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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tdogg, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    well i have barely finished my first bass and i officially have the building bug! i found a local sawmill that carried all the fun exotic woods and went on a shopping spree, and so begins my second build. here are the specs so far:
    -Seven strings tuned BEADGCF
    -34" - 32" or 34"-32.5"
    -parellel fret is #seven
    -zebra wood top 3/4" thick
    -2" thick chambered ash body
    -.3 mil black veneer accent layer between top and body
    -seven (seeing a pattern yet?) peice neck, wenge with paduak laminates
    -wenge fingerboard (probably, havent ordered one yet)
    -wenge bridge of an undetermined design, i have several ideas
    -custom pickup, MM style, slanted to the proper angle for the multi-scale
    -wenge pickup cover
    -gotoh tuners
    -string through body
    -wenge/zebra knobs and nut
    -semi-single cut
    -bolt-on (seven bolts, but you knew that already)
    -im sure im forgetting something:confused:

    things i am still debating:
    -17mm or 19mm string spacing?
    -preamp? or maybe just a volume knob (a la rob allen)
    -built in backbrace
    -one truss rod with cf reinforcements or two truss rods?
    -zebra headstock laminate or show the neck lams?
    -soundhole shape
    -flat FB radius or 20" radius (anyone build a 7+ string bass with a radius? any issues?)

    heres some pics of the intial progress:
    the top
    the body template
    one sweet (and massive) peice of ash
    neck lams (not glued yet)
    i really need to take pics in better lighting because these shots do not do justice to the wood. my next move is to start building my pickup winder. i have a sewing machine to canabalize for it. i want to keep it fairly simple. just a sewing machine motor, a foot control and a rotary counter. if anyone can suggest a good source of info on pickup winding i would appreciate it. i have done some homework but im still unsure on a few things.
    please feel free to make constructive suggestions on this as it is only my second build, and fairly ambitous (IMO) thanks in advance guys!!! :hyper:
  2. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    i imagine it would be hard to do bolts with a body close to 3" thick (uncomfortable too). it is obvious that you are going for a sound influenced by the wood and instrument design itself, more that electronics, so gluing the neck in would help make that full circle, because the instrument will act, and be, a whole piece. also, a glue joint is ALWAYS way stronger than a bolt-joint, which is made even more important, because of the 7 strings. looks cool so far, btw. i am also having difficulty deciding on a wooden bridge design. I am assuming you will go for an adjustable saddle design.
  3. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    i was thinking i could use somethiing like this
  4. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    thought so. should be cool
  5. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    Im a bit curious about this. Any fact about your statement?
  6. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    With the exception of the actual woods used, and the choice of electronics, the idea and body style and tuning and strings and everything else was on my G.A.S List on that particular thread.

    I'm subscribed big time.

    So far so good! :) Good luck.
  7. So totally subscribed!

    Like the "7" theme! As Ive found out, mojo is really important when building your own instrument :D
  8. Sooooo subscribed :hyper: :hyper: !! I like every bit of your plans, the semi-hollow, fanned, the cool woods (my favorites are wenge and zebra :cool:), the fact that it will be a seven string (with seven neck lams and seventh fret straight - seven is my lucky number btw).. this is gonna rock :bassist: :smug:

    Jordan, is this your expierence? Because I doubt if this is true, technically speaking (gleuing would be weak if the surfaces aren't 100% flat and in contact with each other / I don't see why using several bolts would be less strong (?) / what kind of force do you want to apply on the neck.. or how do you define 'strong').
  9. I personally would go with 17mm spacing - 19mm spacing makes it really easy for slap, but you need ponder how much slapping you would be doing on a 7 because 19mm x 6 gaps is a REALLY wide bridge.

    I think a 20" radius would work fine - I've done them on several wide fretboards - if your board is 4-1/2" wide at the widest, a 20" radius will remove only 1/8" from the edges.

    I think bolt-on is fine - heck, Jerzy Drozd has done a bolt-on 10-string....

    I think you'll need 2 truss rods, splayed out a little at the heel end - if you want the lowest action possible, the bass side of the neck will need more relief than the treble side. You could just mill that into the frets, but its nice to not have to.

    Take a look at some of Jerzy's neck builds, on his wide ones he often uses 2 truss rods AND CF bars.
  10. Yeah indeed. I reckon bolt-on should do fine. I am curious why Jordan thinks there is a difference that great (no offends, but I haven't seen a finished bass from him and he keeps making this really loud and confident statements, which looks like he's got all that experience and I just wonder why and how he comes to those)..
  11. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    hey mike, when you laid out the fret slots on your multi-scale, did you just use the printout from fretfinder? thats how i did my first bass and the fret placement was good. but that was a straight fret 4 string
  12. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    -yeah im leaning towards 17mm spaccing. i think thats what my warwick corvette 5 is
    -jerzy drozd is awesome, my hope is to eventually build basses that are half as good as his. no 11 strings for me though.
  13. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    why only 34" for a multiscale? Seems like if you are going to the trouble to fan the frets, you'd at least go to 35 for the B (I'd go to 36" myself)
  14. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    shape the soundhole like a 7

    and install a security system so JT doesnt steal this thing
  15. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA

    I'd go with a large radius
  16. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    ive honestly never been a fan of the 35" scale. i owned a 35" 4 string for a while and never really liked it. the space between frets is ok, but the higher string tension was not my style. i think im in the minority with this but i dont like high tension strings. my .125 B on my warwick is plenty solid for me.
  17. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
    i like both ideas. maybe a flashing red LED to make people think it has a security system.:ninja:

    as far as the soundhole goes, ill have to sketch out some 7's. my other thought was seven round holes, following the curve of the upper "horn" decending in size. (if that makes any sense)
  18. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    7 holes in the shape of a classic f hole
  19. +1 on that idea :D
  20. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    well, if a glued body vibrates as a whole, like a one piece body, it just makes since that the more "centralized" the woods are, as a whole piece, then the more wood influence you get from the instrument as a whole. This is just an assumption though. Please correct any thing i am a little off on anything. Many tone related things are of the builders opinion, and i am just trying to apply my current opinion, but i may be a little off, so its good to get facts, others thoughts from more experienced builders, and hands on experience.

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