling twice as tall as that bass now. He's going to play that for a looonnnggg time! :)
  17. It doesn't look like you need to shoot over anymore!
    Tell Quinn for me that he really lucked out in the Dad department!
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I like the back of that PegBox.. Nice idea... Actually, I like the entire Scroll........ Very original........ Well done..
  19. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.

    Great work. I had always been interested in the bass work that you do from MIMF... wow, didn't know you were that good! Quinn is one lucky kid. You definitely need to post your pics over there.

    One jealous luthier wannabe,
  20. I'm a bit embarassed to ask this....what the hell is MIMF?