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Forgive me, Bass Gods


Rexel Matador
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I was in two minds as to whether to post this as it's not a bass and I don't want Davie504 to call the FBI on me, but I mentioned it in my last bass build diary and a couple of you said you didn't mind, so here we go. It's technically a baritone, so I haven't gone all the way to the dark side.

The guitarist/leader of my band asked me to build him a guitar. This is my first time building an instrument for someone else, and f*** me if it isn't the most hideous, literally the last thing I would ever conceive of building, instrument in the world. Still, beggars can't be choosers and/or the customer's always right. It's an opportunity to push myself with someone else paying for all the wood and that.

So... have you ever seen those BC Rich 10 string guitars? The two bass strings are on their own, but the other four are doubled up like a 12 string? It's that but a V shape.

Neck-through, maple neck, rosewood board, sapele body wings, 27" scale.

Six tuners on the headstock, the other four at the other end.

In all honesty this is a fascinating experience for me. There's no accounting for taste, but to my mind this thing is an abomination. Can I give it my all and make him happy? Let's find out.

So far I've done a scarf joint and put in the truss rod and - something new for me - a couple of carbon fibre rods. I figure 10 strings is a lot of tension, so it might help. I don't have a bandsaw so will be adding more wood at the body end to make it thick enough, as I did with my last neck-through build. It's going to have a tune-o-matic bridge so the neck will need to be angled. No tail-piece - six strings will be anchored through the body and the other four will go to the bridge-end tuners. I have it all figured out in theory. In practice, I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope it all works out.

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This is the headstock shape - you'll see the markings for the tuners, plus four more where the ball ends of the extra strings will go through.

20200614_214528_resized.thumb.jpg.0bec6ceb1ceb2dcba9b04aeebee68629.jpg

This is my first sketch of the whole thing. It's an interesting challenge to come up with something that accommodates the unique set-up and looks... ok. Again, it's not my cup of tea, but he loves it and that's what matters. I'm still not sure where the jack and strap buttons are going to go.

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But most excitingly, it's NRD - New Router Day! The one I had been using was a falling to bits and if I'd persevered much longer, someone (me) would probably have got hurt.

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1 hour ago, soldersqueeze said:

You can be forgiven a baritone when it's as pointy as that! I love the shape. Hope the colour will be as striking ;)

I'll be watching with interest. Please let us know your thoughts on the router (JOF001 I think?), as I believe it's the same model I've ordered and due to get this week.

Mine is the the MOF001 which I believe is the slightly bigger version, but I could have that the wrong way round. I chose it mainly because it came with 6.35mm and 8mm collets, so I can get straight to work with all the bits I already have. I haven't actually used it yet, as those channels were done with my old router. I'm looking forward to putting it to work though - the precision depth adjustment wheel is a brilliant feature - my old one was more bare bones.

It's nice to hear some positive comments on the design too - I should be more positive about it myself really as I'm the one making the thing. If I can pull this off, I think it'll look pretty cool in the flesh.

Edited by Rexel Matador
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On 15/06/2020 at 23:18, Rexel Matador said:

Mine is the the MOF001 which I believe is the slightly bigger version, but I could have that the wrong way round. I chose it mainly because it came with 6.35mm and 8mm collets, so I can get straight to work with all the bits I already have. I haven't actually used it yet, as those channels were done with my old router. I'm looking forward to putting it to work though - the precision depth adjustment wheel is a brilliant feature - my old one was more bare bones.

It's nice to hear some positive comments on the design too - I should be more positive about it myself really as I'm the one making the thing. If I can pull this off, I think it'll look pretty cool in the flesh.

Your’s like mine is indeed the 1400watt MOF, the JOF is just over a thousand watts, but also capable. They also do a 2400watt version 😱. What I like about the MOF is the built in lift, which meant I could make this out f some scrap I had.

 

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Edited by HazBeen
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  • 7 months later...

Well in an odd twist, having let this project gather dust for way too long, I ended up getting kicked out of the band (unrelated to the slow progress on the build), so the guitarist won't be getting his 10 string V after all. But I still have a 27" scale neck that I've started work on, so I'm going to make an altogether more civilised tele-ish baritone instead.

I did consider making a very short scale bass, but I already have... well, I won't say "too many basses" for fear of getting banned, but I have a few, and only one (barely) functioning guitar. And a baritone is at least leaning in the right direction, right?

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Looks a lot better! I thought that V body was much too compact for it to balance well. Looking at other V-models and Jackson Rhoads models, they appear much longer to me. I like your new design! 

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6 hours ago, Rexel Matador said:

Well in an odd twist, having let this project gather dust for way too long, I ended up getting kicked out of the band (unrelated to the slow progress on the build), so the guitarist won't be getting his 10 string V after all. But I still have a 27" scale neck that I've started work on, so I'm going to make an altogether more civilised tele-ish baritone instead.

I did consider making a very short scale bass, but I already have... well, I won't say "too many basses" for fear of getting banned, but I have a few, and only one (barely) functioning guitar. And a baritone is at least leaning in the right direction, right?

1854361679_ttype.thumb.jpg.8e7b57422b7a495b4d00f46277656cb2.jpg

Bummer about the band!

But that looks really nice...

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21 minutes ago, Pea Turgh said:

Love the body design.  Could the shape be shifted up the neck though?  Looks like the headstock might have a fatal attraction to the floor, and that would really fook the tuners.

It's only a rough sketch at this stage - I'll play around with it when I draw it out full scale - I could move the neck in a bit.

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Sorry to hear you got kicked out of the band, 27" is gonna probably suit a baritone better than a bass, even a bass VI, unless you want the super-short kinda sound & feel.

Why are you turning from the elegance of the 10 string to the awkward and messy 6 string arrangement? I think you should reconsider the understated simplicity of the BC Rich original:

bcrich10b.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

 

EDIT: I must add, there is no easier restringing than this, except possibly the patented "easy access" 12 string guitar headstocks from our dear friends at Rickenbacker.

kudur9cop0es7yuofmki.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Spoiler

"sapele body wings"? Sounds lovely... I would seriously suggest not painting it a solid colour, a tinted mint green might be extremely interesting on such a rich reddish brown...

HTB1MlnOQCzqK1RjSZFjq6zlCFXaW.jpg&f=1&no

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Those aren't anything like the blue/green you've on your mockup, but it's interesting, at least to me. Do as you please, but consider showing off that lovely sepele.

 

Edited by PlungerModerno
Edited for greater clarity and lols.
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