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New Build: 36" black walnut four-string

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 66
Topic starter  

I thought you guys might be interested in seeing some pictures of my latest build...

With the exception of the router (for the cavities/pockets), hand drill and dremel tool (for the inlay) I built this bass from start to finish with nothing but unpowered hand tools.

The bass is a lot of fun to play...really low action with no buzz at all. Great feel and ease of playability (you can still fly on this thing, despite the 36" scale). The bass has excellent sustain from the rock maple neck and steep break angles. It came out surprisingly light too. Feels like it's under 9 pounds, maybe a little less.

What'cha think?

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2135

Wow - that's gorgeous! Wonderful neck-through. Beautiful wood.

You should experiment with my favorite mod - a shallow slot for a thumb rest, running from the bridge to the neck.

Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998

Beautiful bass!

It is the typical guitar that I don't know if I prefer the back or the front side. Really nice vein!


Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 727

Wow, that looks incredible! I am a hugh fan of neck thru designs. The other thing about that bass kinda looks to me like something that Price/the artist formerly known as price/whatever he is called these days .... would play!

Any way you slice it, you have a real talent for designing/putting awesome equipment together!

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 417

Wow, gorgeous!

Is the bridge made of the wood as well? If so, how's the intonation? Is it possible to adjust it with this bridge?

Unseen Evidence
UE Reverb Nation Page

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 66
Topic starter  

Thanks for the compliments everyone. It's actually not a neck-thru, but a set-neck (like Gibson guitars).

About half of the people who see it go "wow, it looks like Prince's guitar," while the other half go "wow it looks like Les Claypool's bass," either way, it's pretty similar to both (of course being a bass player, my ego prefers the Les reference).

banre, the bridge is made entirely of wood (a piece of cocobolo sandwiched between two pieces of black walnut). It is a "floating" bridge (it's not glued down to the body) so you can adjust intonation just by loosening the strings and then moving the bridge. I tested the intonation a few weeks after it was complete and it is dead on for every fret. I've found that those kinds of bridges work very well. When I make those bridges for guitars I compensate the high B and G string slots a little extra as the B and high E strings are unwound strings and have different intonation requirements. Luckily, since bass strings are all wound, I don't have to carve the bridge slots differentially.

Thanks again for the compliments. I'll post more pics of future builds!


Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars

Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 45

I do like the design! And the workmanship is very advanced, at least from the pictures. Very nice indeed.
I noticed that you opted to go with just one pickup. Maybe a split coil humbucker? Interesting. Would love to hear a sound clip.

Koy Carson
West Texas

**Carvin AC175 Thinline Acoustic
**Ibanez EW20ZW Electric/Acoustic
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**Fender Geddy Lee Signature Bass
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Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 66
Topic starter  

Thanks Koy. After the bass was finished I kind of wished I had put in two pickups, the sound on the first is so good I would have really liked to hear one by the bridge. I'm working on getting some sound clips up too, so keep an eye out for 'em.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars