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Zebrawood Neck Through Bass Build

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by bonetrager, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    So I began playing bass for my friend's band. I have been borrowing the drummer's old Fender Mustang Bass and like the short scale a lot. Anyways, since our band is on a hiatus until the lead singer gives birth, I decided I would like to build my own bass. My first instrument build was a walnut telecaster build (http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/457945-thinline-walnut-telecaster-build.html), so I think I would be comfortable in tackling a bass build.

    Here are my thoughts on specs. I would love any input from people.

    It is either going to be a 4 or 5 string, still not sure yet
    Neck - Through - Laminate 5 piece neck using maple/purple heart
    Fingerboard - Wenge or Ebony
    Body Wings - Cherry or Maple or Walnut
    Top - Zebrawood (see picture below)
    Electronics - Still undecided on pickups, but leaning towards some kind of humbucker.
     

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  2. BigBillow

    BigBillow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    That's a sexy top you've got there! :p
     
  3. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Friend of Leo's

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    Nice wood selection there. If you are going short scale, a 5 string is not a real practical idea. You would need a gigantic 5th string in order to get enough tension on it so that it didn't flop around like crazy. I'm looking forward to seeing this come along.
     
  4. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    There is nothing cooler than zebrawood. I had a strat body made from it a few years ago. Looking forward to this.
     
  5. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    Good to know. I was kind of leaning towards a 4 string anyways because that is what I am used to (plus easier to get parts and cheaper), but was open to something new. I am planning on starting construction on the neck to let the glue dry for several days before I start anything else. I will probably avoid doing the fretboard myself this time and buy a pre-slotted one from LMII since my walnut tele has a few intonation issues towards the 12th fret.

    Anyone have any suggestions on electronics? I know its very early in the build, but I would rather get the stuff now, then have to wait for the stuff to come in once I am ready for it. The two bases I have played are a Jazz Bass and a P-Bass. I hate the sound of the Jazz bass, but loved the sound of the Fender Mustang (with P-Bass pickups). I haven't played any of the hum buckers and the last time I played an active bass was such a long time ago that I don't even remember what it sounded like.
     
  6. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah Zebra Wood is cool. Body and neck Mahogany finger board waterfall Bubinga. I just noticed the Zebra pillow in the background. Amp is a 5E3
     

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  7. Flyboy

    Flyboy Tele-Holic

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    Have a look at this. Lifted this off the 'net but it is, in fact, my old Linc Luthier 5 in Zebrawood and if I recall the wings were chambered. Shoulda kept that one.....
     

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  8. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    Very nice. How do chambered wings effect the sound? I was thinking about doing that in my build to help with the weight...
     
  9. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    So I am laying out my neck and have a question for you guys. I was originally going to go with a 5 layer laminate, but I also think having a Purple Heart skunk stripe looks cool too. I have attached a picture to give you guys an idea of what I am talking about. Should I stick with how it is, or should resaw the Purple Heart and stick some maple in between it. It is currently 2 1/2" wide which is about the narrowest I want to have it. I could also stick some cherry or mahogany in the center.
     

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  10. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    I think it would look better re-sawing the purple heart and putting another piece of maple in between as you said. IMO, the PH should be more of accent wood to the maple, so 2 thin lines of PH strengthens the neck as well as providing a touch of color. Too many different woods can make it look too busy and take away from the overall look of the instrument. I would even think about using maple as the main body as well for continuity. just my 2 cents.....

    That Zebra wood is a stunner. Are you going to color it or leave it natural ?

    Keep us posted.
     
  11. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    For some reason my phone is logged in with another account I had a long time ago, so I need to log out on my phone and log in to my correct account eventually.

    Anyways, yeah, I think I will go with the maple in the center. Like you said, PH will make it a nice accent color.

    About the top, I have two options here as well. The zebra wood will stay natural, since I am not the biggest fan of coloring beautiful wood. My decision is wether I should have the zebra wood cover the entire top, or if I should just use it to cover the wings and have the through neck show through.

    Below are the two examples I have been looking at. I am kind of leaning towards having the purple heart/maple neck show through since I think it would make a nice contrast, but also would love to have an all zebra wood top.
     

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  12. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    My preference for the top would be all Zebrawood, especially since it appears to be book matched
     
  13. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    My only issue is that when I resawed this piece, it was originally only 6.25" wide, so it is only about 12.5" wide together. I was originally going to use it on a 3/4 size guitar. If I left it solid, it wouldn't give me much play with with wings. I agree that I like the top solid, it just might leave the bass body a tad too small.

    Another question, has anyone ever made laminated bodies? The pieces of wood I was originally going to use for my wings are a little thin, and not sure if I will be able to use for the body. Is there any way of gluing two thinner pieces together to make a thicker one, or is this really going to mess with the sound?
     
  14. bonetrager

    bonetrager Tele-Meister

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    My preliminary design using scraps
     

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  15. I_build_my_own

    I_build_my_own Friend of Leo's

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    You should be able to add little pieces of scrap from the waist to the body where the 12.5 are not enought. The zebra wood should be very forgiving with this. One thing you would want to make sure is that the wood runs in the same growth direction and that the grain on the outside also somewhat matches.
     
  16. twocup

    twocup Tele-Meister

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    It's a shame the Zebra's not quite wide enough. You could still use it as a cap with narrow accents to get where you want it (13"?) or just go a smidge smaller than a p-bass, no one will notice and we won't tell.
    As far as chambering is concerned, basses tend to be neck heavy, what with the longer neck and big tuners, so a lighter body could accentuate neck dive. There's probably a way to calculate the ideal body to neck weight ratio, but that's way over my head.
    Lots of people laminate the body to make use of thinner stock and it won't affect the sound. The only issue is hiding or disguising the joint.
     
  17. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's mine. I think the zebra owners club is pretty small, though.
     

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  18. Captain Nutslot

    Captain Nutslot Friend of Leo's

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    I like ur design
     
  19. Picton

    Picton Friend of Leo's

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    Beautiful wood is a wonderful thing, but too much exotic wood in one instrument can look way too busy. Zebra wood and Purple Heart don't really chime together IMO, even with plain maple to give a bit of eye relief.

    Though it might be an unpopular opinion, I would avoid prominent purple heart striping on the neck, especially where it runs through the body. With such bold zebra, I think a more subtle neck-through part would be nice.

    JMO. Nice design!
     
  20. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1
     
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