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Build #3, Thread #1: My New Thinline Bass Guitar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Freekmagnet, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    OK, I can see how that would be advantageous. Thanks for explaining that!

    I’m going to need some gain, but I don’t want to be driving my amp. However, for all I know at this point, I may be driving the opamp. I’ll just have to keep experimenting with it.
     

  2. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Oh OK, you’re suggesting that I might use an inverted opamp buffer to reduce the impedance going into the booster stage?
     

  3. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    22
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    My bad I was under the impression you were using a single stage. You can achieve booster and buffer in one stage, you could also use a tl071 instead and probably increase battery life.
     
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  4. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    OK here’s a question for all you woodworkers and luthiers our there:

    What do you do when you build up a maple neck blank, install the truss rod, glue on the fretboard, I lay the dots - and when you start carving, you discover a really ugly blemish that was completely hidden within the wood?

    [​IMG]

    D’oh! My solution is to roll up the window and keep on driving.
     
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  5. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    It's on the back of the neck, who cares? Nobody will know except you and half of the people that see it will think it's cool or at least you can tell yourself that if that spot bothers ya.;)
     

  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    You could cut out that spot and fill it in will a piece of scrap or stain the neck dark.
     

  7. 2blue2

    2blue2 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 20, 2013
    Island of Oahu
    Some of the necks I make just turn out B grade. That being said you need 3 strikes to be out.
    So Its not that bad.

    Im surprised you only had to sand back and refinish this only once.
    With the 'Curse of Blue Guitar Finishing' being what it is.

    The body turned out neat. Love the blue front and natural back separated by the big white binding.
    She going to be real pretty when done.

    Carry On!
     
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  8. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thx!

    Yeah, when you look close up, the blue finish definitely has a few rough spots, but good enough for rock & roll. Despite her flaws, I think she’ll be a real stunner.
     
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  9. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    41
    435
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    It’s wood isn’t it, so nature made it that way... I can understand how gutting it can be, but it’s not so bad really...

    There is a Japanese concept of the beauty in imperfection... Wabi-Sabi... that’s basically what I’m embracing with my guitar and amp builds... even leaning into it a bit...

     
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  10. Davecam48

    Davecam48 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Age:
    70
    Dec 31, 2009
    Queensland Australia
    Fill it with black epoxy and make a feature of it.

    DC
     
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  11. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    @Kriticaster - I’m dedicating this post to you...

    Wow - thanks for all your posts. I love hearing all the luthiery war stories!

    Today I sanded the neck down to 180. I’ll sand it with 220 before I go to finish.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the headstock. That discoloration is a thin epoxy patch - I got a little too close with the ol’ mortising bit. I was planning on painting the headstock blue to match the body of white to really pop - but I need to make a jig for thicknessing the headstock. I think I can modify my existing neck blank thicknessing jig for that job.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the back of the headstock. I’m pretty happy with the carved transition, but I haven’t figured out a way to make that glue joint look nice.

    [​IMG]

    I like this heel transition, too. I was trying to figure out how to get there on my first neck, but I couldn’t figure it out. I think heading in the right direction.

    [​IMG]

    My plan is to prime it with a few coats of amber-tinted clear, paint the headstock then clear coat the whole thing. I also have to make a couple of fretting tools and get started fretting this thing.

    Do any of you have opinions on weather it’s better to finish then fret or fret then finish?

    Is tung oil a good finish for Granadillo?
     
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  12. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Some reflections on my little preamp project...

    After rocking out with the opamp version of the boost section for a few days, I built a JFET version. Here's my thoughts. Both preamps are really simple boosts directly feeding a BigMuff tone stack.

    The opamp version sounded great. It had a really muscular sound that knocked my socks off. On top of that, it really opened up the highs and upper mids that really brought the bass to life in a really cool way. Not harsh, but bright and really present sounding. Overall, it gave my little pickup a really forceful vibe that would have no problem supporting a band and a rhythm section. The downside is that the gain is really intense - there's a really fine line between driving the amp to the point of clipping and driving it to the point of sounding bumpin'. That's just a matter of fine tuning one resistor.

    The JFET version also sounds great, but it's a different beast altogether. The JFET has a fatter and warmer sound. It's still bright, but the highs are more pleasantly rounded and has less "bite" than the opamp version. The JFET is not a tight in the low end, but that's not a bad thing. It also doesn't clip like the opamp version, but it drives in it's own way. I hate using the word "vintage" but for the sake of coming up with contrasting descriptions, I'll say it's kind of akin to "vintage" vs. "modern".

    I may be imagining these differences, so I will test the JFET version for a few days and switch back to the opamp.

    Since both of these boosts consist of maybe 5-6 parts tops, I am putting forth the idea of installing a switch between the two and installing both in the bass. It would be a really simple wiring job - it would literally be choosing between one short signal path and another. I don't know if that's a crazy idea or not.

    The EQ section is really cool and functional. It's kind of like a "tilt" EQ that really places the emphasis on either the lows or the highs, and it's easy to just twist in a sound with just the turn of one knob. That, combined with ability to really fine tune the amount of mids coming out of the preamp via use of the Duncan Tone Stack Calculator, it would also be conceivable to put a little "mid-switch" that either swapped out caps or placed an extra cap in parallel. Because of the placement, the pickup puts out a ton of mids, I could back the off mids drastically and have a lot tonal options coming out of one pickup.

    I'm also contemplating building in a buffer circuit, although I don't know enough to know if it's even necessary. According to the notes on the AMZ site, there's an implication that R1 sets the impedance at 1M - which, from what I kind of understand, is the job that the buffer is supposed to do. So, does it make sense to set the impedance twice?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
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  13. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    22
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    If the op amp has too much gain swap out the 14k resistor for a smaller value. The gain factor of that opamp is the 14k resistor divided by the 1k resistor. Something like 6k8 might be more appropriate or even 4k7. I'd personally replace the 14k resistor with a 10k trim pot and then dial in the desired gain.
     
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  14. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    I may try a trim pot or a small trimmer in series with a resistor. I like when it’s just up to the point where it starts distorting. That’s where all the killer tones seem to live. And I think it’ll be a matter of 2 or 3k. I tried a 10K and the booster seemed really tame.
     
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  15. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    22
    Nov 27, 2014
    Morley, England
    does it still distort when you turn the volume pot down?
     

  16. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Haha - I haven’t put a volume pot on it yet! That’s going to be next, I think.

    I’ll tell you though, it sounded a lot better once I plugged it into the tone stack. I may have been getting at least some distortion from the amp. I had to back The amp volume waaay down - but the tone stack added, it brought the volume down to a manageable 12 o’clock on the amp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
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  17. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    41
    435
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    @Freekmagnet I’m honoured to get a dedicated post I’m glad my perspective helped a little

    I’m really loving the whole process and especially where you’re at now with the fine tuning and opamp/Jfet stuff...

    Now I want to make my Tele or bass active... as yet the Tele isn’t finished and the Bass doesn’t have an amp... so I’ll just sit back and enjoy your experimenting instead.

    But I get a feel for the potential simplicity of the circuit...

    As for the glue on the neck... if the glue hasn’t discoloured the wood, perhaps when you seal/oil the neck it will blend in?

    It’s actually in a pretty unnoticeable place anyway... but we all know that you know it’s there...

    Just remember, Wabi-Sabi Daniel-San! (my best Mr Miyagi impression)
     
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  18. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    @Kriticaster: this post is also for you - but no more after this!

    I couldn’t resist posting a sneak peek.

    I primed the neck with ProFinisher mixed with a few drops of the amber-brown dye I used to paint the back of the guitar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, I’ll fret it and then finish it out with clear. Hopefully I’ll get to that by the end of the week. First I have to make a jig to nibble the fret ends with my Dremel tool, and then I gotta make a thing bevel the fret ends once they’re installed. I made one before, I didn’t like the angle of the bevel.

    Getting close...
     
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  19. Kriticaster

    Kriticaster Tele-Meister

    Age:
    41
    435
    Nov 5, 2017
    Crete, Greece
    This looks amazing!!
    The glue really blended in too
    Good luck with the fretting
     

  20. Freekmagnet

    Freekmagnet Tele-Meister

    240
    Dec 7, 2015
    Ventura County, CA
    Thanks - I’m not too worried about the glue - I was planning to match the headstock to the body anyway. Either that, or paint it white.
     
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