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SpondonBassed

Multi-Scale Fretless

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Posted (edited)

I've got an itch to scratch.  It breaks down into several sub-itches.

I want to do a scratch build
I want to own a multi-scale five string bass
I want the B to be 34 inch and the G 32inch
I want LED side markers
I've got enough Sapele left from another project to put towards a headless neck-through
I have a hefty chunk of white timber to identify from a kind neighbour who's done the lockdown garage-reshuffle
I've been promised a rather nice pre-amp from a kind member
I've got an onboard headphone practice module with Aux-in and Phones out.  Thanks Owen.
I've got a test bed for pups and electronics in the form of a bass I built from a kit a couple of years ago
I'm bored

It's a start and being honest with myself, it could take as long as @owen's project.  I welcome opinions and discussion in order to draw out my ideas.  Then I can make a plan.

This supersedes the idea of a "dream bass" that I previously wrote about.  That one was highly impractical and employed unnecessarily exotic notions such as a white enamelled mild steel fingerboard and gold plated hardware on a gold-leaf flecked white body...  I'd have had to come on stage playing it from the saddle of a snow-white unicorn for the full effect to be realised because otherwise - I am just not pretty enough to carry it off.

This one is more about the sound it's going to make than how it looks.

Edited by SpondonBassed
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I sought out my stash of Sapele this afternoon.

image.png.ce4c2ce22cf3b988b69d4824b2877a19.png

I need to collect some more, complementary, timber.  The long pieces are about 47 inches long but they haven't the depth needed for a neck through.

This might take some time...

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I really wanted my current mutliscale build to be headless but was put off by the lack of decent affordable hardware out there. It seemed like the choices were either ABM - super pricey despite mixed reviews - or the ones from ebay that are so cheap I daren't even try. What are you thinking bridge/headpiece-wise?

I have also wondered about the possibility of a multiscale fretless. Would it not be particularly hard to play?

Re the depth of the pieces for the neck - could you stick another shorter piece on at the body end to up the thickness? Maybe a darker/lighter veneer in between?

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20 minutes ago, Rexel Matador said:

I really wanted my current mutliscale build to be headless but was put off by the lack of decent affordable hardware out there. It seemed like the choices were either ABM - super pricey despite mixed reviews - or the ones from ebay that are so cheap I daren't even try. What are you thinking bridge/headpiece-wise?

@Jabba_the_gut gave me a link to a couple of systems with individual tuners for flexibility.  Angle neck retainers are likely to be rare if there are any at all.  I may well manufacture something.

23 minutes ago, Rexel Matador said:

I have also wondered about the possibility of a multiscale fretless. Would it not be particularly hard to play?

Until I try I can't say but I have a notion that it may not be as hard as you'd think.  I'm reacquainting myself with my four string fretless right now and it's forcing me to use my ears more.

25 minutes ago, Rexel Matador said:

Re the depth of the pieces for the neck - could you stick another shorter piece on at the body end to up the thickness? Maybe a darker/lighter veneer in between?

Yes.  I've been thinking along the same lines.

I like the idea of a light demarcation layer.  A few builders here have used it to great effect.

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1 hour ago, Rexel Matador said:

I really wanted my current mutliscale build to be headless but was put off by the lack of decent affordable hardware out there. It seemed like the choices were either ABM - super pricey despite mixed reviews - or the ones from ebay that are so cheap I daren't even try. What are you thinking bridge/headpiece-wise?

I have also wondered about the possibility of a multiscale fretless. Would it not be particularly hard to play?

Re the depth of the pieces for the neck - could you stick another shorter piece on at the body end to up the thickness? Maybe a darker/lighter veneer in between?

Persist on the well known Internet auction site for ABM parts.  They do crop up, this year I have got very lucky with ABM bridges - twice :)

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14 hours ago, Rexel Matador said:

What are you thinking bridge/headpiece-wise?

Looking through images for ideas I have seen normal (perpendicular orientation) headpieces used in conjunction with an angled zero fret.

image.png.8600e79ecf25dc65c79dda8d472e319a.png

 

I've also seen Brice bass's individual headpiece string clamps.

image.png.1e5640f9d550a0dcb1e7bbfe997f54cc.png

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Exciting!

Hmmm...multi-scale...fretless...led's...multi-piece neck

I can see that my "he's the guy who takes on the crazy stuff" crown may be slipping soon. ;)

 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Exciting!

Hmmm...multi-scale...fretless...led's...multi-piece neck

I can see that my "he's the guy who takes on the crazy stuff" crown may be slipping soon. ;)

 

If it ever gets off the ground it will be something.

I am considering contracting some of the work out.  The main thing being the thicknessing and then the bonding of all of the laminates.  Although I could farm out the thicknessing by itself and bond the pieces at home, it leaves room for mishaps that way.  Jack's daughter's partner is a cabinet maker in a commercial workshop and back at work with social distancing.  I will see if his firm will quote for the job.

None of it's going to start without some sort of plan and the ideas are only just coming up to boil.

Like yourself, I will need to do some 1:1 scale drafts to help my ideas to crystallise.

Edited by SpondonBassed
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@SpondonBassed. Another option could be to use one of the cheaper headless bridges and put a hack saw to it to remove the saddles to use the tuning bit on it's own (think @Andyjr1515 took that approach to Mick's bass). Then make a bridge (maybe using the saddle blocks from the headless bridge?) or even run a piezo across at an angle. At the neck end, use a straight string clamp and an angled nut. A bit like this very rough mock-up:

1q9SvMZ.jpg?2

It's a compromise on a few bits but cheaper! Might work, might not. Might be a starting point though....

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Jabba_the_gut said:

@SpondonBassed. Another option could be to use one of the cheaper headless bridges and put a hack saw to it to remove the saddles to use the tuning bit on it's own (think @Andyjr1515 took that approach to Mick's bass). Then make a bridge (maybe using the saddle blocks from the headless bridge?) or even run a piezo across at an angle. At the neck end, use a straight string clamp and an angled nut. A bit like this very rough mock-up:

1q9SvMZ.jpg?2

It's a compromise on a few bits but cheaper! Might work, might not. Might be a starting point though....

Would that not narrow the string spacing too much? I really like the idea, and you re-notch the string slots, but you would lose several mms string spacing me thinks.

EDIT: I actually think you wouldn't lose much at all looking at it more closely. Interesting.

Edited by HazBeen

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Will it be any good for metal?

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12 hours ago, Si600 said:

Will it be any good for metal?

It'll probably be good for Skiffle but beyond that I'm not making any promises.

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1 hour ago, SpondonBassed said:

It'll probably be good for Skiffle but beyond that I'm not making any promises.

That's properly tickled me. 😆

Can we start a new campaign to change worldwide recognised bass question to, "Is it any good for Skiffle?"

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Posted (edited)

I've got this piece of timber to identify.

Plank1.png.75806b79d37d35bee8aa5b7b852c6b1a.png

Plank2.png.b92f6e308d1b2fc13066fd8ed4beb280.png

I cleaned it back a bit to show the grain better.  It's plain sawn, I think.  I've got a bit of reading to do to see how it might affect the build.  I found this.

@Owen kindly sent me a headphone practice module that he got from @Chopthebass.  It's got an Aux-in as well.  Another member has promised to send me a rather nice pre-amp too.

In addition, I've posted a topic in Recycling asking for donor instruments that are beyond economic repair so that I might start a parts collection.

I should start sketching soon.

Edited by SpondonBassed

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Looks like a plank to me.

A wooden one.

 

 

 

More seriously ash?

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51 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Looks like a plank to me.

A wooden one.

 

 

 

More seriously ash?

It's not a plank until it's been driven round a corner between two lorries whilst the car it was on the roof of goes the other way.

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I've read up a bit and found that plain (or flat) sawn is not the most stable cut and it is preferable to use quarter sawn for guitar tops and backs...

Bugger.

Tomorrow I will measure up and see if anything useable can be got from this.  Alternatively, I might make it an arch top so that bowing is less noticeable.

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Posted (edited)

@Si600

Thanks for the reminder Si.  That made me smile.

image.png.2eb4dbe2e99373e7aaeae84bb6fba9f3.png

Edited by SpondonBassed
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2 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

I've read up a bit and found that plain (or flat) sawn is not the most stable cut and it is preferable to use quarter sawn for guitar tops and backs...

Bugger.

Tomorrow I will measure up and see if anything useable can be got from this.  Alternatively, I might make it an arch top so that bowing is less noticeable.

Flat sawn can be used if you laminate it. Some people even cut it down the centre and flip one piece round and glue back together. I would laminate it thou. 

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24 minutes ago, Chopthebass said:

Flat sawn can be used if you laminate it. Some people even cut it down the centre and flip one piece round and glue back together. I would laminate it thou. 

It would almost certainly be laminated.

Stubzy said "Ash".  I can't dispute that but then I have not got a good knowledge of timber.  Metal is more my line.

Yes folks.  I'm good for metal.

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13 hours ago, SpondonBassed said:

I can't dispute that but then I have not got a good knowledge of timber.

Neither have i, but I have some small ash offcuts and they look similar.

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On 07/05/2020 at 11:01, SpondonBassed said:

Looking through images for ideas I have seen normal (perpendicular orientation) headpieces used in conjunction with an angled zero fret.

image.png.8600e79ecf25dc65c79dda8d472e319a.png

 

I've also seen Brice bass's individual headpiece string clamps.

image.png.1e5640f9d550a0dcb1e7bbfe997f54cc.png

That 2nd picture looks dangerous :lol:

 

I quite like the way that Strandberg (and other makers) do it - with a slightly 'figured' cutout:

strandberg_bass-ori5-2119-nat4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jellyfish said:

That 2nd picture looks dangerous :lol:

 

I quite like the way that Strandberg (and other makers) do it - with a slightly 'figured' cutout:

strandberg_bass-ori5-2119-nat4.jpg

Yes.  I'm thinking on those lines.

Not a full headstock but a tactile heel if you will.  Maybe a faux volute because I do like a good one now and again.  (Not many people know that.)

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21 hours ago, Jellyfish said:

That 2nd picture looks dangerous :lol:

Agree.  I have a Kramer Duke, which is quite capable of maiming your drummer if not handled carefully.  And that's not even pointed.

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