David Galea 6 String Fretless build

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David Searle Guitars
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David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 13:01

Hi All,
I've just started a new build for Brisbane Bassist David Galea. In this thread you'll get to see Davids build in progress. This will be a very beautiful fretless build that will have some highly figured timber and some new ideas incorporated within it. As a luthier, these are the builds that inspire!

Some specs:
Scale: 34"
Strings: 6 (flats)
Neck: Maple (quartersawn) Bolt on.
Headstock: 3+3. Koa faceplate with black veneer
Fretboard: Highly figured rosewood lined fretless
Body: Chambered mahogany
Top: Highly figured Koa with black pinstripe veneer
Electronics: Passive with controls hidden in the upper bout
Pickup: Nordstrand humbucker A3 parallel winding (switchable to single coil mode) With matching koa covers in the bridge position.
Bridge: Hipshot D style two piece (black)
Tuners: Gotoh (black)

So now some shots of the top!
Image

Image

Image
These are big sheets of material which I have wet down with metho to highlight the grain.

Cheers, David.
Ramp: Either Matching koa or matching rosewood.
Last edited by David Searle Guitars on 02 Sep 2015, 13:05, edited 1 time in total.

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 13:04

Some more shots of the mahogany body blank being glued up.

Image

Image

Lovely material to work with! These pieces are not too heavy, but will be light by the time I've chambered the body.

Cheers, David.

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 13:18

And some planning shots.

I just love hand drafting my plans, as I can get a full scale (1:1) drawing done in very little time. It also gives me a place to make lots of notes on its specs as I build. They end up pretty 'dog eared' by the end but that also lends to their charm!

Image

Image

Image
This will be an interesting detail. David asked if I could put the simple volume and mini switch into the side of the upper bout. Much like acoustic guitars do these days with their controls. My first thought was..'what the!' But with few minutes of thinking and sketching I came up with this. David's idea was to keep the face of the instrument as clean looking as possible. Only the player will be able to see them! I've not seen this done before, but I know it will work beautifully!

Cheers, David.

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 13:20

Some shots of the body blank machined up.

Image

And one with the neck blank sitting on its future body.
Image

Cheers, David

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 13:24

Check out these shots of this fabulously figured rosewood fretboard blank. There will be enough material for a few fretboards out of it! I bought this one a few months ago. As soon as I laid eyes on it I had to buy it!

Image

Image

Cheers, David.

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drbass
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by drbass » 02 Sep 2015, 14:01

Really like the idea of the hidden controls - obviously not an option with an active pre but totally appreciate the outside the box approach here.

Looking forward to the progress shots.

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, "Red Baron" 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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Bassboy
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by Bassboy » 02 Sep 2015, 15:51

Wow this is looking awesome David, just realise you started posting these shots. You are right the rosewood looks killer and i totally dig the hidden controls, i think these timber combinations are going to sou and look awesome.
D

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cleary
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by cleary » 02 Sep 2015, 16:03

drbass wrote:Really like the idea of the hidden controls - obviously not an option with an active pre but totally appreciate the outside the box approach here.

Looking forward to the progress shots.

Regards,
Michael
I really like that idea too - @Michael, I (respectfully) disagree -

The knobs that we traditionally use aren't going to cut it for sure, but if you use an inset pot with a slightly exposed edge, not dissimilar to your manual control dials (iso/aperture) on cameras.

Check the dial in the top left corner of this camera:
http://2.static.img-dpreview.com/previe ... jpg?v=3159

With something that discrete, you could easily embed a large number of them to cater for all your active control requirements.

The trick would then be, how to make the cavity - I'm thinking:
1. A plate on the back, just like the way most people do them, only the cavity is on the back/top edge instead of back/bottom edge

2. Leave the back and front clean, and instead leave a cavity between the veneers at the top edge. Design a control plate to mount all the controls in, contoured in the same shape as the bass edge, and mount it (slightly inset?) between the veneers. Not dissimilar to a Jazz style plate, only not mounted on the front, you would mount it on the bass edge instead (and it would be contoured).

The discrete control is a great idea imo, but the controls we're used to using are not really up to the job in my opinion. David, I wonder if you proposed the inset dial idea to your client, would he be interested?

I'd draw some pics to illustrate better, but I really should be working - maybe tonight ;)
GRay Bass Tuition :: Griffith NSW

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drbass
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by drbass » 02 Sep 2015, 16:14

Happy for you to be as disrespectful as you like ;)

I obviously was not quite far enough out of the box, and posts like yours make reading this forum so worthwhile. Thinking out loud:
Should be possible to separate the actual electronics components (the boards etc.) from the "dials" - please correct me if I'm wrong. You can then put the electronics where it's convenient and run connections in a drilled or routed channel.

Interesting ... .

Regards,
Michael
- Kermit 6 multi, Kermit Gaia 6 fretless, Kermit Rockmachine 5, Manta 5, "Red Baron" 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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cleary
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by cleary » 02 Sep 2015, 16:24

drbass wrote:Happy for you to be as disrespectful as you like ;)

I obviously was not quite far enough out of the box, and posts like yours make reading this forum so worthwhile. Thinking out loud:
Should be possible to separate the actual electronics components (the boards etc.) from the "dials" - please correct me if I'm wrong. You can then put the electronics where it's convenient and run connections in a drilled or routed channel.

Interesting ... .

Regards,
Michael
Haha, these boxes, I'm generally very safely contained by them tbh :p

Regarding your question, in theory, yes.
In practice, I think you might find potential issues with wire length, signal loss and noise. Whether it a enough to make a difference I don't know, but someone more knowledgeable (paging @bassbass) would know
GRay Bass Tuition :: Griffith NSW

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 16:35

cleary wrote:
drbass wrote:Really like the idea of the hidden controls - obviously not an option with an active pre but totally appreciate the outside the box approach here.

Looking forward to the progress shots.

Regards,
Michael
I really like that idea too - @Michael, I (respectfully) disagree -

The knobs that we traditionally use aren't going to cut it for sure, but if you use an inset pot with a slightly exposed edge, not dissimilar to your manual control dials (iso/aperture) on cameras.

Check the dial in the top left corner of this camera:
http://2.static.img-dpreview.com/previe ... jpg?v=3159

With something that discrete, you could easily embed a large number of them to cater for all your active control requirements.

The trick would then be, how to make the cavity - I'm thinking:
1. A plate on the back, just like the way most people do them, only the cavity is on the back/top edge instead of back/bottom edge

2. Leave the back and front clean, and instead leave a cavity between the veneers at the top edge. Design a control plate to mount all the controls in, contoured in the same shape as the bass edge, and mount it (slightly inset?) between the veneers. Not dissimilar to a Jazz style plate, only not mounted on the front, you would mount it on the bass edge instead (and it would be contoured).

The discrete control is a great idea imo, but the controls we're used to using are not really up to the job in my opinion. David, I wonder if you proposed the inset dial idea to your client, would he be interested?

I'd draw some pics to illustrate better, but I really should be working - maybe tonight ;)
I much prefer to work with parts and materials that aren't made from "unobtainum". I'll be loading the plate that the two components are to be located on in from a small access plate on the back of the upper bout. The nice thing about this build is that it was going to have a routed chamber in this area. We'll just be making better use of it!!

Cheers, David.

Never underestimate the 'KISS' principle when designing and making......ever....

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David Searle Guitars
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by David Searle Guitars » 02 Sep 2015, 16:40

drbass wrote:Happy for you to be as disrespectful as you like ;)

I obviously was not quite far enough out of the box, and posts like yours make reading this forum so worthwhile. Thinking out loud:
Should be possible to separate the actual electronics components (the boards etc.) from the "dials" - please correct me if I'm wrong. You can then put the electronics where it's convenient and run connections in a drilled or routed channel.

Interesting ... .

Regards,
Michael
Yes Michael, you could separate the controls and the PCB's. The run of wires wouldn't effect the signal quality especially if you shielded the wiring properly along its length. Think about a Gibson Les Paul, Pickups in one spot, controls in another and the pickup selector switch way over in another place!!!

Cheers, David

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cleary
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by cleary » 02 Sep 2015, 16:40

David Searle Guitars wrote:...

I much prefer to work with parts and materials that aren't made from "unobtainum". I'll be loading the plate that the two components are to be located on in from a small access plate on the back of the upper bout. The nice thing about this build is that it was going to have a routed chamber in this area. We'll just be making better use of it!!

Cheers, David.

Never underestimate the 'KISS' principle when designing and making......ever....
KISS... Keep It Super Special (and unique!)? :yep

Just kidding, actually I just had a thought, the acoustic guitar style control plates already do what I've described with sliders anyway, so... my idea's not so unique after all :/
GRay Bass Tuition :: Griffith NSW

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ozrider
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by ozrider » 02 Sep 2015, 16:44

The controls in the horn is exactly the kinda thing I was discussing with slowlearner when we were tossing the idea of a build around. I like it. I also like Bernie's idea for alternative dials...

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Bassboy
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Re: David Galea 6 String Fretless build

Post by Bassboy » 02 Sep 2015, 17:08

great discussion going on here, my real goal is to use an expression pedal and then control the sound on my amp, or a few external pre like an avalon u5 that way the bass speaks on its own, thats the theory anyway, as simple as possible i reckon, but thanks for all the great ideas.
cheers

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