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Yoshibass #3: Spalted sycamore 6 string headless

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by yoshi, Feb 29, 2016.


  1. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    I just bought this block of spalted sycamore... build thread coming soon...

    spalted_sycamore.JPG

    I already have the bridge/tuner/headpiece: a 6 string ABM in black. Not sure what wood I'll use for the neck, and not decided on the pickups or electronics yet. I'm thinking maybe just one high-end jazz pickup at bridge position, any thoughts?

    The design will be very similar, if not the same, as my 5 string fretless headless (uploading that deisgn in walnut for reference):

    bass-headless-walnut.

    Watch this space!
     
  2. YES! SUBBED

    Jazz at the neck, p split at the bridge?
     
  3. ddtkills

    ddtkills

    Mar 7, 2009
    Sweet!
     
  4. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    You might want to check out the Bart dual coil pickups - you'd have a lot of versatility if you were going to only use one. Wired to a switch, you'd have at least two distinct voicings. I'm loving the flexibility and plan on using the switching option on all my builds now.

    Lonnybass
     
  5. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Going for just one pickup at the bridge!

    Sounds great! I always wanted to try some Barts... now could be the time! Something like this: Bartolini P46CBC-T 6-String P4 Soapbar Pickup Bridge FREE NEXT DAY AIR ?
     
  6. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    That's exactly the pickup I'm planning to use in my new bass. I used them in my previous basses and LOVE them, especially with the three-way switching option.
     
  7. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    ooh, very nice. Great price too. Looks like the sycamore has found an ear!

    Lon, do you use any preamps with these? I used an Aguilar OBP3 on my last build and love it.
     
  8. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Oh wow, turns out that slab of sycamore is sourced from my home county, North Yorkshire! Great! I was going to go with some foreign wood for the neck such as bubinga but might see what else these guys have in store (all thier stuff is locally sourced from North yorks). Anyone got any experience of using sycamore or elm for a neck?
     
  9. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Hi Ben,

    You definitely need a preamp with the Barts, they are otherwise very low output and not really suited for use in a passive bass.

    I've used a whole bunch of different preamps over the years with the Bart installs I've used. The Aguilar is a bit more aggressive than I've preferred. The Bart NTMB is more subtle and seems to pair really well - another one I really liking is the Nordstrand 3 band. It's more subtle, but very useful.

    Unless I come across something new and feel adventurous, I'll probably use another one of the Nordstrand preamps in my newest bass. I think it's the 3B-5B configuration (for two pickups) - three bands of EQ plus a pssive tone control, which pairs beautifully with the active treble control. I'm sure there is a one pickup option, I just don't recall the config and label. Worth checking out!

    I'm in process of thinking through my preamp options and will let you know if I come across any cool alternatives that I haven't tried yet!

    Lonnybass
     
  10. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Here's a mock up of how I think this will look. I'm quite keen to try a birdseye maple neck. Notice the teeny tiny finger anchor where the neck PU would be. This will probably be screwed on, orI might come up with some creative detachable method.

    I plan on putting fibre optic fret dots on the top (nothing on the fretboard though).

    Which fretboard do you prefer - coco bolo, ebony or good ol' maple? I tried a bunch and these 3 work the best. The body would be finished with tru oil, unless I went with ebony fretboard in which case I think I'd try to get a high gloss finish on the body and on the ebony.

    coco-bolo.
    ebony.
    maple.
     
    Why Nautilus‽ likes this.
  11. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Of those three, the ebony imo.
    Better visual contrast. Plus, it's ebony. :)
     
    charlie monroe likes this.
  12. I like the cocobolo.
     
  13. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Ah I see. In that case I am strongly considering giving the Aguilar Super Doubles a go: Aguilar Amplification: Bass Pedals, Bass Pickups, Bass Preamps, Bass Amplifiers, and Bass Speaker Cabinets Anyone get any thoughts on these? I am keen to get something high output with a modern, compressed tone... I know a lot of this is in the fingers, amp, etc, but might as well start at the source.
     
  14. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I prefer the coco to the maple, but the body has fairly involved figure, a visually busier board may muddy the mix.
     
    themarshall likes this.
  15. Manton Customs

    Manton Customs UK Luthier

    Jan 31, 2014
    Shropshire, UK
    Luthier, Manton Customs
    I've used Sycamore in laminate necks before, but not a 1 piece (with separate fingerboard). I've also used it as a fingerboard wood. It's not as hard or as stiff as hard Maple, but I'm also pretty sure it'd be just fine for a neck by itself as hard Maple really exceeds what is strictly necessary, not that over engineering something is in any way a bad thing though! It's worth pointing out to anyone reading this from the US that what we in the UK call Sycamore is actually a Maple!...Acer Psuedoplatanus.

    Even though I believe English Maple/Sycamore would most likely be fine, I'd still probably steer you away from it and point you in the direction of Ash if you're looking for a native neck wood. I like working with native timbers also and I've done lots of Ash necks, as long as you're prepared to grain fill, it works very well. If you have a word with your sawmill they should be able to supply you with 1/4 sawn Ash. Flatsawn will work too, but the grain will feel more pronounced making it harder to grain fill smooth.

    Oak would also work fine, but again need lots of grain filling! I've also used Cherry which does not require grain filling, but again this was a laminate. Elm is not particularly stable, so probably wouldn't try that :).
     
  16. PDX Rich

    PDX Rich

    Dec 19, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I like the coco, ebony and maple in that order. Not a bad situation to have, as all three will look nice with that design! I also love the birdseye neck! Won't birdseye tend to twist, or am I just assuming that due to it being figured maple?
     
  17. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    If you like the dual coil, you should try the quad coil ones next time (Bartolini XXP25C Set - Best Bass Gear).

    It produces deeper and slightly thicker sound, and you won't get hum if you solo-ed the bridge/neck pickup in single coil mode.

    I'm pretty sure you won't go back to the dual coil... :D:D

    The builds are looking great, as always.
     
    PDX Rich likes this.
  18. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Harry, that's some great info! I've not yet experimented with the quads, will definitely look into it myself!

    Lonnybass
     
    Harry Cahyadi likes this.
  19. Harry Cahyadi

    Harry Cahyadi Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2013
    Clayton, VIC, Australia
    C Basses Owner & Builder
    No worries. The only downside of it is the price. It is 1.5 X the dual coil ones.:D:D

    You might also want to check out Delano dual and quad coil soapbars. I like their sound better. I feel that barts are very hifi sounding.

    Delanos sounds more "natural" to me. However, they are a little bit pricier.

    Both are good, it is just a matter of taste.
     
  20. yoshi

    yoshi

    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    The sycamore has arrived and it is a beauty. The board is very thick too, which will let me carve the whole body into a sey curve like I did on my last build (I'm not really into flat bass bodys).

    I've bagged a nice looking board of ovangkol for the neck. the best bit - the board's thick enough to cut in two and get two necks: one for this 6 string headless bass and a second for a 7 string headless guitar.

    ovangkol.

    I've also done a load of pickup research and think I will give the Aguilar Super doubles a go. I am very keen to have just one bridge pickup on this build which may turn out to not give me as many sound options as I'd like but let's see...!
     
    Why Nautilus‽ and Lonnybass like this.

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