A Steinberger inspired "travel" bass

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by papaschtroumpf, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    Built in Germany, those folks are strict when it comes to specs and tolerances.

    Reminds me, need to get my hands on a couple of Bi-Sonics. Is that one from Novak or a Guild/Hagstrom ?
     
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  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Indeed it is hard to judge dimensions on unfamiliar assemblies!
    ABM seems to only offer a custom made version of that tuners only assembly now.
    With the growing headless popularity you'd think there would be more hardware options.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah some die cast is better than other die cast, zinc is a terrible material though, maybe it's a better alloy.
    Two weeks and it tunes up smoothly?
    Not bad, not bad at all!
    Looks like it mounts right on the body surface with no routing or cutting of body there?
    Could replace it eventually if I like the bass and the bridge wears out.
    Some seem to have a rout in the body they fit into, so a different bridge might need body fixing.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    With the double ball end you need scale to match string packs, did you go with 34" scale?
    Must be common enough strings.

    For cost I bought a rough ebony blank as this is to be a fretless, really the only reason I'd build a bass rather than buy off the racks.
    Got some maple for a three piece neck and have a few blocks of body wood for something like what @papaschtroumpf is working on.
    I want smaller lighter for my shot back and I like the Steinberger thing, even though Ialways loved Fender P and J basses best.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Went to the ABM site and tried several times before successfully sending an email request for pricing on that unit.
    After the first try it switched to all German!
    My Mother came here from Germany via Ellis island in the early '30s but I can't read or speak German...

    I also found some used old stock Steinberger bridge/ tuner assemblies but they are five string.
    Don't need a fretless five string!

    Interesting that you chose an odd 33" scale combined with an extra 3" or so behind the bridge? Are you using double ball strings?
    Seems like that would be a never seen 36"scale double ball set!
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    This is the DarkStar that I purchased direct from Fred Hammon years ago. The neck pickup is a Novak EB-BS, which is a BiSonic style under a mudbucker cover. Even though they’re both BiSonics, the Hammon is a lot more aggressive (although position has a lot to do with that).
     
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  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    33” is my favorite scale length (well, other than 40” on upright).

    They are standard double-ball strings, which are usually used on 34” scale instruments, hence the extra inch between bridge and tuners.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    OK thanks that makes sense, I forgot the tuner assembly would go further toward the neck if it was the full built in saddles type, so it's only 1" taken up not the 3" I guessed between tuner and saddles.

    Depending on if and what I hear from ABM I may try the cheap Overlord assembly.
    Could also be making a permanent fretless neck but a temporary/ prototype body to test pickups in and figure out what tuner bridge system I like and can afford.

    I used to have an Alembic fretless I loved the sound of but not the weight, balance, 7 pin cable to PS etc etc.
    The old Stanley Clarke style had a very short body so the neck was far to the left and heading down toward the floor.
    Glorious bwaaaaa sound though.
     
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  9. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    No, it's sunk around 6mm deep into the body, think I had 2 runs before getting it right.

    I could have cut a shallow neck pocket but then you're chasing longer screws to secure the neck.

    Since I used my standard 51 template I went with 34" scale strings. Bass Centre Elites were a perfect fit. Once the ball ends slip into their catches it's maybe 3 turns for pitch

    Have La Bella tapes arriving this week, should fit nicely. Both they and the Elites are designed for Steinberger systems.

    I'll certainly report back if they don't fit :)
     
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  10. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    Quick report back.

    La Bella tapes fit perfectly :) Hopefully a shipment of the La Bella double ball end flats land in the UK soon.

    Tweak to the Overlord bridge.

    The provided bridge mount screws have raised heads, those heads can catch the bridge saddles when setting the intonation.
    Replace with flat heads and all is well in the world :D
     
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Rule #1 with cheap hardware: throw the included screws as far away as possible. Use good quality fasteners instead.
     
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  12. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    I received the right hardware this time, but there is corrosion/gunk on one of the knobs:
    PXL_20210607_235056309.jpg PXL_20210607_235038121.jpg
     
  13. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    Well, I finally started the build-proper!

    I used poplar strips, I like poplar and I intend to paint the whole thing. I must say I probably should have looked at grain direction and alternate them, but I didn't think about it and started assembling strips. as you can see the strips are of rather uneven height and I don't own a planer, so I bit the bullet and bought a plane and figured out how to use it. I'm quite pleased with the results in the end, especially for this being my first time. it was quite satisfying to get long curled shavings down the length of the neck when I started.


    PXL_20210718_152252879.jpg

    PXL_20210718_162758272.jpg


    I actually cut the body shape and started routing a cavity (going with the triangular shape with pickguard over a cavity). It's not the most compact of my designs, but I liked the shape and the cavity will help with keeping the weight down.

    I forgot to take pictures (I could have sworn I did)
     
  14. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    I need to get wood for the fretboard. I ebonized red oak in my last build but the grain was a little too rough, so I'm thinking walnut. I can only source it cheap in 24" length, and my original plan was to extend the fretboard to the pickguard and have 23 frets, or roghly a 25.5" fretboard

    upload_2021-7-19_8-37-35.png

    I wonder if I would be happy with making an "extension" for the last few inches by butting it to the 24" fretboard and still have it look OK

    I need to play with my graphic program to see how it would look with a shorter fretbaord otherwise
     
  15. papaschtroumpf

    papaschtroumpf Tele-Holic

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    For color, I'm thinking to go with a color-shift spray paint, Krylon, Rustoleum and others make those:

    [​IMG]

    Not sure about the pickguard, possibly just black
     
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