Jump to content

Baritone Or Bass Vi

Recommended Posts

Found my next diversion to build with the leftover material from the VB-650 and LIL' SIS builds.


This is the blank glued up and rough cut.

Offset, doublecut. Kind of going for a Starcaster vibe.

While perusing at The gearpage. Came across the FenderVI thread.

Always thought the recordings I knew of,(Back in the saddle, some Beatle stuff) etc. were done on a 6 string bass with the wide nit and string spacing.

Did not know there was a Baritone type guitar/bass.

Was going to use this blank for a 28" scale baritone guitar. Played a Hagstrom (Viking?) and thought it was pretty fun and cool.

So now I find this Fender VI and figured I would go for the 30" scale instead.

Questions; WHAT pickups to try?

Is the Fender VI sound from the three single coils, or would a couple humbuckers or maybee P-90's be better suited for this build?

The Hagstrom had proprietary pups and did not sound like the Fender.

Might go try the new Pawnshop version if someone close has one?


Haven't gone to graph paper template yet but, liked the quick sketch on the cardboard enough to commit.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would encourage you to decide what you want to use it and make your decisions based on that. The Bass VI was originally intended to be used as a bass, but along the way a number of guitarists have used it as a baritone.

If you're looking for an authentic Bass VI sound, you ought to look into pickups made for the Jaguar. The original ones were similar to that. But what I'd really recommend is just to find something that will accomplish your goals. The new pawn shop model uses a Jazzmaster pickup in the bridge position. If you look at similar instruments, like the Schechter Ultra VI, you'll see something entirely different. Anything should work though, as long as the poles line up with the strings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


thinking the same way.

If I want it to sound like a BassVI, should wire it like a Jag or Strat.

The Baritone Hagstrom had a different sound.

As you would expect. Lighter gauge strings ( need to check what they use?)

Have a GC store nearby that has the Fender VI.

Like this store ALOT. TRADED in a "10" top PRS there and only lost 400.00 from original purchase.

The Hagstrom was used and I don't think I can find one to try.

Place a high value on the space between the pickups on guitars.

Moving the bridge pup closer to neck has proved to be bothersome.

Have heard of Strat guys having to lwer the middle pup.

There is a Tele baritone at the same store. Think it would have the same vibe, (Fender single coils).

Being a bassist/guitarist, this should be fun for jamming and riffing etc.

When I play bass, I PLAY bass. If I want to play lead or busier stuff, I play guitar.

Think it would be welcome at our "Jam Night".



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Completed some templates and trimed the blank a little closer;




Off to motorcityguitar (3mi. from here), to cgeck out the Bass VI.

Will pick up some strings if they have them.

The You-tube clips I like best have the Gretsch baritone. TV Jones?

Hard to tell when they don't say what amps their using?


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got the neck glued up, roughed in and the neck pocket routed;




Waiting for a truss-rod.

Going to change the headstock slightly.

Had an alternate shape and took off too much on the treble side :-(

Played the Fender VI and a Shecter Ultra VI.

They had a Tele baritone and "Special baritone?"

Think I'll just use some good humbuckers.

Plugged into a Bassman 59. Really need to spend more time with one and use my own amps.

Kind of strange. Not quite a bass, not quite a guitar?

Will be a fun thing to jam with.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Made some more prodgress on this VI build;



Got the fretboard/trussrod glued. Fretted and shaped the neck, heel and valute.

Access cover, hollowed the body.

Still kicking around the top. Carbon is here, paid for. Would like to maybee just carve some wood?

Wish my local mill had some pre-planed/sanded stuff. They have alot of exotic species but, you have to pick from rough stock.

Strings are proving to be an issue.

Got a wrap-tail bridge figuring I can "build a set" from guitar and bass sets.

Ordered a 'custom" set for aFender bass VI, (GHS). 3 lowest strings were 37", ball to winding. The 3 high strings were 33" ???***?

Just gonna use those to set the intonation.

If I go (thru-body), should be able to use reg. scale.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ordered the Labella's but they were out-of-stock.

Have always used GHS Boomers, so thought they should be good?

GHS is in MI, so I called there tech guy. He said they should have been 34.5" for all of them?

Have to wait till they get some more in but won't order online again unless string length is verified.

Might set this up with, string-thru, along with the wraptail and a easily removable tailpeice. Should cover anything?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I scrounged through the shelves in the shop and found what appears to be, white ash???

Very light, not maple. Lighter than some poplar and pine I have here.

Anybody have a guess? Please?


Photobucket is freezing.

Sorry about the cell-phone pics. They used to be better than our old camera.

Bought my wife some pro-gear for her birthday so we can get better shots of stuff.





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's very hard,

machines well. Spokeshave and planed nice.

Ruling out the ash? Grain pattern is different.

Not sure about basswood, sounds cool/apropriate.

Keep thinking it HAD to be from a cabinet/library/furniture job.

Sometimes I would take scraps or cut-offs home? Have been on alot of really big jobs where there would be many different trim crews.

Also, I specialize in winding handrails. So could have gotten it from a job I only ran the rail on with no other trim work.

Pic of the back help?



It's a cabinet grade hardwood.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think the top is Aspen?

It's tax time so while organizing receipts, found one for Aspen at Lowes. Looked it up on their site and it sems to be a match.

Think I made some shelves for a niche with it?

Testing some stain samples and ready for a final sand on the top.

Couldn't resist stringing it up with a baritone set. The tone I hear on them must come frome the longer scale cause this thing sounds wicked.

(used a piezo/bar pickup I have wired up).

Can't wait to get it wired and playable.





I guess a 28" baritone will have to be next? Will have 30, 32, 34" scales when these are done.

A guy might buy that VB-650. Think I'll use the smaller guitar template for the next one. Even with the short scale it feels huge.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...