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Darkstrike



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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 2:57 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
It depends on what the issue is. If someone comes asking for something that isn't possible because it will ruin equipment, is unrealistic no matter how many times you slice it, that's different than if someone is asking for something that the professional doesn't personally enjoy or thinks looks bad, you know? At least, that's how I figure at least.

There are a lot of fine lines, here, I think. Now when you're in that situation where you find that you don't like a client's ideas, but it will work (artistic choice), you can advise against it and cite reasons why you think it wouldn't be the best option, and if the client still wants it, you kinda have to suck it up, you know? But if it's something that's unsafe or unreasonable and they think that they have it figured out better than you, then there are problems.

And I guess that's where I'm coming from. If that still sounds douchebaggy, maybe that's just how it works in the theatre world.

Meh I think I have a problem stating things too bluntly. Damn laziness Mad


Indeed, but no matter what, the luthier still has the right to say no thanks.

More on steel frets,

They are harder to work, are you prepared to pay extra for the luthier to replace ruined tools?

They do wear(nothing lasts forever), just not as fast as nickel, (steel strings don't last forever, do they?Wink ). Are you ready to pay an upgharge to have them crowned, besides that most techs won't even do it.

PLEK, are you sure that they will work with steel, if normal tools wear and cost, imaging how much tech work to a PLEK machine costs.

High chances your strings will die much faster being repeatedly beat into a much harder material, are you prepared to buy strings a lot more often?

They do change tone, but thats personal.

I do believe the luthiers know what they're talking about.

No, by no means am I saying they're bad, do what you want, but its like the Kahlers, know exactly what you're getting into.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 4:34 pm

had the guild ls for about 3 years. its like a gibson eb bass. i really liked it untill the neck went twisty on me. took it to a luthier that was highly recommended. he did the best he could with it but ended up making things worse ... but thats another story. this thing had stainless steel frets. i dont know if they were factory or a replacement.

yes, the tone was different ... and so was the feel. the tones were crisper and the fretty sound while playing werent as pronounced ... i assume because its denser material. the overall bass note tone was fairly standard as i could expect from a 1972 bass, neck thru with darkstar pickups and wooden bridge saddles ... i think what gave the thing pretty good sustain. the feel? ya know how when you play some basses they have a wooden feel, like a jazz or p fender or g&l, and some feel like graphite like a soundgear or a curbow? even tho this thing was 100% wood and metal it had that graphite feel to it.

i never noticed having to replace strings any quicker on this bass than any other bass. i played the ibanez more frequently during band practice 2X a week at the time, but i gigged with this bass almost every weekend and this was the bass that was in my room when i had an idea and picked it up to da da da da da. maybe its just the fact that i routinely replace strings before they get shot anyway ... 4-6 weeks, regardless of the bass or excessive playing ... its just when they loose that ring.

the strings i used on this bass were the known harshest ... rotos. for a 1972 bass, not a single fret had even the slightest imperfection or wear groove in it visible to the nekid eye from me, or anyone who played this bass before me (since 1972!). i'm sure there is some wear ... but not that i could see.

i think i've found 2 different kinds of luthiers on this issue. there are luthiers that just dont offer it. ok ... cool. i understand that. my business theres things we just dont offer. there are other luthiers that do offer ss fretjobs, but it seems that they just kinda try to shy me away from it. i havent had anyone say "dont do that!" or "what are you nutz!". places that will do it charge on the average $25 to $35 more ... and thats understandable. either way ... i havent had any luthiers give me any of their personal opinions about it at all.

if i owned or leased a plek machine ... i wouldnt put a stainless steel fretted neck in it! i still believe if i had a ss fret neck ... i wouldnt need to get it pleked if the fret job was done correctly.

i am gonna continue to do more research about doing refret jobs.
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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 6:29 pm

Or you could start playing fretless.

Just kidding, Mike. Wink

Yes, I do agree with Bill's assessment that a luthier does have the right to either do or not do any particular job. Heck, there are a lot of luthiers who won't install a bass trem, but I think that has more to do with personal experience coupled with a genuine lack of experience in setting them up properly.

And stainless is a bear to work with, and it does do a bad number on tooling. I have also considered learning the art of re-fretting myself so that I can do it whenever I need to. And from what I understand, it really isn't hard to do. You just need to take your time and be careful.

Or maybe you could just bite the bullet, and continue to use nickel frets with the understanding that you'll have to have them worked on more frequently.

I realize that we're all throwing a lot of different perspectives at you all at once, but we're only wanting to help. Wink

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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Fri May 08, 2009 11:55 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
Indeed, but no matter what, the luthier still has the right to say no thanks.

More on steel frets,

They are harder to work, are you prepared to pay extra for the luthier to replace ruined tools?

They do wear(nothing lasts forever), just not as fast as nickel, (steel strings don't last forever, do they?Wink ). Are you ready to pay an upgharge to have them crowned, besides that most techs won't even do it.

PLEK, are you sure that they will work with steel, if normal tools wear and cost, imaging how much tech work to a PLEK machine costs.

High chances your strings will die much faster being repeatedly beat into a much harder material, are you prepared to buy strings a lot more often?

They do change tone, but thats personal.

I do believe the luthiers know what they're talking about.

No, by no means am I saying they're bad, do what you want, but its like the Kahlers, know exactly what you're getting into.

True dat. The more you know. Very Happy
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 09, 2009 11:05 am

well ... i've decided to look into it.

if i can do refret work myself, i have no need to use stainless ... i'll just pop new frets in as i need them. if nickel is easer to deal with then i'll use nickel. it seems this is the preferred material ... except for the difficulty in tooling with stainless, i'm still not exactly sure as to why. overall tone? business advantage? job security?

i'm sacrificing the ibanez to the bass gods, so i guess using this neck to practice and learn on will be a good thing ... before i go making a mess on a decent bass. i may be decent at it right away ... rebirth of the ibanez???

i'm still gonna get the warmoth neck with ss frets ... i may end up preferring them. its a $360 neck ... i kinda want it to last a while.

with what eric proposed ..........

what would happen to a fretless fretboard when holding a note and using a trem? just seems to me like it would destroy it. i guess some alternative strings would be in order ... most fretless players use flatwound ... right? i had also played a fretless/hollowbody that had those black flatwound composite strings. that bass was beautiful sounding but for $1400 i guess it shud. never saw one like that again.

i'm searching for refetting tools today.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 09, 2009 12:01 pm

Well since Warmoth will do it, I guess all that I was bringing up doesn't matter, huh? Laughing If I get a Warmoth neck, I'd like to try and get stainless frets put on. Just for the hell of it.

I think a trem on a fretless would be a lot of fun. I have no clue how it would wear the fingerboard, but does using a trem on a fretted bass wear the frets faster? I don't think noticeably. Or does it?

Yeah most fretless players use flatwounds. If you get the fingerboard coated with certain materials (like epoxy), it can give you a harder, glassier surface which can minimize the amount of damage that any strings to to the board, but that can still wear, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 09, 2009 4:41 pm

I can't actually say from personal experience what using a trem on a fretless would do to any note, but doesn't Les Claypool have such a bass?

Just from what I can tell, my guess would be that it would work fine. But again, I am not sure as I have never tried it.

Yet. Wink

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Kugelspot

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sat May 09, 2009 8:15 pm

madmike wrote:
... most fretless players use flatwound ... right?

Yes, but you don't have too use them to keep your fingerboard nice. Both GHS and D'addario make half wound strings. these are roundwounds that have been ground down till they are almost like flats. they sound about 75% flatwound. you can also get compression wound strings, which are rounds that have been compressed. They sound about 75% roundwound. Rotosound 55's and pretty much all DR's are 2 that come to mind, but I'm pretty sure there are others.

madmike wrote:
i had also played a fretless/hollowbody that had those black flatwound composite strings. that bass was beautiful sounding but for $1400 i guess it shud. never saw one like that again.

Those were probably tapewound strings. Both Rotosound and Fender make these.
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun May 10, 2009 7:18 am

yeah ... dazz it. tapewound. just couldnt remember what they were called.

i dont know if it was so much the sound of the strings, but in combination with that hollowbody that they were on ... what a great sound.
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Chowderboots

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Sun May 10, 2009 11:59 am

Was it a Gretch or something? That's what pops into my mind when I hear "hollowbody" Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:57 am

my warmoth neck is done ... i shud have it in a few days. everything else on the bass is ready, i just gotta put it together, set it up, take it apart again to finish the finishing details, reassemble and try it out.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:22 am

Sweet! What a Face
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madmike

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:02 am

my warmoth neck came in yesterday.

i spent 4 hours measuring and mounting the neck and bridge so i could play this thing.

first of all ... this warmoth neck is nicer than any neck on any bass that i've ever played from fender, ibanez or any other music store chain offering that i've ever played. the craftmanship is perfect ... this thing is beautiful.

secondly ... the debate with ss frets. again ... beautiful. the higher, ringier tone that i'de gotten from other ss fretted basses is not here with this one at all. it is silky smooth playing and warm and sustainey as can be. perhaps the better tone is from the quality ebony fretboard. the frets are real thin ... they dont need to be as big; no wear like nickel, so when i set the action, i can go super close with no buzz.

the relief in the neck was perfect from the factory. so was the pocket match. i just screwed it on and stringed it up. i need to spend time tonite setting up the kahler (and we all know how much fun that is) to get the action right.

the ebony fretboard is black as can be with slight grain in tones of charcoal grey.

i still gotta mount the pickups and do some other cosmetic work like veneer the peghead and black out the body pockets. i still gotta order the gotoh tuners i want and get the pot knobs that i found. i'll post pics soon.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:34 am

Cool, dude! I can't wait to see how it turns out! I'm glad to hear that you're diggin' on the Warmoth neck so much. Gives me hope. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:25 pm

it is always a pleasure seeing a satisfied Warmoth customer Smile
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:12 pm

I'm still on the edge about whether I want to seriously plan out a Warmoth explorer project. I'm starting to think that I will. White 'n' maple? I think so. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:47 pm

It really sounds great, MadMike! I know that we all can't wait to see and hear the new toy! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:49 am

currently kicking myself.

took some 400 grit to take out some scratches and imperfections in the finish last night.

i boogered it up!

gotta go get more paint now and start the finish over again.
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PostSubject: Re: the next project from the labs of the mad scientist.   Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:31 pm

That's a total bummer. Neutral

But at least it's something that you can recover from pretty easily.

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