warmoth vs big company pre-made

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by x4x, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    i have a dillema

    either buy a brand new bass or build my dream bass using warmoth parts.

    One thing is that i have never assambled a bass myself. But i have some skills on soldering etc ...
    So, is building your bass using warmoth bodies, nbecks etc ... VERY hard? or can it be done if you're a little handy.

    also on the warmoth topic, how good are the necks compared to fender necks? i would use a old P/tele styled neck.

    How much would the total thing cost? including pickups, eq, wireing etc ... i would finnish the body myself, dunno bout the neck.

    Will the bass be better or worse that a bass that costs the same amount of money pre-made (fender for example)

    and is the shipping good? i live in europe

    i hope you can clear a few things up.
  2. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    i thought bout doing this before, its cheaper than get a new bass from any major brand + you can choose what you want in it woods electronics frets.... the problen with this is that you have to drill the neck bolt holes (previously centered and aligned in the neck pocket), having a big possiblility that if you havent done such a thing before you can screw a nice neck. BTW you can get the bass with the finish you want and buy a wenge neck or something like it that needs no finish.
  3. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    and there is no option for warmoth to do the drilling (at extra cost) when you buy a marmoth neck aswell?
  4. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    You might also want to consider www.usacustomguitars.com. Were I going to do a parts bass using new parts I would go to them. I've talked to them on the phone (Tommy is the guy) and they are nice folks. You can email them with any questions you might have. While I haven't used them myself, a friend used one of their Stratocaster necks and was more than pleased with the results. I would suggest reading the reviews for both companies on Harmony Central.

    If you want to do do your own finishing, I would suggest you go to the "Luthier's Corner" on this forum. There is plenty of info there. I finished an Allparts neck using TruOil using advice from TB members and it was easy and worked out quite well. I would imagine the same product would work for doing a natural finish on a bass body.

    The amount of money it will cost you to do this will depend on the quality of the hardware you use and how much of the work you do yourself. You may or may not save money doing it yourself: A lot of factors are in play, here. The downside to buiding a parts bass is that you won't really know what it's going to sound like until it's finished. With a manufactured bass you get to listen to it before you plunk your money down. Do lots of research before you make a decision.

    P.S. USA will drill your neck/body holes for you.
  5. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    the thing is i was looking for a thunderbird-styled body
  6. Warmoth ready makes a TBird. Others don't. Go Warmoth.

    Their bodies and necks are pre-drilled, and compatible, and of excellent quality.

  7. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    here's a little check-list i made, please comment on things (that i have forgotten)

    1. Body: Thunderbird Bass Korina Black: 205$
    2. Neck: Tele-Bass Flame Maple/Rosewood: 236$
    3. Nut (dunno wich one?): about 3,75$
    4. Finish: will do myself with oil, won't cost much i guess
    5. Tuners: Gotoh GB7 (schaller needs drilling?) 30$
    6. Bridge: Gotoh 201: 30$
    7. Pickups: SMB-4D + SJB-3n: 86,25$ + 59,25$
    8. Electronics: STC-3P 3band for passive: 169$
    9. 4-Conductor Wiring – Allows for series/split/paralelled, or out of phase, wiring (get this?): 12$
    10. Jack: 6$
    11. Knobs: J-Bass knows (4pcs): 6$
    12. Strap Holder: 12$
    13. String retainer: 2.80$
    14. Neck screws, pickguard screws, pickupsscrews etc: 4$
    15. TB-pickguard: 20$

    anything else?

    this is a total of 878,05$
  8. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    they don't drill the neck

  9. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I second the recomendation to check out USACG. I recently put together a 5 string P bass from their parts and it turned out beautiful. Their work is really top quality. Putting it all together is not difficult to do. There is a great book dealing with this subject called "Build Your Own Electric Guitar" by Bill Foley.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Just split the difference and have Nino build you a Valenti!!

  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    +1, was going to sugggest that.
  12. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    Oh, yeah. If you want a neck with a Jazz profile, it is my understanding that Warmoth necks are on the chunky side due to the steel bars they use for reinforcement. Just a thought...
  13. My Warmoth J neck is pretty chunky, actually noticeably bigger than a standard Fender, but I like it that way. :) The steel reinforcement makes it kind of heavy, but it is very stable. Overall, the bass sounds great to my ears and I get many complements on it's sound from other musicians and soundmen. I went with a swamp ash body, a maple fretboard, a Gotoh 206 (I only top-load), and Seymour Duncan Vintage Jazz pickups.

    One of these days I would like to build another one that weighs less. I will look into USA Custom as an option.
  14. My Gecko neck came predrilled. :confused:
  15. bwbass


    May 6, 2002
    Gecko necks do come pre-drilled, our other bass necks do not as of yet. We have started doing this on guitar necks, and I expect bass necks will follow along at some point.

    By the way, no need to specify four-conductor wiring on the Duncan music man pickup -- they come this way.
  16. How about buying the parts and have a local luthier do the stuff you can't do. Finish the rest by yourself.
  17. Ditto, that was the first thing I thought of. I haven't heard a word of dissatisfaction with Nino's basses since I joined this board.
  18. I hate to put a fly in the tung oil, but...

    I came up with a similar list once. Well, several times. $900-$1000 for parts (don't forget that case or gig-bag). Plus my time. And if you want it to look great, you really need to spend ALOT of time finishing it well. And then there is the issue of playing a bass before I buy one. Just something I must do. But I can't do this if I'm going to build it, so I'll HAVE to invest $900+ in parts for a don't-know-what-it-feels-or-sounds-like bass.

    I'm good with tools, and enjoy making things. But ultimately, I asked myself two questions:
    "self - what do you want to do, make a bass or play?"
    "self - when are you going to finish this bass?"

    I'm dreadful at finishing projects. Just have too many already around the house. And for that kinda money, I can get a Bob Glaub Skyline, or almost any Lakland Skyline for $200 more. So I decided being a Lakland nut would be almost as good, maybe better, than building my own.

    Maybe if I had more time...
  19. My 2 Warmoths turned out fine and I'm not especially handy. My 4 string fretted, my favourite and the best bass I've ever owned, came in at well under 1400 Canadian $$ which is less than I've seen USA Fender Jazzes for in this town (Ottawa). It has quality parts - Badass bridge, Basslines pickups - the stuff many Fender owners upgrade their instruments with. I have the Black Korina body and I love it. It's easy to finish with tung oil. If you want something a little more durable for the neck, try a wipe-on polyurethane.

    Oh yeah and it sounds awesome!

    I was a bit worried about drilling the neck holes but I followed some instructions in Dan Erlewine's Guitar Player Repair book and it turned out fine. Basically, after you've installed the hardware, you place the neck in the pocket and clamp it with a C clamp (using scrap wood to protect the body and neck). You then string up the outer 2 strings and make sure they're lined up nice and even with the fingerboard. I inserted an awl into the neck plate holes and made marks where the screws would go into the neck. This isn't a detailed description of the procedure. Check for instructions elsewhere on the Net, or get a local luthier to do it for you. Even if you mess up you can plug the holes with dowel rod and redrill.
  20. x4x


    May 10, 2003
    did i forget anything else?