Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #123899  by beaner
 Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:30 am
Just wanted this to have it's own thread.....

Jerry Dorsch at Graphite Guitar Systems is building me my very first custom bass and I am having a blast with this. His brother Todd GTS, a member here, turned me on to Jerry who is a cofounder of Modulus for the first 10 years of its inception.
Here's a pic of the body style I wanted:

Here are beginning to present progress pics(not sure why some of the pics are cut-off?):





 #123901  by Rusty the Scoob
 Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:27 am
None of the pics are cut off for me, you just have to make the window wider. Really wide in some cases, like spread over the two monitors I have here at work. It also helps to use the direct link to this thread so the frame on the left isn't there.


Bass looks very cool! I like that body shape. What are you doing for electronics, just out of curiousity?
 #123905  by Sparechaynge
 Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:24 am
Nice! Ash body?
Rusty the Scoob Wrote:
What are you doing for electronics, just out of curiousity?
Please tell us!
 #123910  by Todd GT5
 Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:47 pm
Hi Beaner,
Your bass is looking great! I know it will be awesome. I would also like to know what pick-ups and electronics your going with. My experience is the pick-ups and electronics are a huge part in the tone you will get. Remember my first GGS 5 string started with Bartolini's with active electronics. It was very much like a Modulus. I however much prefer a more organic older scholl tone and switched it out to Nordstrand Big Singles and passive VVT which I love. I was getting single coil hum where the wiring was old or too much neon.

My newest GGS 5 string getting Nordstrand Big Splits and passive VVT are perfect for me. I can cover a wide variety of tones from P Bass to Jazz Bass and many of the familiar Phill tones early to more recent. Not exactly Phil's tones but remarkably close. It also depends on which strings you choose. I'm loving Ken Smith Slick Rounds and D Addario Chromes flat wounds.

I can't wait to see more updates from you!

 #123916  by beaner
 Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:54 pm
The Body is indeed swamp ash which Jerry reassured me was an excellent wood for the bass. I honestly thought you could make a guitar out of Oak(true statement!). The decision for swamp ash also came from financial reasons as well.
Electronics are simple which is me to a T. 2 volume and one tone with passive Nordstrand big splits(again under the advice of Jerry and Todd). I believe the bridge is ABS.
I know I'm a sheep among tech wolves here but I am learning and you guys don't bite(much).
When shopping around at the usual Wal-Marts of guitar stores(which I still frequent by the way) it occurred to me for a little bit more money and lots of patience(Great advice from prof.RB!) I could have a bass that is unique and what I want.
Sometimes it feels like Jerry is one of those criminal sketch artists trying to sketch out a face from my fuzzy memory, he's awesome.

This is the finish I would like to have(no pick guard though, thank you Tim!). It's an Elvis Costello Fender Jazz finish that Jerry suggested.
 #123926  by Rusty the Scoob
 Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:19 am
I don't think the Jaguar/Jazzmaster (I get them mixed up) in the pic is swamp ash, it has a much prettier grain, and is a fantastic wood for basses, especially with graphite necks. Adds a little mid scoop and a lot of punch to the sound. 70's fenders were mostly ash and my most expensive bass by far has a swamp ash body. Excellent choice!

Edit - yes... like the pics of your actual bass. That's what Swamp Ash looks like. :lol: Awesome grain!

I've heard nothing but good things about Nordstrand, either. Haven't owned any myself yet, but they're high on the list of things I'd like to try.
 #123945  by beaner
 Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:47 pm
That's a relief! Thanks for the vote of confidence Rusty, you have earned quite a reputable opinion here with my total respect as well. You're right about the fender guitar in the picture, Jerry did say that the body was Adler(?) I believe.
Jerry's calling this the "Working man's bass" because of its simple looks and basic electronics. But it's going to play like the dickens!