Bassist needs guitar building opinions!

tfcreative

Senior member
Messages
200
Ok, if I were building a bass I would know exactly what I want, but I've taken up electric guitar in the last year and want to build a custom (I already play a bass made mostly of warmoth parts). I'm hoping that those who know more about guitar tone can let me know if what I'm planning will give me the results that I'm looking for.

My desired tone is probably a cross between a LP and a PRS. While I want it to be somewhat warm, I want it to be primarily tight with some cut in the upper mids without the icepick. I typically like fairly high gain with the ability to drive the preamp fairly hard; not metal, but some dirt. Here's what I'm planning on so far, but I could certainly use some input from those with more guitar experience than mine.

Body: Chambered VIP, Mahogany with Flame Maple top
Neck: Rosewood with either Rosewood or Ebony board
Pickups: SD humbuckers, Pearly Gates in neck and JB in bridge
Electronics: 5 way, super switch or PRS style rotary

Any thoughts?

tf
 
K

kreig

Guest
with the chambered option, you might have a headstock heavy issue, i.e. the weight distribution/balance

it's a -15% weight reduction, per their info . . . just so you know :icon_thumright:
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
What *I* would change on that: 24-3/4" neck lengh and the pickups...
also a matching headstock veneer, if the fingerboard will be Ebony
 

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
Sounds pretty good... I'd vote for an ebony fretboard.  I also strongly recommend a 4-knob control layout rather than a 2-knob one.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
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2,197
I would go for a Wenge neck, but that is just because I really like it.  The VIP body has the upper horn that goes in front of the neck joint so I would imagine that the neck heavy issue would be minimized.  The only other suggestion is, if you want a little more bite, Korina over Mahogany.  All things equal, the build you proposed will probably get you where you want to be.
Patrick

 

koshersteel

Senior member
Messages
190
howdy,

  It seems like you've got a good idea of what you want. Go for the ebony fretboard if you want to brighten up the tone or stick with solid rosewood for more warmth.

  What kind of bridge do you want? If it's a trem I recommend the hipshot contour pro. If you're going non trem you might want to consider having a TOM style bridge routed into the body so you don't have to get an angled neck pocket. Good Luck.


 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
dbw said:
Sounds pretty good... I'd vote for an ebony fretboard.  I also strongly recommend a 4-knob control layout rather than a 2-knob one.
Macassar Ebony FTW
icon_twisted.gif


Agreed on 4-knob :icon_thumright:
 

jackthehack

Senior member
Messages
5,630
kreig said:
with the chambered option, you might have a headstock heavy issue, i.e. the weight distribution/balance

it's a -15% weight reduction, per their info . . . just so you know :icon_thumright:
[/quote

Don't worry about that, once you add hardware/pickups a hollow mahogany body's going to weigh 4 lbs + and it would be impossible to find a rosewood neck that would make it neck heavy
 
K

kreig

Guest
I think Jack owns a VIP . . . :headbang:

How does yours balance out , Jack ? :icon_smile:
 
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8,318
For needing input, I'd say you've made excellent choices.  With the five way switching, it's been the prevailing opinions of this forum that splitting the coils of a humbucking pickup doesn't necesarily yield a usuable single coil sound.  In my personal opinion, I'm not a fan of the PRS style rotary switch.  I'm a bigger fan of the Strat-style 5-way switch, or even a 3-way toggle or Tele-style 3-way switch and push/pulls pots.  With two humbuckers and two push/pull pots with a 3-way switch, visually it looks stock and yields 8 pickup combos as opposed to 5, however a few of the positions will sound too similar to utilize all of them.  Back to the PRS rotary switch.  At a glance, you can't silently tell what position it's in without a strum of a chord or switching to either end and working backwards, unlike with a normal switch.  The bridge pickup, I'd permanently wire it as a humbucker and only split the neck pickup. 
 

Chris of Arabia

Senior member
Messages
376
Personally I'd go with a 24 3/4" scale on that with a Warmoth headstock. If you're doing a tremelo bridge, I'd use a Wilkinson VS100, but if you go the fixed route, the two-post Gotoh 510 that Warmoth do would be a nice clean choice - I have the TOM version of the 510 on my LP and it's a very solid piece of kit once set-up.
 

gnome

Senior member
Messages
127
sounds good however i would probably hcange the pickups


when you say fairly high gain what do you mean?
 

jackthehack

Senior member
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5,630
kreig said:
I think Jack owns a VIP . . . :headbang:

How does yours balance out , Jack ? :icon_smile:

No problem at all; it's a hollow Korina VIP with Wenge/Ebony neck. Have Rosewood necks on a hollow alder Strat and the 3.5 lb Korina L5S; don't know where people get the idea that Rosewood is heavy, it's not. Pau Ferro is...
 

nathan a

Senior member
Messages
1,836
I disagree about split 'buckers yielding un-useful sounds. Just like a single coil? Hell no. Useful? Absolutely, especially with multiple pickups on at once: split neck + bridge hum; both split; etc.

I get a fantastic beefy strat sound, almost like SRV style, from my tele deluxe with a split duncan JB, split duncan Jazz, and vintage single coil all on at once.
 

tfcreative

Senior member
Messages
200
Wow! Thanks for all the quick replies. I'd like to respond to a few things, to see if I can drill down a little deeper:

Hardware: I'm currently planning on a Gotoh 510 bridge, as I don't plan for a tremlo. I've also looked at the Hipshot Baby Grand Bridge, but I'm not sure how it will lay against a carved top and it's a little funny looking. I'm thinking about aluminum sperzel tuners to cut down on weight as well.

Neck: I've noticed a few replies recommending the shorter scale. Can I ask why? As a bassist, I'm accustomed to longer scales always being better, and I am already accustomed to 34-35" scales, so 25 and change is not a lot to me. I'm leaning towards an ebony board (my acoustic has one and I like the feel) with a matched peghead veneer.

Wiring: I'm not really looking for a single coil sound, per se. I currently play a Strat that's HSS, and I almost exclusively use the Humbucker. Honestly, I'm primarily looking at something like using the inside coils in series for some type of wide humbucker tone, which could be completely mistaken. The PRS switch is less likely, since it apparently involves cracking open a pickup and flipping a magnet over. I also saw some recommendations for 4-knob; am I to assume this is 2 vol, 2 tone? Can someone help with the pros over master volume and tone?

Pickups: I only saw one response against my pickup choices, but no suggestions toward anything else. Are there any other favored pickups out there?
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
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8,256
tfcreative said:
Pickups: I only saw one response against my pickup choices, but no suggestions toward anything else. Are there any other favored pickups out there?

Bare Knuckle Pickups (from UK)
Rio Grande Pickups (same price as Seymour, but guys here always tend to like it more)

I like boutique stuff, so...
 

blue313

Senior member
Messages
2,824
The benefit of 2v/2t is being able to dial in voicing of either pickup.  It's not necessary but it does give you some more options.

The tone you described can be easily done with the pup combo you listed, brighter than a PAF but not as much sparkle as a PRS.  I like a JB in the bridge.  It has a scooped mid and just enough top end to cut through.  It definitely pulls off rock and metal tones.

Although Rio Grande seems to be the favorite around these parts....my question to you is, what song or artist would you say is closest to the tone your after?  :dontknow:
 

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
I like having 2V + 2T because I can get two or three very different sounds just with the 3-way... turn the neck pickup down halfway, and you have a clean jazzy tone at the neck, and you can still have an overdriven sound at the bridge.

I have both SD and RG pickups.  I like them both about the same overall.  Can't really recommend pickups without knowing what you play!
 

tfcreative

Senior member
Messages
200
Ok, I'll try to throw out a few songs to get an idea of the tones that I like. I'm not trying to specifically emulate any of these, I suppose you could call them influences:

"Chaos" by Mute Math
"Nothing as it Seems" by Pearl Jam
"Futures" by Jimmy Eat World
"Hysteria" by Muse

Those are in no particular order. There are also some John Frusciante (sp?) and John Mayer tones that I like, but I'll keep the strat for those. Who knows, maybe I'll build me a super strat next.
 
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