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Warmoth Custom Stuff

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dirty Road Cola, Dec 18, 2000.


  1. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    Thinking about christmas, and had the notion instead of buying a custom one, why not just buy the parts and put it together my self (or get a tech to do it ;) ? This is a very romantic idea, but I want to ask you folks about it.

    How is Warmoth? Their stuff up to par?

    I'm planning to get a graphite neck too, if thats anything..
    Alright, thanks.

    -Neal
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Romantic, yes. In terms of cost, parts plus professional assembly will run about the same as a decent US-made bass already assembled. In other words, you don't save that much money, if any.

    Warmoth stuff is up to par; no less a luthier than Sadowsky uses Warmoth stuff.
     
  3. What Christopher said is right - parts and professional assembly will put you into the $800+ category. Some savings but probably not attractive enough.

    Real savings can be utilized if you do the finishing and assembly yourself. This isn't a particularly hard thing to do, especially with the Warmoth stuff. It's all built like a Fender so it's about as simple as a bass can be. You will have to understand how your bass is assembled and works. If you are proficient with most hand tools, the job is fairly easy. Then, after finish and assembly, take it to the pro for a complete setup. You save because he didn't have to do all of the extra work.

    If you want more info on this type of construction and tips for such see the "Setup" forum for just this type of discussion.
     
  4. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    read this, from the man himself...here on talk bass:


    I guess it is my turn to join this discussion:

    1) Several people have posted and commented that Sadowsky uses Warmoth parts. I would like to address this for what I hope will be the last time. I did use some Warmoth parts during the 80's and have ordered an occasional neck from them for some of our repair customers during the years. However, Sadowsky has not used any Warmoth necks or bodies on their basses for at least the last 10 years.

    2) Regarding subcontractors....Many instrument companies use subcontractors. It is very difficult to balance quality and maintain costs. If we were making every body by "hand" (which no one really does), costs would be absurdly high and consistancy would be very low. The average cost of a CNC machine (a computerized carving machine), with software, is about $125,000.00. Because that is beyond the means of most of us "smaller" guys, there are companies that own these machines who make parts for the "rest of us". Sadowsky, Lakland, Lull, Turner and lots more of us use various subcontractors. I know this takes some of the "romanticism" out of the process for you, but that is the way it is.

    Regarding our electronics---when you go through hundreds of circuits a year, you don't hand wire each one by hand. You design the circuit, make the prototype, and then you outsource it to a shop than just makes circuit boards!

    I had to make an important decision about 20 years ago. I could set up shop where I could do all the woodworking by myself. This would have meant locating where there are very few professional players. Instead, I chose to locate in the middle of Manhattan, where the top players could easily get to my shop. As long as I had good subcontractors I could depend on, I felt it more important to have the one-on-one and the indespensible feedback from the top players. This was also motivated by the fact that I still do a lot of repair and restoration work. I have never regretted this decision. It is hard to make a "working musician's" instrument if you don't have many working musicians to interact with.

    I build a Fender style instrument because that is what my clientele demands of me. 20 years ago, it was almost impossible to walk into a studio in NYC with anything other than a Fender. In fact the Union directory had two bass listings: Upright Bass and Fender Bass! All electric basses were referred to as Fender bass. There was a great deal of pressure on the bassists to only bring a Fender to a session.

    If I had a couple of million dollars, I could set up my own manufacturing facility outside of the city, but I can only be in one place at one time so it works just as well to use the subcontractors.

    Keep the following in mind: We purchase all of our wood directly. We hand build all of the "prototypes" that get sent to the subcontractor. We own all of the fixturing and programming. We continuously monitor the quality of our parts to be sure they are worthy of the Sadowsky name.

    The bodies come into our shop unsanded. We do all of the edge contouring, finish sanding and hand fit every neck pocket to get a perfect fit to out necks. Many of our bodies get additional routing and shaping done in our shop.

    The necks come in unsanded. We true each fingerboard one at a time, fret the necks, dress the frets, finish sand the necks, and spray the necks. On custom orders, we hand shape the neck too.

    Our assembly process is impeccable with regard to the quality of our components and workmanship.

    So I hope you can see that we definetly are a "hands-on" shop. I could not have achieved the reputation I have if I were simply buying a neck and body and "screwing them together". I think anyone who has had the opportunity to play a Sadowsky can appreciate the quality of the instrument. That doesn't mean they are for everyone---instrument choice is very subjective. What is nice is that all of us....Sadowsky, Lakland, Mike Tobias, Spector, Fodera, etc....all have lots of players that think we make the best instrument in the world! It's kind of perfect that way---don't you think? You don't have to disparage the other builders just because you prefer someone else's instruments.

    Lastly, many people speculate on this forum about issues related to Sadowsky without ever bothering to email me directly with their question. I am here and I am happy to answer all of your emails individually.

    Hope this clears things up for some of you.

    Sincerely,

    Roger Sadowsky



    [Edited by Yvon on 12-19-2000 at 08:45 PM]
     
    Gabbs likes this.
  5. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    No offense was implied against Sadowsky. I've seen his operation and recognize that the value of his workmanship and services; Sadowsky's instruments are flawless and well worth the price if your sense of perfectionism matches his. I also recognize that custom luthiers--whether or not they rely on subcontractors or mill the fretwire themselves--operate on razor thin margins, so kudos to Sadowsky and anyone else who is talented and brave enough to make a living at it.
     
  6. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    I love Warmoth
     
  7. I agree with Christopher. Warmoth makes quality stuff, arguably on par with US Fender, but after all is said and done, it will cost you roughly the same.

    Really, Warmoth is for those who have a very clear mental image of what they want, know they won't get it from the factory, and won't rest until it exists.
     
    ryansalmond likes this.
  8. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    Based on my experience and in my opinion far exceeds US Fender with so many more options.

    Agreed %100
     
  9. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    A 14+ year necrobump - this must be some kind of record.
     
    TonyP- likes this.
  10. I've really got to start checking the dates before I get involved. Feels like I just wingmanned someone hitting on Betty White.
     
    TonyP- likes this.
  11. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    Ha why is that?

    It's not a crime.
     
  12. No, not at all. It's just...uncomfortable.
     
  13. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    What's a

    amongst 40/50+ year old basses?
    That's what a large portion of the discussion is about on this forum. The same issues are still relevent today, and far more insight/experience into it now.
     
    TonyP- likes this.
  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It's no big deal - at least it's a technical thread. What kills me is when an ancient lightweight Off Topic thread gets bumped after a decade of sleep.
     
  15. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    actually,reviving this one was useful as there was a post not long ago about Sadowsky and Warmoth necks, so some things never get resolved,even after 14 years lol
     
    acebase62 likes this.
  16. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups
    Thats exactly what took me to this thread. For the life of me I cannot understand any negative aspect at all for reviving older positive information.
     
    acebase62 likes this.
  17. BazzTard

    BazzTard Banned

    Yeah I know, like when someone buys a pedal,and wants settings advice and digs up the only thread on it, that is old and gets grief for it.
     
    TonyP- likes this.
  18. acebase62

    acebase62

    Jun 29, 2010
    X3.

    Older black PJ and JJ, and new Ash JJ with Warmoth vintage tint finish.

    IMG_0881.JPG
     
    TonyP- likes this.