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 Post subject: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: October 27th, 2009, 1:36 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
I'm working a new Heritage Plus 5-string lefty build for a client in BC, Canada.

Specs:

1-piece light weight Swamp Ash body, finished in semi-transparent Butterscotch
Maple/Maple 5 in-line neck, black side/face dots, zero-fret, 16"R fretboard, finished in vintage tint gloss
Hipshot Ultralights and Vintage bent plate bridge
Nordstrand SCPB (neck) + Big Single (bridge)
Black pickguard
Custom lefty control plate
V/V + Tone controls
Electrosocket side jack
Dunlop strap locks

Here's a first peek at the body blank with the neck pocket and mounting holes cut. If you look closely you can see the body outline marked on the topside in pencil

Image
Image

And a peek at the neck (I may hove posted this image in another thread)

ImageImage

More to come as this build progresses ...

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 30th, 2009, 5:20 pm 
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lots has happened on this bass, but I've been a bit too busy to keep this thread updated on a regular basis.

here's progress images this past six weeks ...

the roughed out body had its outer profile detailed on an oscilating drum sander
Image

then the profile was detail sanded to remove any ripples in the edge
ImageImage

and then a 3/8"R round over was applied to the front and back edges
ImageImage

I then roughed out the tummy contour with my favorite tool - a 4" angle grinder loaded with a chainsaw blade disc :shock:
Image

once roughed, it took a lot of rasp work and detail sanding to finish the contour
Image

the original specs called for passive controls and a 2-hole control plate ...
Image

... but project mods now have this bass with a Nordstrand 2-band preamp configured with a 4-hole control plate. here's a test-fit of the hardware and neck/body
Image

all the remains is to route the pickup and control cavities, drill wiring tunnels, and add the side jack hole before the body and neck get shipped off to the paint shop early next week. the body was originally going to be finished in a semi-transparent Butterscotch ... but the client really likes how the 2-tone Vintage burst came out on the lefty Heritage Tribute '55, so this will be getting a like finish. the neck remains the same with a vintage tint gloss

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 30th, 2009, 5:25 pm 
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 1:45 pm
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Location: Huntsville, AL
That is looking great

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 30th, 2009, 8:41 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2009, 1:21 am
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great progress, looks like its gonna be a beast. though its not going to be happening anytime soon i wanna assemble my own bass and im curious about pre-amps, so my question is what would you compare the nordy too when it comes to tone transparency and over eq tailoring


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 31st, 2009, 9:08 am 
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Looks great! I am also curious as to what you think this pickup and preamp combo will sound like :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 31st, 2009, 11:10 am 
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came in from the shop to warm up a little ...

I like the Nordy preamps because they are essentially transparent when set to 'flat', allowing you to take advantage of active buffering without changing the sound from what you would have passive with a high quality instrument cord. when adjusting the tone controls, the frequency response of the bass is right where I like it to be (50Hz) and is +/-12db. unlike other preamps I've used in the past, you can dime the bass boost on these and still have a totally musical sound, and there's plenty of head room for aggressive playing even at 9v. the treble is +/-12db at 4Khz, perfect to add a little snap.

the custom 5-string SCPB pickup I use was created for me in 2006 based on the original '51P SCPB specs. it has all of the snarl and openness of a vintage 4-string SCPB, and it also carries the B-string fantastically well. I'd be content with just a single SCPB pickup for my own playing preferences, but adding the Fat Stack gives the ability to get that P/J sound when the coil is tapped. since the FS is a humbucking pickup, it also works noise-free when solo'd. I built the original bass of this model with a Big Single, but I like the added capabilities of the Fat Stack and how it sounds in hum-cancelling mode when combined with the SCPB.

I also offer a split-coil version of the SCPB that sounds as close to a single-coil as a split-coil can get. it's nice for live use, but I think I'd stick with the single-coil version if you were looking to do a load of studio work

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 31st, 2009, 12:01 pm 
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had opportunity to give all of the parts a weigh-in on my non-digital postal scale, and this one will be coming to the fight right at 8.5 pounds fully dressed (give or take an ounce)

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 31st, 2009, 1:32 pm 
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time for a lunch break ...

all of the pickup and control cavities are now roughed out. I'll detail the cavities with a router, template bit with bearing, and appropriate cavity templates

Image

I should be detail sanding this body before dinner tonight 8-)

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: December 31st, 2009, 4:56 pm 
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once the pickup and control cavities were detailed I added all of the wiring tunnels to connect everything to the control cavity, leaving just the jack tunnel to be drilled. I utilize my ShopSmith in its horizontal configuration to do this easily and without the need for holding jigs. here's the body aligned and ready to have the 7/8"D tunnel drilled

Image

and here it is a couple minutes later with the tunnel drilled thru into the control cavity

Image

with the exception of routing out the battery box cavity (back side) and loads of detail sanding, this body and neck is ready to head out to the paint shop.

more images to come in a few weeks when this returns with a shiny new paint job

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: January 9th, 2010, 5:10 pm 
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taking a quick break to rest my feet ...

I completed the control cavity templates (control cavity cover recess, control cavity, and control cavity cover) this afternoon. These took a TON more time than I previously estimated. The added time is all design process related. The more I played with the design and layout, the more I wasn't liking a lone battery box located near the lower horn. My final design locates the battery box on the control cavity cover plate (like I do on my Axiom basses), leaving you more beautiful wood to see while also placing the battery weight on the body butt instead of your right shoulder (like it would have been if the box was located near the lower horn)

Here's an image of the detailed templates, which took about two hours to make once the design was finalized. You can also see the outlines of where the cavity will be cut and where the cover fits on the back of the body

Image

a sip or two of coffee, then back out to the shop ....

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: January 12th, 2010, 8:20 pm 
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outta here! this body & neck are off to the paint shop.

I had a moment to crop the images I took this weekend of the final fit-up prior to boxing everything up for a UPS ride to the paint shop. in this step I lightly assemble the major components to validate one last time that everything fits like it should, that everything aligns properly, that the strings pull straight from the bridge saddle to the tuner post, and that there aren't any dings I missed in the final sanding. here's one last peek at bare wood getting fit-up

ImageImage

as seen here, this weighs in just under 7.0 pounds. when pickups, strings, paint, battery, and electronics get loaded I'm estimating that this is going to weigh somewhere just under 8.25 pounds

now the three to five week wait begins. since the paint shop only communicates if there's a problem, no news is good news until this arrives back at my door step

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: February 20th, 2010, 10:58 am 
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this came back from the paint shop this week. here's a peek at the neck/body fit together right out of the box (you can see there is still quite a bit of buffing compound to clean-up prior to getting to work with the shielding and assembly)

ImageImage

more images to come as clean-up and assembly progresses ...

this one is just a couple weeks away from being ready to deliver to the customer 8-)

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: February 20th, 2010, 6:53 pm 
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Lookin' great (as always!), looking forward to seeing the finished project!

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2010, 8:46 pm 
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recently I've begun utilizing threaded inserts and machine screws to mount the pickups on my Heritage and M-Series models. I first started doing this as a better mounting solution for just the SCPB style pickup, but I really like it for the Nordy soapbars as well. this process requires a drill press for the insert pilot hole, but the inserts are small enough that I can use a hand-held screwdriver to physically install the insert

here's an image of a custom Nordy SCPB + Fat Stack combo, and if you look closely you can see a reference 4-40 threaded insert and matching machine screw + lock washer on the body top between the pickups

Image

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2010, 9:29 pm 
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Wow, I like the look of that pickup combo.

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 4th, 2010, 5:06 am 
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Is that considered a Tobacco burst? Looks great, and brings out the grain nicely!

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 4th, 2010, 8:26 pm 
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Love that top and finish! It will make for a very nice post-Olympic present for the future owner in B.C.


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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 5th, 2010, 5:51 am 
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Quote:
Is that considered a Tobacco burst?

that is my standard 2-tone Vintage burst which utilizes black and amber. a Tobacco burst would replace the black with brown

I like how this finish is somewhat dynamic depending on the room lighting and flash angle

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 6th, 2010, 6:31 pm 
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got loads completed on this one today, and I've made it past installing the neck bolts on a contoured heel :) I'm always cautious since each bolt is a different length, and if the long bolt accidentally gets installed into the short hole ... well, there's a new 'feature' to the fretboard :oops:

I still need to install tuners, cut/install the nut, install straplock buttons, drill a toggle switch into the control plate (coil tap on the Nordy Fat Stack), and connect the pickups to the preamp before I string this up and give it a set-up. that said, it's still really nice to see this one finally wrapping up

Image

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: Heritage Plus 5-string Lefty
PostPosted: March 6th, 2010, 7:30 pm 
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here's a close-up of the neck screws after they've been cut to size. I individually mark each screw as well as the neck mounting holes prior to measuring, cutting, tipping, and eventually installing. if I take this joint apart I'll renumber everything as it comes apart

Image

all the best,

R

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