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Who can make this custom

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by matt essay, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. matt essay

    matt essay

    Dec 28, 2002
    Healdsburg CA

    Over a period of about a year i have been saving $$ to either put a down payment on nice used car or get myself a custom bass. I have accumulated a little over $5500. I have a modulus quantum 5 string that works ok for the things that i have been doing(jazz trio, funk, and solo pieces). But lately i have been getting into primus. With Claypools fretless work as my favorite. So i understand a carl thompson is out of my reach. So i looked at all of his students basses. D. huff, eshenbaugh, and M. Browne. While all are talented luthiers, i havnt found any of there basses that i liked as much as the ct's(with the rainbow bass and $10 million dollar bass in particular). So this is what i would be looking for.

    6 string fretless bass
    35'' scale
    ebony top w/ coco bolo center stripe
    mahogony body(hollowbody)
    3 piece canary wood and mineral stained poplar back
    3 piece maple neck
    ebony fingerboard w/maple and purpleheart markers
    single pickup in wood cover
    peizo wood bridge
    active electronics

    Who can do this for that price or should i just get the car. I understand i am young but have worked for all of the money myself and my parents dont give me anything. Even if i get a car i pay for it all. So i figure this will be my last chance to upgrade my bass before i go to college which i also have to help pay for.
  2. vacman


    Mar 8, 2004
    portland, or
    Call Joe Zon....the only tough one is the wood pickup covers.
  3. oversoul

    oversoul fretless by fate

    Feb 16, 2004
    No better than that!! Give me the money and I'll choose a nice bass for you, heck, I'll even keep it for you!!! :D ;)
  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    You've got a great bass. Buy a car. Do not use that money as a down and take on a car payment - you've got over $5500, you should be able to buy something for that amount that will last you for some time.
  5. appler

    appler Guest

    Get the car, bro.
    (Just my opinion.)
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Dude, get a full blown MTD!! Or a custom Conklin! Or just get the car! What's more important? Can you get to gigs now on your own? If not, get the car and start saving again and get an custom MTD or custom Conklin!
  7. First, congratulations for saving that much $$. For a young person, you obviously have admirable financial self-discipline. Wish I'd had that at your age. (Or now, even...)

    Don't think I'm tryint to rain on your parade, but ehre are a few thoughts:

    1. If you're 17/18, you don't have a car, and you're getting ready to go to college, you most likely need a decent car a LOT more than you need a $5000+ bass. The bass you have is a pretty good one.

    2. If you do want a new bass, I can think of a lot of people who'll make you a great one for a hell of a lot less than $5500. Stambaugh, Benavente, Nordstrand, JP, Jon Shuker, Yancey, Bee Bass, and many more ....

    3. No offense, but have you thought through exactly why you are so exacting about exactly that construction you specify? Do you really know that it will sound better for your purposes than something made entirely differently? IMO, you'd be better off approaching an experienced bass maker with the kind of sound you want, and then let him/her figure out how to get it with the woods and electronics they know.

    4. If the idea is just to get a bass exactly like Claypool's, please keep in mind that that *won't* make you sound like him. First, your hands are not his hands, your rig is not his rig, and you as a musician are not him. (That's not a putdown, just reality.) Second, kind of as a sideline, read what Carl Thompson says about bass making in this interview: http://www.ctbasses.com/CTinterview.html Sounds like he's not a big fan of the "specific woods always equal specific tone" theory.

    5. Did I already say, get the car? You could also think about changing or augmenting your amp rig. That can have a huge effect on your tone.
  8. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ok, this doesn't answer your question, but its the answer you should hear.

    A $5000 bass won't get you laid. But, if you've got a car, you at least have a chance!
  9. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Car dude, if you have one; college, if it's already paid for; save it, if you have money saved; donate to me. ;)

    EDIT! Again, your Quantum is an excellent bass, BUT, if you want to try something new, you could always sell your Mod and buy a different bass without turning over much of your cash...

    also beware, Claypool tends to become somewhat pedestrian within a year or so, I wouldn't get gear just to cop his style/tone/whatever.
  10. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I'll go against the grain on this one and say..get the dream bass.

    doesn't matter what car you get for that money..in a matter of time it will be headed for the junk heap...you'll go thru lots of cars in a lifetime..a world class instrument can last many lifetimes.

    just a thought..
  11. Good point ... except that it only works if it's the *right* dream bass--that is, one that you *want* to keep. Understand, I'm not trying to step on your toes at all, your opinion is certainly as good as mine ... but I've seen eBay littered with custom instruments that were once somebody's dream instrument but now no longer satisfy the original owner and can't even be sold for a decent price because they don't appeal much to anybody else either.

    A dream bass can head for eBay--and possibly a substantial financial loss--even faster than a car can head for the junkyard.
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I think you already will hear plenty about the pros and cons of a bass vs. a car, and this statement made me curious. What is it that you like about the CTs, and on what basis did you find Huff, Eshenbaugh, and Browne lacking? Are we just talking looks here, or what--have you had the chance to play any of these instruments and see how you like them?

    Just wondering, since lots of folks could probably build basses to your (rather particular) specs, and it's hard to make recommendations without knowing what you're looking for that's not in the specs.

  13. dhuffguitars

    dhuffguitars Luthier/Bass Wanker depending on your opinion

    Sep 18, 2001
    Matt, I lived in Healdsburg briefly!!! Beautiful little town there, and would love to live there again.
    And looking at your profile, I see we have the same birthday....

    I agree that your first thought should be a car, especially to get around down there. I don't know where you will be going to school, if it's in Santa Rosa I know it's a PITA to get back and forth without a car(I didn't have a car while there)

    Best wishes.

    p.s. with most builders you will have to put down a deposit and wait awhile. So you might be able to put down a deposit and get a car..... and here is a bass I just finished for myself! finally I own a D Huff bass! :D
  14. Wow. Classy bass Darrin.
  15. MMiller28


    Apr 27, 2003
    with us both being the same age i almos feel like i have to give my opinion here.

    GET THE CAR!!!

    if you already have a Modulus there's no justifiable reason to spend up to $5500 on a bass, especially if you're 17. well, actually if you're the next jaco then it would be a different story. anyways, if i were in your shoes i would definitely get the car. you don't even have to spend all of the money on it, and you can put what you have left over towards that dream bass once you get the neccessity's down. i think that if you go with the car you'll be glad you did.
  16. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    You may believe that you know exactly what you want in a custom bass, but...more than likely in a year or less you will be wanting something substantially different.

    Since my first interest in custom basses, I've drawn up specs for at least a dozen totally different basses.

    JMO, get yourself a reliable car and keep working on what you think want in a dream bass. By the time you can afford one again, you'll probably have a more informed idea of a real workable solution that will make you happy.
  17. matt essay

    matt essay

    Dec 28, 2002
    Healdsburg CA

    You guys all make good points. I'm on the verge of buying a car so i thought i would put up this post just in case. What draws me to a ct type bass is the look and the sounds that i have heard. I am close to finishing learning bach invenction #1(both bass and treble parts, i plan to record later) and i thought it would be cool to play the bass parts(which goes up to the higher octave) on a fretless bass for a more "natural voice" type of tone. I also like the solo aspects of a fretless more than a fretted. And when i do go to college i wont even be able to take a car because there wont be parking permits for freshmen(i'm most likely going to a so cal college). I think this thread was a good reality check because i suppose i dont really need a bass like that.
    BTW darrin that is an incredible bass. You are a very skilled luthier and i become more impressed with your work(the scrolls in particular) every time i look at your site.
  18. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Your dream bass has some cosmetic features which up the price quite a bit and have no real affect on the sound. That's cool, I just ordered a bass with a flamed koa top for no other reason than I like the way it looks. It's expensive, though, and I have to think you can get a pretty great bass for much less than $5500 and still have plenty left over for a down payment on a car, or even to get an okay used car with no loan. (No loan = no payments = money to use for repairs, maintenance and more cool bass gear.)

    If you decide to sell the Modulus that could help fund your project, too.

    Whatever you decide, good luck and have fun spending the hard earned money.
  19. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA

    no worries man..I know I was going against the popular opinion.
    The deeper issue here is really a values issue. I just don't value cars as much as I do custom basses. I'd rather take a bus with my custom bass on my back...but that's me :)
    Frankly, I'm a bit surprised I'm the only voice saying go for the dream....I guess we're a practical group here.
  20. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Once you get ready for one, check out Ken Bebensee http://www.kbguitars.com/. He will build almost anything you could imagine. I hear his build times are a bit long, but seems like his prices are very reasonable.