Review of first bass

Yesterday I went to a local luthier to show my first bass, ask for some criticism and give me some tips to enhance playability. I needed some advice from a professional to give me enough confidence to proceed building my next bass.

Turns out he was quite positive. Said I’m on the right track. Of course, there were some improvements to make. I knew of some points, but he gave some good tips on how to solve them.

Things I need to change are:

  • neck thickness is okay, but the profile could be more smooth towards the fingerboard edges
  • frets are beveled okay, but still have sharp edges were the bevel meets the sides of the frets – he showed me how to fix that
  • fine tuning is not perfect, distance from open string to twelfth fret sounds okay, but from open to 19th fret is off, need to correct that
  • the slots in the nut are to shallow, need to be deeper to lower the strings above the first fret – this is the main reason the action is not low enough
  • the lower body contour is located to the bridge side too much, causing the bass to neck dive while playing seated.. kind of design failure, saw that coming and I’ll try to avoid it on the next one, not sure the current design does, but I will have to check when the templates are done

The neck relief and straightness is good, which made me happy because I was worried that could be the problem.

So all are very solvable issues, I can make this bass a lot better with small adjustments. Except the body design, but that’s okay… I knew that and will improve my designs.