Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

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slashin_velvet
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Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Post by slashin_velvet » 22 Jan 2018, 17:18

I caught up with Michael late last week as a sounding board for my own build and the basses he is building are just incredible. You can tell by the playability of his instruments that he has carefully considered each element that goes into the builds, and he leaves no stone unturned to deliver a high quality instrument.

He made a point of highlighting that these were just prototype basses, but the comfort level was just fantastic. Whilst the 6 string was wide for me (I usually only play 4 strings), I quickly adapted to it and really enjoyed the sound and playability.

Moving from instrument to instrument you could feel and hear the subtle differences in each build, but most importantly you could tell that these instruments are crafted with care. After using his basses, I went back to my Warwick Corvette, and tried out his "neck thru" thumb (a bass I had idolised as a dream bass for a long time) and they felt heavy and overly large.

I strongly recommend anyone who is thinking about reaching out to not hesitate. I don't think you will find a better value for money custom instrument in Melbourne.

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drbass
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Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Post by drbass » 22 Jan 2018, 18:06

Curto wrote:
10 Dec 2017, 16:20
Updated pics! That grain is stunning. I like how you've book matched the top over that contrast veneer and likewise on the headstock. The body to neck transition on the back looks very comfortable... is the whole body relatively thin?
Hi Paul,

Saw this only just now, sorry.

38 mm is the answer so not super-thin but definitely less than what you normally get.

I'm happy to report that the customer is really happy with it, loves how easy it is to play and has mentioned how much his technique has approached since he's not struggling with playability.

Regards,
Michael
- 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: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Post by drbass » 22 Jan 2018, 18:20

slashin_velvet wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 17:18
I caught up with Michael late last week as a sounding board for my own build and the basses he is building are just incredible. You can tell by the playability of his instruments that he has carefully considered each element that goes into the builds, and he leaves no stone unturned to deliver a high quality instrument.

He made a point of highlighting that these were just prototype basses, but the comfort level was just fantastic. Whilst the 6 string was wide for me (I usually only play 4 strings), I quickly adapted to it and really enjoyed the sound and playability.

Moving from instrument to instrument you could feel and hear the subtle differences in each build, but most importantly you could tell that these instruments are crafted with care. After using his basses, I went back to my Warwick Corvette, and tried out his "neck thru" thumb (a bass I had idolised as a dream bass for a long time) and they felt heavy and overly large.

I strongly recommend anyone who is thinking about reaching out to not hesitate. I don't think you will find a better value for money custom instrument in Melbourne.
Hi Davin,

Was great having a chat with you last week. I'm almost embarrassed by your very kind comments - thank you very much ... .

Please note that I built those prototypes a) to learn, and try different approaches, and b) as demo instruments so if anyone in Melbourne is actually interested you can have any of those basses for a week or so to get a feel how it/they work in the real world (rehearsal, gig). Just contact me via PM.

Thank you again Davin, and I have to say that I really like what you're doing with your first build (that dovetail looked great, and I dig that laurel camphor body shape and contouring).

Regards,
Michael
- 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: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Post by drbass » 31 Jan 2018, 16:04

Updated pictures in the posts on page 1, if you're interested.

Regards,
Michael
- 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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Location: Doreen, Victoria
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Re: Polaris Basses by Dr. Bass

Post by drbass » 16 Apr 2019, 16:34

Oh dear,

How have I abandoned this thread. Time for an update with pictures of v1 and v2 (in terms of body shape and execution) of a new model: I give you "Sirius".

The v1 was totally a prototype and a little project to assess the suitability of accoya, basically pine treated with concentrated acetic acid. Supposedly that increases the stability by a factor of up to 5 (but doesn't do anything wrt how easily it dents) and makes you work in a cloud of vinegar smell (which may or may not be a good thing).
So this whole project is somewhat clumsy in execution (just look at the neck-body transition - yuck) and also a little out there - nice opportunity to play around with dyes.

Specs for this one:
  • Body is accoya with English oak top, stained (because I can, and simply wanted to try this) with aniline dyes and finished with Osmo.
  • Neck is 5-piece central walnut with 4 strips of maple (finished with Osmo), and an ebony board (just lightly oiled), matching headstock and ebony nut. Dual action truss rod and 2 carbon rods for good measure. 24 fret equivalent with fret markers inserted in neck (so the board is clean), Luminlay side dots.
  • 2 EMG 40Hz pickups with a Noll 4-band pre (2 mid frequencies).
  • Hipshot hardware.
3.4 kgs.

I had pics in the original build thread but took some glam shots on the weekend. Here you go.









Plays super-easy and interestingly enough the pickup placement doesn't necessarily result in a bright (or brittle) sound but adds clarity. Can do the dry-ish Jaco as well as much fuller, rounder tones (turn down the treble and high mids, boost low mids and bass). The DR PureBlues strings work really well on this.

I liked the idea of a small body bass (not that I'm normally building particularly large ones) but wasn't really sure about the body shape for this so I went back and changed things around a little without disturbing the round bottom/tiny waist feel. The result is Sirius v2. Pickup placement is based on my Warwick Thumb 4 (adjusted for scale length, of course) but it sounds nothing like a Thumb (at least not to my ears). Completely different pickups, of course.

Specs:
  • walnut body with mango top (black veneer contrast layer), natural, finished with Osmo;
  • neck is a shortened version of what was supposed to be a neck-through for Build 014 but ended up being not quite square - 5 piece, 3 maple and 2 wenge strips, koa board, matching headstock all finished with Osmo, dual action truss rod and 4 carbon rods (because I can), Luminlay SB23 side dots;
  • Delano SBC pickups (matched pair) each switchable series/single/parallel and neck/both/bridge pickup selector switch;
  • trusty Nordstrand 3b-3 pre-amp;
  • Hipshot UltraLite short key tuners, ETS Tuning for bridge.
Also weighs 3.4 kgs.

As with v1 there are plenty of build pics in the Lutherie section thread but some nice shots on the weekend.











Happy to answer any questions or inquiries. Thanks for looking.

Regards,
Michael
- 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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