To custom build or not to custom build - $2500 or less

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TimBosby, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    So if you read my Carvin thread, you know I want a custom bass. Problem is, Carvin doesn't do quite everything that I want, and that is why they are comparatively less expensive. Then I thought, hey, if I'm willing to spend $1,200 or so on a Carvin, maybe I could get *everything* I want, exactly the way I want it, for another $500-$1000. Yeah, that's a lot, but it would justify me selling off a few other basses. I have a lot of basses because they all have different things that make me keep them. But...if I could get rid of 3 basses or so and get all those options I like on *one*, that would justify spending $2,000 or so.

    So far, Stambaugh and Dave Pushic have been recommended to me. I've also been told Pushic has had quality issues in the past (but is cheaper than Stambaugh.) Here are the options I want... I am pretty flexible on most of them. Perhaps you guys could recommend someone who could do all this for less than $2,500. (Ideally less than $2,000.)

    Four string bolt on fretted (open to neck through but generally I prefer bolt on.)
    Traditional body shape... double cut
    PJ configuration (I am thinking Seymour Duncan or EMG but am open to other things too)
    Active electronics (I am thinking Audere but am open to other things)
    Standard body wood (alder?) with blue flame maple top
    Birdseye maple neck
    Fretboard probably ebony (or macasser ebony), pau ferro, or something darker. But I would consider a birdseye maple fretboard to go with the birdseye maple neck
    Headstock to match body
    Abalone block inlays (must be blocks)
    21-frets or more
    Gold hardware (maybe)
    Hard case (duh :))

    Any suggestions appreciated! I've emailed both Chris and Dave already to see about a possible quote for the above.
  2. Have you considered Valenti?

    I've never played a Pushic but based on what I've read on TB it sounds liked a risky proposition. Haven't tried Stambaugh either but I've heard only good things about his work.
  3. pickuptruck

    pickuptruck Guest

    Jul 20, 2005
    From what I've seen...Valenti will do everything you've asked....
  4. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    I didn't think Valenti did abalone block inlays. Correct me if I am wrong here.
  5. PortraitOfJames

    PortraitOfJames Guest

    Jan 21, 2007
    Emmaus, PA, USA
    I've played some Valenti's at Bass Specialties in Bensalem, PA. They're very nice basses. So I would recommend them from my limited experience.

    ... or try and find a used Pedulla that fits your specs. I just got a really nice one for $2,000 with case.
  6. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Do Low End and Sadowsky offer abalone blocks? I prefer a more traditional jazz style ala Low End, Valenti, or Sadowsky, but I didn't think any of those guys offered abalone blocks. Sounds silly, but I'm really jonesing for abalone block inlays :)
  7. I have a bass being made by AC Guitars here in the UK and I understand that since the change in the £/$ exchange rate there are orders coming in from the USA.

    Definately worth a look
  8. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 Guest

    Jun 17, 2004
    you can get all the recommendations from all the random interneters you want but unless you hold an example of a luthiers work you'll never know if it's worth it.
  9. Herrlster


    Oct 27, 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    I say check out the Luthier's Corner. Look at some of the builds in there. There are a lot of talented people there, they may not be well known but that doesn't mean they aren't talented. I'm sure you could find somebody in there to build you what you want in that price range or less. You're not allowed to make a public thread and ask for a luthier I don't think. So PM some of the luthiers who catch your interest.
  10. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Do you really know what you want? I don't think there's a single detail on a bass that makes a bigger difference than neck joint...
  11. TimBosby

    TimBosby Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Honestly I've always preferred bolt ons.
  12. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Chris Stambaugh built me exactly what I asked for in every conceivable and practical way, and for a very fair price....well within your budget.

    After, I had him build me a neck that is on my main axe at the moment that plays like butter, and I am having him build me yet another neck as well (I've got a surplus of bodies).

    I've got nothing but good things to say about Chris
  13. I'll vouch for Chris Stambaugh's work, since I own one his basses. I know he'll do basically anything you ask, too, so shouldn't be any worries. I got a 6 string from him with some bells and whistles, and it was around the $2500 mark, so I don't think your bass should surpass that.
  14. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
    Literally everything on this list can be done by Warmoth. Total parts cost shouldn't run much more than a thousand bucks. Pay a local luthier a few hours of labor to put it all together and set it up for you. Shouldn't cost more than $500 in labor.

    That's the way I'd go if I were in your situation.
  15. LanEvo


    Mar 10, 2008
    Just did a quick search on the Warmoth site. Yes, I'm bored :smug:

    Rear-routed alder P-Bass body $190
    Flame maple top $75
    Trans blue finish $185

    Birdseye maple neck w/ ebony board $219
    Flame maple peghead veneer $45
    Abalone block inlays [special order ... let's say $100]

    Gold Schaller tuners $70
    Gold Schaller bridge $70
    Fralin P-J pickup set $200
    Wiring, pots, knobs, etc. $50
    Misc hardware $50

    Total price for all parts: $1254
  16. TrooperFarva

    TrooperFarva Guest

    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    With the exception of the gold hardware, you could get a Lakland Bob Glaub PJ with all the stuff you want.

    You may also want to take a look at STR

  17. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    Custom all the way. You might try CallowHill, this is a five string but I never get tired of seeing it!

  18. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash's a four banger.

  19. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
  20. Exactly what I was thinking. I would also have Warmoth cut the nut, I think that's an extra $25. I'd put it together myself and save the labour.