Bass VI build

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by araT, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    YES, I've given into the long-term GAS, it's time to get me the Bass VI of my dreams.. for years I've been drooling over them - I can't (or don't want to) afford a real vintage one so I've been toying with the idea of doing a USACG/Warmoth one, buying a Fender CS one, I've even looked at the MIJ reissues but none of them were exactly what I wanted.. I want a big brother for my Jag, CAR & B&B.

    So recently I've been in contact with a lovely new member here, Peter (Crocodile in space), who has very kindly offered to build me the Bass VI of my dreams... He'll be doing the hard yards, all the finishing & woodwork, and when it's all nice & ready he'll ship it up to me, and I'll put in the electronics..

    So far we've bought the plans, he's made an MDF template, and we've ordered the wood & the first parts - the body will be one-piece Alder (yummy!), the neck a nice block of rock maple, and a slab of tasty rosewood to top it all off!

    I'll be posting the pictures on behalf of Peter to save him the time (so he can work on the guitar more instead - hahaha) and keeping you all up to date with the happenings

    Without further ado, the first pics:

    [​IMG]
    Mockup (A perfect match for my Jaguar)

    [​IMG]
    The plans, chopped up & ready to go!

    [​IMG]
    The MDF body template to start off with
     
  2. 68GuitarPlayer

    68GuitarPlayer Country Gent

    Mar 20, 2010
    Clinton, Tn
    Woo Hoo!! Congrats and good luck!!!
     
  3. 6stings

    6stings Friend of Fred

    Age:
    59
    Aug 14, 2010
    Norway
    Sounds like a cool project T!
    Don't forget the pics, the pics, the pics.
    Long scale?
     
  4. ishtar

    ishtar Country Gent

    You and Sarah are two ambitious lady luthiers! Looks like it will be a new darling once it is all together.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  5. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks guys :D I can't wait to sink my fangs into it!

    Darko: it's a baritone guitar, or a short-scale six stringed bass, it can be seen as either.. I prefer to think of them as baritone guitars ;) scale length is 30"
     
  6. GreenKnee

    GreenKnee Gretschie

    150
    Jan 9, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    I think of them as Baritones too, but I suppose they're both, just need the right gauge of string.

    I got my Jag Baritone Custom today and love it! I'd also like a Bass VI one day.
     
  7. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Congrats again, she sure is a sexy beast! :D

    And yeah - I side with baritone guitar because of the guitar hardware on them, the pickups are regular ol' Jag pickups, as are the bridge, tremolo & tuners.. ;)
     
  8. RockingMatt

    RockingMatt Country Gent

    Age:
    52
    Jun 3, 2010
    Landstuhl, Germany
    Congrats Tara, someday i need a Baritone too!


    Matt
     
  9. rockabilly-rebel

    rockabilly-rebel Country Gent

    Jul 21, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    wow - this is gonna be cool - nice one Tara!
     
  10. johsonrod

    johsonrod Country Gent

    Apr 14, 2010
    Toronto
    duuuude this is gona be crazyy cool. Im doing a jagstangish body right now very similar post tones of pics pleaase T!
     
  11. Crocodile in space

    Crocodile in space Electromatic

    36
    Sep 4, 2011
    Great Britain
    Thankyou very much for all of your kind and encouraging words, eveyone! I'm sorry that I haven't participated in this thread until now - I have been incredibly busy for the past couple of weeks with work and family commitments; you'll all know what that's like! :)
    Please feel free to post any questions in this thread or to contact me via PM, and I will reply to you as soon as I can.
     
  12. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Age:
    33
    Oct 5, 2009
    Michigan
    The most argued question... what is a bass VI? A Bari? or a SS Bass? Its like the dinks that argue about Jack Daniels being a "Tennessee Whiskey" or a Bourbon... I guess I answer both questions the same.

    Either you like it or you dont. And I love me some Bass VI.
     
  13. Jeff O

    Jeff O Country Gent

    Sep 25, 2008
    The Motor City
    You're all wrong. The answer to your question is IT IS NEITHER BARI OR SS BASS.

    A Bass VI is a bass guitar. A Fender Precision is an electric bass. That is the original nomenclature.

    Further, the Bass VI is a copy of a Danelectro Bass Guitar. They also made four (4) string electric basses.

    The term Baritone originated in Nashville with the advent of long scale, 27" guitars, normally tuned B to B or C to C.

    A Bass VI or bass guitar is tuned E to E, an octave below a normal guitar.

    Additionally, strings on a bass guitar are more akin to electric bass strings, with a Low E string from .84 to .95. A baritone string set has a low E of .64 to .72
     
  14. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Nice to see you posting in here Peter! :D

    You make a good point, Jeff! I never thought I'd say this but... You're right!
     
  15. Jeff O

    Jeff O Country Gent

    Sep 25, 2008
    The Motor City
    you know you secretly want me
     
  16. Dylanphile

    Dylanphile Synchromatic

    554
    Jun 26, 2010
    Halifax, NS
    Hahaha. I think the truth is we all secretly want her. Oops, did I just type that out loud?

    Good luck with your build, T. Can't wait to see how it turns out!
     
  17. araT

    araT Gretschified

    Age:
    35
    Mar 24, 2009
    Berlin, Germany
    Hahahaha, thanks Dylan ;)

    I can't wait to see it completed either :D
     
  18. Crocodile in space

    Crocodile in space Electromatic

    36
    Sep 4, 2011
    Great Britain
    Hello again everybody, and thankyou all very much for all of the encouragement you have given us! Tara is even busier than I am this week, so I'll chime in with a few pics of our progress so far, and keep you up to date.


    The wood arrived on Tuesday - a gorgeous 1-piece alder body blank, an AA-grade hard maple neck blank, and a lovely piece of dark rosewood for the fretboard, with a beautiful smooth grain.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    Here is one taken from a little bit closer, in an attempt (largely a failed attempt!) to show you the grain of the maple and the alder.

    [​IMG][/IMG]



    The first thing to do was to set the neck and body blanks up for tap-testing. These methods are taken entirely from following Gil Yaron's superb build threads over at the TDPRI, so thankyou to Gil for being so incredibly generous with his time and his knowledge!
    In this picture, you can see the maple neck blank raised on four blocks of equal height, made from the same type of wood. Contact between the blank and each block is kept to the very smallest area possible -

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    This picture shows you just how little contact there is between the corner of the blank and the wooden block! This is done in order to minimise the dampening effect of the blocks when tap-testing.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  19. Crocodile in space

    Crocodile in space Electromatic

    36
    Sep 4, 2011
    Great Britain
    Next I went over the blank with a tuning fork, tapping each area and marking the wood with an "x" at the spots which really sang! The areas which sounded a bit damper were marked with an "o". You can see the results in the following two pictures.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    This piece of maple has some beautiful tap tones, which are tight, punchy, trebly and full of presence, and will make an absolutely perfect neck (if I do my job properly!)!
    Taking another tip from Gil Yaron, I started looking for the direction in which the best tap tones were running. Gil works on the principle that tones are conveyed along the grainlines, and where these lines are converging, those tones are becoming more intense. Where the lines are spreading out, the tones are becoming weaker. The best outcome is to have the grainlines of your nicest taptones converging on an important spot, and the most important spot on a neck for this purpose is the place where it joins the body. Good taptones and their lines lying along other points, such as the nut, the fifth fret, twelfth fret, etc. are also beneficial. You should also try to avoid as many dull spots in these areas as you can.

    Thankfully, I was able to fit the neck template into an area which carried the sweetest taptones along the length of the neck, with the grainlines converging right over the point where the neck will join the body!
    This picture shows you the position of the end of the neck drawn in pencil, and you can see where the tight band of grainlines reach their narrowest point.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    And here is the top half of the neck, with the headstock, and the pencil markings just visible. Only one "lesser" spot is on the whole neck, which is an incredible result. The headstock has plenty of good spots too, which will hopefully add to the effect.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  20. Crocodile in space

    Crocodile in space Electromatic

    36
    Sep 4, 2011
    Great Britain
    Now we repeat the process with the body blank. As we were able to get so many beautiful, bright taptones in just the right spots on the neck, the tones which I would be listening for from the body would be warmer, bassier and more mellow. These would compliment the bright tones of the neck and lead to a beautiful, balanced sound. (Again, provided that I do... etc!)

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    Some lovely woody, organic and mellow tones here, and I was even able to position the body template in such a way as to have a group of them converging around the bridge! This, as far as I am aware, is the most important part of the body for the best tap tones.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    This done, I made a start the next day on cutting out the body and routing some of the cavities. Here is the the body after being cut from the blank with a bandsaw.

    [​IMG][/IMG]


    You might be able to make out the pencil marks showing the outlines of the cavities for the pickups and the wiring. This picture shows you the body after these had been routed.

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
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