[Bass of the Week] Candia Bass Black Mamba Dorado

The feature bass this week is from a builder who decided to stop waiting, worked up the courage to build his own bass, and the end result was amazing.

Builder Rudy Candia writes:

I have been a woodworker for several years and have dreamt of building bass guitars for a long time but I was too scared to try; like a wee little girl. A few months ago I decided that it was time to stop talking about what I wanted to do and start doing what I had been talking about. This is the very first bass guitar that I have built.

I call this model the Black Mamba and it has a mohagany body and a wedge top. The back is lacquered but I chose to leave an open pore look so that you can still feel the wood. The wedge top is just oiled, not lacquered because I wanted to cover the wonderful texture of this beautiful wood.

The neck is a five piece laminate of maple with Purple Heart stringers. This is a fretless bass and the finger board is also wenge with a CA glue coating on it; wenge is just too porous to make a good finger board without the CA coating. The headstock cap is also wedge which, along with the black Bartonlini soap bars, and the Black Beauty strings gives the front of the bass a blacked out look. Hence the name Black Mamba. I am also building the same model with black hardware and I call that model the Black Mamba Murder model.

As I mentioned, this bass has Bartolini single coil pickups and an Aguilar OBP3 preamp that I bought from Best Bass Gear. It also has Gotoh tuners and some really sick looking gold knobs with abalone inlays. Within three days of completing this bass I showed it to one of my bass player friends and he placed an order for a Black Mamba Murder bass. Funny story, I was showing it to him in his office and one of his co workers was in the room; an older man about 60. When my friend said, “I’ll take it,” the older man said, “I’ll take one too.” I asked if he was serious and he said “yes, I don’t play but I do have some guitars hanging on my walls as decorations and this thing is so pretty I want to hang it on my wall.” Needless to say I left that meeting in a very good mood and am highly encouraged to continue building bass guitars. I hope you like.

Well done!

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27 thoughts on “[Bass of the Week] Candia Bass Black Mamba Dorado

  1. Beautiful and very well done. I too have been wanting to build my own bass for some time now. Hoping to start some day soon. I like your choice in pickups and preamp. Those are two of my favorites. Keep up the beautiful work!

  2. I like the Body shape, specially the cutaway for the arm in the upper back, at least in the pictures the finish looks a little to shynee to my taste. Very nice original bass . Try wood covers for the pickups, you still can upgrade it, it would look even bether.

  3. Hi Rudy
    I would be interested in a 6 string fretless of that design with all black hardware and in addition with a Piezo pickup as well with a blend pot. May I have your email address so we can start a connection.

  4. Thank you all. I appreciate the comments and also the suggestions. In regard to a couple of the comments,
    Yes I meant wenge but stupid auto correct changed it to wedge.
    It is fairly heavy but I play a 7 string Bee Bass so I am used to a heavy bass.
    I did consider wood pick up covers but I ended up liking the flat black finish on the Bartolini pickups so I left it like that.
    As for the “shine” the back and sides are lacquered but the front is not so the wenge is not shiney; it has a natural look.
    And yes, I was too scared like a “wee little girl.”

  5. Bravo. Right out of the gate you hit one out of the park.
    The CA fretboard does not get enough love as a design choice, great feel. Crappy material to work with.


    • Good eye and yes they WERE upside down because I did not realize that there was an upside and a downside. A knowledgeable friend pointed that out to me and I flipped them around.
      I agree with you that CA glue gives the fingerboard a great feel but it absolutely is a crappy material to work with.

  6. The pickups are upside down. I don’t know if it makes a difference on those soap bar fatties but it makes a huuuuge difference in the jazz style Bartolini pickups.

    • It sounds AWESOME! The Bartolini pickups have such a musical tone; the only way I can explain it is the notes don’t just thump… they sing. I was actually more inspired by the Ibanez BTB basses. If you look at how the edges are contoured on the BTB basses, that is the look that I was going for. The idea for the wenge top actually came from my daughter, whom I built this bass for.

  7. That is one beautiful bass! I am like the older man at your work. I think i would get one just to hang on the wall! It is a work of art.
    I love the wood choices. So much better than the usual paint job must manufacturers use! Any chance you would make a lefty? There are a few of us odd ones out there?

    • Gordon,
      Thank you for your kind words, it is much appreciated. As a wood worker I am a big fan of natural wood so I would never even make a bass then paint it. I would be happy to make you a Black Mamba lefty model! Please feel free to contact me at rudy.candia@gmail.com.
      Thank you.

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