Future Builds - Kinda Not Random

Building, Modding, Setup and Repair
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cackland
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by cackland » 15 Oct 2017, 12:29

Wow! Amazing looking top
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Classic5
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by Classic5 » 15 Oct 2017, 19:55

Lovin' it :thumbup:
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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 19 Dec 2017, 09:26

Next.

5 string, 35", 3 piece maple neck, zebrano or Koa board, 22 frets;
northern ash body, not sure which shape just yet (probably Q, definitely not Kermit because: see pickups), and depending on the shape just the ash (then with some colour), or some nice top (padauk might work);
all black Hipshot hard ware, 17 mm spacing;
2 Delano pickups in the currently very trendy "reverse P, MM-style humbucker" combination, with on 2-way mini switch for the bucker (series/parallel) and one 3-way mini switch to go "P, both in series, bucker", going into a Nordstrand 3b3 preamp.

That is all. You all know what the building process looks like so I see you some bandwidth by not showing too many (if any) pics of the progress.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by narcdor » 19 Dec 2017, 11:11

Please don't save my bandwidth! Is there a reason for the pickup switching rather than a blend? On the currently very trendy Sandberg VM4/Panther I found the sweet spot to be just rolled slightly back to the bridge pickup. Other pickup switching basses I've found hard to get what I expect to hear dialled in just right.
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar, T-Rex

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 19 Dec 2017, 11:19

narcdor wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 11:11
Please don't save my bandwidth! Is there a reason for the pickup switching rather than a blend? On the currently very trendy Sandberg VM4/Panther I found the sweet spot to be just rolled slightly back to the bridge pickup. Other pickup switching basses I've found hard to get what I expect to hear dialled in just right.
I'm very much into saving, Nick ;) .

Reason for switch rather than blend is simplicity and reproducibility. I'm hoping to really get the P and the MM sound (I will put the pickups in the appropriate positions), and as a bonus a centre position that (hopefully) will provide a unique combination. I started using threaded inserts for the pickup screws so adjusting pickup height should be possible for ever and a day - balancing problem "solved". Anyway, that's just me.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by narcdor » 19 Dec 2017, 11:48

Cool, I'm about to get some replacement height screws for my stingray pickups which I believe are threaded as well. Makes sense to me anything you need to adjust be not directly into the wood. More work of course but probably worth it.
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 22 Dec 2017, 13:49

Hmmm.

Started with the project drawing and quickly realised that I can't put the pickups in the original position: there's just not enough room (even considering the pickup spacing is a little wider thanks to the 35" scale). How do Sandberg, for example, do it? Well, if you look at the pics of a VM you will notice the humbucker is pushed towards the bridge by quite a bit, looks close to a Jazz bridge position (no wonder they don't really sound like a Sting).

So what's an amateur builder like me to do? Well, I'm pretty restricted, really. I decided to go with a Manta body shape (more below) which means that I'll use the extended neck-body contact construction (in short: rout in the body all the way to the fist pickup, then the nice-looking top goes over that. That means I can't move the P pickup any further towards the neck (because I would lose way too much contact area).
By the same token I would really like to preserve as much of the Sting character as possible.

All that means I will probably end up pushing the humbucker towards the bridge but as little as possible, about 5 mm which will leave a couple of mm of timber between the bucker and the P. Will have to do a mockup first, might look rather ungainly ... .

So, going with the Manta shape I'll have a 2 piece ash body (will end up 32 mm) with a 6 mm cap of padauk - beautifully red (no contrast layer this time). Simon (BigDaddy) is sending over some aniline dyes and if they work out I'm aiming to do the ash part in a brilliant blue, and if that works out will probably go with a maple board - also stained in the same blue - rather than the koa or zebrano.

Comments regarding pickup placement invited.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 24 Dec 2017, 16:24

No comments regarding pickup positions? OK, I'll sort something out.

Just finished playing around with some finishing options and have to say I'm reasonably happy. All done on a left-over piece of northern ash with a fairly rough surface (only very roughly sanded) and the grain brushed out with a wire brush.



Top left: Feast and Watson spirit-based tint, rubbed in hard and then sanded back. Unlike Ivan I didn't use a sanding filler, and the timber looked a little grey even after fairly intense sanding (indicating penetration into the timber). Would probably be different with sanding filler. Surface, as expected, was somewhat 3D.
Top right: Timbermate - nice level surface but initially not a lot of contrast. After sanding it back the timber looked perfectly natural in colour (no penetration into the timber) but the actual filled spots always look a little grey.
Bottom right: Osmo Black. Sanded back nicely (little penetration into the timber).

After the sanding back I applied some aniline dye (thank you, Simon, they look really good) straight from the bottle, no dilution. It looks a little more intense than it did in real life (I tried to tweak it with little success - see next pic for more accurate representation). You can still see the difference in contrast of the blacks, quite interesting.
In the centre is a piece of maple, also one application of the pure dye. You can see exactly where I sanded properly and where not so this will require some serious attention to detail.
On the right is the piece of padauk I intend to use for this build - I think this colour combination will work quite well but see next for better colours.

The next picture shows exactly the same arrangement but this time with two applications of the Osmo satin clear coat.



Looks closer to the real thing but is not quite there either. The truth lies somewhere inbetween, the blue is quite saturated but brilliant at the same time, very much like my Dingwall Z2 so I'm VERY happy about that.
What is interesting is that the timber mate gained more blackness in the filled grain, something I've observed many times before - from very dark grey to proper black.
The Osmo isn't quite up there with regards to contrast but I didn't give it enough time to cure (would need an overnight period) so would probably work OK.
The Feast and Watson, despite not being able to get the timber back to the original colour, has really nice pop - definitely something to consider with a sanding filler a la Ivan.
The maple looks great - why did I include this? Well, might be an option for a fretboard. I also included a piece of zebrano which looks a lot more like a peacock feather in real life, quite nice actually. However, it's fairly uneven (mind you, this wasn't sanded at all).

Apart from the blue I have a few more colours which I suspect will give just as brilliant results so I'll play around a little more. The Osmo coat went on without a hitch so this is most definitely some progress in terms of finishing.

On that note, let's finish this post. Have a good one, everybody.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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narcdor
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by narcdor » 25 Dec 2017, 17:05

Pickups: consider jumping the P coil that does the D and G strings over the E and A strings closer to the neck. I did that on mine and still sounds just like a P, but the D and G are a bit fuller being closer to the neck, E and A identical position and sound. This leaves you room for the MM in trad position. Plenty of manufacturers do a ‘reverse’ P but I think this gives the essence of the P on the low strings while making it more balanced overall. Some might like the imbalance and tonal shift and choice I just want the notes to sound even between strings.
Strings: Fender, Framus, Warwick, Custom
Knobs: Mesa, MarkBass
Patch: TC Electronic, Aguilar, T-Rex

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 25 Dec 2017, 17:31

narcdor wrote:
25 Dec 2017, 17:05
Pickups: consider jumping the P coil that does the D and G strings over the E and A strings closer to the neck. I did that on mine and still sounds just like a P, but the D and G are a bit fuller being closer to the neck, E and A identical position and sound. This leaves you room for the MM in trad position. Plenty of manufacturers do a ‘reverse’ P but I think this gives the essence of the P on the low strings while making it more balanced overall. Some might like the imbalance and tonal shift and choice I just want the notes to sound even between strings.
Like you I'm a big fan of even response, Nick, so this sounds like an idea I should explore.

Mind you, the neck pickup in my Q is in the Jazz neck position, and there is still tons of P character when it's soloed (quite amazing to me, really). Since this will be a Manta I need to be considerate wrt the neck/body connection and the impact the neck pickup placement will have. I do have some ideas ... .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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Curto
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by Curto » 25 Dec 2017, 21:29

drbass wrote:
24 Dec 2017, 16:24



The blue and padauk is a great combination. I also like that turquoise piece in the top right. That compliments the orange in the padauk very nicely!

Regarding the pickups ... what about a single J in the neck position instead of a split P?
Merry Christmas!
Last edited by Curto on 25 Dec 2017, 21:35, edited 1 time in total.
Custom 32

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Classic5
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by Classic5 » 25 Dec 2017, 21:29

Wow.....there's a lot of information to take in regarding the finishing options. Will have to re-read all that once I've recovered from Christmas festivities :)

Regarding the feast and watson black japan tint.....definitely needs one light coat of the feast and watson sanding sealer beforehand then apply the tint. It definitely stops the tint penetrating the wood.

I like the blue......lots of potential there :yep
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packrat
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by packrat » 26 Dec 2017, 01:40

Where do you stand on a blending pre (or double vol) with the double P arrangement?

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 26 Dec 2017, 05:16

Paul: not a fan of the single coil J both visually (I know, how shallow 😉) and acustically.

Ivan: yes, lots of potential, this was a quick-and-dirty trial but already I like what I see. Will have to play around with some bleaching as well (northern ash is rarely uniformly coloured, there often is some light brown coloration happening.

Bruce: I personally have come to REALLY appreciate the simplicity of a switch (be that 2, 3, or 4 way like the Dingwalls) and would not consider blend or vol/vol for anything I build for myself. Of course everyone has different preferences and I am completely open to “customer” requests.

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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drbass
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Re: Future Builds - Maybe Random

Post by drbass » 26 Dec 2017, 10:33

narcdor wrote:
25 Dec 2017, 17:05
Pickups: consider jumping the P coil that does the D and G strings over the E and A strings closer to the neck. I did that on mine and still sounds just like a P, but the D and G are a bit fuller being closer to the neck, E and A identical position and sound. This leaves you room for the MM in trad position. Plenty of manufacturers do a ‘reverse’ P but I think this gives the essence of the P on the low strings while making it more balanced overall. Some might like the imbalance and tonal shift and choice I just want the notes to sound even between strings.
HI Nick,

I looked into this a little bit more and worked out placements etc. If you do what you do you essentially have the centre line of the P where the centre line fore a Jazz neck is (pretty much what I did with the Q - hence similar sonic results).

One thing is definite now: the MM-style humbucker goes exactly where it's meant to be (centre line 799 mm from the zero fret for a 35" scale).
Moving the P seems to be much more forgiving so I have two options:
either move it so the BEA part of the pickup has a centre line where normally the P centre line is, with the DG part towards the neck. That leaves about 12 mm between the P and the bucker, and is close to your suggested solution;
or move it arbitrarily to end up with 5 mm between the pickups which means "more like a P".

Right now I'm thinking first option since I also have to consider the neck-in-body issue.

Anyway, doing this on paper a few times helps me understand the issues, and will massively increase my chances of reasonable execution ;) .

Regards,
Michael
- Merlin “Kermit” 6 multi, Merlin Gaia 6 fretless, Merlin Rockmachine 5, Merlin NT5, Manta 5, Manta 5 YOLO, ("Red Baron" 5), Q 5, (Sandberg Classic S2-5), (Thumb-4)
- Genzler Magellan 800, 2 Genzler BA12-3

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