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Zoot Funkmeister 32" P build


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I hope that some of you fine people may enjoy this build diary nearly as much as me.

My bass journey has been quite long, 30 years or so and it's gone 'all around the houses'. I've owned more basses than most I guess, certainly well over 100 with a maximum at any one time of 27. I've played 4, 5 and 6 string basses, I used to consider myself a 5 string player. I even had a couple of years away from playing with basses gathering dust in my practice cupboard. I've now retired and on settling in to practicing more often I'm increasingly aware of how much of the basics I have still to learn and how much this is a good thing :)

When the Covid thing allows I get together with 3 other fellas and we play covers, rock and blues in the main. A gig may happen one day. Then again it probably won't. As 70 homes in I'm increasingly aware of weight and I also have occasional fretting hand issues. I'm also aware that a good P bass covers all my needs. My Lakland P/J was my go to bass, always soloing the P pickup and always too damn heavy.

I saw Mike's Birch's beautiful Funkmeister P 32" scale and I got to thinking.....

Being an Essex lad and having met Mike Walsh and had some great service from him in the past I bit the bullet and commissioned a new build.

The specs have evolved a little due in part to John East's P-Retro still not being available. I want the active option with passive tone control. 

So, to start:

Body: Zoot Funkmiester 32" from swamp ash, chambered 

Neck:  32" Canadian 3 piece maple neck with ebony veneers and a Bi-flex two way truss rod with modern 'C' profile.

Finger board: Ebony, compounded 16" radius and medium heavy fret wire side dots only

Pickup:  Haussel P pickup 

Bridge:  Hipshot "Kickass" in chrome

Machine heads: Hipshot "Ultralite" with Fender clover leaf buttons in chrome.

String retainer: Hipshot "Ultralight" quick change

E.Q.  Noll B2059 2 band EQ with 18v supply and passive tone

Top nut size: 40mm

Bridge saddle spacing: 19mm

Neck finish: Hi-gloss to front and back of headstock with smooth satin to rear of neck (playing area)

Hardware: All other hardware in chrome finish.

Other details such as finish to follow.

Here's some photos from Mike showing the start of the build












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1 hour ago, slojo said:

Excellent, enjoying this so far, thanks for posting.

Sorry, might have missed it, are you going with a natural finish?

I'm leaving the finish details until later into the build.


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40 minutes ago, Bass Culture said:

Hey Peter, welcome to the club - not before time!  I hope all is well with you and yours.

Hello Mark

All good here thanks. I hope that the same goes for you :)

Edited by GreeneKing
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4 hours ago, GreeneKing said:

Hello Mark

All good here thanks. I hope that the same goes for you :)

It does indeed.  More than a little frustrated that my own latest Zoot ZB-1000 away from being finished and I'm unable to travel to collect at present.  Grrrr!  Bloody Covid. 

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Here are the latest updates from Mike yesterday.

As an update to the spec I have added a zero fret. I've had a zero fret on at least 3 basses and I firmly approve. I've also asked Mike to make a 2nd pickguard in white (the original is tort). Better to get this done at the time rather than down the line methinks..












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I've been looking on Warmouth at P bass bodies (full sized) and weights. They don't make the lightest bodies in my experience but for comparison purposes they quote 4+ lbs to over 6. So this body is a half to a third of that weight.

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Looking good Peter! Can’t believe I missed this thread - thank you for filling me in on FB with the deets. Will watch closely. I love my Zoot Funky, it’s not chambered but still light as a feather :)

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And for the next instalment. The grain on the top is lovely and very closely matches the body grain as it was made from the same blank and carefully aligned by Mike.






Edited by GreeneKing
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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Peter ask me for a few more pic's of the build.  Here I've been working on the neck and fingerboard.  The body has now had it's top coat of paint.  I've also tested the neck and body join and it's perfect.  Peter also asked me to make two scratch plates for this bass so he could decide on which one he liked the best....... In one of the photos, one image of the bass looks more creamy, that's just the light and camera angle, it's definitely the same bass in ALL the photo's.









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