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"Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moonstruck can glimpse."

H.P. Lovecraft

 

 

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This build was has been in my head (and on paper) for a long time. The body design and even the wood I was going to use ended up in a bass I made for home recording. I'm not 100% that I'll use that design again, but I'm pretty sure. The raw neck blank has been thicknesses and scarf joint done. Wait, I mean the compound angle scarf joint. For the angled frets. Because it's multiscale. Because it has 8 strings. 

Why Cthulhu? Because it will have a full fretboard inlay of Cthulhu that will take me all winter. The original was an octopus (get it?), but I've since determined that isn't djenty enough. So, ancient god alien creature.

Here is the bass with the basic design. The first pic was before it was fretted and finished. Full specs to come.

 

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The fan scales were going to be 26.5 - 28" with the neutral fret at 7. This assumes I can afford the single string bridges which is what stopped me before. The Hipshot is inexpensive but then the bridge is perpendicular and the fan range needs to be less. 

If its a Hipshot, scale will be 26.5 - 27.5. 
Hipshot pickups will be SD Pegasus and Sentient.

Single string bridge pickups will be Aluma Deathbar(s).

Body is swamp ash, with insane feather crotch walnut. Neck is Cocobolo, bolt on but way up into the body. Here is a mockup that still has the very very rough octopus
inlay placement. The inlay will have tentacles that curl where the dots would be. :D

Also, my goal as you can see is to inlay the crotch walnut into the body, inspired by Jerzy Drozd basses. More to come.

 

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Edited by komodo
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Ambitious game plan you have there. If (when) you pull it off it will be stunning! Is that feather crotch walnut Claro by any chance?

SR

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Warning! Wood Porn!

ScottR- i know it's ambitious. It all really centers around the inlay. Also, I believe that may be claro but I'm not 100%. I do have a chunk of Claro and it's denser than this crotch.

As I dug in my wood stash to see what option I might have for this build, I found more than I thought I had. My swamp ash is a one piece, I also have two pieces for a glueup. I've got two 1/8" pieces of wide ebony I could face it with and do a Black Machine thing. I've got two ebony fretboards in case I screw up.

Then I found a set of quilt maple, not as nice as my current build but it's still 3-4a sausage - and its a full 1" thick!

I found a spectacular bookmatched flamed top, and threw un a pic of some curly koa just to finish off. Lol

 

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I tried to warn you. :D

Edited by komodo

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As Pauliemac would say, you've got some filthy stuff there!

That crotch is almost certainly Claro. I had a piece very similar to that a few years back. It was about 3/4" thick and I used epoxy to glue it up to the body. Next day I discover that many of the pores had little beads of epoxy that had been squeezed all the up through the pores. I expect that the density varies from board to board.

Chris has a point about the burl. What do you have planned for it........or is that LP outline on it for a reason?:D

SR

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LP template is from the wood supplier. I've been looking for a nice poplar (mappa) burl for a LOOOOONG time, ever since I saw the Jerzy Drozd basses. I think he was using that before I saw anyone else using it. But, I actually just found that this morning and scored it as it has a really nice overall burl and figure to it. It's pretty thin, maybe 1/4" so it would work well for this design as the inlayed piece, or as an overall flat top plate.

I also just saw Prosthetas 8 string in the DL section. The scales of that are really close to what I was going for here, and he alerted me to the Hipshot bridges which I did not know about before. 

One thing I've always wondered, and maybe i should ask this in another thread: With a reverse headstock such as Prosthetas design, does the extra string length PAST the nut have an effect on the string tension beyond scale length? One point of the multi-scaler is for tension balancing, but would you get some tension balance with all perpendicular frets at say a 27.5" scale but with an extended reverse headstock?

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Here is fine for that question. I think it has been discussed around here sometime in the past. My understanding of the subject--if my memory is not faulty, and that is not a safe bet--the longer the string the more cranks of the tuner it takes to bring it to the desired tension. But the tension required to bring a string to the desired tuning is determined by the scale length and string diameter. Therefore the tension for a series of strings of the same diameter and scale length tuned to the same note will be the same even if they were all of different lengths. The longest ones would require more cranks of the tuner to achieve that same tension.

I wonder if that means a longer string would stay in tune better?

SR

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That totally makes sense. Not super intuitive though!

I'm very excited about this build but need to finish my current one. I'll take my time over the winter getting the body inset and the fretboard inlay done.

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Behind-the-nut sympathetic string vibration is more likely on a reverse headstock, and is the reason why I've stopped doing reverse headstocks on my builds.  Can always be countered by wrapping a bit of cloth around the strings behind the nut, but can be annoying.

Relative feel of 'stiffness' of the string is also a factor

The only exception I've found is if your build includes a locking nut for a Floyd or Kahler trem.

Edited by curtisa

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@ScottR - you're right about the number of turns it takes to bring the string up to pitch. I doubt it's a huge factor in the grand scheme of things compared to sympathetic string vibrations in the free strung length outside of the fingerboard.

@curtisa - I wonder if string trees or holddown bars could be modified with a strip of rubber as a dampener?

@komodo - it's gratifying that the designs I've done have proven useful for people. I enjoying designing just as much as I enjoy making them, however at this stage finances are certainly favour designing rather than building! That said, I would love to make a 5-string version of your bass. It's so unbelievably cool.

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(3 months later . . . )

Thanks for the kind words Prostheta, and have at it! If you want .eps files of the body shape, or straight on pics, let me know. I've taken a very long (deserved) break and haven't started this or the May inspired guitar yet, though I have many parts for both. I refuse to do both at the same time, and will choose one and see it to completion. Both will be large efforts, The May guitar needs a custom built trem and impossible to get Adeson pickups. The Cthulhu needs 8 single string bridges ($) and a large complex  inlay. Hmmmmm

I've been spending a lot of time playing The Dragon, it's ridiculously cool to play.

 

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Definitely! PM me. I'd try and get ahold of something special for that. The design really shows off the Mahogany well. Black Walnut or other high polish woods would be intense.

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I bought a set of Tosin Abasi Fishman Fluence 8-string pups today.

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2 hours ago, komodo said:

I bought a set of Tosin Abasi Fishman Fluence 8-string pups today.

It lives!

SR

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I've always preferred painted guitars over stained, maybe because I grew up watching at all those 80's metal bands and all the crazy paint jobs. But the longer I spend looking at the materials used by most builders here I think my tastes might be changing. This is some incredible looking stuff! 

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I would play that bass even as a 4 string.  love that thing.  new octopus looks crazy nice too.

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On 2/27/2020 at 12:33 PM, JayT said:

But the longer I spend looking at the materials used by most builders here I think my tastes might be changing. This is some incredible looking stuff! 

Wood porn is addictive.

SR

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I told my wife I needed to go down to the shop and commune with the wood. Whisper out what its going to be. I’m leaning towards doing a version of the Vik guitars Abasi prototype . Has anyone seen that? 

I’m not one to build existing designs (even though I’m dying to do an SG), but I’ve got the octopus inlay, the Abasi pups, and its a multi-scale- seems like a no brainer. 

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11 hours ago, komodo said:

Has anyone seen that? 

Now I have....

11 hours ago, komodo said:

I’m not one to build existing designs (even though I’m dying to do an SG), but I’ve got the octopus inlay, the Abasi pups, and its a multi-scale- seems like a no brainer. 

Sounds like it is whispering to you alright.

SR

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