Building a bass has been a long time ambition for me. Pretty much since I started playing it’s something that I’ve wanted to do. As I don’t have (and never will) the luthier woodworking skills required to build an instrument from scratch a ‘parts’ build seems obvious choice.
There are a number of organisations building necks and body’s for both hobbiests and professional builders in mind. One of the very best is Warmoth. They can build almost anything; from a basic ash P-bass to exotic wood extended range instruments with amazing finishes.
Building a bass using a body and neck from Warmoth isn’t a cheap option and cost vs re-sale value (self assembled instruments are always worth less than pro-built basses) has been one of the reasons I’ve not done it previously.
However, I’ve just picked up a neck and body on eBay for a bargain £122. It’s an explorer shape four string with a beautiful quilted maple top and overdie finish. It’s amazingly well built even if the shape is not to my personal taste (normally I lay Fender inspired Sadowsky basses), but at the price it was too good to pass up. The original cost of the neck and body was £1100 including taxes and shipping. The instrument had been built up using pro parts by a luthier in Bolton for a guy in Rugby. The recipient couldn’t get on with the lack of cut away to access the dusty end of the neck and stripped the bass of it’s hardware and electronics and had a new body and neck built. The total cost for the original bass was a few pounds short of £1800. Hopefully I’m going to pick up all the bits used to save some money. As for how much it’s going to cost who knows. What I can say is that I will only be using top shelf parts and building a stripped down passive rock machine;)