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Where to go....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by gregmon79, Mar 24, 2013.


  1. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Hey all, I'm wanting to build my own P style bass. Not from the ground up but from buying the separate respective parts, such as pups, tuners, hardware, neck and body, the whole bass, and assembling it myself. I'd like to build a bass along the lines of a fender style and a lakland style P. I've been searching different threads on here but can't seem to find a good direction to go in. There is a lot of threads that start with a block of wood and up. There's sites that I've been to to buy parts but I'd like more direction on assembly and where to find the right parts for the sound and feel I'm looking for. Maybe someone could post a link or a thread that would be helpful it'd be greatly appreciated. I plan on purchasing a couple of books as well. Any suggestions on a book or two on how to build your own bass would be great too. Thanks all! I'd like to stay in the $500 to $700 range on the whole thing.
     
  2. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    IME, buying the parts and building it yourself is more expensive than a new bass. However, if you know exactly what you are wanting, the results can be great.

    There's a lot of parts on ebay. And the usual builders, Warmoth, USGW, Allparts etc...

    Also, check the classifieds here.
     
  3. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Building a bass for $500-$700 is pretty squeaky, but can be done.

    From Musician's Friend:

    Mighty Mite for the neck and body will run you about $300.
    DiMarzio Model P pup is about another $60

    From Warmoth:
    Schaller Tuners, Gotoh Bridge, Dome Knobs, strap buttons, neck plate, screws, tone cap, pots, output jack, pick guard, pg screws...about another $200.

    As for documentation on how to assemble it, these might be useful:
    http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Building,_general/Assembly/i-4003.html
     
  4. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    For what you want to do, honestly, I think a better approach would be to find a used fender or squier that is most of the way to what you want, and then upgrade it with quality components. In the long run, I think you'd save money and trouble...
     
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I really wanted the satisfaction of building my own. But maybe you're right, I think I'll study up on building for a further future venture. I think your suggestion is a good one. My first bass is a squire that I through a set of EMG's in and put a badass II bridge on. That's about all I have done to it aside from replacing the nut. If I did go the route of buying another P squire, is there a certain type I should go after as far as where it was made and so forth? I'd like a strong starting point to upgrade the pups and possible adding a preamp as well. Bridge too. What are some sweet bridges besides the badass?
     
  6. maxpayneatlarge

    maxpayneatlarge

    Mar 9, 2012
    I've searched on eBay and found unfinished kits on there that has all the components for around $200. Now, I'm sure the quality is low, but it gives the basics and you could upgrade the parts you want. I like that idea and ive been honking about this myself

    Chris
     
  7. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I'm perusing the warmoth site and this looks pretty cool. Not sure how expensive it'll be but, if i want a really beefy, strong tone, what kind of wood for the body should I go for? Neck too? What type of neck is really nice and easier to play on?
     
  8. I just bought a Warmoth body and neck - both from their in-stock section. The body was $325 and the neck was $260 finished. I've been accumulating used parts from the forums here on TB and from ebay. In the end, I'll probably end up spending a little over $1100.

    Although, I could have gone cheaper, it is definitely more expensive to buy parts and build than it is to buy a complete bass. Just a few months ago, I saw a really killer silver sparkle Fender Custom Shop Jazz in a used guitar shop for $800.

    I really wanted to choose the color. I know that may sound silly, but I work in the ad business and color is how I make my living. I've never really been in love with the color of any bass I've ever had and it's driven me crazy for most of my career as a musician. And, in the end, I will have had a pretty good experience and my bass will arguably be as good or better than an AmStandard Jazz bass which are considerably more than $1100 new. I'll build another bass again for sure.

    All this being said, there are some killer deals on the forums here. This just sold:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f129/fs-loaded-black-jazz-body-audere-nordstrans-968785/
     
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I guess where I'm coming from in suggesting the modification/upgrade route is the cost you have listed. This isn't really compatible with purchasing quality custom parts and assembling a bass - it's on the low end as quality parts are pricey. For a nice instrument, you might want to budget closer to a grand or so, but it depends on what you want out of it. I'd have a look at warmoth, as their options will get your head spinning to start with. Once you have it narrowed a bit to your vision, then create a list of the parts you'll need like what's listed above. Check out best bass gear for lists of quality parts, this way you can price out everything and get a plan for what you want. Once you start getting into the good stuff, it all adds up. A nice pickup/preamp combo can run you $300+ so this needs to be factored into whether you go with ground up assembly of parts or modifying an existing bass.

    If you're going to mod and plan a custom finish, you'll have to budget for that as well. Even a rattle can finish can get into the 150-200 range depending on what tools/equipment you'll need to buy. If you want to start with an existing bass and not refinish, then look for something with a good neck and a body in a colour/finish you like. 90's japanese squiers tend to have good necks, but they can be found throughout the fender/clone lines.

    Your options are practically endless...
     
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Awesome magnet! I like that route too. I don't know what pups to get though. I'd prefer active. I don't know what wood to get, or neck for that matter. Im not sure what types of wood will sound like what I'm going for. I would like a really warm yet punchy sound. I'd like something active. I own and play an ibanez ATK 300 series bassand I love it. But I also have a modified squire P with EMG's in it. My idea is to get something that falls in the middle of the two, more towards the P but with some active electronics and a preamp in it. Kinda like the best of both worlds you know. I don't know were to research all my queries in a "one stop, one shop" kinda deal to find out all this info. I feel very lost.
     
  11. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I know they are, that's why I need general direction haha. Thanks for more suggestions. I think making a list and looking at it that way will be a good place to start for sure. And yes, the budget will go up. This is something that I'm going to take a year or two to do. I don't want to build it overnight as the cost needs to stretch out over a period of time so its affortable to me.
     
  12. Actually, the Warmoth site has a ton of info about that. They have a huge database that's all about wood. However, if you're trying to keep your costs down, just stick with alder/swamp ash with maple/rosewood. Those exotic tone woods will cost you a fortune.

    Also, they have the "In Stock" bodies and necks section. They're the same as the custom jobs, but way cheaper. They only difference is they're not made to order.
     
  13. Nev375

    Nev375

    Nov 2, 2010
    Missouri
    There's a long running debate on TB that the type of wood doesn't matter in determining the end tone of the instrument, so buy whatever looks nice to you.

    That being said, If wood DID make a difference it would be in the neck. Basically the stiffer and harder the wood, the brighter the tone and more sustain you will end up with.

    So if you really want to funnel the lions share of your budget to the most crucial part of the instrument. It is the neck.

    Warmoth uses steel or graphite stiffening rods in everything, so they are really over-engineered so that every type of wood will sound consistently good.

    I'd also recommend full graphite necks like Status, Modulus or Moses. Not only is graphite way stronger than wood, humidity and temperature changes have no real effect on them.

    As for neck finishes, I like the smooth feel of a tung oil finish myself.
     
  14. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Wow, thanks so much for the input all. The neck and pick ups are the most important thing to me. Well, the bridge too. I really want a graphite neck as well. I've played a modulus with a graphite neck before and it played like an absolute dream.
     

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