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Want opinions/advice on my bass design

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tbirdbassist, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. This is a design Ive been working on alot for the past 6 or 7 months, And this is the best out of all the smaller and larger scale ones Ive done (each box = 1 in)I do plan to have this built by any willing luthier when the funds for it are reached. :D


    The woods are, for the top of the body in order of the picture:

    Spalted Maple
    Spalted Maple

    The fretboard would be ebony, but possibly wenge(i'll get to this later) And the neck would be maple(not sure which type yet).

    The headstock would match the bodies top woods. As for the back of the body, Im not sure if I want it all maple, So that its one peice with the neck, Or maybe mohagony or another wood.

    Heres where things get a little tricky, Id say. I want this bass to have deep, growly lows(Thunderbird-ish) And yet still have lots of treble, I dont want this to be a mud-bass. Im dont want to change the top woods, But can you give me advice on what woods will give me the sound Im looking for?

    Now heres the other thing, I want the bass to be half fretted, Half fretless. I would want it to go fretted up to the 15th fret and then be fretless to the end of the board. So would an ebony board be good for this, Or would it be better off as wenge?

    The electronics for it, Ive come down to:

    2 Bartolini EMG 40 sized pups(drawn in the picture)
    With the Bartolini 2 or 3 band EQ


    One Bartolini 4 coil MM pickup with either the 2 or 3 band EQ.
    (Also drwan in the picture, but lightly)

    I like the look of the two pups better than the one MM but, I will compestate if it is a must. Any advice you guys have would be greatly appreciated, And I want opinions, Positive and negative.

    (sorry for the long post ;) )
  2. The bridge will be the hipshot type A, The tuners would be the hipshot vintage style (cloverleaf) with possibly the d-tuner on the "E". From the end of the bridge to the nut is exactly 34", I might, make it 34.5 For a little more tention, But im not sure yet. Ive moved the bridge on my Ibanez back some to make the E 35 inches, And Im deciding if its neccesary or not to have on this bass.
  3. Very innovative... Ive never seen anything like it before, it would be and is definately a headturner.

  4. You wouldn't be able to play it standing up... Those horns are too thin, I would think. The control cavity looks like it's too close to the edge of the body too, and might be cramped with a preamp in it.
  5. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Very original, I'll be honest, it's not my bag, but nobody'll ask you if it's a fender.
    Design wise, you might have a hard time finding a trussrod long enough for your neck, unless you're planning on making it yourself. Also, for the ebony body, I've never actually seen a piece of ebony that wide, so you might have problems finding that as well. As for your half fretted/fretless thingy, I don't think there'd be a difference in fretboard woods. The tricky part would be to have a higher fretboard surface for the fretless part than the fretted part. It's been done before though, so nothing's impossible, although if this is your first bass, you might have a hard time pulling it off correctly. As for wood selection, I won't even try and guess which you should pick, cuz my suggestions will probably turn out to be completely wrong.

    Good luck!
  6. Actually, it looks like it might not take so well to playing sitting down either... That horn is pretty thin man.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    You need some material to screw the bridge to, mate.

    You also need some great back material to the spalted maple, to those thin horns. Spalted maple has not the properties of fresh maple...

    Get hold of an experienced woodworker, and get rid of the most obvious errors. Then, see what's left and decide on what to do with it.

    Personaly, I am discusted, but, to each his taste.
  8. Theshortlist_to


    Apr 20, 2005

    Sorry, Just had to point that out, cause a couple of people thought I was, from what I read in the replys.

    The wood is shaped to the dimensions of the bridge, So the being is supported.

    About the trussrod, I beleive there are ones long enough, Or can be made long enough. Have any of you seen that WAL 3 octave fretless bass? That basses neck is about the same size, If not longer than my proposed design.

    As for the horns, Are they really too thin for playing standing? I mean, I've seen some pretty thin, pointy, no body at all basses, That were playable, standing and sitting.

    But to compensate for the thin horns, Can a strong wood be used to give it some strength? This is not my final design, I will try to make the horns thicker, Without losing the aggresive look, Whch is what I was going for.

    Any more suggestions for a strong bottom wood, And can two peices of ebony be put together to make that center peice that size?
  10. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    There are some design issues but I don't think it's anything that can't be addressed and solved. Maybe something a little sleeker, like this.
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    18" is awfully wide for a bass body.

    It looks like you've got a MM pup, plus some other rounded rectangles that I can't figure the significance of. If that is a MM, don't expect it to sound just like a MM bass, because the pup is closer to the bridge than it is on a real MM.

    That outward bump on the bass side lower bout is going to be uncomfortable digging into your arm, unless you round it wayyyy back.

    I'd use a trussrod from the headstock end, and not worry about relief at frets 25-36.

    Your body is very light, so I'd either make it headless, or shrink the head and have the horn go up to maybe the 11th or 10th fret.
  12. Heres a redesigned picture.


    I've made the top horn thicker, Since it was apparently before, Too thin. The bass is only 13" at the bass side "hump" Near the bridge, And the total height is only 14".

    Ive also finalized on having just the MM pup. I figure what advantage will the two, 4 inch Bartolini's will have over the one Quad Coil MM pup, Correct me if Im wrong, Please.

    If the body is going to be bit on the light side cant I just choose a heavier weight wood for for the body bottom, Im already convinced, that I want it neck through, And for the neck to be Maple with an Ebony board, ANd the headstock to match the body top woods.

    I dont play on sitting down much with this bass, So sitting down playabilty really doesnt bother me, I dont sit down much when I play with my current basses.

    The sound I want out of this bass... I want it to be bassy, Without being muddy, But I also want it to have treble punch, Lots of it, Without sacrificing the lows.

    Thanks for all the feedback, But I still want more.Can you give me some names of some luthiers, I was gonna send this design to Jack Read for his opinion, But his site is down, And now I've learned, He stopped making custom basses.
  13. I think Bud may be on to something...

  14. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    Am I the only one that really loves this thing? Great job on the redraw. I saw the first but didn't really have much time to analyze it. I usually don't go for pointy and odd looking, but something about this really tickles my fancy.
  15. Thanks, I was inspired by a few bass designs. Hues from Ibanez, Conklin, WAL, And Steinberger are all in this bass, Some are obvious, And some are not. I find it hard to come up with a truly original design, Without the bass resembling too much of another. Which is why I applaud Bud, Cause his designs actually dont look like any other bass Ive seen(Except for that one that looks like a Peavy T40) And I like that, Im not saying Ritter, Benavente, F Bass, And the like arent original, They're just not my cup of tea design wise(especially single cuts, ugh...).

    Oh and Bud, That design you have up there is hot, But I think it would fit into your line of basses better. How much would the AutoCad program run me? $80-110?
  16. Cerb


    Sep 27, 2004
    AutoCAD runs a couple of thousand if I'm remembering correctly :-\. I'm sure Bud can correct me on that.
  17. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    AutoCAD is a $2500-3000 for the professional versions. AutoCAD LT is a couple of hundred I think. I've never used LT but I've heard it's actually pretty decent. I'm thinking every time AutoCAD comes out a new version they take the previous version's code and make LT out of it.
  18. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    Theres a site called Creamer guitars or basses who actually have a very simular bass to your design(by the way which is very cool :cool: ) I dont know the exact site but it shows that the mechanics of this type of design actually works.
  19. Jesus Christ, $3500. Well, I guess I dont need it now, But I am in school for Architecture, I think Ill save for the LT version, So im experienced with it before I get to college, Cause Ive always been more intersted in engineering than architecture, Or i'll major in engineering and minor in arcitecture. Thats if my playing doesnt take me where I want it to. :D