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Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 05 Nov 2017, 19:56
by Classic5
narcdor wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 19:25
Delicious! Probably my favourite one yet.
+1.....is this a typical 18mm/19mm string spacing? I'm guessing it is as the strings line up nicely over the pickup magnets.

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 07:29
by drbass
Classic5 wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 19:56
narcdor wrote:
05 Nov 2017, 19:25
Delicious! Probably my favourite one yet.
+1.....is this a typical 18mm/19mm string spacing? I'm guessing it is as the strings line up nicely over the pickup magnets.
Hi Ivan and Nick,

Glad you like it, you'll have a chance to play this at the workshop at some stage.

No, the spacing is around 17 mm, and B and G string are not particularly well-aligned with the magnets (looks like it in the pics, I know). I'll have to re-do the bridge setup and am already contemplating changing pickup and pre but will make a final call on that after two practise sessions and 2 gigs this week.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 07 Nov 2017, 19:36
by Curto
Are the bridges the same on the Q and Manta basses?

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 06:37
by drbass
Curto wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 19:36
Are the bridges the same on the Q and Manta basses?
Hi Paul,

Both are aluminium Hipshot "A" style bridges. The Manta prototype bridge has a string spacing of 18 mm (but it's set as narrow as possible so it's probably more like 17.5), the Q prototype bridge has a string spacing of 16.5 again set as narrow as possible (remember though that in this instance I'm using a 4 string neck with 5 strings so with a "proper" neck I'd go for a wider spacing).

Hope that helps.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 07:09
by Curto
Thanks. The spacing felt right on both basses.

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 07:26
by drbass
Curto wrote:
08 Nov 2017, 07:09
Thanks. The spacing felt right on both basses.
I really like narrow spacing on a bass I pretty much exclusively play finger style. and "intermediate" (more towards the narrow end) for a bass I occasionally slap/pop.
Never been a fan of wide spacing.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 08:32
by Curto
Agreed! I'm not Mark King (but even he slaps on 16.5mm)

I have found two sizes of mandolin fret wire:
Narrow/low .053" x .037"
Narrow/medium .080" x .040"
Which is your preference?

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 08 Nov 2017, 13:02
by drbass
Curto wrote:
08 Nov 2017, 08:32
Agreed! I'm not Mark King (but even he slaps on 16.5mm)

I have found two sizes of mandolin fret wire:
Narrow/low .053" x .037"
Narrow/medium .080" x .040"
Which is your preference?
Well, then he's a bit of a monster, right?

I'll get back to you wrt the fret wire on the weekend.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 01 Dec 2017, 11:45
by FunkyJase
These are pretty bloody sexy basses Mike!

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 04 Dec 2017, 06:21
by drbass
FunkyJase wrote:
01 Dec 2017, 11:45
These are pretty bloody sexy basses Mike!
Thank you, Jason - to me they play nicer and sound better than they look.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 11:32
by drbass
Edit: updated proper photos!!

Some of this has already been posted in the "Basses" forum. This post has a little more detail.

Finally finished my first commission build. Customer is a drummer I play with a fair bit who started dabbling in bass and liked my builds (both visually and sonically). He asked me to build something that's easy to play, has a clear sound and is 4 string without breaking the bank.

That obviously meant a model Q was the right starting point: passive, very simple and reasonably traditional. Bit concerned about the "clear sound" bit so I suggested to use a second hand Sandberg-branded MM-style hum bucker (my guess is it's a Delano) instead of the usual P pickup, and he was happy with that.
Finish was originally supposed to be Kermit-green but when he saw the ash grain he wanted to keep it natural. So here it is (looks a little yellow in the pics, sorry, hard to take photos of these things). David of course already has dibs on Marilyn so I thought that "Brigitte" (as in Bardot) would be appropriate, and of course it brings a little European sophistication ;) .

Some facts before pics.
3-piece maple neck, 2 carbon rods and dual action truss rod, shaped until it felt right; about 21 mm at first fret, 24 mm at 12th fret, 39 mm wide at zero fret; 19 mm string spacing at bridge;
34" scale, 21 frets, maple board, 20" radius;
"medium" size frets;
2 piece northern ash body, black veneer contrast layer, and book matched northern ash top;
both neck and body finished with my "secret sauce" wax/oil floor finishing product in satin;
Sandberg-branded MM style hum bucker (most likely Delano), 2-way switch (series and parallel), vol and tone;
all black Hipshot hardware;
weight: a reasonable 3.6 kg.

For this build I had to use standard neck screws with ferrules since I didn't think ahead enough to leave some room at the heel for the threaded inserts. Will be the last time, from now on it's all threaded inserts.

Here's Brigitte:
















And nice fat Luminlay markers with a black ring - can't miss those.

At first I wasn't quite sure but this finish has really grown on me (possibly the hardest part: letting go). I like that you can see all the little differences in the colour of the timber. My wife commented and said it would look better with a dark fretboard (contrast) which is a valid point, yet there's a certain "starkness" to this one (without being totally in your face) that I really like.

Sounds and plays absolutely amazing (of course I would say that but then I would also say it's "meh" or "OK"). The 2-way switch (thank you for figuring out the soldering, David Searle) does series and parallel, and I have to say that in this bass the parallel is my preferred setting. It really is a beautiful full MM-style sound, very balanced, super-tight E string and round yet snappy top end.

Is this the best I've built so far? No, there are a number of small things that I would like to have done better. I'd call it an advanced prototype but then it's going for absolutely mate's rates so I'm OK with that. Can't wait to see the customer's face.

Happy to answer any questions.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 15:51
by Curto
Are the threaded inserts you mention from Bunnings or from a specialised store?

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 15:56
by drbass
Curto wrote:
10 Dec 2017, 15:51
Are the threaded inserts you mention from Bunnings or from a specialised store?
Several options, I'll send you details later.

Regards,
Michael

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 16:03
by Classic5
Terrific photo's. Well done!

Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Posted: 10 Dec 2017, 16:20
by Curto
Updated pics! That grain is stunning. I like how you've book matched the top over that contrast veneer and likewise on the headstock. The body to neck transition on the back looks very comfortable... is the whole body relatively thin?