Thought I might as well post this here - a new bass is a new bass, even if I built it myself, right? My wife most definitely thinks that way .
Anyway, walnut body, maple contrast layer, indian rosewood top. My Xtend body/neck construction with a 3 piece maple neck and maple board. Hipshot tuners and single bridges. And all finished with the wipe-on product I will use from now on for all natural finishes (and maybe some coloured ones as well).
For electronics I thought I might try an SD Musicman replacement set, ceramic pickup and 3-band pre.
Oh: weight is 3.5 kg.
Finished last week and available at the Sydney GTG last Saturday. I played this one in anger for the first time last night and have a couple of comments.
Sounds amazing when played without amplification. Very even, clear (DR HiBeams, btw.) and responsive. No surprises there considering the wood combination, right? . Also much better balanced than the 6ers (which, btw, aren't too bad) thanks to the smaller headstock (yes, I managed to reduce the size) and one less tuner.
Seemed reasonably OK when played through the PJB BigHead. And you can see where this is going: let me put the cards on the table.
I was rather disappointed at rehearsal. Rather weak G string, somewhat weak D string, and the B string was all thumps without much clarity or definition at all. Hang on, I've heard this one before.
Looks like the SD replacement recreates a typical, or let's say often-reported, observation. Compared to this, and also in absolute terms, the red Manta is absolutely balanced and even in response with great low note (B string) definition - it has a Delano pu and a Nordstrand pre installed.
So, here's what I'll do. I'm going to get a Delano pickup first (MC 5 HE/S-L) which (at least that's my expectation) will take care of (most of) the issue. For good measure I can then install a Nordstrand pre I have floating around, or might even consider gutting the Red Baron (make it a passive bass) and using the Glockenklang pre.
Any comments are most welcome on this issue. I'll keep you updated on future developments.