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 Post subject: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: March 5th, 2010, 10:14 am 
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Joined: March 10th, 2008, 7:00 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
finally got a little time to snap an image of progress on this build

VRB-MM5 fretless
- 1-piece Swamp Ash body
- AAA Birdseye / Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard (will be epoxied)
- Nordstrand MM5.2 pickup w/coil tap toggle
- Hipshot hardware
- '51P styled control plate

more spec details to follow ...

Image

ImageImage

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: March 5th, 2010, 10:40 am 
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Joined: March 14th, 2008, 2:28 pm
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Beautiful neck and board!

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: March 5th, 2010, 11:01 am 
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Location: Huntsville, AL
Love that fingerboard :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: March 9th, 2010, 7:23 pm 
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Beautiful wood there.


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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 5:34 pm 
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the body on this one is now ready for the paint shop. since my last post I've installed the pickup and control cavities, carved the forearm contour, installed the tunnel for the side jack, and detail sanded the body

here's a couple new images for your viewing pleasure

Image
Image
Image
Image

one thing about this bass not previously noted is that it will have a passive tone control set-up based on a G&L L1000. instead of a volume and two individual tone pots, this will utilize a custom made lefty concentric stacked pot. after quite an extensive search I finally found a shop that could custom make this pot for me :D

your eyes do not deceive you, and that is not a mistake - the MM pickup was intentionally installed with the single ear edge up and not in the traditional two ears up orientation. while I respect Leo for getting soooo many things right, I do have a personal beef over his choice to put the two ears up instead of down (or for having mounting ears at all for that matter) personally, I find the single ear up orientation gives me more flexibility as to how I anchor my thumb on the pickup. I love my '76 B00 to pieces, but the pickup orientation just drives me nuts and gives me thumb cramps. I've been installing MM pickups orientated this way for years (and I've been endlessly harrassed about it for years, too :? ) I say try one this orientated this way - you won't go back, and you'll also like the added flexibility it affords you to fine-tune your G-string volume balance when tapping one of the coils

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 7:56 pm 
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Rod,
can you post or point us to a pic of what you're talking about? I'm thoroughly confused as to what you mean about one ear vs two, despite what my eyes are seeing.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 8:18 pm 
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here's a good close-up of the MM style 3-eared pickup

Image

most companies install this pickup so that the two eared edge is towards the lowest string. that puts a lot of lumps for your thumb to navigate around if you anchor on the pickup while playing. I have always (well, there might be one or two exceptions) mounted my MM pickups with just the single eared side 'up'

this accomplishes two things:

- there's less clutter when you anchor your thumb, essentially giving you two excelleny and uncrowded pick points

- you have a little bit of added adjustment for the high string because you can ever so slightly lift one of the treble corners a little higher than the other and provide you a more pointed (bridge side lift) or mellower (neck side lift) accent to the G-string ... granted it's not enormous, but the subtlety can be nice for studio work

does this help to make more sense now?

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 9:07 pm 
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Absolutely does! I had no idea it was a 3 screw mount.

May the Easter Bunny smile upon you tomorrow :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 11:44 pm 
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I'm with you Rod, I always thought that the MM pup cover was a bad design.

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: April 3rd, 2010, 11:45 pm 
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Said it so nice that I posted it twice! :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: May 17th, 2010, 9:31 pm 
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the body arrived back from the paint shop earlier this afternoon. here's a sneak peek at how great this combination is going to work together, and how outstanding those glass worm lines look in that 1-piece body

Image

(yes, the body and neck are supported by clean towels and not resting directly on the shop floor :) )

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: May 18th, 2010, 8:37 am 
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Nice :)

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 5:15 pm 
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it's taken me several months to perfect a method for finishing a Rosewood fingerboard with epoxy. the most difficult part is that Rosewood, unlike Maple, is very porus ... and porus woods lend to trapped air under freshly poured epoxy ... and trapped air leads to minuscule air bubbles embedded in the first layer of the epoxy

I've been documenting my process for finishing the fingerboard in the Blueprinting & Bondo forum, so you can check out the steps there ... or you can simply enjoy how nice this neck is coming out in the image below (where you can see where I have freshly filled those remaining pores)

Image

this should be the last filler application, and after the fingerboard has been re-leveled it'll be time for some epoxy :D

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: November 19th, 2010, 6:47 pm 
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That board is coming out great - all of your efforts are paying off for sure :P


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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 11th, 2010, 1:40 am 
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I also agree about the MM pups n have never understood the reasoning for the trad 2 ears up!! Finally, n it took a Lefty to think of it!!! Pure, unadulterated geeenius!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 12:36 pm 
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the Day of Reckoning is upon me - it's time to mix that epoxy and pour!

Image

needless to say, it's a balmy 75 deg F here in my assembly room this week, as this epoxy pour requires a minimum 70 deg F temperature to cure and sets best at 75 deg F

I also get to play with fire today! the process for bursting any air bubbles that appear during the epoxy pour is to waive a lit blow torch over the surface 6-10 minutes after pouring 8-)

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 1:06 pm 
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I would literally have a heart attack if I was about to pour epoxy onto a BRW board... :shock:

Did you "practice" on a hunk of wood before you did this to work out all the kinks, or are you just going for it?

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 1:27 pm 
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been working the technique for this for over six months now, and have well over 150 R&D hours into finishing this fingerboard

epoxy on any of the Maples is a sheer cakewalk compared to the prep work for a Rosewood board. even after being convinced I have a solid process, I've still stalled on this for a few weeks to be certain I haven't missed anything ... and I'm stalling a bit this afternoon to make certain the room temps remain constant

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 2:02 pm 
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so I have done one of two things this afternoon:

- successfully applied the epoxy finish to the Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard

- managed to ruin a beautiful (and disguctingly expensive) AAA Birdseye / Brazilian Rosewood 5-string fretless neck

Image

sadly, I won't know which of the two I was successful at until around this time tomorrow. the next 24 hours are definitely going to be sleepless here in Seattle :shock:

all the best,

R

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 Post subject: Re: new build - VRB-MM5 Fretless lefty
PostPosted: December 16th, 2010, 2:58 pm 
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Image

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