A builder who is used to straight-fret builds experiments with fanned frets, and the result is amazing.
I’ve always been interested by fan frets but never had the opportunity to test one for years. A few months ago, I finally tested one. That was a revelation but something told me I had to build it as it didn’t fit well to what I expected.
I already built several basses but never dealt with fanned frets, composite radius, wood gluing or plating…never mind, I decided to buy all the needed material and start from scratch.
Fortunately, I got a good carpenter in my family and he helped me with the wood parts assembly, specially gluing.
Body is made of one piece white ash plated with wild cherry (1mm) and Japanese ash (1mm). These two layers have been added only for the look.
Neck is made of seven different parts of Wenge and Flamed Maple…see on the pictures.
All the hardware comes from BBG. Thanks to Max who helped me in PU’s choice. It was difficult to find the right pickups as dimensions and positions are not common. To follow the “rules” of fan frets construction and also for final look, it was necessary to place the pickups aligned with the bridge but also following the “fan” geometry.
After several discussions with Max, we thought that the Barts (X5 shape) were the best choice…it has been confirmed. They are connected by the use of a 5 way selector ( as a Stratocaster guitar). Sound shaping is done by a Glockenklang 3 ways preamp.
Most difficult work was to obtain the shape of the composite radius fingerboard (Wenge). I started with wood blocks of different radiuses (also home made) and finally smooth all along the length by hand. Result is better than what I could imagine. I then sewed the frets groove by calculation of positions. B string is 37″ and G string is 34″. I decided to place the only “perpendicular” fret to 7th position as it seems to be the most usual position of bass players neck hand!
Rest is hours of cutting, sanding and test before putting my personal logo on the head. Result is better than foreseen and I use this real personal instrument each time I need 5 strings.
Since I got it playing, all my other 5 basses spend more time in their cases. It is a bit heavy to hold but the sound is pure killness! No matter the style I play…it fits!
A friend of mine, professional bass player, told me he never played such a precise B string…I was proud!
For the color, I hesitate a long time between putting only wax or applying a color. I finally turned it to transparent red with a glossy varnish. Not too bad like this..isn’t it?
But there’s still one step to perform! I’ll change the pickups for more deep models as sound is a bit too much in the highs!
Well done, Jack, it’s a beautiful build!
Want to be featured for Bass of the Week? Go to http://bestbass.gr/bassoftheweek and submit your entry right now.