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Scarab Deluxe Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JIO, Sep 4, 2019.


  1. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    It's official -

    Kiln dried Equitorial Mahogany/African Okoume - see preliminary posts here > Danelectro Coral Deluxe Bass project starting post #210
    s-l1600.jpg

    Key for choosing this slab was "light-weight" (under 8.5lbs) at 22"x15"x1.66" - which will be planed to 1-1/4" thick. Mahogany is good - I like its tone and many of the cool 60's Japanese basses were mahogany. (including my Teisco Del Rey & Teiscobird bodies) Now to order a raw Eden paddle-hs neck...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  2. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    To reiterate from the overlapping thread - I bought a NOS 80's chrome-plated hs plate (never installed) for a Burns Scorpion bass. One of those parts that slipped through the cracks of time. So as has happened in the past, a distinctive vintage part inspires me to build a bass around it. Started drawing the body, ordered the blank and thought I could just buy an Eden paddle-head neck to work with. Wrong! All Eden necks (and any other unfinished paddle-head necks out there) have their tr access at the hs. To be able to incorporate the plate - it needs to be a heal-access tr opening. Also, because the plate is shaped to curve from the nut like a Fender-style scalloped hs, it would have to match that curve. So if I want to use that plate 'as-is' - I would have to have a neck made to accept it. This can be done but adds substantially to the overall cost of the build, and the eventual price of it. Of course a custom neck is the ultimate as it is exactly what one wants/specifies. All basses I have made with custom necks made by Dan Ransom SF are primo. The first neck he made for me years ago for my early '66 dot & bound J is solid as a rock - I've never touched the tr since owning/playing it and the Brazilian rosewood fb is beautiful. Can't go wrong with a custom neck.

    To use the Eden neck, one possible option would be to drill a matching hs access channel through the chrome plate. I have no issues doing this on the plate and it should look good if done very cleanly. But - that would be the tricky part. (drilling a clean hole on the curved part of the plate) I'm imagining starting with a small bit exactly centered at the hs channel and making a jig to support it so a drill-press could be used. If locked into the correct angle for the drill-press, it would then take a few different progressive bits to open it to the needed size. Work - but doable.

    I just had a neck made for my Super SLX ($$) and hoped to start a new build more 'cost effectively' which would also help me keep the offering price down. I have used a couple of Eden necks on my Gilaxia and XD (good necks for the price) so I used a contour guide on the XD to determine the scallop. Once the plate arrives I can see if it matches, and if it does I can get an Eden neck and drill the opening in the plate. If the scallop does not match - I will consider having a neck made.

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  3. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I ordered 2 Dano RI stacked (black/cream) knobs and 2 Dano specific pots (1meg/100k) as I want this bass to reflect a Dano. I want to use lipstick pu's (2) so I would like recommendations on which brand is the best. The ones I used in my Calabrone were the cheapo's and their output is not great. I may end up replacing them once I find something better.
     
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  4. Sub
     
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  5. Novarocker

    Novarocker

    Oct 12, 2015
    Sub, this is going to be great!
     
    JIO likes this.
  6. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    While waiting for the mahogany blank/parts to arrive - a preliminary drawing of a possible version of a "scorpion" hs shape... (mine on left, Burns on right)

    fullsizeoutput_1494.jpeg
    ...and body. Possible lower cut-out to continue the "scorpion" theme with overhanging individual bridge-units. Ignore the control-plate as it is now gone. Pick-guard could be mirrored plastic with a "Burns-esque" insert in white, slightly raised above the pg level. (thicker plastic) Lipstick pu's in the same locations as my Coral - goin' for that Dano sound! Perimeter of body will be tapered like the Coral as well. (so ergo!) Not sure what colour it's going to be but thinking body and neck will be the same colour - and black is a scorpion type colour. I bet there is one of those flip-flop paints that go from black to blue - something insect-like... that would be too cool.
    fullsizeoutput_1495.jpeg
     
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  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Found this while searching for flip-finishes; "Burnside" guitars... interesting.., but no cigar. Peripheral similarity with my overlapping bridge units idea. The trick is alluding to the concept of 'scorpion' while still creating a good design. It's not easy as I do not want to create a "novelty" bass. ("silly looking") The closest I came to that is my Gilaxia which oddly enough was also inspired by Burns. (or inspired by the odd design sense that was Jim Burns) It's definitely unorthodox looking, but checks all the necessary boxes to make it a playable, great sounding bass; it's light, it's balanced, it's comfortable to play standing and seated - and it sounds/plays great!

    This design has some Fender Performer references as well.
    Burnside_steinberger.jpg
    My retro-modern design was referencing the Burns RP1B Streamline bass - a club-footed short-scale ("Martian Cricket Bat") from the late 50's. Similar to this new project, the vintage tail-piece from a 60's Japanese short-scale bass initiated/inspired the Gilaxis.
    fullsizeoutput_1497.jpeg

    Looked at many pics of real scorpions and realized they kinda creep me out. (not a bug person) so not sure I'll get into wanting too strong a visual reference. I think the name "Scorpion" is why it keeps being referenced for products...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    Hachimitsu Pie, AGH and Novarocker like this.
  8. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Black-to-blue/green would be very beetle-ish, The Scarab perhaps?
     
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  9. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yes, that is a buggish color scheme. I'll have to see if Pat Wilkins or Marty Bell can do that. The mahogany wood blank arrived today, along with the Dano stacked knobs and pots. Will take the slab to be planed-down to 1-1/4" this week.
     
  10. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Any suggestions for the best lipstick pu's out there? (good output, best sounding)
     
  11. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I'd look at GFS for the most variety. I've also used the $15 specials from Amazon.
     
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  12. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    I ordered 2 pu's from AllParts - Yesteryear LP2 Dano-centric lipstick pu's with "aged magnets" - 7.4k ohms. Mahogany planed to 1-1/4". Initial drawing on the wood which will need to wait for a neck decision before going much further.

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  13. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    7.4k are pretty hot for lipsticks -- spec was like 3.9k? The ones I have run fairly consistently around 4.9k. I might look into those allparts ones though.
     
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  14. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Very cool, I especially dig the body cutout being slightly tilted from the center line. It keeps it in that retro vein and out of the BC Rich, best bass for... well, you know.

    I might shorten the headstock horns a bit for the same reason... but that's just me :). I can't wait to see what you do with it so I'm in!

    Sub'd :thumbsup:
     
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  15. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yes, after reviewing many these looked to be best for the price. I don't know what my Coral pu's run but the bass has strong output and I want at least that to be the case with this build. The other thing about these pu's is the base. The more vintage-style Dano's have rear-body adjusted pu height. (long feet & springs) This style is for pg mounted/adjusted height. I looked for chrome surrounds (like on the Coral) but no-one sells them. (only wooden versions) I just may make my own of thin black plastic.

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  16. Jigmay

    Jigmay

    Mar 24, 2004
    Haligonia
    Subbed
     
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  17. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Yah, so far whatever it ends up looking like hinges on the Burns hs plate. There's a chance I will choose not to incorporate it at all, we'll see. The Coral Deluxe Bass has been my latest design interest/inspiration, and it may just reflect that with some peripheral aspects of Burns. Definitely don't want a BC Rich spin-off. I appreciate his designs but they (and pointy instruments in general) were never my cup of tea.

    Referring to the hs, so... too much like "devil horns"? :laugh: (back to the drawing board!)
     
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  18. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Are you gonna leave the upper bout as-is or tweak it to be more scorpion-esque? There are some other burns models that have cool cutaways but aren't as extreme as the scorpion.

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  19. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    wow - photoshop wizardry! :thumbsup: The body design so far is what I want more, with or without the lower cutaway. That's what I'm talking about, possibly the plate will be what launched a new project and binned for another project. Too soon to tell. Thanks for the cool Burns mash-ups!
     
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  20. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    You could always make two surrounds out of 1/16" aluminum if you like. Something like what I did here:
    20190910_193410.jpg
    I'd be happy to make those for you if you like.
     
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