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.
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.