Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Building, Modding, Setup and Repair
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drbass
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Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 08 Sep 2018, 17:14

The next commission (and we finalised the specs today) is new territory for me - 32" 4 string. Looks a little like this:



We're almost there, a little tweaking of the upper horn (Theo wants a little more heft) - easily done. One can always add in the design phase (not so much when wood's been cut). Interesting specs, too.

Basics:
32", 24 frets (with zero fret), 3 piece neck (central purpleheart strip - about 5 mm - and rock maple), bolt-on, purpleheart fretboard, and the usual angled matching headstock.

walnut body with a maple burl top (see pic below), modified P shape (disregard the body outline):


electronics: Delano MC4 HE/M2 (quad coil) in the G&L bridge position, Delano SBC 4 HE/S in a position similar to Ken Smith neck; Nordstrand 3B-3 pre; each pickup with 3-way mini switch (series/parallel/single) and a 4-way rotary to switch the pickups neck/series/parallel/bridge

hardware: black Hipshot A-Style, 18 mm spacing; black Hipshot Ultralite short key Y, 3/8"; Dunlop dual function strap locks, black dome knobs.

Stay tuned for how this one comes along.

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

packrat
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by packrat » 08 Sep 2018, 17:24

A whole new family line of basses starting from my crazy thing :)

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drbass
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 08 Sep 2018, 17:32

packrat wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:24
A whole new family line of basses starting from my crazy thing :)
Well, flexibility is quite useful, and that's the whole point of NOT buying off the rack, right? All the mods make sense to me so I'm very happy to accommodate them.

How's your crazy thing going, Bruce? Still enjoying it?

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: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by Curto » 08 Sep 2018, 17:33

Purpleheart with the burl is a nice match!
Custom 32

packrat
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by packrat » 08 Sep 2018, 17:38

drbass wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:32
packrat wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:24
A whole new family line of basses starting from my crazy thing :)
Well, flexibility is quite useful, and that's the whole point of NOT buying off the rack, right? All the mods make sense to me so I'm very happy to accommodate them.

How's your crazy thing going, Bruce? Still enjoying it?

Regards,
Michael
It's great! I was just playing it today, and making a few minor setup tweaks. Still loving the sound and feel.

B>

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drbass
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 08 Sep 2018, 17:40

packrat wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:38
drbass wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:32
packrat wrote:
08 Sep 2018, 17:24
A whole new family line of basses starting from my crazy thing :)
Well, flexibility is quite useful, and that's the whole point of NOT buying off the rack, right? All the mods make sense to me so I'm very happy to accommodate them.

How's your crazy thing going, Bruce? Still enjoying it?

Regards,
Michael
It's great! I was just playing it today, and making a few minor setup tweaks. Still loving the sound and feel.

B>
:D :thumbup:
- 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

bigswifty
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by bigswifty » 10 Sep 2018, 14:34

Ooh medium scale with a solid body. Watching with interest!
Mike
I'm a mean offloading machine!

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slowlearner
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by slowlearner » 10 Sep 2018, 22:20

32" is the bomb :)
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SneakyJak
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by SneakyJak » 11 Sep 2018, 20:39

Can’t believe that’s 19 already ..... I do love 32-33” scale basses.

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BassLine
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by BassLine » 11 Sep 2018, 23:11

Theo (thunder fingers) was soooo excited playing your basses Michael - the harder he dug in the more they growled. I'm more than confident you can build his dream bass.
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drbass
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 14 Sep 2018, 21:04

The first of many glue-ups:



Maple burl top onto walnut body on the left, 3-piece neck (centre purple heart, and maple).

Spent a lot of time in the shop today prepping timber and still not quite done yet. Still need more maple ... .

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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Juan Lauda
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by Juan Lauda » 14 Sep 2018, 22:51

Excitement building! Looking forward to seeing this one come along.
Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

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Classic5
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by Classic5 » 14 Sep 2018, 23:40

Looking good :cool:

Just out of interest, are you using the West Systems epoxy these days?

Cheers.
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drbass
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Re: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 15 Sep 2018, 06:41

Thanks, folks.

I do, Ivan, but not exclusively.
To join the bookmatched tops I used polyurethane glue - one component, expands, and easy to scrape/sand. Since there is virtually no stress on that joint I am comfortable with that.
To glue the two body halves it was tried-and-true Titebond simply for practical reasons.
Both “top on body” and neck shown in the pic are with the West System. I use the slow hardener which a) gives me lower viscosity which means it penetrates into and fills any cracks/holes in those tops (good for stabilising), and b)gives me plenty of time to set everything up.

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: Build #019 - Polaris Special Q Shortscale TP Signature

Post by drbass » 15 Sep 2018, 08:27

Here you can see what I mean with "penetrating and filling" wrt the low viscosity epoxy: the dark spots are where exactly that happened.



Everything looks good, have all the timber pieces in place (hence the weird-looking actual top on the walnut - need to get material for the back cover and the headstock). Neck looks great too, and the board, well that's actually the back, there's a little more figure (but not quite as much purple - yet) on the front).

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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