GW Basses & Luthiery

  Russ' 2nd Custom Shop bass, a 6 string fretted

This is Russ' second GW Custom Shop bass of his own design. The first one was a 4 string fretless, with this second one of the same design being a 6 string fretted.

  • 7 piece; Flamed maple outers, macassar ebony center, two bloodwood stringers, then two macassar ebony stringers
  • 34" scale stabilized birdseye maple fingerboard, fretted
  • Thin accent layer of zebrawood under fingerboard
  • Blue dyed maple burl block inlays to match topset, standard side dots
  • Swamp ash headstock
  • Blue dyed maple burl headstock overlay to match body
  • Thin accent layer of zebrawood under headstock overlay
  • Thin birdseye maple overlay on back of headstock

  • Body:
  • Swamp Ash body wings and back
  • Semi-Hollow body with resonant chambers routed for more acoustic "woody" tone and light weight
  • Blue Dyed Maple Burl top, top covers entire top (neck does NOT show through)
  • Thin accent layer of zebrawood between top and body wings
  • Neck set lower in body so just the fingerboard and accent layer underneath it are above the top of the body (bridge will have to be recessed)
  • Custom designed control cavity with battery compartments to eliminate need for a plastic pop-out battery box

  • Hardware and Electronics:
  • Chrome Hipshot ultralight tuners
  • Chrome Hipshot Model A bridge in aluminum
  • Two Custom Wound Kent Armstrong "Russ Hodges Specials" Pickups
  • Custom Stabilized Birdseye Maple ramp, routed in back to accept both pickups
  • Mike Pope 3 band preamp
  • Gator ATA Rated GPE-Bass Hardcase

  • The Build Process

    Here are pics of some of the woods and inlays, and a scan of the original drawing I recieved from Russ and the final approved design drawing I did on the computer for the first bass I built for him of this design, a fretless 4 string. I simply had to make new templates to account for the 6 string neck.

    Russ' original drawing

    Here's a scan of the original drawing that Russ 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 for Russ based on his drawing.

    Glueing up swamp ash rear center cover block to neck blank

    Neck blank ready for body wings

    Body wings with tone chambers


    Blue dyed maple burl topset

    Roughed out pickup cover / ramp

    Pickup cover / ramp ready for final sanding and polishing

    Off to Kent Armstrong to put the pickups in

    Body is all done, ready for the inlays and frets

    Block inlays cut from blue dyed maple burl

    ... and in they go

    Fingerboard ready for final polishing

    Headstock logo in as well

    Final routing and finish

    Control cavity routed, ready for sanding

    First coat of oil is on



    Finishing is done, time to build it up!

    Control cavity all wired up

    All parts are in, time for the initial setup



    All done and ready to go! I must say, I really like the combination of the dark blue dyed maple burl topset and inlays contrasting with the birdseye maple and swamp ash. A great combination of colors and textures and it sounds extraordinary to boot!

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