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That's a strange looking bass guitar you've got there...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Big B., Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Hello again. I've come to a stopping point for the moment on my walnut 6 string while I save some cash for hardware. In the meantime I've been getting some work done on a project thats slowly coming together. This is a 6 string electric upright bass prototype that I starting designing all the way back in 2010. I considered posting in the EUB section on the double bass side but you guys are my friends (and I'll get 100x the traffic here). :bag:

    After doing some research and measuring on my own double bass I finally settled on a design.

    Some considerations in designing this bass:

    - I already have a beautiful double bass so trying to replicate the sound of an acoustic bass is not an issue. I hope to create an instrument with it's own sound somewhere between a DB and a bass guitar.

    - I dont like the look of the stick style EUBs I've seen so I will have a solid body of some shape and size.

    - I plan to spend a decent amount of time playing this bass with a bow so several things must be addressed. Too avoid hitting unwanted strings I will maintain 1" string spacing at the bridge. This is a bit narrower than most 4 string DB's but matches the spacing on my 5 string. Also, the fingerboard and bridge must allow for enough arch, as too flat of an arch will lead to hitting other strings unintentionally.

    - To make sure the bow has clearance on each side of the bridge the body will be radiused.

    Unfortunately, since the bass has been a work in progress I dont have a good linear progression of photos to show you the build process so I will catch you up on where I am currently and then retrace whatever steps I can to show how we got here. These photos are from multiple locations, lighting, and qualities of cameras so please bear with me here. ;)


    - Neck through body construction, 7 piece maple/wenge neck

    - Radiused alder body wings

    - Top and back are capped with madrone burl veneer

    - Ziricote fingerboard. 3 full octaves with 41.5" string length

    - Quartersawn maple bridge

    - Transducer will be made from piezo cable and mounted under the bridge.

    And here's where we are currently.


    In this shot you get a better look at the radius of the body and the cut of the bridge. The radius of the bridge/fingerboard are still a bit shallow, but that will be adjusted one the strings are placed.

    A good look at the body radius.

    Here you can see the neck through body construction

    The neck volute is carved to almost exactly matched my 5 string DB.

    The pegbox also turned out really well.

    So thats what I have so far. Next time I'll start retracing the steps of how we got here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2015
    vmabus likes this.
  2. Subscribed!
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Oh heck yeah. This is good stuff!
  4. I subbed too
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    This one is going to be fun to watch
  6. CSchuette815


    Oct 17, 2013
    Awesome bass!
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    This is fantastic! Sub'd and looking forward to more!
  8. ddtkills


    Mar 7, 2009
    Love the design!!! would like to see a side pic. How much does the fingerboard hang over the body?
  9. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Here you go. Because of the overhang the fingerboard won't be glued on till after the body is finished. It would be difficult to apply a good finish in that small area.


    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2015
  10. ddtkills


    Mar 7, 2009
    Thank you. amazing work. :)
  11. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
  12. awesome!
  13. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Very distinctive, great idea.
  14. Really unique shape, love it!
  15. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
  16. redwookie

    redwookie Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
  17. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX

    How's this? It didn't make it into the first batch of pictures.


    More of a goatee really...
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2015
  18. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    Make that a little higher and you've got a moustache. :)

    Looking good, Mr. B.
  19. Now that you say it...it does kind of remind me of an easter island head.
  20. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC