Warmoth Bass Build Help….

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by neddyrow, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. neddyrow

    neddyrow @TeddyPlaysBass - Instagram Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Hello all. I am going to be building my first Warmoth bass and I need some help and advice about a few things. First off, I will give some background information about me. I am a double bass player who hasn’t played an electric in many years and I’d like to get back into it to help with my overall skill and theory of all things bass.

    I have been doing much research here on TalkBass and on the warmoth site as well as other sites to get everything together before I ask you guys for help. Needless to say, I had about a million questions when I started and now I have boiled them down to a few.

    Here’s the big picture before the specifics: my goal is to build a Pbass like instrument that looks like the jazz deluxe bass. Love the look of the all natural Jazz deluxe but prefer the neck and simplicity of just one set of pickups that the Pbass has.

    Alright, now to the questions:

    1. height of frets - there are many options for fret height and I am unsure which ones to choose. I am curious which basses I should play to get an idea of which frets I’ll personally like. 6230 in vintage, 6105 is most popular and 6150 is the modern size for fenders. Can someone give me advice on which basses to play to see the difference in these fret sizes?

    2. nut type - this part seems a little confusing to me. It seems for bass, bone is not an option. I am looking at Tusq vs. Corian. Can someone weigh in on which basses to try to see which one I’d prefer?

    3. neck/body matching - I originally wanted to go maple neck and maple body so that when stained with the clear satin finish, it would all look the same. but after research, i think that’ll be way too heavy. now i am leaning towards ash body and maple neck. will the ash and maple colors match up? i’d like the neck and body woods to look the same.

    4. hardware - which hardware should i buy from warmoth and which hardware should i get elsewhere? seems that the pickguard, screws, wiring kit, string retainers, etc. can come from warmoth and it would be fine. i am curious about pickups and tuners mostly. i am leaning towards the ‘62 fender original p bass pickups over the seymor duncans that they offer. maybe the fralins? definitely want passive pickups. also, i am leaning towards fender tuners but not sure what are better. need help here - remember, i play double bass :)

    5. other hardware/wiring stuff - seems for the passive pickups i need the 250K potentiometers for the volume and tone controls. double-checking if that is correct. also, it seems that i need a mono jack for the ¼” jack. is that correct?

    Thanks for the input. I am in no hurry for the information as I have a few things to sell to get all the cash together for my order. Still in the R&D phase and want to have everything in order before I start the process.
  2. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    im not sure of the numbers but I think most production instruments seem to have fairly large or "jumbo" frets off the shelf and that's what I was used to then I bought my first warmoth showcase neck witch has 6105 stainless frets witch are much smaller and I love them and have ordered another 3 warmoth necks with them since then, they make the neck feel smoother under your fret hand witch I think you might like since your used to having no frets at all.
    I think a lot of production basses have either the tusq material or brass, I don't know of any that use corian.
    ash tends to be slightly whiter than maple but could easily be stained to match maple however the grain of ash is courser and much more pronounced than maple and would not match well.
    hardware has infinite options depends if you want vintage looking like a fender or more modern like hipshot,the schaler bridges warmoth sells are pretty nice and warmoth drills for them as well.
    I know you said you want P pickups but I have a chamberd black korina dinky jazz body that im going to be selling since I decided I don't need another project I don't have time to finish, it's already routed for JJ, it only has a sealer coat on it now but I can finish it in satin or high gloss if you want, pm me if you'd like some details..
    madjazzbass likes this.
  3. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    here is my ash warmoth gecko under clear coat, the black color comes from ebony colors grain filler, it's not natural nut you can see the color of the wood in between 001.JPG
  4. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    002.JPG better look at the wood, the neck is wenge,bubinga and mac ebony fb
    MarcMurder likes this.
  5. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    if I wer going to build another warmoth neck id go with bubinga for the shaft wood and mac ebony for the fb, I have a gecko with this combination and it sounds amazing
  6. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I'll chime in: For the tuners. Gotoh GB640 Res-O-Lites. These are the nicest lightest tuners available(At least for full size open gear style). For the Bridge I recommend Babics. I highly recommend Delano for Pickups. I really like The tone of their P-Bass P'ups and the look of the Fat Pole pieces. Delano is a stand-up company with excellent Customer service. I ordered from them directly and it was a great experience.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
    neddyrow likes this.
  7. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    dam I just realized your an upright player so your probably making fun of me for the lined fretless right now;)
  8. neddyrow

    neddyrow @TeddyPlaysBass - Instagram Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    gpx - haha...i could see how you would think that. i do want a fretted instrument. love a plain fingerboard on the DB but will definitely want a fretted board on my BG.
  9. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    BTW that neck is not screwed in that's why the heel is sticking up in the pics, the neck/body fit was almost perfect from warmoth but it did need a little bit of sanding
  10. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    gpx1200 I have 2 questions. Is that 24 fret neck from Warmoth? What replacement is that? I ask because Warmoth always told me they didn't make 24 fret necks for Fender replacements.:cool:
  11. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    it's a warmoth 8 string neck (also for sale) 007.JPG and it fits a standard fender neck pocket, I know the jazz neck builder also has the 24 fret option
    bholder likes this.
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    1. It's kind of hard to track down information about what specific fretwire is used on typical production instruments--that's just not something that's published in the specs. Unless you already know that you have a specific preference for larger or smaller, lower or taller fretwire, I feel like it's kind of overthinking it to spend too much time worrying about it. Just go with the 6105, which is sort of the default that most people are happy with.
      Tusq is a little closer to bone, Corian a bit harder. If you're looking for something like bone, go with the Tusq. As with the frets, though, it's likely that you wouldn't really notice much difference unless you already had a strong preference.
      Ash tends to have a fairly pronounced grain (see gtx1200's bass) whereas maple tends to be fairly plain, but the colors are fairly similar. You might also look at alder, which has a grain pattern a little closer to maple, but the color is a usually a little darker. Remember, though, that the color of any type of wood varies from one piece to piece. Also, don't be scared of maple if that's what you really want. There are plenty of basses that use soft maple bodies (the Squier Jazzes and low-end Ibanez Soundgears come to mind) and it's not necessarily any heavier than ash.
      There's no particular reason to buy hardware from Warmoth if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. Places like Best Bass Gear (Bass Pickups | Preamps | Bartolini | Aguilar | Leo Quan Badass Bridge II) and Stewart-MacDonald (http://www.stewmac.com) also stock lots of standard stuff, and the prices might be better. Almost any Precision pickup you look at will be passive, but BBG can probably give you a recommendation if there's a particular tone you're looking for. I personally like Hipshot tuners, and you can get then with Fender-style pegs, if that's the look you're going for.
      Yep, pretty much. Unless you like soldering, you might find it simpler just to buy a pre-wired harness.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    madjazzbass, Bob_Ross and neddyrow like this.
  13. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I admire that you have skills as an upright player. Most of my feedback may not be of much use to you but here goes..

    Trying to get body and neck woods to asthetically match may be more of a form over function thing. I would concentrate more on woods that will be compatible with the tone and playablilty you want. I definitely prefer ash over any other body wood. My current favorite bass is a Warmoth chambered ash body with flame maple cap. Absolutely wonderful. The neck is canary wood with zircote board. I didn't pick any of this. I bought the bass complete. It was luthier built and plays like it. I would recommend you do the same unless you have the tools & talent to DO IT RIGHT!. I have played and currently own warmoths that were home built. They suck compared to the luthier built ones. The devil is in the details. Luthiers deliver the details. They have the tools and talent to deliver those details. There's a great youtube video of Roger Sadowsky discussing some of those details. Worth the watch.

    As others have pointed out, there are a multitude of places to buy hardware items. Best Bass Gear has consistently fair prices. I really like the Nordstrand pickups in my basses that have them. But I like active basses, so that may not apply to your tastes. I have never played a set of Seymour Duncans that I liked. See fourth sentence in this paragraph.

    I like jumbo frets, and most basses I own have them. I guess I am used to them so I prefer them. I agree with others that say you may like the smaller fret feel due to your fretless experience. Truth told I'm an amateur player so the jumbo frets may give me a better feel moving around the neck than I get with a vintage profile fret.

    A warmoth project is not going to be cheap (by my standards anyways). If I were you, I would consider picking up an American Fender P-Bass on the used market. Or something of similar good quality. Play it for a while and learn what you like and hate about it. This will give you the best guidance on what you REALLY want in your warmoth custom. At the end of the day, you may keep the P-Bass and forget the Warmoth. Or you may sell the P-Bass for roughly what you paid and take away a whole lot of knowledge of what your custom will be by having owned it for a while.
  14. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Does anyone know if the clear gloss finish that Warmoth uses on their necks is nitrocellulose laquer or polyurethane, I guess that the satin nitro and vintage nitro are of course but Im curious about the clear gloss , thanks
  15. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    If it doesn't specifically say that it's nitro, assume that it's not.

  16. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Yeh, thats what I figured Thanks
  17. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Regarding fret choices, the 6105 and 6150 frets are the same height. The difference is in the width. Ultimately, your choice will probably be determined by how you like the look and feel of them, but there is one other thing to consider -- durability. The wider frets will resist wear better. Realistically, it's not likely to matter for a long time if you remain a part-time bass guitar player, but it is a consideration (especially for those of us with aggressive playing styles).

    For nuts, I recommend the black TUSQ. It has teflon-like properties, which makes it easier to tune and stay in tune, and it's easier on the strings.

    For hardware choices, you live in the golden age, my friend. You have a plethora of quality choices available. I like Schaller tuners, but you could go with Gotoh or Hipshot, and there is no dropoff in quality with any of them. I would look for a combination of wide tuning post, light weight, and high gear ratio. The choices for quality bridges is even better. Schaller, Hipshot, Gotoh, Babicz, KSM, you can't go wrong with any of them.

    Regarding the electronics, it seems you are putting together a passive bass, yes? No onboard pre-amp? Then 250K pots and a mono jack will do fine.

    If you want a maple neck with a body that matches, my best advice would be to just tell the Warmoth guys what you want and see what they recommend.

    Good luck with your build!
  18. RedHotFuzz


    Mar 16, 2014
    For pickups, be sure to check out the EMG Geezer Butler Signature set. Almost universally praised and so easy to install a caveman (and me) could do it. No soldering at all, just plug and play. Everything you need is in the box. I put them in my first Warmoth build and love them.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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