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what is the most important part to assembling a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tomis17, Aug 15, 2007.


  1. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Hey TB'ers, for those of you that have assembled basses before what do you think is the most important part to assembling a parts bass. Do you think it's the premium parts that makes a great bass? Or do you think you can make a great bass from crap parts as long as you can set it up perfectly?
     
  2. bluestarbass

    bluestarbass

    Jul 31, 2007
    Indianapolis
    I think whats key to me is that the neck is amazing and fits the body very well. A comfy neck is worth its weight in gold. A bunch of cheap parts does not make a good bass though all around. The catch 22 is, a parts bass is basically worthless if you ever try and resell it. If you want something wierd cool then build it, if you want something that is commercially available its alot less stress to just buy it.

    I built a guitar once from high quality parts and it was a nightmare. Ended up costing almost double what I thought it would. After 2 years it finally played and sounded the way I wanted it to.
     
  3. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Should this be in the Lutherie forum?...

    +1 that the neck is the most important part. Everything else is a distant second to the right neck, IMHO.
     
  4. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    That's what I realized too. If you want to the exact specs and none of the big manufacturers out there don't offer it then that's when you should build. But getting the parts that you want can be VERY VERY expensive. That's why I'm wondering if it's the parts that make a bass great. If it's just the setup then we all can save a heck a lot of money by taking our crap parts to a tech.
     
  5. Im in the middle of a Jazz bass build that is going to cost me double what I expected....but its what i wanted to do and the colors and options arnt available from fender (or economic from any other quality custom builder) But in the end I'll have a bass that only I own and it will be my first of hopefully many custom builds for friends.
     
  6. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Question is:

    What do you think is the most important part to assembling a parts bass? Is it the premium parts that makes a great bass or is it the setup?
     
  7. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Why not use both? It certainly doesn't hurt to start off with good parts in the beginning.

    - Dave
     
  8. Liko

    Liko

    Mar 30, 2007
    Parts dictate the starting point. Setup determines the end result. Good parts, crappy setup < crappy parts, good setup. However, good parts, good setup >>> crappy parts, good setup.

    Good doesn't necessarily mean expensive, just like crappy doesn't necessarily mean cheap. DiMarzio pickups are very good pickups, for about 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of SDs and 1/4 the cost of Fralins. The best pots you can buy are only a couple bucks more than the cheapest available, and you probably won't be able to tell the difference for years.

    If you're building a bass on a budget, I would say don't skimp on the body or the neck. The quality of the wood a bass is built out of is a large part of a bass' character, playability and durability, as well as one of the more difficult things to change successfully. A good neck and body make it easier and more worthwhile to upgrade entry-level pickups and hardware.
     
  9. Tomis17-
    Don't have a ton of experience with parts or set-up.
    I bought a knock-off G&L body and a no-brand P neck off e-bay and put them together, just to do it. I had to move & shift some things around, but the bass has a great growl and plays very well....and I've only got $150 invested in it. And I'm not a set-up expert. So non-expert setup and budget parts worked out in my situation. Plus I certainly got $150 worth of fun out of the journey.
    The comment about lack of resale value is probably correct. If you're going to put a bass together by yourself, then you should do it just for yourself. No one else will be emotionally invested enough with the instrument to appreciate it the way that you do.
    Good Luck To You!
     
  10. besides pickups, hardware is pretty much just details...although, I don't know about the rest of u, I'm very detail oriented and it just bugs me to not have the precise hardware to fit my preferences.

    my question is, what do I do with all my leftover chrome hardware :confused:

    Perhaps sell them off? I could only imagine that someone that wants a relic bass would need any of my leftovers.
     
  11. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Here's mine that I just finished assembling.

    Picture015.

    Picture016.

    Picture006-1.

    Picture009-1.

    Picture011.

    Picture013.

    Picture014.
     
  12. ahhhh, look at all that lovely gold hardware :D
     
  13. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    What can I say, I like gold. :D
     
  14. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    Well, as far as I'm concerned, the only hardware that really makes a difference outside of the electronics are the tuners- cause just about any ole bridge is okay with me.
     
  15. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I agree with that. Before I put on the Hipshot Ultralites I had some Wilkenson tuners on my bass. Major neck dive and made it uncomfortable to play. I switched to the ultralites and man it made a huge difference! It plays like a dream now.
     
  16. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    415/707
    to answer your question,,

    "what's the most important part to assembling a bass ? "

    i would have to say screws :bag:
     
  17. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    :D You can't forget about the screws.
     
  18. and the screw driver :smug:
     
  19. keb

    keb

    Mar 30, 2004
    I've put together a few instruments from parts, and I'll go ahead and say the most important part is having patience. ;) Take your time and don't rush it.

    Good parts can help... bad wood is bad wood, afterall.
     
  20. Tomis17

    Tomis17

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have a MIM body right now and man it feels HEAVY! If I upgrade it to a MIJ body or even a MIA body to make it lighter, would it help the tone of the bass you think?
     

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