First post, first warmoth, first build DONE! :) (Updated Feb 28 with pics)

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
Hey guys!
After years of thinking about using Warmoth to build my own bass, I've finally decided to start :)
I have pretty much everything figured out, but I though it would be a good idea to share my thoughts and questions here anyways hehe.
The only thing I'm really uncertain of is wood choices since I'm kinda green on that one. I've modded a lot of basses over the years (paint jobs, electronics, added extra pickups etc), but never really made something myself.

My three main basses right now is a Fender Precision (with a second P pickup in the bridge position), a G&L L-2000 and a Squier Deluxe 5 Jazz. But I'm almost only using the P since the added pickup really makes it versatile enough for most of the music I play. So my plan was to make a bass I can use for almost anything.

What I want to do is make a reverse five string jazz bass, as I've always fancied the look of the 60's guitars and basses like Danelectro, Tokai, Mosrite etc. And although I only use the E to G strings 99% percent of the time, I like having a low B for that occasional low note. ;)
For the neck my plan was to use wenge for the neck and ziricote for the fingerboard, since I LOVE the look of ziricote. Is that a good mix in terms of sound and weight?
Do I need to counter it with a heavy body wood, both in terms of overall sould balance and neck dive (I'm not to skilled on the whole wood combination->tone thing)?
Note that I'm not really concerned about total weight as much as a good balance.
And how much setup is required when I get it?
I know I have to file the nut myself, but do I need to get the frets leveled also? Because in that case I should add a luthier post to the budget :p

As for the electronics I have a few thoughs:
I want to go with a passive bass, as I love the simplicity of the passive stuff (and I'm constantly forgetting the jack in the G&L and Squier after band rehearsal :p ).
I was thinking about two Seymour Duncan MM pickups in the bridge and middle position and hook them up to a series/parallel switch (or one for each pickup), a master volume + tone and a 3-way pickup switch.
I also want a neck pup on a separate circuit with it's own volum/tone (like the rhythm/lead switch on Jaguars. I own one and I love the versatility). Maybe something like EMG or a similar soapbar that will give me a nice round tone.
The point being that I want to be able to go from nice round sounds to bridge-and-middle-pickup-full-on-pick-attack-grind with the flick of a switch.
Is this doable? I think I can manage to wire it up, but would it be a bad idea in terms of signal loss to put that many cables and switches in a passive bass?

As you can probably see I'm not the most experienced builder out there, but I'm trying to learn, and I do feel it's important to make the best of it when I finally decide to make a custom bass. ;)

- Andreas
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
First, welcome to the forum...  :eek:ccasion14:

For guitars I'm certain about Warmoth makes the nut from Corian and Graphite from Graphtech, bass I'm not sure, but think it's the same rule...
I would not pick a 5 string, would use 4 string... Just because the bands I like usually uses 4 strings, so I tend to think that 5 string players are not in the genere that I like...

Your idea in woods sounds good to me... Wenge neck with Ebony or Ziricote fingerboard is the most liked exotic neck combo here in the forum!
Would pick Black Korina for the body because of the look and the sound... It's lighter in weight than Mahogany and has more mids and treble, yet a good bass...
Can't go wrong with that combo!

Know nothing about wiring, so... Let the bass players talk about...
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
Thanks for the tip :)
Maybe I'll go for Korina then, although it looks very nice, I plan on painting it in a solid colour, so sound and weight is more important than looks for me.
About that. I was thinking about Candy Apple Red or a Red with a lot of flake. Does anyone have a pick of a red guitar/bass with a ziricote pickguard, as I'd love to see how well it matches before I make a final decision.

I'm mainly a four string player myself, but sometimes when I'm playing my P, I just miss the ability to play the occasional low D and C. I do own a five stringer, and I've owned several before, so I'm comfortable with the wide neck. I'd rather have the B string and only ocasionally use it, than needing the B string and not have it ;)
My only problem with making a five string jazz is that I want the pickup covers to complete the look, but I've yet to find a pair that's wide enough. Are there even anyone who makes those for five stringers? I'd love to have them.

And it looks like Warmoth's fivers have the trussrod access at the body, so that would probably mean there's not enough room at the neck for a third pickup. Oh well, that wasn't the most important part of the bass anyways. Two MM humbuckers with series/parallel wiring should be versitaile enough ;)


Just waiting for my paycheck, then I'll start ordering :D
 

ognolman

Senior member
Messages
351
manndreas said:
Maybe I'll go for Korina then, although it looks very nice, I plan on painting it in a solid colour, so sound and weight is more important than looks for me.

Heresy!!  If I were going to paint it solid I'd go with swamp ash.

manndreas said:
Does anyone have a pick of a red guitar/bass with a ziricote pickguard, as I'd love to see how well it matches before I make a final decision.

I'm not sure where you are going to get a Ziricote pickguard.  I've seen places that make wood pickguards, but they are few and far between.  It is beautiful wood, though.  Maybe you meant fretboard?  If you want to see Ziricote fretboard on Korina, look at my G5 bass in the completed forum.

manndreas said:
My only problem with making a five string jazz is that I want the pickup covers to complete the look, but I've yet to find a pair that's wide enough. Are there even anyone who makes those for five stringers? I'd love to have them.

I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for, here...  Pickup covers that match the finish of the body?  There are 5 string Jazz pickups a-plenty, but matching the finish would be difficult.

manndreas said:
And it looks like Warmoth's fivers have the trussrod access at the body, so that would probably mean there's not enough room at the neck for a third pickup.

If you get the angled headstock the truss adjustment is at the headstock.

Good luck on the build!

JBD
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
ognolman said:
Heresy!!  If I were going to paint it solid I'd go with swamp ash.

Hehe. Feel free to educate me on the whole tonewood thing. I've read far to many arguments on Talkbass about how much, if any, difference wood makes on tone, so I don't know what to believe anymore :p


ognolman said:
I'm not sure where you are going to get a Ziricote pickguard.  I've seen places that make wood pickguards, but they are few and far between.  It is beautiful wood, though.  Maybe you meant fretboard?  If you want to see Ziricote fretboard on Korina, look at my G5 bass in the completed forum.

I meant fretboard. Stupid mistake :p As I said in my first post: My plan is to have a wenge back with ziricote fretboard. For the pickguard I'm going with plain old black plastic. If I even decide to make a pickguard.


ognolman said:
I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for, here...  Pickup covers that match the finish of the body?  There are 5 string Jazz pickups a-plenty, but matching the finish would be difficult.

Again I didn't really make myself clear enough. Guess I was kinda stressed out when I wrote my last post hehe. I meant those old fashioned steel covers for the middle pickup and bridge. But I've yet to see a fiver with those, so I'm guessing they can't be bought.


ognolman said:
If you get the angled headstock the truss adjustment is at the headstock.

Oh really? Missed that. I might consider that :) Even though I prefer the look of the Fender style headstock. Thanks for the tip :)


ognolman said:
Good luck on the build!

JBD

Thanks :) I'm pretty exited about it. This is my biggest project so far. If this Goes well I'll make my own body the next time ;)
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
The woods change the tone, for sure... But the pickups are the big thing on the count...

Well, if you're paiting it solid I would go for Mahogany or Ash... Even more Mahogany after Tfarny told us that his Pbass with wenge neck and Korina body is neck-heavy...
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
ok! I thought I'd might need a heavy body to counter the neck. Mahogany is definitely an option. How about maple? Or would that be ridiculously heavy? :p
 

ognolman

Senior member
Messages
351
manndreas said:
Hehe. Feel free to educate me on the whole tonewood thing. I've read far to many arguments on Talkbass about how much, if any, difference wood makes on tone, so I don't know what to believe anymore :p

No, I wasn't talking about tonewoods-- I was talking about covering up the Korina with a solid color!


manndreas said:
Again I didn't really make myself clear enough. Guess I was kinda stressed out when I wrote my last post hehe. I meant those old fashioned steel covers for the middle pickup and bridge. But I've yet to see a fiver with those, so I'm guessing they can't be bought.

Ah, I see-- you mean the "slap deterrent" and the chrome ashtray cover.  I've never seen one for a fiver, but they might fit some fivers, depending on the string spacing.  I like those for the vintage look, but they just add weight and get in the way, IMO.

JBD
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
manndreas said:
ok! I thought I'd might need a heavy body to counter the neck. Mahogany is definitely an option. How about maple? Or would that be ridiculously heavy? :p
Not sure about, never compared both...
Saw on table Mahogany been 500-800 kg/m³ and maple about 600-750 kg/m³
So not much difference to me
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
ognolman said:
No, I wasn't talking about tonewoods-- I was talking about covering up the Korina with a solid color!

Hehe. I understood that. My first thought when black korina was mentioned was that it looked too good to cover up :p
But I just mentioned that I know _nothing_ about woods when it comes to tone and weight. ;)
 

tfcreative

Senior member
Messages
200
Nordstrand pickups, all the way for what you're talking about. Just use separate vol/tone for each, with a push-pull splitter.

On the need for the 5 string, do you think you could just get by with a hipshot d-tuner switch and get the D when you need it? The main reason I ask is that a 4-string wenge neck would weigh a lot less and if you're not using the B much, it would really help your weight issue.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I agree on the Nordstrand. 

Although I might be skeptical about the neck heavy thing.  That might be due to the tuners, bass tuners are rather large and heavy, and (nice run on huh) at the point of the neck where it would cause the most trouble.  Look into the lightweight tuners.  Warmoth sells BML Lites, but Hipshot ultralights will fit and you don't have to make guide holes.  The reason I am skeptical is I put an ebony neck on a basswood strat and the neck doesn't dive.  The neck side strap is close to the 14th fret on that guitar so it helps balance the thing.  The P bass or Jazz bass has the same general design.  Other bodies, like the Thunderbird, the strap placement is much further back and neck dive becomes more likely.

Musicman Pickups huh?  Well I have recently looked into the wiring diagrams of these basses, and they are "normally" wired in parallel.  The three way switch (tele style switch) on a single pickup one has Series, single, and parallel wired in.  The single coil on the Sterling basses (I think that this is the case) has a dummy coil to run humbucking in single pick up mode.  A one pickup under the string, but two coils wired deal.  It always gives me a run for the money to think like that, but that is the case.  For the dual pickups I think they run a five way strat style pickup switch, and I am not sure how to get the single coil sound out of it.  There are wiring diagrams around.  Be sure to look them up, it might make you alter your plans after getting more info on it.  Sounds like fun, and I like the 5th string, just in case I would like to rattle the fillings out of someones teeth...
Patrick

 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
Thanks for the tip on Nordstrands. :) They seem to be exactly what I'm looking for. Series/parallel/split wiring, and I have read nothing but praise about them.
As for the dummy coil: Both Nordstrand and Seymour Duncan makes one with, and one without.

The five way switch for the Stingray is wired like this (I think)
pos1: Bridge pup, both coils
pos2: Both pups, single coil (outer coils)
pos3: Both pups, both coils
pos4: Both pups, single coil (inner coils)
pos5: Neck pup, both coils

But I was thinking more like having a 3way switch for the bridge/both/neck-option, and a separate series/parallel/spilt switch for each pickup along with a volum/tone.
Guess it would be something like
Both pickup goes through it's own 3way s/p/s switch > volume > tone  and then meet at the 3way pup switch and then finally to the jack.

Note that I have not seen any wiring schematics for the Nordstrands, and I haven't really thought this through, so I'm just throwing out ideas here :)
I'm really stoked about finally taking the step into custom builds, so I really want to give every idea, not matter how far fetched it is, a chance. And I appreciate all the good tips I've gotten from you so far :)

Cheers :eek:ccasion14:
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
After two months of deciding, changing my mind, deciding and changing my mind again, I finally ordered the body and neck today. :icon_biggrin:

I went with:
A custom made reverse Deluxe 5 Jazz body in ash.
A wenge/Ziricote neck with a Tele headstock and no face dots. I didn't want to ruin the look of ziricote. ;) Hopefully they'll give me a fingerboard with some nice lines in it.

The plan is finishing it in Candy Apple Red, with all black hardware and a bridge that accepts both string-through-body and through-bridge.

As for electronics I decided to take it down a notch.
I'm going for a single Nordstrand MM5.2 in the usual MM sweet spot. And an Aguilar OPB-3 18v preamp with the mid-shift switch, an active/passive switch and a series/split/parallel switch.


Still waiting for the confirmation mail from Warmoth. But I'm super stoked that I finally got off my ass and started ordering  :icon_smile:
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
Ask for matching headstock veneer!!!

Beside it, sounds nice! Just pay attention for the Nordstrand MM, the guys from Nordstrand told me they're not 100% perfect fit... So, will need a little working on it...

Ahhh don't know about the color, don't think will looks cool with that neck (in deed I don't like most of Fender original colors, so I may be biased...)
And what's about the reverse body ???  :icon_scratch:
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
Rats! Didn't think about the headstock veneer... That would've look ace. Maybe I'll send 'em a mail and ask if it's not to late to add it :)
That's a shame about the Nordstrands as well. But since Warmoth don't offer Nordy's I kinda figured there was a possibility for that. Shouldn't be a problem though since I've modded about every bass I've ever owned, so I'm no stranger to powertools :icon_tongue:

The reason for the reverse bass is that I want something special. I love weird looking instruments, and I've always fancied a Mosrite. But I wanted something with a bit more spice. So I figured I'd just make my own twist on the mosrite/reverse jazz shape complete with neck and electronics of my own choice ;)

As for the color. I'm doing the finishing myself, so I'm not 100% percent set on CAR yet. I have plenty of time to change my mind still. I love the color with a maple neck, but as you say, I'm not too sure about the dark fingerboard against the color. I've tried to picture it in my head, but we'll see ;) And btw: I love the old fender colors!  :icon_biggrin:
 

NonsenseTele

Senior member
Messages
8,256
If you're used with tools and drilling woods, go forward, the reviews from Nordstrand makes me wish a set!

I got about the body, still not sure about... but it's your bass ?)
Send a mail to Warmoth ASAP about the veneer, at most they will charge you for changing the project (I could change a day after the order, but couldn't without the charge with 3 or 4 days...)

How about trying it to see if the color works:
http://www.nymphusa.com/kisekae/kisekaeE1.asp
 

manndreas

Active member
Messages
33
Body, neck and hardware on the way! I'm ordering the electronics from bestbassgear.com next week. :cool01:
After a bit of consideration I've decided to drop the CAR finish, and rather save it for my vintage jazz/p build I'm planning.
I'm thinking satin black, but I'll have to see the neck before I make up my mind completely.

According to UPS the package should arrive February 17th. But because the Norwegian postal service is crapola, I won't be supprised if it doesn't arrive before march. :b

I can't wait much longer!!
 
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