Tag Archives: Explorer Bass

Warmoth bass build update

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So finding parts used has been harder than expected. Last week I scored a set of gold ultralite tuners made by Hipshot. The quality of finish and machining is great and being gold will certainly off set the black overdie finish on the body of the bass.

It was a tough call wether to build the bass up out of unwanted bass parts. Using budget parts I could have brought the whole project in at under £200, but felt that if I was to want to use the bass that it would fall a long way form the quality I would normally want. Although the body shape is not to my taste I really want to build something that sounds good as well as looks the part.

As for gold hardware; it’s not what I would normally go for, but should look pimp when it’s done.

This morning I picked up a set of EMG passive pickups that have only been used a few times. I’m hopping that they give the classic EMG killer rock tone without the need for active electronics. All my other basses are active with a passive option (on a push pull switch) and my Sadowsky P bass spends it’s whole life in passive. If I change my mind I do have an on board preamp sat in a draw I could drop in.

As for the rest of the parts, I have resigned myself to the fact they will have to be new. No one has responded to my wanted ads for a gold Badass II or Gotoh 201. Also I want to use CTS pots and an Orange drop cap and these along with some speed knobs will have to sourced new. If I can bring in the whole project for £300 I’ll be happy (especially when the original owner paid £ 1788 for the original build to almost the same spec).

Next up is ordering the remaining parts and the build. Hopefully I’ll be building it a Nottingham Hackspace (@nottinhack on twitter) which is an amazing co-working space full of very clever lovely people.

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Warmoth Project bass build

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;)

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