Warmoth and USACG builders

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kratekyle, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. How much time and money did you spend building your own warmoth or usacg?
  2. I've been thinking of going this route and will watch for answers as well!
  3. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    I've spent as little as $600 total (think used everything), and I've spent as much as - you don't wanna know.
    Bottom line... you can usually buy a production bass a lot cheaper than you can buy all the parts for an identical one. But you won't get to pick everything like you do when assembling your own or buying from a custom luthier.

    I love the assembling of the bass, and the feeling I get when it turns out wonderful. I also end up hot rodding production instruments to the point where I should have just bought the part from Warmoth/USACG anyway, instead of systematically replacing every little thing.

    As far as time, I've taken over two months from body/neck delivery before (had some delays on electronics and hardware.)
    But I always find out that the end product turns out better if I DON"T get in a HURRY. I put together a bass in one day last month (had to loan a bass to a church, and didn't want to lend out any of my personal babies), and it looks/plays like a champ. But I bet when I get it back, I can improve a lot of little things with some patience and TLC.

    SO the short answers are:
    1. Can be expensive (depending on your tastes/patience)
    2, Can take a long time (and probably should)
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Time: usually about a weekend or 2 to complete a bass.

    Money: Warmoth and USACG has prices posted on their websites. :)

    Satisfaction: Priceless!!!!!
  5. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Yeah, what he said. :D
  6. It will be a long time before I am worthy of such a nice bass (I'm not even worthy of the one I have now).
    But the satisfaction of building MY OWN bass, would be priceless for sure.

  7. The 2 I've done, which were Jazz bass styled, actually came out cheaper than American-made Fender Jazz basses selling at my local music store. (I live in Canada, don't know if that may have something to do with it) I'm building a third shortly, as soon as the body arrives.

    I couldn't tell you how long it took to assemble them, I just did it whenever I had some spare time. The finishing took the longest, what with drying time between the coats. If you order the neck and body pre-finished the building process will be much faster.

    As was mentioned above, take your time, that's the best piece of advice.
  8. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    As far as finishing it goes, If you're willing to use Truoil or Watco oil finishes you can do it on the cheap yourself. You can find out how to those finishes in the "Luthier's Corner" forum here on TB. Do a search.

    I would suggest not going the cheap route on tuners. Hipshots are the way to go with maybe Schaller as a second choice.

    Some of this will depend on the rest of the hardware you use and whether you buy new or find used parts. You can probably find used bridges, tuners, pickups, etc. for much less than new. Depends on you.

    One of the advantages (to me) of going with USACG is that they will drill the neck/body holes for you. I believe Warmoth only does that with their Gecko series.
  9. useless

    useless Guest

    Mar 11, 2004
    if you're gonna buy the pre-finished part its probably gonna cost 700-1000 dollars, and you can finish it quickly
    i bought only a neck and made my own body for it. I used quality hardware and it cost about 500 to 600 bucks. but it also took me 3 months to finish it.
    either way...... Satisfaction: Priceless!!!!! as a great builder once said :D
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I built a 64 telecaster...USACG plus a bunch of other people/vendors...and it ended up costing me around 1000 clams and about 8+ months. But then...it was a loooong process to do it right...like getting clay dots then shipping them out to USACG, or getting the body (3.6lb swamp ash) then sending it to Mark Jenny for the nitro/aging job (same with the neck)...doing all the hardware aging myself and all the assembly/set up etc. The decal came from Valencia Spain...

    Turned out great and was well worth the wait. It's completely spec'ed out for a 64 and is so dead on that people have offered me big cash for it (never,never never!)
  11. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I priced out a Model-T from USACG that I want to make, and I figure that after you add up the body with all the cuts, neck, hardware, nordstrand pickups, and finish from roxy, it's going to cost me around $1400.

    I want to go with a transparent finish, but I don't know if that's something I'd want to tackle myself, especially where I don't have an area with windows for ventilation to do it in.
  12. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas

    Try using Truoil or Watco. You won't have the problems with ventilation. When you say transparent, did you mean a natural finish or a colored finish? PM Hambone. He may have some simple solutions for you.
  13. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I was thinking of a colored finish. Something simple, like Mary Kaye White, or maybe a dark Purple/Burgundy.

    Although I am toying with making one with an exotic top (ordered from warmoth), with a wood pickguard or something unique. So for that, a handrubbed finish may work.

    I still have a few months before I'll get on to this anyway, so consider all my options and maybe hit Hambone up for advice.
  14. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Since this will be your first bass-building experience, maybe you might consider keeping it simple. If you buy an expensive body with a fancy laminate top and screw it up you'll probably be pretty burned at yourself. Since the most important factor is how it will sound, concentrate on that and worry about the fancy stuff next time after you have some experience. The project will also be more cost-effective and cheaper. Save the money on the fancy wood and spend it on good hardware.

    Will a cool transparent finish look great? Of course it will. Will it be lots more expensive than some sort of di-it-yourself oil finish? You bet. Again, the most important thing will be how it sounds; not how it looks. Having said all that, you can make a bass look great with an oil finish. Hambone or someone else might know how to put a dye or something under the oil so you can have your transparent finish and, by the way, oil finishes can be polished to a very nice finish. Oil finishes do not have to look dull or matted.
  15. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I'm also going to have everything pre-drilled, so that I stand less of a chance of royally screwing something up. The only thing I'm planning on doing that I may mess up is the nut and soldering the pickups, which if I screw up, won't be that bad.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Their is nothing better in picking exactly what you want and putting it together for yourself.
  17. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    Definately. It's my goal to have something I can enjoy for years to come and have as a main bass. If I don't put together what I want the first time, I'm just going to want to do another one to add whatever feature I don't have and I can't afford to keep doing that :)