Fretted 6 string modern Bolt-On bass
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Since the early days of my designing basses, I have wanted to make a bolt-on style. I originally wanted an Ash body capped with an AAAA flamed top. With either a green or blue glaze. My inspirations for this particular bass came from a number of influences. While the design can't be attributed to one particular style, brand or model, it was certainly influenced by a number of sources, all of which I highly admire for the design purity and design language. A personal favorite of mine was a Green G&L 1500 5 string model which caught my eye many years ago. It was the first bass which broadened my design ideas and let me see beyond P or J basses...ironically, it was a Leo Fender designed instrument too. I think it was this bass which taught me to be progressive and puch my boundaries...to always be learning and moving forwards. I was also influenced by a striking Lakland which I saw in a copy of "Bassist" magazine. It took a number of ideas, blended them and then added its own ideas on top. The third influence is the British stunner, Wal. A design so pure and yet of an era. Tonally, there is still nothing which quite sounds like a Wal. So I put all the design ideas into a blender. Kept what I liked...and added my own GMC influence and this is the design I settled on. It has rock and soul design influences.
I wanted to use Bartolini pickups this time, I want to try that fantastic modern soul tone. I like the Kent pick ups but I want this voice to have a different voice. Initially I considered a single Jazz and big fat humbucker, but I eventually settled on a pair of Bartolini 6 string Jazz noise cancelling pickups. These pickups were designed for use in Carvin sixers.
I was hoping to use a John East 3 band EQ, but I'm settling for a Bartolini 3 band eq with a 3 way mid freq switch. The neck will be a multi-laminate, using maple, purple heart and wenge. Initially I was going to use paduak, but I think it's about time I tried purple heart as a tone wood. It'll be a 5 piece laminate. I may use a Macassan Stripped ebony fingerboard, maybe Wenge or even Tulipwood.
An early design sketch.
Although I would also like to try a Purpleheart fingerboard too. I have tried a Conklin recently and I am really impressed by the tone which the fingerboard imbues.
The choice for the neck wood laminates will be a lot simpler than my previous basses. 1" Purple heart central core, with 1/2" Wenge stringers each side, with Maple completing the sandwich. Because a bolt-on neck uses a lot less wood than a Through-neck design, I can yeild two necks from the billet. I could in theory yield four if I splice the headstock. But that's pushing it. I could easily yeild two and the other one I can use as an although neck, headless bolt-on or a normal bolt-on.
I'll have to put a head plate on the front of the headstock to hide the laminates, this will allow me to use a logo on the front too. I'm not sure if I'll use a volute yet. If i do it'll be a simple one.
I'm still toying with the electrics. Vol, Vol, 4 way rotary, for the humbucker would be nice. Topped off by a 3 band EQ. Bartolini or John East.