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PJ-Bassist

Shuker, ACG or Sei Basses for a custom build?

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I should perhaps ask the mods to move this thread to build diaries.

Quick question from those on the thread, and perhaps @skelf if he is willing to share his experience.

What is the tonal difference between Alder and Black Walnut?

All my guitars to date have had Alder bodies (except for an Ash Warwick); but from the examples above I like the Black Walnut / Flame maple contrast.  As it's an unknown wood has anyone any experience of the tonal properties of each?

Thanks

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2 minutes ago, PJ-Bassist said:

I should perhaps ask the mods to move this thread to build diaries.

Quick question from those on the thread, and perhaps @skelf if he is willing to share his experience.

What is the tonal difference between Alder and Black Walnut?

All my guitars to date have had Alder bodies (except for an Ash Warwick); but from the examples above I like the Black Walnut / Flame maple contrast.  As it's an unknown wood has anyone any experience of the tonal properties of each?

Thanks

This might be of some help >> http://www.warmoth.com/Bass/Options/WoodDescriptions.aspx

Problematically though, you can get massive variation in examples here, so super lightweight Alder vs a more dense example will likely sound quite different.
Personally, I had a Black Walnut bodies Shuker Jazz a while back and it didn't do it for me at all, the tone just wasn't quite right. My mistake, not Jon's I might add, but if you like a more trad bass, you're probably best to stick to more trad wood choices...

Eude

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I've gone through builds with both Sei & Shuker, 3 builds with Martin & 2 with Jon.  I still own the 2 Shukers, if that helps. Both luthiers were fantastic and all basses were top quality.  I'd say the Sei was more "delicate" and Martin was reluctant to deviate from his styles whereas Jon (Shuker) would give anything a go.  I never could stop the neck "moving" on both the Sei basses I had, constantly tweaking them.  The Shuker's are top-quality instruments too but, in my opinion, are proper gigging basses. I know that probably doesn't help too much. All I can say is, you probably can't go wrong with either.  For the record, I had a used GB spitfire bass as well, again great build and finish but I felt the electronics overpowered the natural tone of the bass. Not had an ACG as, again I didn't like the body shapes. We can be a fickle lot us bass players!

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49 minutes ago, largo said:

I had a used GB spitfire bass as well, again great build and finish but I felt the electronics overpowered the natural tone of the bass. Not had an ACG as, again I didn't like the body shapes. We can be a fickle lot us bass players!

I really like the Spitfire body shape, I would love to play one, but, it was the lack of choice around pick-ups electronics that put me off a GB build.  I'm 95% sure I'm going to go for Aguilar pickups as I love the ones in my current J Bass (which has a Alder body and flamed maple top) along with an East pre.

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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9 hours ago, skelf said:

ACG has now been about for 14 years so I am no longer in anyway a new upstart.

 

Cheers

 

Alan. 

Oh of course. I owned #32 about eight or nine years ago (I think). Although back then there was just a bit of Buzz building about ACG. 

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18 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

I'm 95% sure I'm going to go for Aguilar pickups as I love the ones in my current J Bass (which has a Alder body and flamed maple top) along with an East pre.

Funnily enough, I have Aguilar pickups in the passive 5-string PJ built by Jon Shuker and a customised East J-Retro Deluxe circuit in the active one. 

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On 13/02/2019 at 12:28, skelf said:

Yes I am more drawn to modern designs as a builder but accept that does not suit everyone. It is the reason I worked with Colin Cunningham on the RetroB which is the most traditional bass I do. It was based on his Jazz bass but still had to look like something I would do since I don’t want to build copies. The remit from Colin with that bass was for it to be not noticed. Basically to get by as Fender enough not be commented on but different enough to be an ACG. From that perspective it has worked well. 

 

Cheers

 

Alan

Hi Alan,

I hadn't previously looked at your RetroB model, it looks slightly different to the J Type I had seen in ACG archives (is that correct?).  Anyway I came across this image earlier; I really like the more elegant shaping of the cutaways compared to a standard Jazz shape!  

01-ACG-J-Type.jpg

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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21 hours ago, eude said:

This might be of some help >> http://www.warmoth.com/Bass/Options/WoodDescriptions.aspx

Problematically though, you can get massive variation in examples here, so super lightweight Alder vs a more dense example will likely sound quite different.
Personally, I had a Black Walnut bodies Shuker Jazz a while back and it didn't do it for me at all, the tone just wasn't quite right. My mistake, not Jon's I might add, but if you like a more trad bass, you're probably best to stick to more trad wood choices...

Eude

That site is pretty useful.  It would seem Walnut has much brighter properties as a tone wood than Alder, and likely to weigh a bit more.   It could be a risk going for it, but it is much prettier :)

 

 

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Just now, PJ-Bassist said:

That site is pretty useful.  It would seem Walnut has much brighter properties as a tone wood than Alder, and likely to weigh a bit more.   It could be a risk going for it, but it is much prettier :)

 

 

All I can tell you is that my experience of trying out Walnut didn't go well, you could of course add a Walnut top to a more familiar sounding body core?

Eude

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18 minutes ago, eude said:

All I can tell you is that my experience of trying out Walnut didn't go well, you could of course add a Walnut top to a more familiar sounding body core?

Eude

I don't think I'll go for Walnut, too much of an unknown for me.

Looking at the website you shared a couple of options that have similar tonal / weight references to Alder would be

- Swamp Ash

- Lacewood

- Roasted Alder (same wood, but lighter and with darker colouring - seems ideal)

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1 hour ago, PJ-Bassist said:

Hi Alan,

I hadn't previously looked at your RetroB model, it looks slightly different to the J Type I had seen in ACG archives (is that correct?).  Anyway I came across this image earlier; I really like the more elegant shaping of the cutaways compared to a standard Jazz shape!  

01-ACG-J-Type.jpg

Beautiful! That bass has the ACG flagship filter pre fitted (the 01) ... best descibed as 'Wal on steroids'. 

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1 hour ago, PJ-Bassist said:

Hi Alan,

I hadn't previously looked at your RetroB model, it looks slightly different to the J Type I had seen in ACG archives (is that correct?).  Anyway I came across this image earlier; I really like the more elegant shaping of the cutaways compared to a standard Jazz shape!  

01-ACG-J-Type.jpg

Hi

If I put the J Type and the RetroB together you would see that they are quite different. The RetroB has effectively replaced the J Type (it is still available) The RetroB is much more in keeping with the Jazz bass type vibe much closer than the J Type. A joint effort with Colin to improve a few aspects of the Jazz bass while keeping the essential feel and general look.

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Here's a pic of my J Type (left), my Retro B (centre) and some other thing :ph34r: (right) if that helps.

1350173537_Jbasses04.thumb.jpg.fcbee1f2d01bce14e747b2ecca3e3f22.jpg

Edited by ead
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On 13/02/2019 at 17:24, PJ-Bassist said:

I really like the Spitfire body shape, I would love to play one, but, it was the lack of choice around pick-ups electronics that put me off a GB build.  I'm 95% sure I'm going to go for Aguilar pickups as I love the ones in my current J Bass (which has a Alder body and flamed maple top) along with an East pre.

I'm pretty sure that Bernie will fit anything that you ask him to. I owned a most beautifully built GB Rumour which lacked nothing in any department - build quality which (at the very least) rivals anything else out there - why don't I still have it? I was far too precious about actually using it so let it go to somebody who now has that choice (Stratty). 

If you have the money in your budget (and you do) why not consider the SimS pick up system or the Enfields they're normally fitted to...now there's a cat amongst the pigeons.

 

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Enfield are really something special. Their carbon fibre necks are amazing. Sadly, they're very rare. I don't think I've ever seen more than four or five for sale on the used market. 

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My wife has two Shuker 5 string basses, both fantastic! Jon’s a good bloke, nothing was too much trouble when we’ve been up to have work done on her 1st bass, while we were there, bought the 2nd!

Mike.

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Clearly I have a type!


These are my three short listed body shapes, all modernised J Basses

  • ACG Retro B
  • GB Spitfire
  • Shuker Horn

acg_retro_b.png.76c97df860418252f3b6d57a3faa6ea2.png

 

 

gb_spitfire.PNG

shuker_horn.PNG

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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All basses mentioned are top instruments.

I'd add the name Overwater to the list. These  are some seriously good basses.

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13 hours ago, Chris2112 said:

Enfield are really something special. Their carbon fibre necks are amazing. Sadly, they're very rare. I don't think I've ever seen more than four or five for sale on the used market. 

Unless it has changed recently the carbon fibre Enfield necks are made by Simon Farmer of Gus Guitars.

I wouldn't recommend an Enfield to the OP unless he has tried on and liked the neck, all the ones I have played were extremely V-profile to the point where I found them uncomfortable, and I'm normally very adaptable when it comes to neck shapes.

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Hmmm...if you like that body style you may want to try a Bass Collection SGC Nanyo - the  3 series (301/310/320) are generally around the £200 mark - they are surprisingly good basses. There is a thread in the Bass Guitars section all about them - with no desenters - which is a rare thing amongst musicians. The rarer neck through/ exotic woods don't come up very often but are still very good VFM. 

 

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