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Something Fishy

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Wademeister63, Mar 6, 2005.


  1. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Ok here's the short story on this six month project for me. I had built a guitar when I was in high school a little over 20 years ago. I bought the neck from Carvin and built the body of maple from a local lumberyard. I copied the Mockingbird body from a BC Rich ad with about a 2 inch long picture.

    Last July I decided it was time to build my first bass. First thing I did was do an internet search to look at different bass guitar designs for inspiration. Right away when you search the web for bass, you're going to see a lot of stuff that isn't related to music... So there you have it. I like unique things, so I dove in. Ahem. As you might guess, I like a joke or two as well. I love to play my electric bass (rhymes with grass). I get to tune a fish. I uh... ok I won't torture you all. It can get pretty ugly.

    The good news is that it's done!! I still have some tweaking to do with the electronics and I'll probably replace the tailpiece since I'm not completely satisfied with it, but for practical purposes, the project is complete! Now I just need to keep up with those lessons to become good at playing the durned thing.

    Pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I need to work on the electronics a bit, and need to work on my computer recording setup, but you can hear some great tones aside froim the noise. I'm a happy fisherman...er, camper..
    Great Mwah and growl. Super sustain. The level is pretty high on the recording, may want to lower the volume on your player before you blast this one.
    sound clip: fishbite

    More pics available, all questions answered, and NOT FOR SALE!
     
  2. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Sounds great, and the wood is beautiful. Can't say I like the shape, but if you like it that is what matters. Great job.
     
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Very nice workmanshp, I've seen some custom basses that didn't look as sharp!! Keep at it maybe in a couple of years we'll have a 1300 post thread on TB about those incredible Wademiestter basses!! A very good early effort!
     
  4. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Good to see you finished it Wade! It deffinantly looked cool in the production stage. I'll have to give a listen tomorrow at work!

    That myrtle top really did turn out very nice. I was wondering what the finish would look like since it looked sort of green when I first saw it.

    And it blows away the wish in every aspect lol.
     
  5. looks heavy! nice work though :p
     
  6. travatron4000

    travatron4000

    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    did you do all the lamanates your self? what kind of strings are on it? What are the woods? Electronics, Pups, hardware?

    ~trav
     
  7. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    That sounds good. Killer sustain.
     
  8. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    I built it all myself. :cool: I had a friend spray the clear polyester, but I did every bit of the sanding, staining and polishing.

    The neck is maple and black mesquite. I thought it looked good and seemed like mesquite was a good stable wood so I tried it. May not be the best choice, but it works. The stuff is about the same hardness and weight as the maple, but not quite as stiff or strong. I broke a few of the small scraps to test the strength and was glad I had the maple to help it out. The body wings are mahogany with myrtlewood on top. The myrtle is pretty soft stuff. Pretty close to basswood I think. I carved it with an angle grinder and smoothed it out with a sanding block. The fingerboard is lignum vitae which is some super heavy, hard and oily/waxy stuff.

    It has Bartolini XX45CM pickups and a Bartolini NTBT preamp. Pickup switches are wired for P/Series Humbucking/Reverse P, and the knobs control volume, blend, bass & treble stacked.
    The tuners are Hipshot Ultralights, and the bridge is a setup I made myself consisting of threaded inserts into the body with slotted screw-in saddlepieces. The bridge works great. The intonation is just about dead on with the fretmarkers and I can adjust string heights in a few seconds with no tools. The tailpiece is cut from stainless steel and will probably be replaced. The string balls don't engage quite as far as I would like and I could make the piece a little nicer looking.

    [​IMG]




    Here's where it all started. I was going to use parts from the Ibanez but ended up selling that one and buying all the hardware instead.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Weighs about 9.5 pounds and has a 34" scale. Definately a keeper!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Figjam

    Figjam

    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Hows the action?
     
  11. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Judging by the pictures, it looks low enough (lower than mine! =) )
     
  12. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    only caught one today!

    Sorry, couldn't help myself...

    The action is really nuts. I can bring the strings down to where it sounds almost like a sitar. I have them up now high enough that the mwah isn't overwhelming, but I can get clarinet or trumpet tones if I dig in just right. I have about .02" of relief in the neck judging by the tiny space under the string when fretted at both ends of the neck. That was a great thing about the polyester finish. I got it on there nice and thinck then used a long piece of aluminum extrusion with adhesive backed sandpaper to true up the fingerboard surface. The fingerboard is true, but the finished surface is deadly accurate.

    I don't know if you can really see the action well, but this might get close...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Too bad it's not an upright, you could make a bow that looks like a fishing pole. :)

    I love the fact that, plugged in, it will look like it's been hooked. Nice. :)

    Can we see a pic of the headstock?

    Jake
     
  14. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Sounds very good. I love growly fretless. How much did that end up running you? I also support a better tailpiece. That one doesn't look all that tough. I like what Warwick has for a tailpoece.
     
  15. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Is this the head then or the tail?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Well, two for one shot. HAHA!


    oh yeah, the strings are LaBella tapewounds. I think the number on the package was 760N.


    Mmm, I guess I have about $500 into this thing. Pickups $100, preamp $100, wood $100, tuning machines $100, misc hardware, switches, shipping and whatnot about another $100 I guess.
     
  16. travatron4000

    travatron4000

    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    how many other instruments have you made? that looks really good!

    ~trav
     
  17. Wademeister63

    Wademeister63

    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    The bass is my second instrument. The first one is over 20 years old now but still looks and plays great :D

    [​IMG]
     
  18. travatron4000

    travatron4000

    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    WOW! You've got some skills, do you do any other woodworking? Because those are 100 times better than any other first instruments i've seen. The bass bass (short a long a) is great though. It reminds me of the UP shaped bass that Da Yoopers have hanging in their studio. Though that bass relly sucks. I have a pic somewhere but I can't find it.

    ~trav
     
  19. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Wow Wade, I dont normally dig pointy instruments, but that guitar is a looker as well :)
     
  20. That's some impressive looking construction! Great idea, too :D.