The feature bass this week is all about the details, which even includes getting the signature on the headstock just right.
Builder Rudy Candia writes:
My name is Rudy Candia, aka Candia Bass Guitars, and this model is called the Black Mamba Murder Bass, fretless. It has a wenge top and fingerboard with a walnut body and neck. I love walnut wood but I debated about using walnut because it is not typically used for bass guitars. In doing some research I found out that Alembic offers walnut as a body wood so I figured that if it is good enough for Alembic, the Rolls Royce of bass guitars, then it’s good enough for me. The shape of this body is an original design that is similar to my first bass except that I used some different contouring on this one to exaggerate the waist of the guitar. On the back of the guitar I used wenge for the control cavity cover; never mind the gold screws as they are only there because I forgot to order black ones. They will be replaced with black screws shortly.
I used purple heart wood for the neck stringers, because it is ridiculously hard, to give the walnut some added strength, and for the truss rod cover, which I think looks really sick! I tried something a little different on this neck and added a Purple Heart accent layer just below the fret board; when you look at the neck from a playing position you can see that the purple layer continues all the way through to the truss rod cover so it’s a nice touch. Since I position the tuning pegs so that the strings run in a straight line from the bridge all the way to the tuners there is no need for a nut so I use a zero fret design. The headstock has a 13 degree tilt to it so I left a pronounced volute on the back of the neck to make sure that I did not leave a weak point where it could break if it ever fell off a guitar stand.
As with my first bass, this one is also fretless because let’s be honest here, fret jobs are harder and I have not worked up to that yet. Since I used wenge for the fingerboard, which is very porous, I used a CA glue coating on the fingerboard to make is smooth as glass.
On the headstock logo I used the Fender method of printing my chicken scratch signature on a clear decal, then applying several layers of polyurethane to make the decal disappear. After sanding between coats to level out the finish the headstock is completely smooth to the touch so that it feels like the logo it painted on.
One of the things that has always bothered me about the basses that I have had throughout the years it that just about all of them are uncomfortable on my right forearm, so I carve out extreme forearm contours in my bass bodies so that my forearm is just cradled against the body of the bass. It is so much more comfortable this way. I also tried to make the neck joint as smooth as possible, much like a neck through model, by shaving it down so that it is comfortable against the palm of my left hand when I go up to the high frets.
Just about all of the hardware and electronics for this bass came from Best Bass Gear. It has a Hipshot Kick Ass bridge, Gotoh tuners along with some really cool black knobs with abalone tops that look awesome. For the electronics I went all Aguilar with the OBP-3 and some Aguilar humbuckers that sound HUGE! If Thor, the God of THUNDER, was a bass player I think he would like this bass.
I hope you like it.
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