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mhoss32

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About mhoss32

  • Birthday September 24

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  1. I too am on the switch train. more switches is best switches Great looking thing Andy!
  2. Thanks Guys!! @LukeFRC, generally because the finsihing oil isn't so much the finish as it is filling the grain and adding some depth and colour. once a few coats are on and before the wax finish, ill keep wet sanding to much higher Grits
  3. First round of finsihing is complete This first few layers are Crimson Guitars' High build finishing oil, over a surface sanded to 400 Grit. colour wise im extremely happy indeed, the contrast in the marquetry came out really nicely. the target is a nice even satin finish across the whole bass, which im using renaissance wax (conservators wax) slowly built up on top of the finishing oil. From this angel you can see the effect i was going for with the s matched top, with the flame of the redwood matching up nicely throughout the body the flame on the upper horn is especially nice. once ive got some more coats on and a slightly more even finish, ill get some nice close up shots. im also going to put together the power pedal, as well as the custom cable that will be needed for power/signal this week... and then its time to put it all together!!
  4. @Passinwind thats an awesome looking thing! at present im working on +24v, GND and L and R channels in a 4 pin micro XLR for this one, with an option for either stereo or mono from the other side of the pedal.
  5. @TheGreek Ive used these guys for inlay banding, the fretboard binding on my current build was made by them. good guys to deal with and they sell a lot of really excellent veneers too, albeit at a cost
  6. Just a couple of extra shots with a bit more detail :
  7. We're getting closer to the end now! The neck is now fully fretted with EVO gold fretwire, the cavities are all finsished, and all control holes drilled. the 4 holes for the frequency/resonance controls ive recessed around the knobs in the redwood top (PRS style), the plan is to aim for a nice smooth satin finish, and so i think this will add some nice highlights on the body and allow the rest of the top to be a bit thicker and sturdier the plan is to have the 2 filter mode switches just below the bottom of the bottom pickup, next to eachother, which should make for a nicely spaced set of controls. the neck is now to the profile i wanted, so im getting the side dots put in: these are going to be the same as my last bass, brass 4mm tubs with abalone dots. this is a pretty easy detail to add, makes the dots very easy to see even in dark conditions and looks lovely and here's where we're upto, with all the shaping pretty much finished: im very pleased with the overall shape and the curves of the body now. its very comfortable, pretty lightweight, feels nice to hold and the neck feels nice in the hand, the swirl of the woods on the upper scroll carve came out really nicely, so im extremely excited to move onto the finishing. that will really bring out the contrast in the veneers that run down the middle of the S shape in the top, as well as the rope pattern on the neck!
  8. Thanks as always guys!! @Simon., ill have to see if theres a "Bowyerchat" somewhere in the bowells of the internet so this week ive started attacking it with a router... scary times. first off i routed the recess for the bridge. the neck is very flat and very straight, and the graphite saddles are fairly tall, so this should give me the adjustability needed to get a nice low action on day 1: and then i started routing the pickup cavities. this is a tough job, the pickups are pretty tall compared to most normal pickups, but thankfully because of the internal height adjustment per string, i dont need to leave a whole lot of room underneath them for springs or foam. here you can see how high the pickup sits at its lowest point, with the "window" that shows the current mode just sitting proud of the body: with both pickups in it gives you an idea of how this is going to end up looking, and just how much space these pickups take up: and, with a little bit of gold enamel paint and a steady hand: nice gold logos! i like these a lot more with the gold logos, it'll really help them stand out. and the gold mounting screws round the edge give just the look i was going for. just enough gold to not be over the top! time for a gratuitous mockup with artsy lighting: this is a pretty good representation of the control layout. the knobs are some aluminium shadowsky style knobs, 4 smaller ones for the filter controls, and 2 larger ones for the volume and blend. there will also be 2 switches for the premap modes on there as well. quite busy, but hopefully not too "mission control" the next step is routing out the control cavitites: the main control cavity is pretty huge, but it will have to be to accomodate the preamps. thankfully the batteries will be on the other side of the body so i dont need to worry about them. the volume control meanwhile will be up on the lower horn, so i simply drilled a hole for that with a large forstner bit and then drilled an acces hole between them the hole for the battery board on the other side is a whopper as well. this is going to be a snug fit. thankfully it all lines up with the lower pickup cavity, which will let me run the power wires through with no problems. last job at this stage is the two holes for the jack sockets. these are slightly recessed, and will accomodate a single mono 1/4" jack, just like a normal bass, that will operate the two preamps blended normally and running on 12v battery power, and the other will accomodate the 4 pin Mini XLR socket that will carry power, ground and the two pickup signals seperately. the plan then is to have an outboard pedal that provides the power, but also has a switchable mono/stereo jack so that i can run to either a stereo preamp / power amp setup, or to a normal bass amp if needed. the body shaping is getting close to being finsihed at this point, and so is the back of the neck. it feels super comfy to hold, and the weight with the pickups, batteries and all of the hardware is sitting aroundabout 9Lbs 10oz. not exactly a featherweight, but not too bad for an artsy fartsy bass like this
  9. @lowlandtrees the ACG preamps are very sensitive indeed, i agree. the EQ01, EQ02 and EQ03 are all a very wide frequency sweep. as @BassBunny says, there isn't really a "flat" response, because the idea is that the preamp is mimicking different frequency responses as you manipulate the pots. all pickups have a natural frequency response of broadly the same shape, here is a plot that shows a bunch of different guitar pickups plotted next to one another: you can see that they are all broadly flat until 2000(ish) hz, and then they have a peak and then the frequency drops away. when we say a preamp is giving a "flat" response, we really just mean it is letting the pickup's natural sound through unobstructed. with a traditional boost/cut preamp, you're then applying boost or cut of different amounts at different frequencies. lots of different preamp makers allow for different levels of cut/boost, and at different frequencies, and this is generally what sets these preamps apart from one another. with filter control preamps like ACG, Wal or Alembic, its better to think of them as mimicking the sounds of a lot of different passive setups in one instrument. in a passive bass tone control, you have a pot that slowly pulls down that resonant peak, and then starts to roll off more and more high frequencies. here is a (exagerrated) plot of a normal tone control from the tone at 10, down to the tone at 0: (with the tone at 0 you get a low mid "hump" which is the blue line, ignore that for now ) you can see more and more of the high frequencies being wicked away as the tone control is turned. and different cap values change where the resonant peak and dropoff are: what the filter preamps do is allow you to mimick these different tone controls with a smooth sweep. on the EQ02, the frequency knob sweeps from high frequency to low, and the resonance knob changes the height of the resonant peak. here is a sweep from 500hz (red line) up to 5000hz (blue line) and here is a resonant sweep from 0 (green line) up to 13db ( blue line) the reason the ACG pre feels so sensitive, is that the frequency sweep on the bass filter stack is sweeping over a VERY wide range. all the way up to 6.3KHz, and down to below 100Hz i believe. Alan then also has a treble stack, that allows the treble frequencies to be attenuated sperately. I have an ACG EQ02 in one of my basses as well, and i know exactly what you mean. with the resosnance control all the way up (10db peak), even the tiniest movement of the frequency knob can make an enourmous difference to the sound. in reality with a resonant peak like that the frequency knob is acting like a wah wah pedal. my advice on getting the best out of it would be this: try sweeping the low stack frequency up and down a few times with the resonance knob in different positions. when you can sweep it without the change feeling extremely unnatural leave the resonance control there. then treat the frequency knob as a "set and forget" control as well, find a spot where it gives you the right balance of low end and midrange growl. then use the treble stack as you would a normal tone control. the lower knob chooses the actual sound of the high frequencies, and the upper knob decides how loud you want them to be. it really does take some getting used to, and i admit its certainly not for everyone, but you can get some really great sounds out of it if you give it a little time. i hope all that hasn't just made it more confusing. if you want to learn more about low pass filtering the first page of my latest build log has some details about the different examples out there (wal, alembic, ACG etc) (also, if you want to persevere with filter preamps but find the ACG too sensitive / complicated, im working on some at the moment that are based around Wal's current control setup, but that will let you choose how wide you want the sweep to be.) id also second the general advice that you shouldnt give up on a great bass because of the preamp. swapping out electronics is a great way to change the sounds you get out of a bass without major surgery
  10. Well... Hopefully Itll take some planning but the process of building this one has given me plenty of ideas on how to.improve next time around. That was kind of the point really, this is the prototype, the future ones will be an improvement. Ive learned a lot and need to reflect on a lot of it... But cometh the hour...
  11. I know, i know... The floor IS filthy. @SpondonBassed i had exactly the same thoughts. Normally a volute is a really nice place to add details with laminations, when i first glued it uo i was kind of upset there wasnt going to be space for one but im happy with how it turned out! @petecarlton, thank you for following along! Im.glad youre enjoying it and thank you for the kind words. Hopefully ill get the chance to make a few more of these once lockdown is good and over! A big considerstion choosing the woods for this bass was cost, not knowing that a lot of these experiemnts would work out, all of the timber choices were pretty inexpensive. Now it looks like it'll work out the way i planned, i can't wait to have another go with some properly fancy woods
  12. Thanks again as always guys, really glad you're enjoying the thread! @Kiwi Im hoping that the hollow areas inside the neck will contribute to a nice low weight and good feel. the rods in the neck aren't solid carbon, meaning that a fair amount of space inside the neck profile is hollow space. youre right im sure getting it right is trial and error, but thats what this bass is, all experiemnts! as for the filter sweep range, i think the balance really is going to be getting the range without the controls becoming over sensitive. you8r point about the 250 hz low end i think is pretty much spot on. that experimental board i showed a couple pages back let me try a bunch of different sweeps, and i learned 2 really key points: 1. the low end being too low wastes a huge amount of the pot travel. with the low end down around 100hz about 1/4 of the whole pot turn makes almost no difference to the sound without boosting the resonant peak to ridiculous levels (18+ db), which, as @Hellzero pointed out, at that low in the frequency range isnt very useful 2. the top end of the sweep being too high means that diling in midrange-boosty sounds is really tricky, as a tiny amount of pot travel results in a huge difference in the tone. im sure there are people for whom this would be ideal, but for me its a bit too tricky to dial sounds in accurately when working with 2 seperate pickups and preamps. Thanks for the heads up on the fret noise! alongside this setup i was doing some work on a multi-filter (low pass, band pass and high pass filter modes) with a pick attack, and i was surprised how low in the frequency range the boost needed to be to get the growly pick attack noises that still sound natural. Back at the workbench- ive started work on the headstock (finally!) the headstock is going to be farily simple in terms of its look, but its a look im absolutely in love with. the Bolin steinberger bass headstock is my personal favorite of almost any bass, and the relatively low break angle of the strings means that it works well for tuning stability using the bigsby the first step was trimming the back of the headstock flat, and then planing it ready to accept a redwood cap. on the back i want the walnut/purple rope to run all the way to the top of the headstock, with redwood either side, and then a simple redwood face on the front. I picked a nice piece of my redwood offcuts to make the front and rear faces out of. on the headstock i want the grain running vertical up and down, with the ripple running straight across. The rope patteren actually extends up into where the rear cap will be glued in place, but im hoping to create a nice carve in the back of the headstock so that the pattern matches up perfectly at the top. this will involve a lot of carving, but so far ive enjoyed all of the carving so a little more is no bother! on the front, i also needed to add in the small wooden blocks in the gap between the rosewood that makes up the sides of the neck. this is the point of no return for adding extra stiffening to the neck. up until this point the circular holes in the carbon rods were exposed, and wouldve let me run additional cabon down through the neck and set them in place with epoxy to increase the stiffness. i even went so far as to buy some solid 8mm carbon rods, and som 8mm cabon tubes with a 2mm wall thickness, but ive decided not to add them. this neck with the ebony fretboard in place is now noticeably stiffer than the hard maple neck i used on the last build, and so theres no need to just add extra carbon for carbon's sake the first piece has a hole drilled through to allow access to the truss rod nut. most of this will be carved away: this piece and another block are glued in place and planed flat. this picture was taken for reference so that when i cut the central hole there would be a good reference picture for me to use. and then the facing is glued in place (with 2 layers of black and white veneer to demark it from the rosewood) and then the rear stripe is once again cut and planed nice and flat The first step after this was to start the archeological dig to expose the rope pattern again ive got a good idea how i want the rear carve here to look once its finished. the thickness of the neck and headstock at this point, along with the fact that the carbon extends about an inch beyond the end of the pattern into the headstock means that this area should be plenty stiff and strong regardless of its final shape! my first cut through the headstock was a very conservative one. you can see here how the front cap will need to be cut away beyond the nut. the face is pretty mcuh flush with the top of the fretboard, which is a little different to the steinbereger ones, but i think it'll add a really nice smoothness to the overall shape, as well as meaning the headstock won't appear overly thick when seen from the side here you can see the carving shape im going for in the back, the walnut and purple stripe will be a sharp peak in the middle, with smooth curves out to the sides. i want the stripe to really look like a rope with the the rope pattern wrapping around it. a bit artsy fartsy i know, but just a little touch that adds a bit more interest to the transition where there would normally be a volute. this is where it ended up: im pleased with this overall, the colour difference between the rosewood and redwood should add to the look here once finish is applied round the front i rounded it over quite a lot, giving it a nice soft shape. you can see the hole for the truss rod here, as well as the white and black veneers that sit between the redwood and rosewood. this need quite a lot more smoothing and the tuner holes drilling an d things, but having removed nearly 3/4 of the length of the rosewood block with the hole, a normal allen key fits in there and is able to do about a 1/4 turn at a time on the truss rod. i think its subtle enough and in a dark enough wood that a cover won't really be necessary, result! now we're getting towards the routing of the body cavities for the pickups and controls, and then onto final sanding and shaping! the end is slowly approaching!!
  13. This build diaries thread is a goldmine at the moment!! Cant wait to see this
  14. @Ltsal Thanks so much!, i cant wait to hear them together. ill have to see if i can find a good way of making some recordings to share on here. ive realised that its just going to be a long job of getting component values just right to get the best sounds, but i dont mind a bit of soldering I carried on working on the neck transition for a very long time. its a tough area to sculpt as the neck gets in the way of getting the tools at the right angle to remove much materal at a time. thankfully its still good fun and seeing the shape come out the way i wanted it to was a thrill. i also started carving the back of the body, a simple scroll carve at the top of the upper horn and the belly carve: you can see the big sweeping curve that i was going for here, and the sketch of where the volume control cavity will eventually be: before i got the fretboard on, i decided to give the top a quick wipe over with some alcohol: this should give you a good idea of the colour contrast in the body, but also the "swan matched" effect i was going for, with the flame of the redwood meeting up at the thin veneer strips in the body. im very pleased at how this turned out, and hopefully one day in the furutre ill get to repeat this experiment with some more exotic woods! im thinking maybe a maple burl on one side and a darker (maybe madrone or amboyna?) on the other side... oooh and maybe a snakewood freboard with brass and abalone inlays.... Focus.... with that job well underway, i decided to get on with getting the fretboard on the bass. the first step here is to sit the truss rod back into place and get the top surface ready: i used a small square block made of some of the rosewood at the bottom, and 2 very thin pieces of carbon fibre at the top to hld the truss rod in place lengthways. with these how they are the end of the truss rod nut is pretty much flush with the top of the carbon rods one slight peculiarity with this construction is that the surface of the neck that the fretboard will be glued to will partly (about 50% by area) be carbon fibre. and carbon fibre and wood glue dont make the strongest of bonds. as such i glued a black "sacrificial laminate" to the back of the fretboard with normal titebond, and then the whole thing will be glued to the neck with an epoxy. this means i can remove the fretboard in the future and plane off the laminate if theres any issues with the truss rod a long way down the line. based on what i can feel now though, this neck is STIFF as hell. im not sure there will be much need for truss rod adjustments once all is said and done. i neglected to take any pictures of the whole lot clamped up, but once it was all in place, you can see how far the carbon extends beyond the fretboard at the neck end: you can also see there the first strip of maple veneer binding that will border the fretboard. i cut the sides back by 3mm all round to make room for binding on all sides first the maple all the way round. good thick superglue makes this pretty easy to do without getting it in the fre slots and the second layer is kingwood binding all round. unfortunately i managed to do some minor damage to the inlays at this stage, which im kinda annoyed about, but its not a deal breaker. i think nexk time around id probably go with a thicker banding, as the contrast here is kind of hard to see. its certainly moving in the right direction!!
  15. Love the look of this already, that wood combinbation is going to be a stunner. padauk and wenge are a cracking combo colour wise id say. beyond pickups any idea on electronics/controls? looking forward to seeing this come together! and +1 on working on the dining table/a workmate, a proper workshop only makes things faster, not easier do you think there's a woodworkers WAG's forum somewhere where they all meet up to complain?
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