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Single-cutaway basses and tone quality

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dave Grossman, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Hey there,

    I am considering having a new bass built with a single cutaway. There seem to be a many new basses that have the upper horn essentially exteneded and attached to the neck. Kind of like a telecaster but extended further towards the nut.

    I assume that this is done more to improve the tone or sustain rather than for looks. Although, if done right, it looks pretty cool too.

    Can you guys comment on what effect this would have on the sound of an instrument compared to a similar instrument without the upper-horn attached?


  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    8 bdft hard maple
    4 bdft purple heart
    1 hunk claro walnut = $150.00

    glueing a neck blank together with wood that is not dry =priceless.

    at least i can make a bat out of it.
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    sorry...didn't mean to post that here:oops:
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Well now we all want to know the story.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Really, my story of disaster and discovery ?
    o.k. well, I spent every summer growing up in my uncle's furniture shop. he make very high end stuff. He makes some instruments that i helped him with. I am a good woodworker (when it comes to furniture). I having been aching for a fretless 6 so i decided that i ould do it myself figuring i havea good command of wood and woodworking and the tools involved.

    So i go to a supplier in nj that shall remain nameless and buy the wood. "it's dry" i'm told. It wasn't....so now that neck blank is on my lathe ready to make the finest basball bat every seen.

    The claro that I got for the top, you may have seen , is beautiful, actually i got a different but equally pretty piece. luckily i ruined the neck blank before i cut into the claro.

    That was the disaster.

    The discovery was that being a luthier, at this point, is not for me. I will appreciate the hard work and artistry of others.(Thanks, Larry @gallery :) )

    That claro...I did make some slices the other day and book matched at top. So i now have a 2.5 inch slab of walnut left for the next time i decide to do something for which i have no "real" knowledge.
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works

    You don't *have* to name names, but you could save someone else the trouble of buying from the same supplier and expecting dry wood if you did...

    Sounds like a bummer. It really helps to have someone you can depend on to buy wood from.
  8. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    due to fear of a libel lawsuit I'll just say that it is a lumber yard in South Jersey that markets itself to "people that build things that make sounds."

    That's weak I know but I do not want to have to get a lawyer...;)
  9. You should return the wood (even though it's already been cut and glued). I would. If there was a reasonable expectation that the wood was dry and not just the word of the guy who sold it, you would have a good case for getting a refund.

    I don't think that you mentioning what happened and who you bought the wood from would give them any kind of case against you.

    - Dave
  10. msherman


    Nov 20, 2002
    Connecticut, USA
    I would recommend buying a Moisture Content Meter. A decent meter costs around $100 and is a hand held meter. IMO, every woodshop should have one.
    This will give the luxury of checking the piece before you buy it, or work it. I will not work a piece of wood until it reaches a maximum of 8% moisture content.

    I wouldn`t give up on your dreams of being a Luthier due to this experience. We all go through learning curves (and your never too old to stop learning).

  11. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Thanks for the encouraging words Mike...You're right about the learning curve. For me, the more expensive that curve the more i learn...

    And, as a reminder I'll have my purple heart and birdseye baseball bat (think i'll hang it in my office.)
  12. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I have spoken to another luthier who got an ebony fingerboard blank from a lumber yard in New Jersey that erupted after he had glued it on to a neck.