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Northfield

So, if I was going to build a bass

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1 hour ago, Cary said:

I was actually thinking about this the other day...   4 string, Classic double cut LP Jr/Hamer Special shape, medium scale, hot passive pick-ups, thin neck - 1.5” or maybe 1 5/8” at the nut, Blue or Blueburst flame maple top.   Okay, yeah, I basically want a 4 string, passive “Not Steve/Not Chris” bass.  There, I said it.  🙂

Something like the one in the middle which was inspired by the brothers basses, It's 1.5" at the nut. It would have had the split fork headstock if I would have known it was available when I ordered it.

I put in my request almost 4 years ago for one like it and an Ultimate bass. I never heard back. I think the Shishkov headstock would look cool on a double cut bass.

DSC04137.JPG

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8 hours ago, marcnorth said:

Something like the one in the middle which was inspired by the brothers basses, It's 1.5" at the nut. It would have had the split fork headstock if I would have known it was available when I ordered it.

I put in my request almost 4 years ago for one like it and an Ultimate bass. I never heard back. I think the Shishkov headstock would look cool on a double cut bass.

DSC04137.JPG

Yep. like that but with passive pickups.  Very cool bass!

 

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All of my basses are Carvin and Music Man, both of whom make their own preamps as well as pickups.

However, when it comes to pickups, most serious bass players I know who replace their pickups, use Aguilar or Bartolini electronics. Both produce pickups and electronics. Some higher end brands also use Nordstrand pickups.

For bridges, I'm a big fan of Hipshot bridges. Many have the option for either String through or top mounted use. They have a variety of different patterns and string spacings. They also have single string bridges for those who like the idea of string vibration isolation.

Speaking of that, String Spacing can be a kinda big deal, especially on 5 and 6 string basses.  The standard "Fender" 4 string spacing at the bridge is 19mm (3/4 in), which most Fender 5 strings have as well. However, many 5 string designs instead have a 17.5mm (11/16 inch) string spacing at the bridge. That's the spacing that Music Man has always used, and many other makers as well. Some even have 16.5mm spacing.

Scale length would depend on the player I guess. There are some people who LOVE short scale gasses around 30 inches. If you have small hands, a short 4 can be perfect.

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On 5/1/2018 at 10:26 PM, Northfield said:

One of my favorite HAMER bass styles is actually the Chaparral 12 string. Basses in general are all over the place, but if I build a prototype, I’d probably take the same approach I’ve done with the DC and SC customs - start with a platform that hits the basics but leaves room for customization.  The challenge at this point is what qualifies as “the basics”.  I appreciate the feedback- keep it coming. 

I know jack sh*t about basses, but a 12-string sounds amazing to me (or a 15????). Why not do something totally different than the rest?

 

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Wow. I don't want to think about how many truss rods a 15 string would need.  A 12 would be nice though. Such a unique sound.

One thing I did not chime in on: neck width at the nut. My favorite 4 string basses are somewhere between a P-bass and a J-bass. I think the MusicMan stingray got it JUST right, with 1 5/8 at the nut, half way between the 1 3/4 of a P bass and the 1 1/2 of a J bass.

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For Pickups, I'm partial to Aero Type 1's for passive basses - only J-set which had a full low-mid response... extremely clear and pronounced; had type 3's in my guild pilot which had a nice slightly overdriven-type growl to them...aggressive without being too aggressive... For "active systems" absolute favorite are the Delano JC4 HE/M2 split coil humbuckers with the Nordstrand NJ4SE Vintage Noise Cancelling pickups a very close second.

For onboard preamps: My go-to upgrades are the Audere 4-band 3ZB preamp and the John East U-retro (now upgraded as the Uni-Pre) preamp... diverse tonal pallet on both preamps... east may have a bit of coloration to it which might not agree with everyone...

Bridge: always a sucker for the 2-tek, but loved the Babicz bridge... had one on my old Gamma P-Bass...

Gears: Schaller M4's or Hipshot... great ratios with no string slippage... no elephant ears please, time to retire them to the zoo...

 

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Definitely like the Hipshots. Carvin/Kiesel uses them, and they are solid and lower profile than the elphant ears. I love my EBMM basses, but those giant tuners are something I have never been a fan of.

Bridges come in so many varieties now. I also think maybe looking into the G&L Saddle Lock bridges might be good. The bridge itself has a "foot" that fits into a routed channel on the top of the body. String through options are also nice, as are the "single string" bridges that are out there.

I know I've seen a Shishkov with a Babicz guitar bridge. They make nice stuff.

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22 hours ago, geobluto said:

Bridge: always a sucker for the 2-tek, but loved the Babicz bridge... had one on my old Gamma P-Bass...

Gears: Schaller M4's or Hipshot... great ratios with no string slippage... no elephant ears please, time to retire them to the zoo...

 

2TEK and Schallers get my vote.  I know people like 'em, but the Babicz stuff just seems cheap to me...not sure why.

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I don't like their designs or logo. They DO look kinda cheap. They are angular, and look like bathroom hardware. Even their "Z-series" which is supposed to look traditional still looks weird.

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3 hours ago, cmatthes said:

2TEK and Schallers get my vote.  I know people like 'em, but the Babicz stuff just seems cheap to me...not sure why.

I don't like their logo plastered on top, same way I hate it on pickups.  Don't they know if we like it, we'll tell people?

 

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