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slingblader

5 String Bass Build

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Hi Guys. I don't post here much, but I just wanted to show you a project that I finally completed.

Well, it is pretty much finished... I'm still waiting for my matching black straplock buttons and I'll be making a nicer truss rod cover, but other than that, this puppy is complete.

Here are a ton of pictures, let me know if there are questions... Details below.

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35" Scale length
19mm String spacing
Hipshot ultralite tuners
Hipshot D bridge and tailpiece
Stainless steel frets
Brass nut
2 Aguilar Music Man Pickups
Aguilar OBP-3 Preamp 18V
Series/Split/Parallel switch for each pickup

Body woods from top to back:
Ziricote
Figured hard maple
Black dyed poplar
Honduras Mahogany
Black dyed poplar
Figured hard maple

Neck woods (7 ply laminate):
Wenge
Hard maple
Black dyed poplar
Bloodwood
Fretboad side markers and concentric aluminum and brass tubing
Fretboard is figured Gaboon ebony
Headstock face is ziricote

Rear accent on body is matching figured Gaboon Ebony and bloodwood
Grain matched control cover cavity in in rear maple laminate

Finish is nitro lacquer.

 

Edited by slingblader
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Wow... mind blown... awesome job! 

Edited by Dave Scepter
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Oh my, that's absolutely beautiful! a real work of art.  If I played the bass  (well, did for a year when I was 14 so I could jam with another local kid who was a better guitarist)  I'd be coveting that instrument!

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Very nice!  Love all of the fancy woods.  And I'm sure it sounds huge with those electronics.

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Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I appreciate it. I think it came together pretty well for the first time building this design. I'd like to build some more variations, but I want to tweak the body outline a bit. It's a work in progress for sure. :D This is my third guitar build, so I have a lot to learn for sure.

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20 hours ago, RobB said:

Excellent work. Looks thunderous.

 

 

13 hours ago, G Man said:

Very nice!  Love all of the fancy woods.  And I'm sure it sounds huge with those electronics.

 

It sounds pretty good, I have to say. I pretty much mimicked the Warwick $$ (double bucker) pickup arrangement that they offer on a couple of models. The Aguilar MM pickups only had 2 leads, so I had to modify those into a 4 lead configuration. That allowed me to use the Series/Split/Parallel switch for each pickup. Tons of possibilities with just the switches and the pan pot. Then throw in the 3 band EQ and it is a bit ridiculous. I like to just slight bump or cut one frequency or another. It's easy to overdo the EQ for sure.

 

12 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

That bass really, really, really looks like it would be a dream to play.

 

11 hours ago, SSII x 2 said:

Incredible work!  Man, ya got the action really low on that one.  Congrats!

It plays very nice for sure. I was very careful with the fretwork, so I was able to get the action low with minimal effort. I'm not normally a "low action" player as I have a pretty heavy right hand, but I was able to get it very low with minimal buzzes, etc. I will say that I'm still getting used to that 35" scale length. 

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If you achieved such a piece of work as that on your third guitar build, I'd have thought you could make a very nice living for yourself making guitars if that was the path you chose to walk.  I lived in Scotland for a while and for some of the time I was there I used to help doing the more menial tasks for a woodworker who made various arty and one-off type pieces of furniture and he also repaired things like old staircases, clock cases etc., what I'm getting round to saying is that I can just about appreciate how demanding that kind of work is and the attention to detail that is needed to get it right.  If you're not happy in your current 'day job' I think you'd make it as a luthier no problem.

Edited by Mr. Dave
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5 / 35" / 19mm, my favorite specs.

34.5", although only 1/2" shorter, is surprisingly easy to play on. (Tip for your next build)

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Wow wow wow! I was expecting some bolt on thing like Ive screwed together. Thats the real shit there

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Oh wow! That looks great!  Definitely awesome workmanship! I'm usually not a fan of the "hippy sandwich" style guitars like that, but this one I like!

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10 hours ago, it's me HHB said:

Thats the real shit there

Well, I sorta think it's much better than real shit.

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On 10/29/2019 at 9:24 PM, Mr. Dave said:

If you achieved such a piece of work as that on your third guitar build, I'd have thought you could make a very nice living for yourself making guitars if that was the path you chose to walk.  I lived in Scotland for a while and for some of the time I was there I used to help doing the more menial tasks for a woodworker who made various arty and one-off type pieces of furniture and he also repaired things like old staircases, clock cases etc., what I'm getting round to saying is that I can just about appreciate how demanding that kind of work is and the attention to detail that is needed to get it right.  If you're not happy in your current 'day job' I think you'd make it as a luthier no problem.

LOL, well thank you, that's quite a compliment. I've heard it said that to make a million dollars building guitars you should start with two million dollars. :D

While I think that selling my builds would be a great goal to work towards (maybe as extra money in my retirement) I need to build quite a lot more experience before I think about that. While I do feel like I'm improving, my quality is not yet at a level where I would feel comfortable selling any. My current day job is administrating an endpoint management system for a large corporation. So, I orchestrate automated software deployments, computer provisioning and the like. It's a cool job that involves a lot of problem solving, but I'm not a fan of the corporate crap. 🙄

Edited by slingblader

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19 hours ago, killerteddybear said:

5 / 35" / 19mm, my favorite specs.

34.5", although only 1/2" shorter, is surprisingly easy to play on. (Tip for your next build)

Thanks, I may just try that!

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17 hours ago, it's me HHB said:

Wow wow wow! I was expecting some bolt on thing like Ive screwed together. Thats the real shit there

LOL, thanks. 

14 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

Oh wow! That looks great!  Definitely awesome workmanship! I'm usually not a fan of the "hippy sandwich" style guitars like that, but this one I like!

Yeah, I hear ya. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea... a bit on the "loud" side visually. I think that the main reason I wanted to build a hippy sammich type is that I always wanted an Alembic, Ken Smith, Fodera etc. but I could never afford something like that. After I started into this hobby I decided that I could probably build one. So, I essentially studied their construction techniques, then applied what I learned to the bass design that I had in my head. For what it's worth, I think that road worn P bass is just as attractive. :)

7 hours ago, gtrdaddy said:

Well, I sorta think it's much better than real shit.

LOL, oh I don't know if there's any substitute for real shit. :D

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5 hours ago, specialk said:

Wow! Congrats on a really great job! 

 

2 hours ago, PaGator said:

Stunning

 

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. :)

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1 hour ago, slingblader said:

Yeah, I hear ya. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea... a bit on the "loud" side visually. I think that the main reason I wanted to build a hippy sammich type is that I always wanted an Alembic, Ken Smith, Fodera etc. but I could never afford something like that. After I started into this hobby I decided that I could probably build one. So, I essentially studied their construction techniques, then applied what I learned to the bass design that I had in my head. For what it's worth, I think that road worn P bass is just as attractive. :)

For me it's more of the color scheme than anything else. I mean, I also love some of the Alembics and that style, but other times I'm just like "man I wish this was a nice sunburst color" and not natural wood colors. I love figured wood, and wood with lots of grain, but I also like colors.

On the other hand, we really need more people making Alembic, Fodera, etc style basses that mere mortals can afford. Even the "generic" Fodera bolt on neck basses in metallic colors are around 5 grand new....

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On 10/29/2019 at 12:50 AM, Mr. Dave said:

Oh my, that's absolutely beautiful! a real work of art.  If I played the bass  (well, did for a year when I was 14 so I could jam with another local kid who was a better guitarist)  I'd be coveting that instrument!

I do play bass a fair amount and I do covet this one!  Beautiful!

 

Edited by tomteriffic
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8 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

On the other hand, we really need more people making Alembic, Fodera, etc style basses that mere mortals can afford. Even the "generic" Fodera bolt on neck basses in metallic colors are around 5 grand new....

Aria made some basses that were similar to the Alembic/Ken Smith/Fodera approach.  They just were not the same.  Spector found builders in the Czech Republic to make basses with the right design, but never the same feel as the ones Stuart Spector made himself. 

The price of those Alembics and Foderas, like Shishkov guitars, have price tags that reflects the expenses the builder runs into in order to make such high quality.  Warwick makes wonderful basses in a wide price range, but the really nice ones are priced out of the range of most people. 

It would be nice to get something like those instruments.  It would be nice to by a Ford F-650 for the price of a Ranger, too. 

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