Attn: Bass Guys (ShuttleFunk, this means you! :) )

Greg P

Junior Member
Okay guys, I've got some bass questions for you.  I want to build a bass as a best man gift for my best man at my wedding.  Believe he, he deserves a bass for all the stuff he has done. I'm not super familair with bass hardware so I want to get some opinions before I get started.  The other thing I should mention is that he is a monster bass player.  Think if Geddy Lee, Steve Harris and Jeff Berlin had a love child.  Very aggressive playing style.  The goal is a great playing, great looking bass

I've got a dinky P-bass Korina body with a satin finish that I got used.  I was thinking of this neck in the showcase:


I haven't decided on a finish (or not).  Probably tung oil.  Hardware, I'm thinking Hipshot tuners with the extender (which Warmoth doesn't offer apparently), bridge I'm not sure about.  The body is drilled for stock Fender.  It needs to be something extra-stable to accommodate his playing style.  Probably EMG pickups. 

So that's the plan.  Any comments?  Suggestions?  Things to think about?  Things I've over looked? 
okay, so for the bridge i recommend Bad Ass II, it will fit with the holes for the fender stock bridge and it will increase attack, sustain and clarity of notes.  I own a Fender jazz bass and i replace the stock bridge for the Bad Ass II and WOW! it's just awesome! I just ordered a walnut jazz bass body from Warmoth and i'll put a Bad Ass II on it because i really think the Bad Ass increase your tone. Steve Harris and Geddy Lee use this bridge.

And for the pickup, do you want a p-bass pickup, jazz bass pickup, soap bar pickup. Humbucker or single coil or even stacked pickup?
Active or passive?

If you want a p-bass i recommend the Seymour-Duncan quarter pounder for the huge sound.
more vintage tone? Lindy Fralin or Nordstrand pickup

Thank you, i hope my post help you a little bit
Hey Greg,

Hmmm ... never done a Canarywood neck before. I like the looks. If you decide to finish this yourself, I would seriously consider Tru Oil. I would check with a Warmoth rep and discuss the neck weight to make sure it won't be overly heavy for use with the Dinky P body.

For tuners, I'd seriously consider Hipshot Ultralights with a clover key. You'll save a half pound of weight going this route over a standard set of Schallers. Hipshot also makes a matching de-tuner. Since this neck has the standard mounting holes in the headstock, be sure to order the larger 1/2" Fender style tuners and not the smaller 3/8" diameter ones.

And to be upfront for full disclosure, I use Hipshots on all of my new bass builds - this means that I am an OEM user (not a re-seller ... yet.) I want to disclose this so you know that I have a relationship with Hipshot, and so that I can also say that I sought out Hipshot because I used their products repeatedly, not because I have any lofty builder credentials that they came looking for me. Since there could be a perceived bias in my suggestion, I want to make it open before you rather than to keep it a hidden secret that I may have to offer some lame excuse later as to why I did not disclose it to you now.

For a bridge, the Leo Quan BAII that mahavishnubass recommended is definitely a great bridge. I use a lot of these and also Hipshot Vintage bent plate bridges on my builds. I lke the BAII because it allows me the ability to customize my string spacing - but, you will need to slot the saddles to properly set-up this bridge. I like the Hipshot Vintage bent plate bridge for swinging the tone more into the traditional slice of the spectrum.

For pickups, I am absolutely nuts over Nordstrand's NP-4 P-bass pickups. I have installed a ton of these, many for session players, and everybody goes bonkers over the tone. If you also have a J-bass pickup to account for, I like both the NJ4 and NJ4SE offerings. If you have an empty pallate to work with for pickups, you might also want to consider a Dark Star. And ... a similate note of disclosure about my relationship with Nordstrand and Hammon Engineering (Dark Stars) ... I used them first before seeking them out for a business relationship.

Once you know which pickups you'll be using, drop a reply to this note. We can always discuss the pots and caps that would go best with your other choices

here's to a great project that really wows 'em,

I'd consider a wenge/ebony neck to add some growl and articulation to the notes.  Also consider satine/ebony for the neck.  Good clear tone.  Neither require a finish.

If your bass already has the Gotoh 201 bridge routing, a BAII would work just fine.  You'll need to do some filing on the bridge saddle though. (Unless you can find one already cut.  I believe Leo Quann if offering that now.)

A P/J combination would work well for the artists you describe.  I just finished a P/J for the shop with Fralins in it.  Great vintage tone.  Rio Grandes are also great and I have to echo Skuttle's comments about the Nordstrands.  Carey does great work.  I'm also in love with the Dark Stars.  I haven't tried a DS+J combination yet, but I bet it would sound killer.  If you can find a Lakland with DarkStars, definitely give them a try.

Thanks everyone.  I remember reading a while back how everyone was raving about wenge necks but I've only got two months to get the whole project done and they didn't have any wenge J-bass necks in the showcase.  So I pulled the pin on the neck above!  Spike says it should be here in about a week.  I'm pretty excited, I think it will be  visually striking, if nothing else. 

The body is routed for a single P-bass pickup, but it does have a rout for a battery compartment, so I could go active if I wanted to.  Right now, I'm leaning toward the Nordstrands, I've been reading a lot of raves about them.