Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 22:55:45 PM. . By Aurelia Beaty.
Frankly I can't think of an easier and more enjoyable project than building a fretless bass, and trust me when I tell you, it's easier than you think! With a little patience and attention to detail you can have a top of the line instrument for half the shelf price! If there is one thing I have learned over the years about building my own fretless basses is that once you take the responsibility of making your own axe, you become a master of your own sound. If your bass sounds and plays well or sounds and plays crappy it will be because you took the time to put the parts together and experiment! The best preliminary step to building is to go to one or more local music stores and just play basses. Make note of what you like and what you don't like about the sound, appearance and configuration of the basses, that way when you are ready to drop some cash on your parts you will know what to get. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you use crappy parts you will get a crappy sound. Always get the best grade woods and hardware you can afford, trust me it makes a HUGE difference!
There are some important things here to note. First, the pickups are actually out of phase. When both pickups on a Jazz bass are turn up full on, the pickups cancel out any hum that may be in the area. If you use one coil only, it will be in single coil mode, and you can pick up hum. If you like the sound of only one coil, and hate the hum, try using a split coil Jazz Bass pickup, and wire them in hum-bucking mode. Dimarzio make these, and they are a very good sounding pickup. I have used them on previous Jazz Basses, and they work well. I especially like the adjustable magnetic pole pieces, which are easily adjusted with an Allen screw driver. Secondly, the control knobs shown (above) are wired in the Jaco Pastorious prefered fashion: Volume, Volume, Tone. The standard method is to have: Volume, Pan, and Tone.
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