Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Questions on whether I should or shouldn't assemble a Warmoth bass.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jacob M, Aug 31, 2004.


  1. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    Hi, I'm a guitarist and I badly want a bass. I recently played my friend's Mexican Fender Jazz bass (which cost him around $450), and had a great time playing on it, thought it was really comfortable. I've been playing and modifying guitars for around 4 years, I've changed all the electronics on both my guitars several times. I know how to properly set up my guitars on my own, adjusting the truss rod/action/intonation is no problem for me. I've removed bridges and messed with them in other ways, I took the neck off of my friend's strat at his request and replaced it and noticed nothing different about how it played etc. after I had re-attached it. So hopefully, you get a feel for what I can do...

    I'm also a tone-nut when it comes to guitar, I've spent what's probabally amounted to thousands of hours researching the individual things that make pickups sound the way they do, what different woods sound like, what different metals sound like, how pots and caps effect tone etc.

    Anyway, I was thinking instead of buying a mexican bass, that I could build a Warmoth bass with a Gotoh bridge, Gotoh tuners, CTS pots and pick up some Mexican Jazz Bass pickups, all for around $500, and possibly spend $100 on some Seymour Duncan pickups later on along the line. It seems to be such a simple decision, a Warmoth body/neck and Gotoh tuners/bridge, all for a few dollars more than a Mexican Fender.

    What I would like to get are the opinions of some of you luthiers on exactly how hard you think assembling a bass from pre-made parts would be, and whether based on what I listed I can do with guitars, if you think that I could competently assemble a bass. To me, it seems like it would be simple, screw the neck in place, screw the bridge in place, screw the tuners in place, screw the pickups into the pickguard, wire them up and be done with it in an afternoon.

    I have no experience with woodworking, and thus wouldn't drill the holes in the neck myself. I emailed Warmoth asking if I bought the body and neck from them if they could drill the holes in the neck to suit the body, and if they can't, I'd bring it to a local luthier/tech to have that done.

    So, here are the materials I'm thinking of getting. I realize that a bass with a Korina body will sound nothing like the Alder Jazz Bass I played, but I thought that the bass I played was a bit too bright, but in order to not get too dark, i have a maple neck/fingerboard.

    Body: $185.00
    Black Korina J bass
    www.warmoth.com/bass/bodies/jbass.cfm?fuseaction=include_jbass

    Neck: $201
    Maple neck, rosewood board, clear satin finish, 6105 frets
    www.warmoth.com/bass/necks/necks.cfm?fuseaction=standard

    Chrome Gotoh Bridge: $30
    http://www.warmoth.com/hardware/bridges/bridges.cfm?fuseaction=bass_bridges

    Chrome Gotoh Tuners: $30
    www.warmoth.com/hardware/tuners/tuners.cfm?fuseaction=bass_tuners

    Chrome Strap Buttons: $2.50
    www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_id=458&cat_name=STRAP BUTTONS

    Black Pickguard: $20
    www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_name=FOR BASS GUITARS

    Control Plate: $9.75
    Order from Steven Kersting.
    www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_id=610&cat_name=CONTROL PLATES

    Pickups: 100.74
    Jazz bass vintage neck
    www.blackrosecustom.emerchantpro.co...611687-1606109444-1112516171&A=24&B=Jazz Bass

    Jazz bass hot bridge
    www.blackrosecustom.emerchantpro.co...611687-1606109444-1112516171&A=24&B=Jazz Bass

    4 Pots: $15
    2 Audio, 2 linear, order from Steven Kersting.
    www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_id=548&cat_name=250K POTS

    Output Jack: $2.50
    http://www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_id=550&cat_name=JACKS

    4 Volume Knobs: $15
    http://www.allparts.com/categories.php?cat_id=556&cat_name=PLASTIC KNOBS
     
  2. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Maine
    The Warmoth parts are of excellent quality. I've built several basses and they all turned out to be excellent instruments.

    The parts you have listed look like a good mix of woods, I've never used black korina, but have read that it's excellent for bass tone.

    The only change I would recommend is that for the same price you can drop in Dimarzio Ultra Jazz pickups, they are excellent. I think you can also get Fender Custom Shop 60's for around $100 too.

    I have a jazz bass with EMG's JV pickups, they're very authentic sounding with a modern edge, great slap tone.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    Thanks for the encouragement, but I'm kinda loyal to SD's and not generally a fan of DiMarzio. Do you have any clips of those DiMarzio pickups, because I really dont' like their guitar pickups, but if their bass pickups are good, I'd have no problem going for them. Do you mean that I could get a set of Custom SHop 60's for $100, or I could get them for $100 each?
     
  4. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well,

    I was in your boat, ie just a guy who wanted to build a parts bass. It's not hard & you CAN do it... Even the neck drilling part. I suggest you get a book, & read up on certain things first, but its definately doable.

    All of the luthiers in here, are genuine custom building craftsman. Then there's the guys like you & I, who want to try it out. Using pre-designed parts, as I said, is very doable.
     
  5. Finishing those parts however, is an art and skill unto itself...

    Hey Jongor, I grew up in Readfield Maine just down the road from you!
     
  6. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    What "certain things" should I read up on specifically, and do you have a certain book in mind?

    Yeah, I have no experience with wood working, so I'd order the neck and body from warmoth already finished.
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    +1

    and will also add a few more dollars and many hours to your totals.
     
  8. Re: finishing.

    Right, well then things start to get pretty spendy. There are some pretty nice finished bodies on ebay from time to time. A guy is currently selling some MIM jazz bass bodies that are super nice and under 200, talk about snap-together!

    I've been working on prefinished bodies and am getting close to beginning a finishing project using a Warmoth alder body and supplies from guitar reranch http://home.flash.net/~guitars/
    I don't have the space/money for a whole finishing system so I'm curious about the canned products they offer in cool fender colors. I'm friends with a real guitarmaker who can bail me out if/when i totally ruin the job!

    You should spend a couple hours on www.stewmac.com checking out all the amazing information they have
     
  9. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Well, I picked up a book from Warmoth a couple of months in advance.

    Here's a link.

    The book I got is the first one listed... Interestingly, the author Bill Foley is the owner/operator of a local shop here in Columbus.

    I think you're doing right by just having warmoth finish for you. They do a decent enough job, & for what they charge,, you won't find a better deal.
     
  10. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Just go buy something off the rack and GO PLAY! You could be playing your own bass right now instead of swapping emails.
     
  11. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    I could be, but you obviously don't understand the mentality of Jews. We're a very cautious poeple, we like to think things out alot, do alot of cost/benefit analysis before we commit to anything, and primarily, we want to get good deals. I could go grab a MIM Fender and be playing later today, or I could do research blah blah blah and build a bass in a few weeks that'll be much better and only cost a few bucks more. Curse you gentiles and your ability to just jump into situations... :p
     
  12. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Thanks, Jacob. That was a truly sick, ugly post. What in the world does one's ethnic origin have to do with anything? Where is a moderator when you need one?
     
  13. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Neither sick nor ugly. If jake wants to explain his method with respect to traits that he believes he shares with most members of his own group/community, so be it. He wasn't calling you anything bad.

    One's ethnic origins - upbringing if not genetics also - does indeed affect one's mindset and actions, whether people wish to see it or not.

    This is a jewish guy making a mild jewish joke. Get over it.
     
  14. Ugliness aside - if you really want to build a bass, go for it. warmoth and allparts are the standard "build your own" companies and they are both well regarded.

    However if you just want a good bass to play without the unanticipated complexities of building, buy a jazz bass for 300 or an SX for 150 and call it good.
     
  15. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    "Curse you gentiles..." Sounds like a mild Jewish joke to me.
     
  16. Jacob M

    Jacob M

    Aug 28, 2004
    New York
    Well, it was meant to be at least, come on man, haven't you ever heard a jew making jokes before?
     
  17. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Oy, vay! Let me tell you about my bunions!!! :D
     
  18. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Do you have any sense of humor? The quote is
    which is a self-deprecating remark, making fun of his own traits (over-analyzing and overly money-conscious) and admiring the preferable traits (decisiveness) of others. Get it?

    Oy vay, indeed! :)

    Maybe you have to be a New Yorker to get it?
     
  19. r379

    r379

    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    And everyone would have rushed to my defense if I posted, "Curse you Jews and your stinginess...".
     
  20. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Ummm.. to me that would have sounded like an actual insult. To me, if one says, "Curse < person or group > for your ability to < trait >," and if that trait is a positive trait, then it is obviously said in mock-insult, and in genuine admiration.

    I won't, however, waste any more of anyone's time on this back-and-forth.

    Jacob, good luck with your bass!