EDIT: now have descriptions of all three models.
And so it begins (well, it's been going for a while already but time to make it official): commercial user .
As you know I've been building a couple of basses in the last couple of years (have a look at the diverse build threads) and feel that I'm now ready to offer to the bass-playing public my services to build you something a little different. I have a small number of possible body shape options, and a few "non-negotiables". Let me explain.
There a three basic models loosely based on other concepts, in order from most basic to most "out there":
- Q Bass - modified P bass shape; example:
- Manta - reminiscent of a Sting; example:
- Merlin - my own design incorporating a number of modern influences (Sandberg, Warwick, Dingwall, and probably many more); examples:
All three will be shown and explained in more detail in individual posts in the next couple of days.
Too easy. The basic body outlines are fixed but no body will be identical to the others since all the contouring, shaping and final sanding will be done by hand, and you can (to an extent) specify the severity of the tummy cut and forearm cut.
This will be pretty straightforward, too. Maybe I should call this "standard features" :
- zero fret for all fretted instruments;
- Tusq string guides;
- mando-sized frets (small, low, and soooo easy to play);
- Luminlay side markers (with black piping on maple necks);
- bolt-on necks only (but different construction methods - see individual basses below);
- threaded inserts and corresponding bolts for the neck-body connection;
- angled headstock;
- 35" for 5 or 6 strings (non-multi-scale);
- when exotic tops are used the headstock will be matching and (if there is enough material) so will the back cover;
- contrast layer when exotic tops are used;
- Hipshot hardware;
- Dunlop strap lock system, either standard or flush-mount;
- satin finish rather than gloss.
I think that's it but will edit if I can think of others.
Try before you buy
Everything I've built so far (as mentioned, examples in the Lutherie section and below - soon) I see as prototypes trying a number of different things. These basses are not for sale.
However, the idea is that local (i.e. in and around Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) players who are interested can get any of the basses for a week and try them in real life situations - home practice, rehearsals, gigs. They're meant to be used.
I will do this on a "trust" basis - I'll drop the instrument off at your place (opportunity to run through the features), and will pick it up at a specified time a week or so later - opportunity to discuss what was good, and what wasn't.
If you didn't like it, no worries, no obligations. If you liked it as is then we can talk specs and ordering. If you almost liked it but there's a couple of things you'd like changed we can discuss feasibility.
Interested players interstate will miss out on this. Having said that I'll try my utmost to come to the Sydney GTG where at least NSW folks can try.
Ordering and pricing
My plan is to work out full specs before anything happens. I will then put together a complete quote including all the hardware and electronic costs, and if you agree with that you transfer the cost for those components, the timber and an "incidentals" surcharge into my account. I will order everything as soon as the money is there.
There will be additional labour costs which will depend on the model and the complexity of the build. This is something that needs to be talked about.
I will provide update photos and will endeavour to finish the build as quickly as possible. Please note though that I don't want to rush things - better to get it right, and of course certain stages require waiting times (unless you already have a stock of neck blanks ready to go).
I think that's about it for now. I will add new posts with details of the different models in the next couple of days but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions would like to "try before you buy".
You can either send me a PM via the forum, or send an email to email@example.com .
Thank you for looking at this, and it'll be interesting how all this pans out.