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  1. Now that's a hell of a title. I think that's it's fairly well-known that I've somewhat of a fascination with Japanese instruments made from 1976-1986 in the Matsumoku factory under the Aria Pro II banner. For the last ten years or so I've been making replacement preamp modules for their classic SB-1000 basses, and doing a few complete restorations for clients. The SB-1000 was an active single-pickup four-string bass made in two versions '76-'80 and '80-'86. It was made beyond this time in various forms, and is still made by the current incarnation of Aria Pro II, however the classic period for this bass was when they were made at Matsumoku. The 80s version introduced a slight geometry change, new headstock shape, finishes, switchable passive mode but fundamentally it was the same instrument. 70s SB-1000 (thumb rest not original) 80s SB-1000 During the 80s, APII also made a dual pickup flagship version of the SB-1000 called the SB-R150 with better appointments and flashier wood laminations. Something I'd imagined a while back was to take the basis of the SB-1000, add in appointments from the SB-R150 and move it up into 5-string territory. In recent years, Aria Pro II have also made a 5-string SB-1000 however I have zero hands-on experience of those.
  2. So after a long hiatus, I'm back building again! My last was the explorer in about 2015, so it's been a while. I've been loving playing that in my band, easily the best sounding guitar I own! I've wanted to get back to it for ages, but life got in the way with moving countries and house buying etc.. Lockdown and furlough has given me a prime opportunity to finally get the shed set up and back to it though! Anyway, this time around it's going to be a bass - my first one! I've been spending more time with my Thunderbird lately but am really craving that extra string for some djenty/metally/proggy goodness. In particular I'm after that Darkglass-infused modern tone (ala Karnivool/Plini etc). I'm struggling a bit with finding pickups at a reasonable price at the moment, but the plan is for a set of passive soapbars going through a 3 channel pre-amp. Any recommendations would be appreciated as I'm much more on top of guitar p'ups than bass ones! I've taken an Ibanez SR as the start-point, mixed in a little Warwick Corvette and made my own headstock design. I'm also going with a proper logo for the first time! Scale length is 34.5", I wanted to keep a little of that de-tuned percussiveness in the low-B as well as not losing the playability of a "normal" scale-length with moving to a 35". Seemed a decent compromise. I'm also keeping the narrow nut spacing of my Thunderbird (classic pro) as I love how that neck feels. Woods-wise it's going to be a 7-piece neck-through made up of Maple, Wenge and Padauk. The body is mahogany topped with a generous bit of maple for some carving. The generosity is primarily down to the mahogany I have warping after I cut it from the blank a year or two ago.. hopefully what was salvageable is stable now! I've already made a start on the neck, but here are the plans so far - there's a bit more work to do to tie down details, but it gives the idea. Good to be back!!
  3. I'm new to guitar building and for some reason I've set my mind on a wacky little project. It won't be the most useful instrument but I want it to be as interesting and unique as possible. I want to build a single string, mega bass. I want to build it from scratch as much as I can. My plan so far is to use a .270 gauge string tuned as low as it'll go. Because there's only one string I want to make a custom pickup out of a speaker magnate to make a giant, two inch round, single pickup. On the finished build it'll be a polished metal disc under the string. It'll run direct to the jack. For the body I want to do something a bit narrow with two contours on the bottom similar to a Maverick Dorado so it can be used in a standard sitting position and more upright sitting position. I'm not sure what wood to use. I might try to beautify a piece of good plywood and layer it. The neck will also be narrow and I'm debating whether to go fretless or not. I'm also not sure if I'll have problems with the tension of such a heavy string. I'm currently looking for interesting tuning machines. I basically want anything other than a standard bass tuner sticking off the side. Suggestions would be great here. Basically the idea is, simple as possible and nothing standard, without it looking like a hunk of junk of course. I want it to be a show piece if I can manage it. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  4. Hello! I'm new here and new to guitar building. I love woodworking and have been playing bass for about a year and really wanted a fun project to combine the two. I came up with the idea of building a single string bass using the heaviest string I can find (.270 gauge) and tuning it to a ridiculously low note. it's not the most useful instrument in the would but seems fun. originally I was just going to buy a J-Bass pickup and turn it sideways but that seemed boring. I decided what I want to do is build a single, 2 inch in diameter pickup. on the finished bass it'll look like a two inch metal disc under the string. I'd like to get some opinions on this and some advice on how to go about it. I was thinking about tearing apart a speaker magnet. They're built with a magnet around a metal core which is attached to a large metal disc. I was thinking I could remove the round magnet, coil the wire around the core and attach a neodymium magnet to the bottom of it. it seems like it should work but I don't know what gauge magnet wire I should use or how strong of a magnet. I also don't know if the core of a speaker magnet is an appropriate metal to make a pickup out of. Any help, thoughts or opinions would be great!
  5. Hello lovely fellow builders! Been lurking here reading for a while, and finally created an account for a couple questions I dont believe I've seen an answer to. If there are threads answering these questions I'm open to being directed to those and having this thread closed. As the thread title implies, I am in the planning and acquisition stages for a from-scratch 5-string bass guitar. I plan on having a through-neck, 24 fret design in a relatively rare 30" short scale length. My questions both have to do with the neck and fretboard. The first is, is there any standard measurement for the length of the fretboard and neck itself relative to the desired scale length? I assume it depends on the number of frets already, but my thought was more specifically for the distance from the end of the fretboard to the bridge, as I assume there is some unspoken "standard" to make room for any and all pickups. My second question has more to do with the neck. I understand there would have to be a point where the neck would just snap from the string tension without some kind of reinforcement, but past that how much does the depth and curvature of the neck matter when building? I want a neck that is as thin and flat as possible without serious risk of snapping in half from regular use. Thank you in advance for any and all advice you can offer!
  6. The beautiful MSPaint diagram I created gives basically all the detail I can provide. The pots are from a 2011 Gibson Les Paul. I'm not sure what I'm trying to achieve is even possible without more components. Basically all I want is for each of the two pickups to have their own volume control knob. Seems simple enough! In the diagram it shows the two configurations I've soldered it in already following some online diagrams I found googling my plan. I'm glad I found this forum as it looks like has a wealth of knowledge! Thanks for any info anyone can provide! -Dylan
  7. A few weeks ago I started working on a pair of basses based around the old Gibson RD style from the late seventies/early eighties.... The basis of the Gibson RD was not too far removed from the classic Thunderbird design, however the through-neck of the Thunderbird and Firebird were eschewed in favour of the more familiar Gibson set-neck approach. The hardware was typical of Gibson basses at the time being a three-point bridge with its own little quirks. The two configurations ("Standard", "Artist") came passive with small soapbar humbuckers or active with a full Moog-designed filter circuit and larger low-output humbuckers respectively. Following the weirdness of the seventies, the originals were all-Maple contrary to the general Mahogany madness usually associated with the Gibson name. These are certainly not authenticity builds, however the design that I ended up with in CAD is not too far removed from the original. As usual, the essential underlying design was put through the "me filter", adding aspects I am more comfortable and familiar with such as volutes, scarf joints for stability, etc. The specification for each instrument is fairly different despite the same underlying design: RD Antrasiitti Body Two-piece Finnish Birch, 40mm thickness Gloss black paint (possibly Nitro) Rear electronics cavity Black pearloid pickguard Neck Finnish Birch neck, laminated from three vertical grained pieces Paperstone fingerboard Nickel-silver frets (2.8mm crown width, 1.4mm crown height) 35" scale 13° scarfed headstock with volute Two-way truss rod Neck thickness taper from 20mm at the 1st fret to 22mm before the heel transition kicks in Fibre-optic side fret markers inlaid in Sterling silver ferrules (white LED source) Electronics Guitar Logistics A8 blade humbuckers in chrome covers (all credit to RestorationAD for the work on these!) Custom differential buffer pre-amp Dual vol/tone RD Hiillos Body Two-piece Sapele, bookmatched curly Birch drop-top (40mm overall thickness) Cream/black 2-ply binding Gloss black back, tobacco burst top (Nitro) Rear electronics cavity 4-ply BWBW pickguard Neck Sapele neck, laminated from three vertical grained pieces Indian Rosewood fingerboard Nickel-silver frets (2.8mm crown width, 1.4mm crown height) 35" scale 13° scarfed headstock with volute Single-acting truss rod Neck thickness taper from 20mm at the 1st fret to 22mm before the heel transition kicks in Fibre-optic side fret markers inlaid in Sterling silver ferrules (flickering red/yellow LED source) Electronics NOS Gibson series 3 humbuckers (originals from a Standard) Custom differential buffer pre-amp Dual vol/tone My usual methods apply here - the instrument is drawn in a flattened top down state with no allowance for perspective distortion of viewing an angled neck or headstock. This is then translated to a side view where actual neck/headstock geometry are added in, before adjusting the top-down view to account for the distortions. This is done specifically for creating the body template and defining neck-body transitions only. The neck and headstock templates are "disembodied" and treated as seperate entities. I always draw only what is needed in CAD....this is functional rather than artistic!
  8. If I'm making a multiscale/fanned fret Precision Bass, does that mean I should use a Jazz Bass pickup?
  9. Hi everyone, I have some question regarding basses in general and I was wondering if some of you could help me out. For starters, I'm not a bass player and so far I've only "played" about 15 minutes top with a bass I borrowed from a friend. A funny anecdote is that I was going to purchase an Ibanez (GIO) 5-strings bass just before I took my decision to start building instruments, so my budget went in tooling and material instead. And I told myself that I'd make one myself at some point. Fast-forward a year later, and I still don't have a bass and my desire to learn to play bass is starting to bug me a lot ! So the last month I've been working on my bass design and I'm closing-in on the final version. Now I'm starting to look for the hardware and electronics and I've realized that I'm really out of my element. I have almost no knowledge of brands for bass component (mainly electronics) and how they compare. After some research now I know about some big brands like Bartolini and Aguilar, but they look to me like big/premium brands and I would like to know about more budget friendly brands (aka bang for your bucks). So I would like to know more about what are the different brands of bass pickup makers and what is your experience with them. I would also like to know more about pre-amps in general, but also what are the brands and how they affect/relate to the pickups (e.g. cheap pre-amps \w expensive pickups, or vice-versa) Thank you in advance, any info is really appreciated. And by the way it may help to clarify that I'm planning on making a 6-string fretless bass .
  10. Version v1.1


    5-string vintage-style bolt-on bass guitar. Features a single pickup, simple geometry and easy building processes using a small tool setup. Visit the support thread for information on build specifics and for further information on this design.
  11. Hi all from Yokohama, Japan! I play (bad) bass for my church band, and enjoy my MusicMan Stingray a lot. It's got the piezo pickup, and can make a nice blend, but ... it's heavy! At just a tad over 11 pounds, my aged back has been asking for a bit of relief, so decided to try my hand a building a bass ... or two. A while back, I found this slab of wood on Yahoo!Auction, our equivalent of eBay. It was supposed to be a table top, but warped a bit, and the big knot in the center was not terribly attractive ... I was the only bid at about $30 including shipping. I had no idea what to do with it. Btw, it's called Chinaberry, or "sendan" in Japan, Melia azedarach, and the berries are mildly poisonous ... and gets birds high as a kite. And I had a Hohner B2B (Steinberger licensed headless "broomstick" bass) that is light, but the strap button location and full scale = neck dive galore. I also have a 5-string Steinberger Spirit bass with a horned body that is great, but never use the low B, so took some design cues from that and thought to re-purpose the Hohner neck and bridge ... and found that I could have TWO bodies from that slab ... why not? I am working on the headless one now, and will post some pics of my progress. The second one will be a short scale (30") with a Japanese Mountain Cherry neck ... still kind of in the planning stage Warning! I am a carpenter, not a luthier, or even a luthier wannabe. My idea of tools is a hammer with a pounding end and a "fixing" end, a circular saw, and a chalkline. I love working with wood, and this is a new challenge for me, but really not out to make drop-dead gorgeous instruments so much as solid-but-interesting players. If it happens that they are attractive as well ... Yay! Cheers, all! cj
  12. Hello friends, looking for some advice about a guitar project idea i have. I want a hybrid bass/guitar, essentially a six stringed instrument where the low E and A stings are an octave down (like the E and A string from a bass) and the remaining 4 strings are like a standard guitar (D, G, B, E.) I was thinking a fender bass VI might do the trick. Using bass stings for the low E and A and regular guitar stings for the remaining 4. Does anyone know if regular guitar strings will work on the Fender VI? and if so, would i need to use a lighter sting gauge to accommodate the longer scale length? I'm also completely open to any other ideas on how to achieve the goal. thanks!!
  13. In my ongoing build post, "The Gretschenbacker", I make reference to my first and only completed build, "The Mickenbacker", a homage to the long discontinued Rickenbacker 4005. Once I realized that I could never afford the $10k+ it would cost to own one of these beauties, I thought I'd try my hand at building one. Strictly speaking, it's not a direct copy and I took artistic license with a number of design cues and dimensions, hopefully without compromising the essence of the original. The slideshow of the build may be viewed on the link below...
  14. I Have free time and lot of wood. I'm basically a bass player so I decided to make few different basses. I will post them in one thread. They are: 1. 5str jazz bass 2. 4str jazz bass 3. neckthrough 4str jazz bass Let's start. 1. I never like a classic jazz bass design, so I decided to make my own modern looking 5str jazz bass Ash body Maple/wenge neck with wenge fingerboard, 34", 24 frets, dot markers, bolt-on Gotoh hardware, Folin pickups Jazz Bass Set.
  15. Greetings, I just recently wrapped up my first scratch build. so I figured I'd make my first post here on PG. I documented the whole shebang on Luthier's Corner (TalkBass), but it is a rather lengthy read, despite all of the awesome advice I received along the journey. The inspiration for the build was based on the early 80s Aria PROii SB1000 basses. Being a fan of John Taylor, this seemed appropriate. Stats: 34" Scale 4-string bass guitar Macassar Ebony fingerboard (pre-slotted and radiused by LMII) Hickory body wings (later scrapped for Peruvian Walnut/Purpleheart -- see below for change) 5 piece maple/walnut/purpleheart/walnut/maple laminated neck-through 13 degree scarf No break angle as the bridge is rather low profile Hipshot Bridge and Tuners I doubt I'll have time today to post all of the pictures, so I will break it up over a few days. Day job + startup nano-cidery that my wife and I own have caused my free time to collapse! Alas, such is life. So, I had zero woodworking experience. None, zilch, nada...aside from basic carpentry cuts, etc. This journey started off with me chipping the headstock on my Rickenbacker 4003 and searching the googles for an easy fix. I stumbled into Talkbass's Luthier's Corner and got sucked into a vortex of threads documenting actual instrument builds. My mind was blown, and life took a turn to the adventurous world of guitar building. Here goes! Wood cut for neck-through blank Glueup! This is when I realized I'll likely be criticized regarding having too many clamps (non-woodworker) or not enough clamps (woodworker) depending on who I was talking to. I need more clamps. Neck blank jointed after 24 hours in clamps. Not a bad start, good glue joints! Quick mock-up with the hickory (at the time) and fingerboard While frequenting wood stores for my lumber, I quickly realized it would be a good idea to sandwich 4/4 boards as opposed to dealing with 8/4, which can sometimes be less stable (I can't say if this is true or not, it is just what a local hardwood wholeseller had told me). Plus, I can chamber for weight loss quite easily. MDF body template final-shaped on ROSS Hickory upper wing roughly shaped. I was quickly realizing how tough that wood is! My poor little (at the time) bandsaw was having issues with that stuff! I made a angled scarf jig for the chop saw. It did OK, but not as good as I had hoped. I now have a good bandsaw with a nice Incra miter guage/fence. I made a sanding jig out of MDF and spray-glued some 60 grit. A friend and fellow builder offered to show me how he cuts his truss rod channel on his router table. It fits! Scarf sanding (which took ages...may just turn that into a router jig) complete and ready to glue up! More to come soon! -Rich
  16. Hi, All I thought it was time I unleashed one or two of my crazy builds on you all. I say crazy because, occasionally, my methods make experienced luthiers roll their eyes and shake their heads with a "well, that's not going to work..." or similar phrase passing through their lips. What I will do when I get a moment, is post details of a major challenge I was posed with by a contact in the UK last year - it might fit better in the design section because it had some VERY unusual features and constraints. This one, on the other hand, is fairly conventional, leastways in terms of design. I will post the progress to date and then update as it nears completion. It is a single-cut, 34" scale 4 string fretted bass. Top: Camphor Back: Alder Demarcation: Wenge veneer Neck: Mahogany with central walnut splice Ebony fretboard Ebony headstock plate It will be P-J with covered pickups, passive with powered 2-band EQ The pictures below are probably self-explanatory. Design / construction method quirks include: The thru-neck will be cut from a single straight-grained length of mahogany - ie no scarfe joint The walnut centre splice has a scarfe joint incorporated to overcome the inherent weakness at the volute of the above design My method is really weird unconventional. I will elaborate as I go on, but I don't do the normal "take a neck, then glue the wings to it." Instead, I essentially make the body separately and then slot it over the neck (yes, I know...see paragraph 1 above) The photos below basically take the progress all the way up to this afternoon when 'rain stopped play', just as the carve on the body had started. Thanks for looking
  17. Hello everybody, I just bought a 74 maple Jazz Bass neck which has been converted into a fretless by some ... intelligent ... person back in the day. There was also put a fair amount of laquer on the fretboard. I'd like to restore the neck to its former glory but I have no idea on how to get this laquer out of the fret slots. If there was no binding on the neck, I could easily re-saw them. Doas anyone have experience with that kind of problem? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Cheers, wolf
  18. Ok, so I wasn't sure where to post this but here seems like the best spot. Got given an old bass from a mate to have a look at. It was his first bass (an old ProAx pbass copy made of MDF that for some bizarre reason has always sounded quite amazing) and he and his brother bought it together before his bro died so its worth more to him than a new one. Anyways, he'd put in some new pickups and a whole new wiring harness and fancy cap etc... sounds really good, but the problem is the Alessandro pots he put in stop just short of poking out the other side (rear mounted). My thinking was to get a couple of 3/8" deep round nuts like the ones you use for LP toggle switches, but I cannot for the life of me find any that size. (like this) http://www.allparts.com/EP-4923-001-Nickel-Deep-Round-Nut_p_1466.html I'm afraid to route any more out of the body because its MDF and I have no idea how strong that is really. Any other suggestions for how to get around this? He brought the bass to me with the chrome knobs holding the whole thing together, but I have a feeling that given time the pots will turn inside the cavity and screw up all the wiring.
  19. View File 1951-5 bass 5-string vintage-style bolt-on bass guitar. Features a single pickup, simple geometry and easy building processes using a small tool setup. Visit the support thread for information on build specifics and for further information on this design. Submitter Prostheta Submitted 04/12/2014 Category Instrument Plans
  20. Version v1.0


    DXF of a Hipshot TransTone 5-string bass bridge. Derived from Hipshot's public PDF dimension specifications via hipshotproducts.com
  21. From the album: Prostheta's Past builds

    Set-neck Birch bass in paint....
  22. In exchange for some work I have taken onboard a 1981 bass which....has seen better days.... From 1977 to 1986, the Matsumoku factory (actually part of a larger complex, Singer I think) produced the best instruments Aria Pro II ever put out. The RSB-600 is a relative of the more commonly recognised SB-1000 bass played by John Taylor of Duran Duran, briefly by Cliff Burton (bigger backstory here), Trevor Horn and numerous other bassists of the era. Like the "big brother" SB-1000 this bass is a 7-piece laminated neck-through design with Oak wings. According to the catalogues, the neck consists of Maple and Mahogany although I highly suspect that it is actually Walnut. Cosmetically the RSB basses were identical to the SB basses but with a 4-in-line headstock as opposed to the 2+2 Batwing or "open book" shape. The bridge on the SB-1000 was brass whereas all other models used a cast Zinc alloy. Unlike the MB-1 16-pole ceramic pickup of the SB-1000, the RSB-600 has a single AlNiCo pole MB-II. Internally both of these pickups were identical in that they consisted of two interlocking plastic bobbins, wound, loaded with slug/mags or poles and then epoxy cast in a thermoformed case. Interestingly, despite using the same full-width bobbins as the MB-1, the MB-II was only loaded with four poles corresponding to two strings per bobbin. Essentially a P-Bass sensing pattern with full width Jazz-size winds! We join our hero as I received her from Japan. Yes. Covered in bright blue paint. Very very very bright blue paint that we will call "Tepco Blue".
  23. Up until 1973 Gibson's bass bridges were fairly primitive and somewhat fault-prone but still relatively advanced in comparison to those in use by Fender. The introduction of their "three-point" bridge eliminated most of the existing problems of older bar or "two-point" bridges but introduced many of its own quirks. Still in use on modern Gibson and Epiphone basses, the three-point bass bridge is a proven design albeit mired in its traditional roots with much room for improvement. Up until the introduction of the SuperTone, upgrades for Gibson basses were near non-existent. The wide mounting point footprint, obligatory Gibson neck angle and modifications required to accept a new unit complicated the issue. More often than not any of these would leave the instrument devalued and impossible to restore to original spec. Hipshot certainly need little introduction to even the least experienced instrument modifier or builder. Their extensive history in producing premium hardware and drop-in retrofit upgrades makes them a regular byword and a go-to company. Hipshot are based in a substantial manufacturing facility located in Interlaken, NY which allows virtually all stages of production from material stock to boxed item to be carried out under one roof. As would be expected of dedicated retrofit items, Hipshot's SuperTone bridges match original mounting patterns for both two-point and three-point instruments. Simply removing the existing parts and dropping in the new unit is as complicated as fitment gets. By using the original mounting point locations and in-situ studs, owners of vintage instruments can confidently maintain 100% of the instrument's value by being able to return to stock invisibly. Common weak points with the original Gibson designs include two-point bridges bending forward under string pressure, saddles/intonation screws falling out three-point bridges, intonation difficulty and primitive adjustability. As is a common theme with Hipshot bridges, the SuperTone provides comprehensive independent adjustability in all dimensions with components sprung or tensioned against the bridge. SuperTone bridges are CNC milled from solid metal stock, in this case high grade Aluminium. This produces a tough, lightweight bridge with high tolerances and fantastic finishing in comparison to the rough variability of cast parts. Edges and corners are milled smooth with no seams, sharp or fragile areas. Saddle keyways share much of their design with the established Hipshot A-style bass bridges. Each keyway consists of a milled slot housing a large independently-adjustable saddle block which is itself milled from solid stock. Adjustment is possible in all three dimensions to dial in specific string geometries. The rear of the bridge is slotted allowing either bridge string capture or through-body stringing if the instrument has that option. Saddles possess grooved barrels instead of sharper notched string witness points virtually eliminating string breakage at this point. With the original bridges the saddles were fixed in height and radius or were compromised of a fixed "bar" witness point. This required that the entire unit be raised or lowered via the bridge posts. Primarily this restriction meant that instrument setups were coarse and a balance of compromises in setup geometry. Less noticeably the arrangement of some bridges - such as the three-point - also produced a weaker bridge-to-body coupling due to reliance on string tension holding the otherwise-loose bridge in place to the posts. The SuperTones lock down tight to the body of the instrument via two finish-matched mounting bolts producing the best coupling possible whilst the independent saddles a capacious level of intonation and geometry adjustment not previously feasible. Access to intonation adjustment screws is via the rear of the bridge. The screws are Phillips type in comparison to the slotted types of the original which prevents the problem of flat-bladed drivers slipping and scratching the instrument. The popular Hipshot saddle design is individually adjustable in height with ~1/3" (~8mm) of range via two hex set screws. The saddle barrels themselves can be unlocked via the third set screw with provision of side-to-side adjustment in a range of ~1/8" (~3mm) depending on string gauge. Whilst not designed for massively altering string spread, it does allow string spacing to be adjusted should the player want to take into account favourable string-to-string/equal centre spacings. As a retrofit item, the SuperTone admirably solves the shortcomings of the original bridges and introduces adjustment capabilities not previously possible. Although visually quite different to the originals, the appearance maintains a blend of both refreshing modernity and classic automotive age looks which are as pleasing on a new Thunderbird as on a 70s EB-0. All adjustment tools (other than a Phillips screwdriver for intonation) are provided along with two sets of mounting bolts to match both the Imperial and Metric threads. Setup is a breeze and free of frustration due to the excellent accessibility of all adjustment components even when strung up. From the standpoint of a custom luthier, the SuperTone bridges present interesting design options for different visual ideas to the norm. The intrinsic "Gibson nature" of the bridge requires a little forethought for correct instrument geometry however. A slight neck angle to maintain low body-to-neck join height or a small recessed footprint may be necessary. The substantial mass of the bridge lends a muscular design point which many bass designs would benefit from. As with most Hipshot's hardware it is difficult to find negative points to say about them. Their customer services guys know the value of listening to customers and apply this directly into the products without the huge inertia found with large corporations. Hipshot's email support before and after purchase is definitely key to their loyal customer base. With Hipshot carrying everything from design, manufacture and sales under one roof they definitely have the capacity to perfect their products as is demonstrated in items like the Supertone. If I were forced to hunt for negative points purely to provide balance for the huge number of positives, I would perhaps suggest adding a pad for the underside of the bridge to cushion the baseplate from pressing into soft or fragile finishes when locked down flat to the body. I can see this more being an issue for owners of vintage instruments. Most of the basses that these bridges are designed for command prices well into four figures therefore protecting the finish of investment quality instruments is important in maintaining the value of a bass that still works for a living. I also found that adding a pair of nylon washers underneath the heads of the mounting bolts was beneficial in helping keep them secure against loosening and preventing overtightening. The final twist of beyond "finger tight" snugs the heads secure. It should perhaps be noted that long-term use in exposure to direct sunlight may leave a light shadow underneath the bridge as the finish fades or reacts to UV. Overall I am surprised that new Gibson basses are not coming with this hardware as standard or at the very least as an option. If I came into possession of a stock Gibson Thunderbird (circa USD$1500?) with the original three-point bridge I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade it with this simple USD$120 bridge. Whilst it may sound and play well straight out of the box, without a doubt the addition of a Supertone puts it into a completely different league of instrument on both counts. In closing, the Supertone is a quality piece of hardware from a respected company that transforms Gibson basses into hugely adjustable, fuller-sounding and most importantly better-playing basses. For the builder these bridges offer a classy option for custom designs. I'm already itching to get one of the two-point Supertones into a future instrument. The three-point model installed here was acid fumed to add forty years of road hell; the modern styling certainly does not look out of place with a little antiqued mojo! SuperTone bridges are readily available direct from Hipshot at www.hipshotproducts.com or from many resellers worldwide. Bridges are available in Chrome or Black finishes with the three-point bridge also available with genuine Gold plating. Want a mix of parts such as a black base with gold saddles? Have a quick chat with the guys - Hipshot are some of the nicest in the business and love custom ideas. Tell 'em ProjectGuitar.com sent you :-)
  24. This is a project which will have a reasonably lengthy build-up time, so this thread exists purely to gather information, consolidate the design and work methodologies. A little background. I have never built an acoustic or archtop previously to this, so much of this particular thread will consist of my research and references to information online or from books, etc. The Gibson EB-750 and its sister the EB-650 were extremely rare (less than 100) basses built upon the designs of the Gibson ES range. The EB-750 was (as far as I am aware) the same underlying design as ES-175 but with a bass neck and a bridge placed further towards the rear of the instrument. My initial proposal is to build two basses, one with the same archtop design as the ES-175 with the longtitudinal braces and another with the more ES-335 style of build having a large solid central block between the arched back and top. I predict that these builds will be more likely to happen towards the end of Spring or worst case towards Autumn 2013. In the meantime I will be examining and refining more of the project specifics including things like moulds, methods of making the sides (laminating/bending) and the all-important back and top carving. Hopefully throughout the process we can document and critique processes fully for the purposes of tutorials, etc. Is anybody familiar with the EB-750 bass or in fact the ES-175? There is plenty of room for discussion on this one.... Cheers.
  25. I thought maybe it's fabric with sequins. It looks a little too 'controlled' to be sparkles. Any thoughts?
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