Handcrafted basses

Other Instruments

MandoBanjoSaz (2014)

Construction: hollow body with bolt on neck
Neck:asymmetrical neck, bangkirai with purpleheart fretboard
Scale: 62cm
Wood: Beechwood, spruce soundboard, bangkirai neck, purpleheart fretboard
Pickups: Lipstick pickup
tuners: Wilkinson
Bridge: Wood with frets (Purpleheart)
controls: volume
Finish: PolyUrethane

This is a strange bird, i don't know what to call it. It has the strings in pairs like a mandoline, the stiff soundboard make the sound resemble a banjo, and the narrow neck reminds of a Turkish saz. But it's different from all of these instruments.
It is tuned (from low to high) g G - c C - f F. So there is an octave interval within a stringpair. This tuning is different from mandolines.
The body is made from a single piece of beechwood, the soundchamber is chiselled out of the body, it is deeper then a routerbit could reach. The soundboard is made from spruce, there are no supporting beams under it, therefore it's thicker than traditional soundboards.
The little wooden bridge has 2 frets, fret nr.1 (tailpiece side) supports the lower ocatve strings, fret nr.2 (neck side) supports the higher octave strings. The strings are correctly compensated this way.
The sound is hard to describe: it has something banjo-like, but not quite. It's more woody. It's more like a cigarbox guitar, but than with the extra octave. When playing it, it somehow has the swamp blues feel to it...

Electric Cello (2012)

Construction: hollow body with set neck
Neck:1 piece neck, no truss rod, symmetrical back, fingerboard with compound radius
Scale: 27"/69cm
Wood: zebrawood and maple hollow body, bodywings tulipwood back and zebraawood front, neck lemonwood with coromandel fingerboard
Pickups: piezo system under bridge
tuners: gold bass tuners
Bridge: beechwood and coroandel
controls: volume, toneswitch
Finish: PolyUrethane

I made this cello for my daughter, a promise i made long ago. It was a complex instrument to build, so it took considerably longer than a bass.
The requirements were: it has to feel and play like a normal cello, so that it won't be a problem to play a normal concert cello. On the internet i found the dimensions of a standard Stradivarius cello, and i build my own design around that. The proper width and length of the neck, the radius of the fingerboard, the right scale, stringspacing and even the angle the neck makes at the body: all Stradivari standard. The outline of the bodywings have the shape of a 4/4 concert cello where it counts. The rest of the design was subject to my imagination.
I could have fitted a solid body, but i designed it with a small hollow body, so there would be some acoustic volume to practice without amplifier. Obviously, without amplification the E-cello is not as loud as a normal cello.
When amplified, the piezo circuit (the same principle as on the Longbow bass) gives a beautiful warm sound, wich can also be switched to a more brighter sound with the tone switch. Also see the "Building the E-cello" page for pictures during the build.

Electric Mandola (2011)

Construction: Bolt-on neck
Neck:6 piece neck including fretboard, a-symmetrical back, flat fretboard
Scale: 25"/64cm
Wood: Meranti hollow body, tigerstripe maple front and back, neck made of oak, paduak and meranti, fingerboard purpleheart
Pickups: EMG select, 1 humbucker and 1 single coil
tuners: mandoline tuners
Bridge: solid brass bar
controls: 2x volume, tone
Finish: PolyUrethane

This is an instrument wich comes close to a mandola (a tenor mandoline). The 4 pairs of strings give it a sort of classical Irish folksound.. but a little different. Because of it's humbucker you can shred with it, and the single coil makes it more suitable for strumming chords with a soft mellow sound. It is also tuned different from a normal mandola, the MonsterBass E-mandola is tuned aa-dd-gg-cc (bass side to treble side). It has a beautiful warm and full sound, thanks to the double strings and hollow body.


Contruction: Massive body, neck through body
Neck: A-symmetrical, 70mm radius
Scale: 107cm, slighty more than 3/4 contrabass
woods: Piquia/Afzelia/Padouk body and neck, Ebony fingerboard, Bangkirai mountpiece, meranti resonance plate
Pickups: Piezo system
tuners: Schaller
controls: 1 volume
Finish: Polyurethane
Extra features: dot markers on neck side, adjustable endpin, mountable on cymbal stand, adjustable bridge
some closeups:
This upright is custom built for Werner Müller, he provided me with specifications and ideas, and i had my hands full to put them into reality.
I took about 100 hours to build it, but it was well worth the effort. It's something entirely differrent from a bass, but fun to build. This upright works with a passive piezo system (just like the Longbow, see further below), involving a special resonance plate on wich the bridge is mounted. The upright can be played with the endpin on the floor, but also when put on a cymbal stand.


Construction: 2 planks glued on top of each other
Neck: The strings are far above the "fingerboard", the lapsteel is played with a so-called "tonebar", The strings are not being pushed on the neck, so there is actually no need for frets at all. The fake-frets function as postition markings, they are simply painted on the wood.
Scale: 25"/64cm
Wood: Piquia
Pickups: Conrad Humbucker
tuners: Leftover from an old western guitar
Bridge: A simple piece of brass really. Pushing the string to the fretboard on a normal guitar, makes finetuning a must, and a bridge with adjustable saddles is required. Because of the use of a tonebar (or slider, or bottleneck) there's no need for finetuning
controls: volume, toneswitch
Finish: PolyUrethane
It was time for some crazy stuff in between. A lapsteel is not hard to build. All sorts of tricky business building a normal guitar are not an issue. Fretting, adjusting, rounding, and tapering of the neck, and much more: No need for that.
I'm actually more a rock minded person, but a steelguitar invites to a Country & Western style. With this baby i'm beginnin'to feel a bit like an ol'cowboy...
Take it away, Billy-Jim-Joe-Bob...YEEEEEHAAWW!!