The body design choices that you make/made

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Basschair, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    While waiting for various parts, tools, etc. to arrive, I've been drawing and redrawing body designs, and have ended up with a few good ones, and a few that are WAY similar to production models (Warwick-ish, Pedulla-ish, but also Bebensee-ish, Bordwell-ish).

    How do you decide on body shapes, and how concerned are you about the body looking like the "other guy's" deisgn?
  2. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    It's got to look good, to me anyway. The only concern I have is not making it look like a Fender. Not that I have anything against Fender. There's enough Fender builders out there already. I built my one Fender clone and I'm stopping right there, unless its a special request with big money attached to it. :) But, no matter how hard I try to be original the "other guys" designs always creep in. It's gonna happen. One approach is to do 'your' take on 'their' design, see what happens and don't worry about it.
  3. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    That's exactly my attitude, but it's great to get justification from others! The scale drawing I have right now is very "Dolphin bass" styled with varied horns...that happened without looking at the Dolphin bass. In my smaller sketches from this morning, I've got one that I really like that's more of an amalgamation of aspects I like from different body-types. Decisions, decisions. I've got to get a binder to keep these sketches in, until I can draw scale models and cut templates. That way, I won't forget the ones I like, and can have some body designs for the future.
  4. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    I'm with budman when it comes to the whole Fender issue. Other than that, it just has to look nice. I know I truly like a design when I can't think of a single thing to change I will no longer play around with different aspects of it for fear of ruining it. If another builders designs creep into my own, so be it. It's near impossible for it not to happen. That is, unless you want to build something that is hideous.
  5. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I also agree on the Fender issue. Yeah, I'm working on my own Fender clone, but like Bud, that's the first and last. Leo has a good design, as utilitrian as it is, but it's not exactly what I want from a bass. I like sleek curves and flowing lines. Sometime, what I try to do is make an upper horn "flow" into the headstock so that it looks like they were connected at one time. Also, no sharp edges (B.C. Rich stuff) and nothing radical (Parker Fly)! I like the offset waist. The offset + sleek curves = movement, and that's what I want. I'd like the bass to look like it's ready to take off or something.

    I like my basses like I like my women -- smooth and curvaceous. :smug:
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU


    I hope not that radical :D :p

    As for me, the bass I'll be building sometime soon will be based on a shape that I like, while improving some of it's features I don't like.
    If I like it's shape and it also is good in functionality, then what else can you ask for from a shape? :cool:
  7. oh my! Radical is always good if you want to get attention drawn to you, but not necessarily will make a good looking, comfortable instrument. My take on design is keep it as simple as possible without compromising the looks, and always try to make the curves flow as if flowing water over millions of years have shaped underwater rocks.
  8. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    Sorry Frank... too radical for me. :smug: And there's a bit of a rounded point in that arch. I think elegance is what I'm about.
  9. Mark Chandler

    Mark Chandler

    Aug 25, 2004
    Houston TX
    theres a couple things i take into consideration:

    1. extension of the top horn to or past the 12th fret for balance
    2. trying to extend the arch of the leg rest out far enough to balance while playing on the leg, but without making it look to rediculous
    3. pulling the bridge as far back to the ass of the instrument to make the entire instrument feel shorter
    4. make sure there is some contouring on the back so that its more comfortable n the chest when sitting down

    i think thats all i do, the rest is make it look good.