Ultimate Classic Metal Bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bassdude15, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Hi guys-my friend is really into classic metal(venom, judas priest, iron maiden, etc.) and I was thinking of building him a custom bass with the following specs:
    Korina body(mahogany seems to be the body wood of choice for many metal basses, but he wants something with a bit more "bite"),
    maple neck,
    ebony fretboard(since everything in metal MUST be black)
    Seymour Duncan SPB-3 pickup (can't find a steve harris model)

    Any suggestions or comments are welcome

  2. RNV


    Apr 13, 2010
    Loxahatchee, Fl
    fEARful (I endorse them, not visa versa)
    So just a solid black body? I think a nice trans charcoal or trans black over a nice flamed or quilted top (matching head) would be metal as hell....... black hardware.
  3. tdogg


    Jan 17, 2001
    Brooklyn Park, MN
  4. rocmonster


    Oct 31, 2011
    Funny the you mention Judas Priest as their bass player rocked a sunburst Fender Jazz with a tort pick guard, which to me is the most non-metal bass out there...
  5. NOLA Bass

    NOLA Bass Mr. Worst Case Scenario Man Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    New Orleans LA
    I'm not really familiar with the sound of Korina for a bass. The SD SPB-3 is definitely in the Steve Harris ballpark (played a P for a few years with one and it had that character). However, what about going with an active EMG set? However, I'm really unsure based on the korina wood choice on what matches up with it.
  6. vdub75


    Feb 15, 2013
    batteries are for vibrators, not for basses :p

    I'd go with a cool shape like a mockingbird or iceman, transblack with some thunderbird pickups!
  7. BruceBass3901


    Oct 17, 2009
    Wickham, UK
    I found this far too amusing :smug: Particularly as I play several active basses!

    Really interested to see how this project turns out
  8. vdub75


    Feb 15, 2013
    never liked those active things :p
  9. roninrindra


    Nov 26, 2013
    Black bass with B.C Rich ,TB or Jackson's shape
  10. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Ooh I like the sound of an iceman!
  11. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    i think tbird pups in a mockingbird would look sick
  12. vdub75


    Feb 15, 2013

    maybe a more "warwick" headstock would look cool!

    that would work! wouldn't even have to put "bird" somewhere in the name, it's already there :-D
  13. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    transparent blood red g&l L2000 with an ebony neck, i have a solid black one, but i think it's alder or ash, the neck pocket is grainless and there aren't any huge paint chips yet
  14. sevdog

    sevdog Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    Add a bridge pickup. That will add more bite than any wood selection.
  15. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Can any of y'all imagine a trans black iceman bass with an SD SPB-3 pickup and an explorer headstock?
    Also, do you think I should lacquer the neck(A piece of AA flame maple wit an ebony "skunk-stripe) since the figuring is very subtle?
    And do you think active electronics are necessary? (btw the guy doesn't care) or should a series/parallel switch with 700k pots add enough versatility?
  16. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Personally, I love using a two pickup bass with active electronics for metal, as there are more controls for helping cut through the mix of a couple of scooped mid downtuned guitars.

    Choosing a particular type of wood in the hopes of producing a particular sound is a serious crapshoot at best and is likely best avoided. Choose something stable and well-dried as it's most important. Korina will be fine and I'd wager no one could tell the difference between mahog and korina, especially once you start factoring electronics in there.

    I would not use a P-bass or a passive bass for metal (although I've rocked a Jazz more than once in that role). I love Maiden but I've never liked the P bass tones in there. Keep in mind he started playing bass and writing those songs long before modern basses evolved into what they are today. If Maiden was a modern band, I'd put money on Steve playing an Ibanez.

    Were it me, I'd be using EMGs, two of them, and a bolt on construction... :)
  17. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
  18. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    ^ I don't think that's a P bass in that recording, and it's not terribly "classic" sounding either. Plus the pic is of a Spector (I think) and it would not be passive, I mean Ian Hill's current signature Spector is loaded with...wait for it... EMGs... Based on his original NS-2, which was also an active bass... http://www.spectorbass.com/Signature/hill.html
  19. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Tbh I hate EMG's and so does the guy I'm making the bass for; To me they sound over-compressed, sterile, and subtract from the natural tone of the instrument.
  20. Bassdude15


    Feb 26, 2013
    Anyone have any other suggestions??