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Guest Marcoelwray

Elwray Basses - First Bolt-on 4 string

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Guest Marcoelwray

Hi people! -updated April 30, 2019-

I will not explain the whole story, but I started to really build complete basses on the beginning of 2018. I builded 5 basses so far, the last will be finished today (I'm waiting parts)

For now, I'm working on my technique, improving detailing, fretting, etc... But your opinion is more than welcome at every point of view.

I do not plan to live with that, it's a passion, a hobby, but like the second Infinga, I can sale a bass for a ridiculous price.

For your information, I'm located in Belgium, all is handmade, I have 2 main Tools: an old router and a bandsaw of 350W. That's about it.

Here's the first project, called "Elwray Basses Infinga 5 FL"

Elwray Basses Infinga 5 (X)FL

Type: 36" inches scale fretless bass
Construction: Hidden Neck-thru
Body: Half (20mm) Padauk on back, Wengé veneer (2mm), Heavy figured Bubinga on top (20mm)
Neck: 3-ply Wengé/padauk/Wengé
Fingerboard: Ebony, partial fretlines, side dots inlays in abalone
Nut: Graphtech 45mm
Pickups: Seymour Duncan SSB5 set
Electronic: Now passive, just a Tone control, 1 kill switch, 1 pickup selector
Bridge: Hipshot 5A500 brass black, 18mm string spacing
Tuners: Schaller BM Light, black
Currently equipped with Black Nylon Strings (LaBella)

5fl.thumb.png.cfb45855ec0ffe4178acfd24bc19aaa4.png

 

 

Elwray Basses Infinga 5

The second project is a "simple" Elwray Basses Infinga 5, it actually was an order from a friend, we choosed together the woods for best tonal/aestethics compromise. Total cost for my friend: 1600 €.

Type: 34.25" inches scale fretted bass
Construction: Hidden Neck-thru
Body: Half (20mm) Ovangkol on back, Heavy figured Flamed Ash on top (20mm)
Neck: 3-ply Bubinga/sipo/Bubinga
Fingerboard: Amaranth (Purple Heart), with Simtoms Jumbo frets
Nut: Warwick Just-A-Nut III (not brass) 45mm
Pickups: Delano SBC 5 HE/S set
Electronic: Active, Glockenklang 3 band EQ, 1 kill switch, 1 pickup selector
Bridge: individual ABM 3210C monorails bridges, 18mm string spacig, ovangkol insert for stability
Tuners: Schaller BM4 90 Light, chrome
Currently equipped with Elixir 45-130 Nanoweb strings

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Elwray Basses Amani 5C

The third project is actually a prototype of Single cut, wwhich is now equipped with an Amaranth fretboard, but I have no good updated picture… I play this bass a lot now.

UPDATE TO COME : NOW FRETLESS WITH AMARANTH FRETBOARD.

Called "Elwray Basses Amani 5 C"

Type: 34.25" inches scale fretted bass, High C
Construction: Hidden Neck-thru
Body: Hard Maple back with Bubinga top (10mm), ebony insert for aestethic purposes
Neck: 5-ply Maple/Wengé 
Fingerboard: was Ebony, now Amaranth with Wagner jumbo frets
Nut: ABM individual highness adjust brass, copy of the firsts "Just-A-Nut"
Pickups: Nordstrand Big blades 5 with custom wood cover
Electronic: Passive, 1 pickup selector, 1x Volume, 1x Tone (all CTS, not shown on the picture)
Bridge: cheap Göldo 5 string bridge
Tuners: Stolen Ibanez tuners from my old SR
Currently equipped with Warwick 0.20 - 0.100 Black label

am01.thumb.png.2d1191e2aea1033f4d0e6e5a4f93273f.png

 

Here's my fourth project, just finished tonight....

Elwray Basses Infinga 4

Type: 34.25" inches scale fretted bass

Weight: 3.6Kg

Construction: Hidden Neck-thru
Body: Half (20mm) Walnut on back,  Birdseye Maple on top (20mm)
Neck: 5-ply Walnut/Maple
Fingerboard: Birdseye Maple
Nut: Ebony adjustable 44mm custom
Pickups: Delano DJC 4 HE bridge, Delano JC4AL neck
Electronic: Passive, Tone control, Volume control, 1 kill neck on/off, 1 bridge series/parallel/single switch
Bridge: Schaller 3D 20mm ss, vintage copper
Tuners: Schaller BM4 90 Light, vintage copper
Currently equipped with Warwick Red strings

IMG_20180906_214527.thumb.jpg.e8eac6fd434b96d3c7a2a329fc897b2d.jpg

IMG_20180906_214632.thumb.jpg.d98226bd70d86aa94e36d30dbf36bf75.jpg

 

Elwray Basses Amani 5 FL

This bass has now sold to to @haysy ... Waiting is feedback with anxiety.

Type: 34.25" inches scale fretless bass
Construction: Hidden Neck-thru
Body: Top (10mm) flamed soft maple, Back (28mm) Canadian hard maple
Neck: 5-ply Flamed Maple/Wengé (not symmetrical construction)
Fingerboard: Amaranth (Purple Heart), fretlines in Wengé & Maple
Nut: ABM Brass adjustable nut
Pickups: Delano SBC 5 HE/S driver set (waitin')
Electronic: Passive, Vol/Blend/Tone
Bridge: in body, ABM saddle holders with Warwick brass saddles
Tuners: Warwick Chrome 3+2 tuners, with Amaranth pegs
Currently equipped with Fodera 40-120 Stainless Steel strings.

 

IMG_20190211_225437_1.thumb.jpg.7d076c36ec3358c0510c9c417d79b010.jpg

 

Elwray Basses Amani 5

This is my latest build, it was supposed to be a part of 2 builds but one is pending (all glued up but stucked there)

Type: 34.25" inches fretted bass
Construction: Hidden Neck-thru (both sides)
Body: Afzelia body
Neck: 5-ply Flamed Maple/Afzelia (not symmetrical construction)
Fingerboard: Padauk, Ni/silver frets jumbo
Nut: Warwick JAN III Tedur
Pickups: Delano Times Square 5 (bridge, so far..)
Electronic: Passive, Vol/Blend/Blend/Vol + Tone switch
Bridge: in body, blackwood saddle holders with Warwick brass screws
Tuners: Gotoh black tuners 3+2
Currently equipped with DR Fat-Beam

IMG_20190424_180048.thumb.jpg.27e9bc4ed122da88c90723242d57d287.jpg

 

Let me know what you think about those,

Just know that these basses are not perfect, I'm Learning, there is some flaws (mainly on detailing, I hate that and I'm quite impatient), but 100% functional

reminder: this is not advertisment, I do not sell so far. (except for friends)

Thanks to help me go further

Cheers 

Marco (Elwray).

Edited by Marcoelwray

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they look very nice, especially when made with such limited equipment

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Welcome to the forum Marco.

The finished photos are nice but where are the photos from during the build?  It would be lovely to see those too.

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Guest Marcoelwray
19 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

Welcome to the forum Marco.

The finished photos are nice but where are the photos from during the build?  It would be lovely to see those too.

Thanks :)

Sure, it's going to be a long post, but...

1. I was at work when I received the woods. I was quite excited by my first full build (ever).

1032127799_001(1).thumb.jpg.07e07231895999bdcfe25d777fa69daa.jpg

2. I skip some parts, it's gonna be too long, here was my first "workshop" in a little room

1376195031_001(2).thumb.jpg.627ce06acb7b93ac87be61e9509d7b27.jpg

3. I do not have a planer so I use "the router method"

1438685612_001(3).thumb.jpg.474722d26ca4e3249a21c47331835eb3.jpg

4. After strugling with some details I end up with a start of neck quite interesting

2026283556_001(4).thumb.jpg.2fd352d2770d62bcf8ba41ba0c61e340.jpg

5. Meanwhile, body parts are assembled and glued… 24h drying.

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6. I cutted two pieces of paper to get a good idea of the final shape

19013913_001(6).thumb.jpg.42f75fa65107ded9365e39ee0babfab9.jpg

7. I cutted the shape of the first wing with the bandsaw 

741412032_001(7).thumb.jpg.27609363ecbb8e28fb6f3bcdfd2a44d2.jpg

8. After A HUUUGE fight with the router (it has to be precise as f***), I finally end up with this

404608512_001(8).thumb.jpg.38f58173d220ea1d5a16328aa239f388.jpg

9. At this time I was really happy with this result. Starting your first bass with a hidden neck-trough construction isn't the easiest.

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10. I manage to do the second wing, and the most complicated part is to end up with a perfect fit without space and perfect flushing.

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11. Gluing the Matching headstock, not a really hard part

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12. Then, I have to rasp, rasp, rasp, with a cheap rasp from the normal store (I still use this one), it's quite confusing because it's a slow but fast process (paradoxal)

1827525349_001(12).thumb.jpg.5799d51e6fc2228c77eae881dc5658c3.jpg

13. Same idea with the neck, completely rounded by hand. Neck heel is oddly a great thing to shape…

1057375092_001(13).thumb.jpg.c6512c94242161e170598ec04aa742f0.jpg

14. Taking measurements and, at this time, I tought that placing a truss rod was a complex task. But no.

329055374_001(14).thumb.jpg.a41e544a02662aef1eb43dab1ade28e1.jpg

15. It wasn't the best routing I ever did, but it fitted nicely and I put some epoxy resin to fix it. Then I put some Padauk to prevent the truss touching the fretboard.

596803988_001(16).thumb.jpg.2cba224585635bae05a1b1338f0e39a3.jpg

16. Well Advanced neck… Time to prepare the ebony fretboard (holes in the head has (have?) been done with a simple electric screwdriver

542861927_001(17).thumb.jpg.483317b89f6f2b1b0a8ce8c645c4dd2f.jpg

17. Cutted, this fretboard ends up where it supposed to be. 24h waiting again.

1981786289_001(18).thumb.jpg.7549a97b1398362be591b6d363f31091.jpg

18. At this time I hasn't yet a radius Template so I improvise to do it by hand… Ebony is so nice to work with :)

1993805576_001(19).thumb.jpg.fcd3f017fe58453d8342fbbfa67f1fd6.jpg

19. A quite satisfying result for a first neck

1993805576_001(19).thumb.jpg.fcd3f017fe58453d8342fbbfa67f1fd6.jpg

20. After carving the two wings, I finally could put these together (with no glue) to get an idea of the final result

455915341_001(21).thumb.jpg.735c284d2010e24f11fd1d9d951a628d.jpg

21. And the padauk back, note that I hasn't yet carved the junction with the body.

361666580_001(22).thumb.jpg.08e213b662cdfadec69c4c3f4dcefab0.jpg

22. The most scarying part of the process is gluing all these parts together. I used a very professionnal process : :D

647450989_001(23).thumb.jpg.e7ba6f128dfc8d680078ee73580b95db.jpg

23. After another fight with the rasp, I managed to get this junction (look at this Wengé…)

148139691_001(24).thumb.jpg.70420c508953e8b15d8efc12e3beb616.jpg

24. I spare you from the details of routing with a Template that takes me 3 days to make, but it was a succes, after all

1126500193_001(26).thumb.jpg.58e88f99a01778648cf884402741ad3b.jpg

25. I love to see the neck-thru in the pickup routing. I also routed a random electronic compartiment

1096184125_001(27).thumb.jpg.aeefb13e10fbc53854e5cf63686e5968.jpg

26. This, my friends, deserves a full size image, oiling a so figured bubinga is …. beyond sex. lol.

1687966291_001(28).thumb.jpg.3f19587b36d423e057612110dce3d5be.jpg

376265431_001(29).thumb.jpg.ce788b003ee10173498d6b04d3381e04.jpg

27. Beginning of the end, placing the hardware (I love that too), here a Hipshot 5A500

414048713_001(30).thumb.jpg.0c3e456d11cda15e4b62476c22c2b6ed.jpg

27. And , I made a bass. That works.

 411293420_001(31).thumb.jpg.2bda59526becf59adaa5b353d04cf593.jpg

 

I have a lot of pictures more with fretting, japanese rasp technique but it will be longer. That was my first bass. but the process remains still the same, more or less.

Cheers

Marco.

Edited by Marcoelwray

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Thanks.

In answer to the question "Would you pay for that?".  Even if those instruments were never played they'd be lovely things to have in anyone's house.  I reckon you'd easily sell them if they play well.

Have you played them in yet?  Also, did you have difficulty getting strings for the 36" scale bass?

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Guest Marcoelwray
On ‎07‎/‎09‎/‎2018 at 14:09, SpondonBassed said:

Thanks.

In answer to the question "Would you pay for that?".  Even if those instruments were never played they'd be lovely things to have in anyone's house.  I reckon you'd easily sell them if they play well.

Have you played them in yet?  Also, did you have difficulty getting strings for the 36" scale bass?

Hi Mate

As for the 36" scale strings, any "super long scale" would do the job; I use LaBella Black Nylon strings, Elixir Nanoweb Extra Long Scale is perfect too.

Edited by Marcoelwray

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Hi Marco

They look beautiful and very nicely made using good woods. All of them. 

Clearly the acid test is how they feel and how they sound - and price is whatever the market will accept - but my own view is that the price you charged your friend was a decent starting point. 

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By the way, I like very much how you designed the hidden through neck.  Neat solution and a good demonstration of the accuracy you were able to coax out of your router.

Very nicely done

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Guest Marcoelwray
9 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Hi Marco

They look beautiful and very nicely made using good woods. All of them. 

Clearly the acid test is how they feel and how they sound - and price is whatever the market will accept - but my own view is that the price you charged your friend was a decent starting point. 

Hi 

Thank you.

Price is not really a matter because I currently Don't sell them. My friend paid all the invoices, I get the material, I build the bass. I asked for 200€ more to cover my electricity expenses. Originally it was equipped with SSB5 pickups but he bought Delano SBC5 HE/S set to change (I like the SSB5 set as it's a really neutral set) so I think all in it's about 1600€. It's expensive because I have not really good discounts on wood, hardware, etc...

But with a smart choice of woods, and hardware I can get a bass build for 1000€.

For now, I do big big necks in D shape, because I'm really sick of thin necks, but that is a personnal taste. it's a little bigger than a standard WW D profile neck. I will show you in the video of the Amani.

Thanks for reacting to my post Andy

Cheers

Marco

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Hey Marco

As Andy says, you're using some beautiful materials and the list of quality parts suggests that you are building a quality instrument.

I'm a great believer in individual instruments which are personal to the user and I'm a supporter of builders/luthiers on the forum. I've had two built by Andy, I own an ACG and I'm in negotiations with another BC builder. Very few are ever going to make a living from their builds but must get a huge satisfaction knowing how well received their creations are. 

Keep up the good work.

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Yes - clearly the costs depend on specification, but I find on my own builds, even for 'normal' pickups and hardware, the cost of the materials are rarely less than €1000. 

When I get enquiries for builds I always make it clear that they could get a perfectly decent playing bass in the shops for less than just the neck raw timber costs me...

I'm not on my main pc, but even on my phone those builds of yours do look pretty special.  You should put one of them forward to the e-zine "No Treble" to be considered for their 'Bass of the Week' feature.  They have featured four of mine and like you, I am essentially a hobby builder.  If they like mine, I reckon they would love yours!

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Guest Marcoelwray

The thing is, I'm a maniac. To me, I wouldn't suggest one of these basses for No Treble because I KNOW there is some flaws. Minor ones maybe, but to my eyes it's too much.

Lack of self confidence too.

As for the price, here's my explaination (applicable in MY case) :

wood: 300€ you can get really decent maple, ebony fretboard and stuff, without fancy flamings, walnuts, etc...

pickups: certainly the most expensive part; but you can count on 250€ to do the job

machine heads: need to be Schaller or quality. 100€

bridge: brass is cool, Schaller is hype, but, honestly, a cheap one like Göldo will do 100% of the job. 30€ (but my next bass I will do it myself)

frets: A Dunlop set is 25€

Electronics: quality is essential in these parts. 50€

Strap locks: Harley Benton copy of Schaller is really nice. 10€

Strings: Warwick, for a start, is enough. about 20€ (max)

Inlays: Abalone is cheap. 10€

Nut: Homemade. Free.

Sandpaper & consumables : 50€

Electricity: 50€ (large ennnnooouuughhh)

Handwork: Free

Do the maths; about 900€. As soon as you want high end equipement, flamed maple, walnut, high end pickups, the price flies away….

@The Greek Thank you very much. Supporting is a good thind. If I success in a really good bass (I mean, almost flawless), I will GIVE IT. Music should be free (call me UTOPIC MAN) :D 

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1 hour ago, Andyjr1515 said:

When I get enquiries for builds I always make it clear that they could get a perfectly decent playing bass in the shops for less than just the neck raw timber costs me...

Would you get the bass you "want" though?  If I had to buy my Fender P V again that's a list price of over £1700.

Edited by Si600

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Guest Marcoelwray

That's my "Japanese rasp technique"

Krkkrkrkrr.IMG_20180412_203022.thumb.jpg.456625f7b980d14fbf2e9c2fc45b3472.jpg

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24 minutes ago, Marcoelwray said:

That's my "Japanese rasp technique"

Krkkrkrkrr.IMG_20180412_203022.thumb.jpg.456625f7b980d14fbf2e9c2fc45b3472.jpg

I wouldn't be able to get my leg that high to use that technique, so fair play to you!! 😁 

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Building a quality bass isn't cheap in either materials or labour time, 1600 euros is hardly expensive for lovely looking things like that, I can only imagine they are wonderful to play

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Guest Marcoelwray

Thanks everyone !

I just did tonight a quick video with my friend. PLEASE Don't judge, it's totally improvised, the recording is bad and the sound is just OK. But at least you can hear all my 4 basses played by my friend (who owns the Infinga 5) + my Mayones + Warwick, just to make a quick comparison of sounds between these basses. He's a good player but he really suffers of red light fever, so forgive him the mistakes :) 

I switched randomly pickups and tones on all the basses. Please note that the Warwick is BEAD, the Amani is EADGC, others are usual tuning (EADG, BEADG).

Cheers,

Marco

Edited by Marcoelwray

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This morning was the first chance that I got to listen properly to your YT clips.

Excellent.  If you are just starting out with this venture, I have no doubt that you will produce some truly unique instruments.

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Guest Marcoelwray

Hi people,

I'm planning a passaround. Details are in the video. What is the rules:

1. I pay the first trip to UK

2. Each people pay for the next one, UK only.(cheaper)

3. I think one week is good. You tell me.

4. Take care of the instrument

5. You must give me a feedback, best is YouTube video, or here (maybe create a topic on basses not in this one), or if you don't want to go public, PM me your feedback.

6. I'll pay the final trip.

7. I need a minimum of 10 people, no matter your level.

8. Maybe I will ask for a copy of your id card, by PM, just to avoid any issues. 

9. Suggestions are more than welcome.

Cheers

Marco

Edited by Marcoelwray

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6 hours ago, Marcoelwray said:

I'm planning a passaround. Details are in the video.

Wow Marco.  That's quite an offer.  Involvement in the development of a product such as this would be a privilege for many of the members here.

As a product test, I hope it goes well for you.

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Marco, if you could stretch to a visit to the South East Bass Bash in Addlestone to start the pass-around of your basses, we could make sure to film some of us actually playing and reviewing your basses. (Edit: we could also interview you!) Then they could continue their travels across the country.

Failing that, can one of the first pass-arounds hit the bash with one of our attendees?

Edited by Silvia Bluejay

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Guest Marcoelwray

@SpondonBassed thanks, but i didn't really understand if you want to go in ? :)

Silvia, that's a really tempting offer I have to admit, but unfortunately the time is my most valuable money in these times! But for the passaround, no problems. I'll keep that in mind, though.

thanks!

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48 minutes ago, Marcoelwray said:

@SpondonBassed thanks, but i didn't really understand if you want to go in ? :)

I'll pass thank you Marco.

Much as I'd love to have a go on such an interesting instrument, I am only a hobby bassist and I'm doing it for therapeutic reasons.  I have neither the experience nor the knowledge to help with your development.  Also, my income is very low, I don't claim benefits and I'd find it hard to pay for shipment.

You should find no shortage of willing Basschat members when word gets around.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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