GW Basses & Luthiery

  A Custom Shop Full Custom 5 String

This bass is another full custom of the customers design. We discussed it quite a bit over the phone and via many emails. He sent me basic graphic layout he had done up in a graphics program, which I then made the basic body outline from. Upon recieving Micheals approval of the body shape and layout of the pickups and other details, I started in building his bass.

Here are the specs:

  • 7 piece, Center of Macassar Ebony, then Birdseye maple, then Bloodwood, then Flamed Maple outers
  • Black ebony fingerboard
  • Thin accent layer of Bloodwood under the fingerboard
  • Flamed Maple Binding on Fingerboard
  • 34" scale, 24 Fret, fretted
  • Swamp Ash Headstock
  • Macassar Ebony Back and Front Headstock Overlay
  • Standard dot inlays

  • Body:
  • Lightweight swamp ash body wings
  • Macassar ebony topset with thin bloodwood accent layer
  • Neck to show through, topset does not cover entire top of bass
  • Matching rear center cap over neck blank of swamp ash

  • Hardware and Electronics:
  • Two custom wound Kent Armstrong Pickups
  • Aguilar OBP-3 preamp, 18v system
  • Custom wooden pickup covers, bloodwood with flamed maple tops
  • Custom wooden knobs from THG Knobs, bloodwood with flamed maple tops
  • Hipshot Model A bridge, Shiney Gold with string through body or top load option
  • Gotoh Gold tuners with custom flamed maple and macassar ebony wooden tuner knobs from THG Knobs
  • Gator GPE-Bass ATA rated hardcase

  • The Build Process

    Here are pics of original body outline and layout graphic I recieved from Michael and the final approved design drawing I did on the for this gorgeous 5 string Custom!

    Micaels original computer mock up

    Here is the original computer graphic mock up that Michael sent me of his design for this bass
    My computer drawing of the design

    And here is the computer drawing of the design I did based on his drawing.

    And the buildling begins...

    pieces cut for neck blank

    Neck blank ready to glue up
    ready for scarf joint

    All glued and dried, ready for headstock scarf joint

    The Camphor Burl bass clef inlay at the 12th fret is in. Next the body wings go on.

    headstock on

    Headstock is on

    Headstock and neck accent layers on

    Headstock accent layers and overlay on
    Fingerboard and truss rod in

    Truss rod is in, fingerboard is on
    Finished neck blank

    Body wings getting ready

    Body wings glued and clamped

    Body wings glued and clamped

    Body wings are on

    Next the fingerboard binding
    Body wings are on

    Binding cut and glued

    Triming the binding

    Triming the binding

    Inlays and in, ready for fretting

    Inlays, binding, and routing done, ready for fretwork



    Some pics of the first coat of oil going on, and then beginning the final build process.







    And the completed bass. I do like the wood combinations in this bass, the red of the bloodwood accents really makes the macassar ebony topset and fingerboard just pop, and the flame maple binding on the fingerboard adds that extra touch of elegance.

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