Hi from a newb , and a 100 questions for a five string build

Hello everyone thanks for letting me in finaly

I have come to that point in my life that I have to make a bass or two , so the first bass will be a 838.2 scale length ( 33'')  24 frets strung E-C five string. After making a rod I noticed there wont be much room left on the body for the pickups but im sure this being my first build it will be the least of my worries.

So for now I have a couple questions the first question is what size truss rod will I need, what will be the best type to buy , I want access from the head stock for adjustment , I will order at the same time stiffening fiber rods seems to be the norm for a five string.

My second question which im sure is a bit dumb but if I don't ask iLL never know, will Poplar be OK to use as strips on the neck, the centre of the neck will be American walnut tappering from 20-5mm along the length then each side will have Palm 5mm strips im not sure if Palm is the correct name its man made and very stable, then Poplar 10mm strips then Palm, and the outside edges will be Mahogany.

The body wings will be Mahogany or what looks like Mahogany, it came from a door frame and is nice and straight and true.

I have at hand a piece of book matched American walnut about 5mm thick that might be handy for the body but I dont think ILL need it, Oh by the way it will be a through the body neck build.

Hope I didnt woffle on too muck

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Wow you have been around the block with that neck issue. As you collect your tools to perform this bass build, perhaps you'll have what you need to fix that neck? I watched a few people on YouTube remove a fretboard with a standard steam iron, seemed to work OK. But I'll confess that straightening a neck and replacing a fretboard is not something I'm experienced with, there are others here on this group who know their way around this type of repair and may be able to talk you through it? I don't blame you for not working with a man who won't give you a ballpark figure, whether it's working on a car or a guitar. Any shop that wants that kind of money for a '65 Fender has slipped a few notches, I've seen them on eBay for half that. But there is no hurry, the key to good Lutherie is to take your time, and make each move with deliberate confidence. As they say in the movies, "There is no try, only do"


was that a Bruce lee movie by any chance lol, as much as I hate Fenders oops sorry love hate fenders im not ready to take on my old one just yet.

I wouldnt mind in the future to maybe post it to the right guy if its worth the investment. The dick in London had the opinion that what is the point in spending money on a 75 jazz bass , I don't know I thought it was worth the investment to restore it I was sure id get my money back and more if I were to sell it .

I would think a '75 would have a great resale about now? Certainly many thousand pounds. They sure do demand a good price on eBay. I think he was just trying to make you think it wasn't worth it, so he could get it cheap and resell it for a tidy profit. The movie quote was Master Yoda, in the second Star Wars movie. But you're right, it does sound like an old Bruce Lee movie, perhaps that's where George Lucas stole it from?

I love to tell the story of my NS-2 Spector. I owned the less expensive Spector, and thought I'd never want another bass! But a friend told me there was a Spector at a local pawn shop. So, I went to see it, and was very impressed, so I offered $200, and they accepted it before I got it out of my mouth! So I got it home, and it didn't work. No sound. But it was just a bad battery terminal. I replaced the battery terminal, and it worked great! It's neck through, a 1989 model actually made in Indonesia. It sold new for a thousand dollars. But, if you look at what NS-2's sell for now! Wow they are $4000 and $5000! New, a model like mine is probably worth about $1600, but I wouldn't sell it for a penny less than $2500. There is one now that looks exactly like it on eBay in white, that's asking that much. But all that is just bragging rights, I wouldn't sell it for anything. It is so "Me". I played music tonight, through my Orange Tiny Terror, 500 watt head pushing an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet. Pure joy! Playing that bass you bet it cuts through the mix! Every finger noise is evident, bright and beefy, just a bit of grit on the lagging edge. Just a 3 piece band, so much fun playing classic rock. One of my favorite songs is Rock Candy by Montrose, a nice little bass piece. Music like that is what makes life worth living!

But yes, a '75 Jazz is well worth all attempts to restore. A very valuable piece to be sure! To keep it as original as possible, if you have to put it back original, is where its value is. And strangely enough, the more scratches and wear on the paint adds character.

Yeah man

those Spectors basses look lush, funnily enough my scale drawing i have done for my build looks very much like a Spector shape , at the time I was thinking pleasing lines no sharp edges or points and hands up a little bit Warwick ish , I do like the look of the Spector basses nice lines and the natural finish ones are gorgeous.

I have to say i knew nothing about Spector's bass before you mentioned them good to know your not a sheep like me and bought a fender or two I wish people would do some research before buying thier insruments.

There are hundreds of great guitar manufacturers around the globe making very good quality instruments and struggling to stay in business because the sheep are buying Fender and Gibson im one of them to my shame.

I suppose many people buy them because they think they will sound like thier hero im guilty of that too , I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to a Luthier making first class guitars or basse and not even being noticed.

Bit of a rant there............

So yeah incouraging news reguarding my 75 jazzer get it restored sell it and buy myself a decent bass. Sounds like a nice rig you have there i assume you have a Roady to carry that 8x10 cab around.

Im using a TC electronic RH45 through a 2x12 cab, a great sounding cab but a bit much for my needs I wish id bought the 2x10 cab lighter and more HI Fi sounding. Anyway my rid has enough power I had a chance to here it at an open air jam session a while ago another  guy used my gear and I could here it half a mile away just the bass lol.

Yea I like being the local Spector guy, I've seen a few local bands with a bass player using one, but they are pretty rare. I went to their website and looked at their present price list and they are steep! Which keeps the prices up on the older ones. And the 8x10 is a permanent fixture where I usually play! No one wants to move that monster anymore. I've got a TC 2x12, and a Trace Elliot 1x15 that I use when playing out. I used all Trace gear before I bought the Orange. Very good sounding gear, but all of it was heavy. Now I can move it all by myself and set up in two trips.

Good luck on your bass design! When I bought those 30 some books, it was because I thought I wanted to design and build guitars! I've got notebooks full of designs. But, the more I got involved, it turned into repairs and hot rod work, and now that I've got the Spector, I know I could never build one as great! Perhaps if I had access to a full blown woodworking shop I may try my hand at some of my ideas, but in the mean time I'll just watch and cheer you on! So I'm waiting on your step by step photos! Best of luck


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