BMT Build now under investigation

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Curto
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BMT Build now under investigation

Post by Curto » 20 Oct 2015, 07:41

Edit Update: My bass is finally finished as of 6th March 2017. Unfortunately, I have still not received my bass. The BMT Custom Guitars website has now shut down. Correspondence via email, letter, message and phone has ceased from Brad. I am aware of at least three other customers, who have paid in full, and have not received their basses or refunds or any communication at all. It is now under investigation.



The Sydney GTG either inspired me or ruined me for the ordinary. There's only so much exotic wood and multi-scales one can experience before heading down that path themselves.

While I'm planning of making a new fretless neck for my current bass, I've sold some gear and have started a build with Brad from BMT Custom Builds in QLD. My thinking behind a custom build was to be able to have something created that wasn't readily available - something somewhat unique.

So I'm having built a short multi-scale fanned fret bass. Specs:
  • 5 string
    31"-33" multi-scale length
    Swamp Ash body
    Australian Camphor Laurel top (and matching headstock cap)
    5 piece Maple/Purpleheart neck
    Birdseye Maple finger board with offset black blocks
    Black Hipshot Solo bridges
    Hipshot ultralight tuners
    EMG DCX bridge pickup
    EMG CSX neck pickup
    EMG BQC preamp (volume, balance, stacked bass/treble, concentric stacked mids)
    Dunlop strap locks
    Zero fret
Brad's been really helpful throughout the whole process. He's certainly passionate about making custom instruments.

This is the piece of Aussie Camphor Laurel that i chose for the top:
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And here it is cut and book-matched:
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We're going for a slightly smaller jazz bass body shape with slimmer contours and shorter lower horn. Here it is roughly sketched out:
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The swamp ash being prepared for the top. I love the grain on these pieces!
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This is the fingerboard. A lovely piece of Birdseye Maple: To make the grain pop, I'm going for a gloss finish. There will be black blocks running from fret to fret but offset to the far left (10mm wide) - something unique.
Image

And a piece of Purpleheart: This will be used for the 5 piece laminate neck.
Image

Here is the neck in progress: I think the Purpleheart and Maple make a great match. The back of the neck will have a smooth satin finish.
Image


That's it for now. Hopefully, this will be finished and ready sometime in December. I'll keep you posted with updates and pics along the way.
Last edited by Curto on 16 Jul 2017, 15:41, edited 4 times in total.
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drbass
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Re: BMT Build

Post by drbass » 20 Oct 2015, 08:19

That ... looks ... nice!!

You didn't say if it's 4 or 5 ... . When I worked on the design for my next build I found the rather vast stretch of timber behind the bridge (due to the bridge pieces being at an angle) a real challenge. Shouldn't be too much of an issue with a 4.

Please keep those updates coming.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
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Curto
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Curto » 20 Oct 2015, 08:26

Oops! (I'll fix the above post). It will be a 5 string (33" B - 31" G)
I'm already thinking about another build (I have enough wood and hardwear here at home for a 4 string). If I were to do a multi-scale 4 string it would probably just have a slight fan difference of 1". But that's another story for another time ...
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Soong
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Soong » 20 Oct 2015, 08:42

maaaaaate
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slowlearner
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Re: BMT Build

Post by slowlearner » 20 Oct 2015, 09:05

Gorgeous. 33-31" is a great scale. Just make sure you use a big B string, 0.132 or bigger. ;)
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Curto
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Curto » 20 Oct 2015, 09:24

I have a few sets of balanced tension D'Addarios .145 .107 .80 .60 .45
and a set of Elixirs and EB Cobalts (.135 - .45)
I'll try the D'Addarios first ...

Image
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According to the D'Addario tension charts, the .145 should suit the .107 - .45 set while a huge .160 would suit the .120 - .50 set. The balanced tensions (.120 - .50) feel really nice on my 30" bass. I wonder how the tension varies though on the multi-scales?? :shrug:
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Curto
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Curto » 20 Oct 2015, 12:33

Some new updates just came through this afternoon. The neck outline has been cut and routed. She'll be 24 frets.
Image
Image
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basshack
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Re: BMT Build

Post by basshack » 20 Oct 2015, 12:40

I do like the purple heart stringers and I am on the hunt myself for a higher tension B string for my build. The Sadowsky is too floppy in the scale length I am using.
... dial in some "J" to angry it up!

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RedVee
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Re: BMT Build

Post by RedVee » 20 Oct 2015, 19:21

This will be beautiful
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Petebass
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Petebass » 20 Oct 2015, 21:08

I absolutely love that piece of Camphor Laurel! I didn't know much about that timer until I moved to Qld. I've really taken a liking to it. Looks great, smells amazing :) Qld Maple is also a nice timber, and once again I was completely oblivious until I moved to Qld......

Looks like this is going to be a very nice bass.
* 2 Stingray 5's (one heavily modded), Ibanez SR805, Ashbory, + more...
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PilbaraBass
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Re: BMT Build

Post by PilbaraBass » 20 Oct 2015, 21:28

That's a very nifty idea for a bass!

Camphor Laurel is actually listed as a noxious weed in Australia... So I am very pleased when I see it being used ...

And yes, it can be quite stunning...

You used to be able to purchase large pieces of the stuff at Macadamia Castle outside Alstonville, NSW... But I have been there in nearly 10 years... So I don't know
'98 Carvin AC40, '07 Squier JDAV, '91 P-bass, '96 Ibanez ATK300F, '15 Ibanez SR605
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SneakyJak
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Re: BMT Build

Post by SneakyJak » 21 Oct 2015, 14:26

Congrats ... I appreciate people like the old favorites p's and j's but there is something to be said with working with a luthier. I found I've learned so much from working with decent luthiers

plus there is the added bonus in supporting small preferably local craftsman/woman. :thumbup:

Memphaustralian
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Memphaustralian » 21 Oct 2015, 14:59

Looks great! Nice work. Very intrigued.

What is the weight like on that wood? How much are you expecting all to weigh and cost when finished? I need to go into uber-ergonomic mode soon. I want the lightest possible bass, and a smaller multi-scale might be awesome. I have a dingwall super j which is light-ish and 35-32 ish...but if I can go lighter and squish it just a tiny bit (say 33.5ish to 31ish) and have super low action I would be thrilled! (oh, while I am in fantasy mode let's have steve chick make it midi too) ;)

I am also kind of interested if the balanced tensions are still balanced once you chuck them on multi-scaled too? Not that I have ever noticed too badly inter-string balance before anyway.

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Curto
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Re: BMT Build

Post by Curto » 21 Oct 2015, 15:16

It's not the scale, or necessarily the size, that makes a bass light or heavy but the components its made from. Even two same sized pieces of swamp ash will vary in weight. As you know, a multi scale doesn't make the overall size of the bass any shorter either - it's the length of the largest scale used. I'm trying to keep the overall weight down on this build, using ultralight tuners and bridge, as well as and a slimmer body shape. The Camphor Laurel is known to be a heavier wood, but it's just the laminate top on this one. I won't know exactly how heavy the whole thing will be until it's completed. I'm hoping it's lightish - less than 9lbs would be great.

The question about the balanced tension strings on a multi-scale is a good one and one I don't have the math for? If you find out, let me know. I've noticed the difference using the balanced tension of my current bass and I've been able to achieve a lower action with less buzz.
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drbass
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Re: BMT Build

Post by drbass » 21 Oct 2015, 15:23

As far as I know the use of balanced sets is recommended for standard scale instruments but not for multi scale instruments. I've read it several times but can't remember where, sorry (might have been on the Dingwall forum).
Makes sense though: in a multi scale environment the longer strings need more tension than the shorter ones to get to the correct pitch which is what the "balanced" sets try to achieve with normal scales - using a balanced set on a multi scale instrument would therefore (if my brain works) result in very high tension of the lower strings.

Regarding weight, the 5 (with 35", rock maple/mahogany body - fairly small - and full wenge neck) weighs 3.6 kg with all hardware and electronics.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 fanned, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, ME1/5, Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3
- EBS OctaBass, Boss MS-3, Line6 G50

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