I wanted to use A-frame bracing design with asymmetric soundhole, and carefully analysed the shape of four such instruments:
Tacoma Thunderchief CB10 - regarded as one of the best production acoustic basses, sadly no longer being made
Furch B61-CM - a very attractive design. This is a Czech brand, sold in America as Stonebridge, in Germany as Standford
Boulder Creek acoustic bass range.
Warwick Rockbass Alien.
I compared upper/lower bout ratios, waist height, waist depth, cutaway curves, squareness v. roundness,
and came up with a design that I felt combined all the attractive aesthetic elements of those guitars,
while avoiding aspects that didn't appeal to me as much.
I also came up with a wave motif that I wanted to use for the headstock, bridge and fingerboard end.
For a number of years I built jigs, molds, woodworking equiment, and practiced the craft with less demanding projects. At the beginning of 2020 I decided it was time to jump in.
I chose to make a fretless as my first build for a number of reasons:
Less precision regarding intonation
Less precision regarding fretboard straightness / action / relief
I wanted a fretless.
My preparation was to watch a series of DVDs on guitar building, plus a few YouTube videos and various forum posts.
I had no mentor during the build, and managed to make just about every mistake it is possible to make, plus a few that you might think aren't possible.
Each of these has been meticolously written down, and I believe that if I press on and build another, it'll be a much smoother ride.
The finished bass
There are only two songs that can be used to demonstrate an upright-like acoustic bass sound.
One of them is "Fever", I chose the other:
(If your browser doesn't support/allow embedding, here is a direct link to the YouTube video.)
I am simultaneously embarrassed by how many n00b mistakes I made, and delighted with how the bass has turned out.
The bass is - to my inexperienced hands - eminently playable, the acoustic sound is lovely, and the pickup works exactly as it should, making it gig-worthy and recordable.
All content Copyright 2017 Trevor Magnusson