4 String Bass

4 String Bass


This is a very cool version of a Drake Custom Hornet bass, recently completed for a new customer.  This bass has a bit of a theme to it, as the customer is a 30 year veteran of the USAF.  We wanted to commemorate his service on this bass, but did not want it to get too gaudy with ornamentation.  We decided that some of the lightning bolts and stars, from his various unit patches, would make great fret board inlays.  We used the same bolt of lightning to make the sound hole shape.  I added some purfling stripes around the perimeter of the body, fret board, sound hole, and peghead to mimic some bordering on various USAF insignia I have seen.  Inside the sound hole is a small plaque with his years of service, insignia, and his rank at departure from service. 

The neck is a custom feature available for this model.  It is a 3 piece curly figured Tempered Maple with a Purpleheart stringer.  I did add some black lines around the Purplheart.  The wood is quartered for strength.  A gorgeous Ebony fret board slotted for 32 inch scale.  Gold EVO small gauge frets, including a zero fret, just because it works so well.

The body is of Tempered Swamp Ash topped by my favorite Western Figured Maple (Tempered of course).  The resonate tone of this bass is to die for.  Also very light in weight (6.4 Lbs.!!!).  No stains or dyes used on any of the woods on the body.  What you see is a clear coat of gloss polyurethane.

Pickups are TV Jones custom made Thunder Blades with curved gold magnets made to order for Drake Custom.  Wired volume, volume, tone with a push pull kill switch on the first volume.  CTS pots with an Orange drop .047 cap.  Black/gold Hipshot bridge and tuners and Dunlop strap gear round out the equipment.  The customer also elected to purchase the Ameritage shaped hard case made for my Hornet model basses.

Jazz Style Bass

This simple but awesome bass is one of many I have built for this particular customer.  He requires a special carve to the neck, and weight consideration as he has a wrecked shoulder and hand issues.  He has to install a special strap system to be able to play standing up.  Bearing this all in mind, I have developed some neck specs that fit his hands well to help with his physical issues.  Not the type of bass I normally build (pre-made body) but I thought this bass turned out really nice, so I will share it.

I made the neck out of quartered Tempered Maple with a Dark Tempered Maple fret board.  Dual action truss rod and carbon fiber reinforcement inside.  Since the neck spec has to be narrow, but still has to fit snug in a Warmoth spec pocket, I add thin ears to the sides of the heel.  This way, the customer can put this same neck on his other Warmoth bodied basses with the common neck pocket.  He tends to switch necks as his hand issues require.  The neck finish on the back side is beeswax and orange oil topped by Zymol Bridge wax.  A increasingly popular request I get these days.  Soft smooth feel without stickiness.   Simple to refresh as needed, by the player.

The body is of Tempered Alder and is a Warmoth Dinky cut body.  Light in weight and with great tone.  The 18 volt battery cavity, I made for future mods, but remains empty at this time.  Passive wiring as of now.  I applied a simple polyurethane finish rubbed out to a satin sheen.

The customer supplied the tuners and narrow spaced Hipshot bridge…hardware I use regularly.   The customer also supplied the Bartolini pickups for this bass.


Koog Fretless II

Long time customer,  Koog, asked me to build a fretless version of his main bass, another Drake traditional style, but with a few custom features not currently on his main bass.  We started with an upgrade to a quarter sawn Tempered Maple neck, and a nicely figured Ebony fingerboard.  We used the partial Maple fretlines that we do on all of his fretless basses. 3mm Luminlay side dots.  The neck is glossy on the peghead face but only wax finished on the back side, for a nice smooth raw wood feel.

The body is a one piece Swamp Ash slab with with some interesting grain lines.  Koog asked me to try a Ceruse finish on this bass, a first for me.  The Ceruse finish is essentially a dark painted body with the grain lines filled with a lighter colored material.  Proved to be a nice challenge for me.  The body is carved in a sleeker version of my Traditional style.  Deep belly and forearm cuts. 

Pickups are Aguilar PJ with the J having the dual coils to eliminate hum when soloed.  A simple stacked volume over tone control for each pickup.  Hipshot tuners and bridge, along with Dunlop strap hardware.  Magnet cavity cover and the pickup screws are all machine screws into brass inserts.

This bass proved to be the toughest bass to photograph but one of the most interesting to finish.   Her pictures do not do her justice, and she is an amazing bass in person. Just under 8 pounds.


Gordonimus SG

This is a custom order one-off bass built for a returning customer named Gordon.  Gordon is about tone and playbility and less about flashy appearences, however, I am rather pleased with the look of this bass. 

For specs, he wanted an SG style bass with a few changes to a typical bass of this design, such as, 32 inch scale, a comfortable forearm carve, and a simple electronics set up consisting of a TV Jones ThunderMag pickup in the neck position and a TV Jones ThunderBlade for the bridge position.  The bridge pickup is the neck version and the ThunderMag is basically a reverse P.

The neck is made of quartered Tempered Hard Ash.  I installed carbon fiber along with the dual action truss rod.  The fret board is made of Pau Ferro. 

The beautiful Tempered Swamp Ash body is nice and light in weight (the bass weighs 7.5 pounds) and is finished in polyurethane.   There is no dye or stain used to create this color.   That is the wood and my special finish that creates that honey violin color.

Stainless steel frets are of a smaller gauge.  Hipshot tuners and KickAZZ bridge make up the hardware.  What a fun bass with loads of tones. 


Model 7 031218

This is a prime example of a Drake Custom model 7 bass.  I designed this model many years ago and it is one of the more often requested designs I do.  She is absolutely a joy to play either standing or sitting.  Such nice balance and comfort.  Tone for days. 

The neck is a quartered piece of Tempered Maple with a 22+zero fret Ebony fretboard.  Vintage gauge, highly polished stainless steel frets. Dual action truss rod and carbon fiber reinforcement for stability. Birdseye Maple veneer cap with Mahogany on the back of the peghead.

The body back is a single piece of very old and beautiful Mahogany.  Some of my special stash.  And this back is topped with a nicely figured piece of Birdseye Maple.  A fine satin poly finish has been applied to the body and neck of this bass.

Pickups are some of the Aguilar DCB blade style pickups.  Organic and punchy at the same time, with no worry about being able to get some sizzle too.  It is there.  Nordstrand preamp that sports a Volume (push/pull bypass), blend control, master tone (works even with preamp engaged), bass, and Treble.  Shielded cavity with magnet attached cover.

Hipshot hardware, Gucci knobs, and Dunlop straplocks round out the equipment.

Just shy of 9 pounds.  Nut 1.5″ high fret width 2.48″ shallow C neck profile. 

This bass has been around for awhile now so I am willing to make someone a great deal on this bass.  Full warranty.  Contact me via drakecustom@live.com for pricing and case options.

Noah’s Hornet

This is a prime example of a Drake Hornet model bass.  Returning customer Noah M wanted and nice and light weight semi-hollow bass that would be great for Classic Rock.  This basically is a standard Hornet with only a few custom options.  

We started with a three piece quarter sawn tempered Maple neck.  Nothing better for stability.  I used a slice of quartered Wenge for the stringer.  We went green (or black) by using Richlite simulated Ebony for the 32 inch scale fret board.  I used narrow stainless steel frets.  Peghead veneers fore and aft are made of Rocklite (sim Ebony).

The body back is a single piece of tempered Swamp Ash.  I topped it with a nice Claro Walnut that has a nice color and figure. So resonate and with a full range of tone.  You may notice that I laminated a layer of B/W/B veneer to create a purfling line between the top and back.  This is standard on Hornet basses.  I continued this scheme on the peghead.

The electronics are TV Jones Black Blades that they made up for me.  The controls are Volume, Volume, Tone with a push pull kill switch.  This is so when you are at a gig or in the studio, once you dial in the perfect settings and your sound person is smiling, you simple pull out the tone knob and you can leave everything set where it is without shutting down your rig or changing the volume.

Hipshot hardware, Gucci knobs, and Luminlay glow in the dark side dots round out the equipment.  About the only custom options were the diamond inlays, custom neck carve, and Noah wanted regular strap buttons rather than straplocks that are standard.


This bass weighs in under 7 pounds.  Nut is 1.5″ wide 2.48″ wide at the high fret.

Hornet bass 0118

This is another semi-hollow Hornet bass that I built to try a few different ideas on.  So this Hornet is a little different than most I have built so far.  I tried out some tempered Swamp Ash that was tight grained and mostly rift sawn.  I used three pieces to make up the body back.  I had some nice Myrtle wood in stock, so I made the top out of a bookmatched piece of that.  The neck is some nice quartered tempered Maple that has some subtle figure all through it.  Figured 4/4 Maple is so cool when I find it.  Since this bass was for trying out new things, I used some Richlite simulated Ebony material for the fret board.  Probably the best Ebony non-wood substitute that I have ever seen.  Looks rather nice and is impervious to climates changes.  I slotted it for a 33 inch scale and there are 22 small gauge stainless steel frets.  Accurate and durable, my go to fret wire anymore.  The peghead shape is another trial idea that I came up with a while back.  It sort of mimics my current shape that I use on many instruments, only scaled back to suit the dimensions of the Hornet model.  I used a brass A style bridge, from Hipshot, as it is just such a great design and is rather bullet proof as far as reliability and function.  Even with the brass bridge, the bass weighs in a 6.8 pounds!  For the electronics, I used my TV Jones Black Blades that have a 12 inch radius (magnets) that match the 12 inch radius on the fret board.  Even output from all strings that way.  The tone is very beefy with enough top end to shine through about any mix.  The controls are Volume, Blend, Tone.  .047 cap.  Dunlop strap locks and D’Addario rounds for strings.



Model 9 031018

This bass is a Drake Model 9 featuring the latest changes to the design.  The slim and fast neck is of three pieces and consists of quartered Tempered Maple with a stringer of Purpleheart.  The gorgeous 33 inch scale fret board is of Ebony and boasts 22 frets of stainless steel, plus a zero fret.  Dual action truss rod and carbon fiber stab bars inside.  The peghead is topped with Spalted Maple.

The body is of a Honduran Mahogany core with a Mahogany back and Spalted Maple top.  In between the layers is thin accent lines of Italian Poplar. 

The pickups are Aguilar Super Doubles connected to a Nordstrand preamp.  Controls are Volume (push/pull bypass), Blend, Tone (global), and a two band EQ.

Hipshot hardware, Dunlop strap locks, and black Tusq nut.

1.5 inches nut width, 2.48 inch width at 22nd fret, slim C shape neck, 8.2 pounds.

This bass has been around for awhile now so I am willing to make someone a great deal on this bass.  Full warranty.  Contact me via drakecustom@live.com for pricing and case options.

Hornet Bass

This is the first of the Hornet bass style that I make.  I have been working on the single cut Cricket basses most of this year and I have expanded the line to include this double horned version.  This bass is essentially the same as a Cricket inside, but I have worked the chambers to allow for a bass side horn as well.  The result is a light weight bass with great balance as well as a robust tone.

The neck on this bass is a quartered slice of tempered Maple topped with an Ebony fret board.  Rocklite simulated Ebony peghead facings.  The carve of the neck is custom per the customer’s specs.  The spacing is of a custom spec. that allows the player to utilize his specialized technique.  Luminlay glow in the dark side dots.

The body is a one piece tempered Swamp Ash topped with Black Walnut from Iowa.  There is some purfling lines around the joinery of the top and back pieces.

TV Jones Black Blades give the bass a lot of…well…balls.  A nice low- mid bump with plenty of warmth and definition to the notes.  Wired passive with Volume, blend, and tone controls. 

Hipshot A style bridge with a custom narrow spacing to suit the owners style.  Hipshot tuners and Dunlop strap locks complete the hardware.

1 5/8 inch at the nut, just shy of 2 1/2 at the high fret.  7.8 pounds weight.  43 inches long.

Ogre Bass 111111

What we have here is a custom on-off build for a returning customer, Tim.  Tim always has had this thing for reverse P pickup configurations.  We modded out some of his old parts basses but this is his first complete custom build with the reverse P set up.  I don’t remember the specs from the beginning, as we went through numerous changes during the build process.  We ended up on having a tempered quartersawn Maple neck with a Pau Ferro fret board.  You will notice that the bass has 22 frets.  We used smaller stainless steel wire on this one.  There is a dual action truss and carbon fiber stabs bars inside the neck.  The body is of 3 pieces of Swamp Ash that is quartered so the grain is tight. 

Brass A style bridge with chrome saddles, Hipshot Lolly Pop tuners, Gucci knobs, and Dunlop strap hardware.  Pickguard is of Bakelite…..just because.

For the heart of this bass, we installed GL brand P style pickups, in the reverse position as you can see.  The spacing was specified by Tim.  Volume, volume, tone with a .047 cap. 

Cricket Bass 0717

This is a custom carve top bass made for a returning customer (Koog) who has quite an extensive collection of Drake basses.  He wanted a Cricket bass after trying out the prototype, but he wanted one that was going to be special.  We chose to do a carved top version of the Cricket line, but without binding and a modified Drake peghead.  We discussed scales and both agreed that we like 33’s so she is a 22 fret 33 inch scale bass. 

We used my deluxe three piece tempered curly Maple/Purpleheart neck and used real Ebony for the fret board and peghead facings.  An option available on the Cricket line.  Stainless steel frets. 

The body is a down right sexy piece of tempered Swamp Ash topped with tempered curly Western Maple.  Between layers I sandwiched black dyed Poplar and Maple to form a purfling line of sorts.  I carved the inside of the top as well as the outside.  It makes this bass very resonate and lighter in weight.  I had some fun with a contouring around the edges.  Fortunately Koog lives within driving distance so he was able to visit the shop and approve of the carving and the neck carve.  

We elected to use TV Jones Black Blades for the pickups, and let me tell you…..they got some power.  Sounds as big as an active bass in heat.  Volume, volume, tone with a .047 cap.  I incorporated a push/pull kill switch on the neck volume pot so that once dialed in on stage, Koog can cut off the output without messing with his levels.  Shielded with copper around the inside of the control cavity and a magnet attachment in case we ever decide to add a preamp or piezo.

Hipshot brass A style bridge and tuners for this Cricket.  Adds some weight but is still under 7.6 pounds total weight.


Chika 082217


This very nice 4 string bass was made for a new customer from Chicago.  The customer sent his neck specs along with some pickups and various hardware.  He also chose a nice top wood and had it sent to me to use on this bass. 

The neck is a single piece quartered tempered Maple with an Ebony fretboard that was slotted for 22 frets plus a zero fret.  33 inch scale with narrow stainless steel frets.  Paua abalone dots and logo.

The body is two pieces of tempered Swamp Ash topped with Koa wood supplied by the customer.  I used some of the Koa as a peghead veneer too.

Pickups are Nordstrand 51 P pickups and a Nordstrand 3B4A preamp wired with an 18 volt set up.  The electronics are housed inside the cavity topped with Swamp Ash that is attached by magnets. 

Hipshot bridge and tuners, Dunlop strap buttons. Some nice aluminum knobs that I call Gucci knobs due to the price tag.

7 pounds!

Cricket Bass 0517


This is Jeff’s new Cricket bass that was completed in August of 2017.  This bass is basically a stock Cricket with the only modification of the electronics package. 

The neck is the Tempered Curly Maple/ Purpleheart woods typical of the Cricket basses, and the fret board is Rocklite simulated Ebony.  I also use Rocklite for peghead veneers.  The body is Tempered Swamp Ash topped with Curly Western Maple.  Some very nice stuff.

TV Jones Thunder Blades wired passively with a Tonestyler (T-6 or B-6) for each pickup.  Each pickup has a separate volume as well.  Hipshot made the custom bridge to my specs and they supplied the tuners.

6.6 pounds.

Cricket 0617

This is a great example of my Cricket Bass design that I started to produce in 2017.  I really dig semi-hollow basses for the low weight and incredible tone they provide.  This particular Cricket bass was crafted for a new customer from NY named Michael.  We decided that we wanted to create a bass that was simple but still had a lot of flash.  Michael wanted a darker and more subdued color scheme as well as simple features that are practical and easy to use.

The neck is the standard Cricket Tempered Curly Maple with a center stringer of Purpleheart.  The fret board is Ebony and is slotted for 22 narrow gauge stainless steel frets.  Simulated Ebony peghead veneers.  The body is Tempered Swamp Ash topped with Tempered Curly Maple.  Black binding and semi gloss finish.

TV Jones custom made some black magnets for a pair of Thunder Blades pickups.  My typical Vol, Blend, Tone controls.  All passive.

Hipshot A style bridge and ultra-lite tuners.  Dunlop strap hardware.

This bass weighs in at 6.6 pounds.

Cricket Bass 0417

This is actually the prototype of my 34 inch scale Cricket semi-hollow bass model I have developed starting in 2017.  When I designed the Cricket model I wanted to be able to make it customize-able to a player’s specs, so I decided to make the first three, each in a different scale so I could see if this could be done.  It worked out great and this is the number one of the 34 inch scale Crickets. For this Cricket bass, I decided to use Mahogany for the body wood.  I topped it with some nicely figure Burl Madrone.  The neck is made of Tempered curly Maple with a stringer of Purpleheart.  I used an absolutely gorgeous piece of Macassar Ebony for the fret board.  21 small gauge stainless steel frets, all polished to 8000 grit.  The peghead veneers are of Rocklite simulated Ebony. TV Jones Thunder Blade pickup put out an amazing amount of power and tone easily adjusted via the pickup blend control.  The tone control has a .047 cap.  I can get traditional tones as well as some clear grinding tones with this bass.  Ebony knobs and she ships with tapewound strings. She actually weighs less than 7 pounds.   42.5 inches long. I am selling her for a special price as I have already changed up the design of this model, so she is a one of a kind.   

Cricket 0317

This one of the first batch of Cricket basses.  Built for a new customer named Mike.  Mike had asked for a semi-hollow bass the would give him a woody upright tone and that would have a slim and fast neck as he has had many hand issues.  He also asked for a piezo feature.

We started with a very light weight piece of Swamp Ash for the body.  I chambered it out quite a lot.  Then I added a super nice top of 5A curly Maple that has been tempered.  Mike requested a special sound hole shape.

The neck is a three piece lamination of curly tempered Maple with a Purpleheart stringer.  The finger board is Ebony and the 32 inch scale is lined out with Maple lines.  Peghead veneers are Ebony both front and on the back.

We used some special ordered TV Jones Thunder Blade pickups with gold magnets curved to match the finger board radius.  Wired with a Volume, blend, and tone controls and a LR Baggs piezo preamp.  The bass will play without a battery (mag pickups only) and the battery can be changed quickly via the magnet attached cavity cover.  Also the toggle switch to select pickups between mag only, both mag and piezo, and piezo only.  When in piezo only setting, the bass’ main volume and tone control work.

Other features are the large luminlay (glows blue) side dot markers, dunlop strap locks, Ebony knobs, Hipshot tuners in gold chrome, as well as a brass Hipshot bridge loaded with the piezo pickups.

7.8 pounds.

Lowell 0217

This is the first of the Drake Cricket basses.  I started this new design in late 2016 and worked to refine it over the Winter.  A returning customer had seen a prototype of this model and decided that he wanted the first one for himself, with some additions.  For his bass he wanted some embellishments such as the carved top and the custom inlay that honors his father’s name.  He also wanted to go fretless with no lines.

We start with a three piece tempered curly Maple neck that sports a Purpleheart stringer.  The finger board is of Ebony as is the peghead veneers.  I sealed the finger board in polyurethane.

The body is of tempered Swamp Ash topped with a beautiful tempered Western curly Maple.  I finished the body in hand polished polyurethane.

The pickups on this bass are specially ordered TV Jones Thunder Blades.  They have such power, punch, and organic tone.  Wired passive with volume, blend, and tone controls.

Hipshot made this custom D style bridge with some mods.  Hipshot tuners, Dunlop strap hardware,  and Ebony knobs round out the furnishings.


Jael 022217


This fine instrument is a 33 inch scale bass made from just bits of left over wood laying around the shop.  It is all great wood, well seasoned, and beautiful, but the pieces were small enough that I could not use them for much else.  I decided to laminate them together and create a bass that I would put up for sale. 

I started with a nice quartered piece of Padauk for the neck.  I installed a dual action truss rod and carbon fiber for stability.  I used an old Macassar Ebony fret board that had been slotted for 33 inch scale.  I fretted the neck with small gauge stainless steel fret wire.

The body is a Padauk center block with Swamp Ash body wings, topped with Claro Walnut.  Magnet cavity cover over a large electronics cavity so that a preamp could be added later on.  I finished the instrument in polyurethane.

The hardware is Gotoh tuners and bridge with Dunlop strap locks.  The pickups are Aguilar DCB (dual Blades) that have lots of punch and are well voiced for about any type of music.  Wired volume, volume, tone for simplicity.  Fully shielded cavity.

Tim’s Super Bass

This traditional styled bass was built to spec for a returning customer named Tim.  Tim wanted to keep the traditional shape and scale but wanted to use some choice woods and a few modifications to the electronics and heel joint areas.  I have built basses using parts that Tim had purchased but on this bass, I made the body, neck, and even the pickguard here in my shop.  The result is a very responsive bass capable of copping the vintage tones as well as some modern growl.

The neck is tempered (roasted) Maple with a Macassar Ebony fret board.   I used thin gauge stainless steel frets (20 of them) and gold MOP for the dots and logo.  The body is two pieces of tempered Basswood which are of a medium weight.  No stains or dyes were used on this bass.  Just clear polyurethane over the wood.  I used a nice piece of red tort to fashion the pickguard out of.

The electronics are Aguilar Hot P bass and Aguilar Super Double pickups.  The first control stack is volume over volume.  Tim wanted an EMG BTC 2 Band EQ and a passive tone with push/pull bypass.   18 Volt wiring.

Hipshot tuners and A style bridge for the hardware.

I am super thrilled with how this bass turned out.

D’AHlf BASS 082116

This interesting bass is a custom design for a new customer who wanted a bass like his Steinberger styled bass, but with a longer scale and tuned down to BEAD tuning.  He wanted a small bass that would have a low B string as he seldom uses the G string on his current bass.  This is what we came up with.  We did incorporate some design changes from the original.  We had wanted to use double ball end strings but none in 35 inch scale are available on the market, so we decided to use the Hipshot Headless Bass system.

For the neck I used a 7 piece neck with a center stringer of Purpleheart, then Maple stringers, followed by Wenge, and roasted Maple on the outside portions.  I used a nice Macassar Ebony fretboard that has 22 frets plus a zero fret.  The frets are stainless steel 6150 sized frets.

The body is a bit thicker than the original and is made of solid Mahogany topped with a very nice piece of Claro Walnut.

Aguilar DCB pickups wired with a passive circuit.  We used a 500k pot for the bridge volume control.  The customer wanted chickenhead knobs on the bass, which I think is a fun addition.

A very cool little bass that has a tremendous B string.

Grace 031716

I was contacted in 2015 about the possibility of sending an instrument in for review by a high end bass magazine.  I was told that my Model 7 would be cool to review.  We also decided that a basic Maple over ebony neck and Mahogany body is a tried and true combination.  I did decide to make this one deep set neck.  Have not done many Model 7’s with glue in necks so this was the only special change to my design.

The neck is roasted quartered Maple.  I used a Macassar Ebony fretboard with 24 frets in a 33 inch scale length.  The frets are of stainless steel and are of smaller gauge.  I installed a dual action truss rod and two carbon fiber bars inside the neck to keep it straight.  I laminated the front and back of the peghead with Macassar on the front and Mahogany to match the body, on the back.

The body is one piece of Mahogany, and the top is quilted Western Maple.  The Model 7 shape is very comfortable for playing standing and sitting.  The lower horn holds the bass in the playing position while seated.  I used a new design for the cavity cover attachment.  I have used magnets before but this time I came up with a new design of that feature.  The magnet cover gives the player quick tool free access to the battery and the treble response adjustment on the preamp.

Speaking of preamp….the preamp is an EMG BQC three band EQ with a mid-sweep.  I have the controls set up as a master volume, Blend, Bass/Treble stack, and mid range stack.  The pickups are Aguilar DCB pickups.  They have a nice organic tone with plenty of output.  Very quiet operation but I did shield the cavity as well.

The hardware is my basic Hipshot a style bridge and Ultra Lite tuners.  Not pictured is the D tuner that the bass will be reviewed with.

The bass is finished in urethane (non-tinted).

This bass has been sold.

Hazel 022215

This wonderful little bass is named Hazel.  She was started in 2015 and just now was completed.  The bass is easy playing, comfortable on a strap or lap, and has the simple and practical features that are intuitive for a player.  This medium scale bass is not a student model or some toy.  This bass is made for the stage and with her full range of tones, would fit well into many styles of music.  Her shorter scale makes her a breeze to play.

Hazel is of a 32 inch scale with 22 small gauge stainless steel frets for accuracy.  The fret board is Granadillo and the neck is Rock Maple.  The body is Sapelle topped with lightly figured Ambrosia Maple.  The peghead is also topped with the Ambrosia Maple.  The body has been weight relived to keep her at 9 pounds.

Her electronics are EMG 35 P and J pickups with a BTS 2 band EQ.  The hardware is Hipshot brand.





This amazing bass was built for a returning customer who wanted to make some changes to a design I have done for him before.  We put a lot of thought and research into this design as it is one that I will keep as a regular offering.  This design incorporates the deep neck pocket feature that allows for easy access to the upper frets.

The neck is one of the first necks I have made using the Torrified Maple, which is hard Maple that has been through a cooking process that really stabilizes the wood against seasonal changes.  The look of the wood is also a huge plus.  This neck is made with a figured piece of the Maple.  I used the normal dual action truss rod but we went with Blackwood for the fret board.  22 frets of EVO gold wire, 34 inch scale, and gold MOP inlays.  The neck is oiled with a poly based varnish.

The body is fashioned from a one piece Mahogany back topped with a stunningly beautiful Koa top.  I finished the body with gloss lacquer as well as the face of the peghead.  The body is chambered to reduce weight and we utilized a large electronics compartment secured by magnets for easy access.

Hipshot hardware with a D-tuner on the E string.  A style bridge.  Dunlop dual use buttons.

The electronics are special for this bass.  The pickups have individual dual coils for each string and were hand wound in Finland.  The preamp is a ACG/East design that has a volume, blend, low pass filter 1, low pass filter 2, treble high pass filter, and a passive tone.  18 volt circuit.

I was able to get many fine tones from this bass.  Got some good Geddy tones and was able to get a great Tool tone as well.

This bass weighs 8.8 and is well balanced sitting or on a strap.


Lydia 031216


This awesome bass is designed to have a vintage tone, perfect for many styles of music such as Classic Rock or Country.  I wanted to make a bass that was simple in design and using the classic tried and true combination of  woods.  I loaded the bass with just the vital features that a player needs to get easily dial up a great sound either on stage or in the studio.

The neck is a one piece quartered hard Maple with a simply beautiful Rosewood finger board.  I have a dual action truss rod inside the neck along with two carbon fiber stab bars that extend past the 12th fret.  Speaking of frets, I use stainless steel small gauge fretwire.  There are 22 frets and the scale is 34.  The neck is finished in poly based oil on the back and a gloss lacquer on the peghead face.  Bone nut.

The body is the go to wood of Alder.  The top of the body is some really sweet looking quilted Maple with a gorgeous color tone.  I really did not have to tint the finish on the top.  I finished the body in a gloss lacquer.  The body is light in weight and the whole bass just resonates well.

For the electronics, I used Aguilar DCB (No, unfortunately the DCB does not stand for Drake Custom Bass pickups) that provide the vintage tones but with less noise and more output.  I used Borne/Duncan pots that really have a smooth taper and smooth function.  Wired Vol 1, Vol 2, Tone.

Hardware is Hipshot A style bridge with .750 spacing.  Hipshot tuners with tapered post to pull the string down, and a three string retainer.  Dunlop straplocks and the bass comes complete with strap hardware.

Nut 1.5″  Heel width 2.48  Weight 8.2 lbs.


Agatha 022216


This simple but very cool bass was built for a good friend named Robbie.  Robbie wanted me to build a bass using this nice Spalted Maple top that he had purchased a long while back.  When I first got it home, I did not think there was much in the figure as it was very hard to see.  I wiped some naphtha on it to see what the wood would look like under finish.  It just made everything look dark, so later in the build when I stabilized the wood with marine epoxy, I was blown away by the color and figure that came out.

We had to keep this bass under a tight budget so we used leftover wood from other projects and slightly used components.  The neck is made of QS hard Maple and is just one piece.  The fret board was given to me by a friend and is Pau Ferro.  I put a dual action truss rod inside to keep things straight.

I used three pieces of my secret stash of Mahogany for the body back.  That Mahogany is rather heavy so I chambered out most of the inside of the bass before gluing the top on.  After carving the body edges and treating the wood with epoxy pore filler, I shot the body with lacquer for the high gloss finish.  The neck is finished in oil varnish.

Robbie supplied the pickup and fret wire and we used a Hipshot traditional style bridge that was off my P bass, so it was slightly used.  I bought new Hipshot tuners and a string retainer as the only new hardware on the bass.

Even though this bass was made within a limited budget, I am very proud of how she turned out.  I think Robbie is very happy too.


Model 9 090415

This bass is one of my Model 9 basses in 33 inch scale.  This bass has comfortable sleek feel and is well balanced for great performance.   I had some nice materials left over from another build, so I decided to make a bass that I can put up for sale.  Most basses I build are customer commissioned bases but this one is up for grabs.

The neck is made out of some beautiful quartered Ovangkol that sports some fine figure along with the color.  Inside are two carbon fiber bars and a dual action truss rod to keep her stable.  The Indian Rosewood fret board has 22 vintage gauge frets made of stainless steel.  I capped the peg head with some Myrtle wood that matches the body top.  The rear of the peg head is capped with wood from the body back.

The body is crafted from two very old pieces of my stash of rare Mahogany.  I did not chamber the body much at all so she sustains for days.  I topped the body with a book matched Myrtle wood that has multiple varieties of figure.  Just stunning in color.  I did not tint or dye the woods in this bass at all.  The entire bass is finished in a poly based oil that can be refreshed rather easily.  Simple maintenance of waxing every so often.

The hardware is my standard kit of Hipshot brand tuners and A style bridge.

The pickups are EMG 35 P and 35J in soapbar configuration.  They have a very nice low-mid growl and low end punch.  The top end sizzles.  Great slap tones and perfect for any music where you don’t want mush, but articulation.

This bass is probably the closest thing to a standard bass that I make.  It is simple, solid, albeit beautiful.

Nancy Lou 100415

This is Nancy Lou, a bass crafted for a returning customer (Bryan) who wished to pay tribute to his mother by having her name inlaid on the face of the body.  The design is a new one for me but one that I have been wanting to do for some time.  I was very pleased that Bryan pretty much let me go with whatever I wanted to do.  For example, the edge binding inlay and the overall shape that this bass has.

The neck is Rock Maple with a center stringer of Wenge wood.  Dual action truss rod and carbon fiber inside.  The fretboard is some real nice Ebony that was naturally black in color.  A rarity these days.  The scale is 32 and there are 21 frets plus a zero fret.  Vintage size fret wire.  We decided to cap the peghead with Ebony front and back with some accent lines added.

The body is Swamp Ash that is seriously chambered out to reduce weight and allow for a semi acoustic sound.  The top of the body is some spectacular Claro Walnut.  The special inlay is of Mother of Pearl and the rest of the inlays, including the edge of the body, are Paua abalone shell. The bass can be strung through the body or top loaded some long scale strings can be used if Medium scale strings are not available.

Bartolini Jazz pickups along with a Fishmann piezo loaded bridge pickup create both classic Rock tones as well as a nice acoustic tone.  If the piezo is soloed, the tone is identical to a acoustic bass guitar.  Very versatile bass that will cover many types of music.

Hipshot tuners and bridge with Dunlop strap locks.

The bass body is finished in lacquer, rubbed out to a satin sheen, and the neck is oiled.

This bass weighs 7.8 pounds.




Model 8 Bass 092015

This is a medium scale (32 inch) Drake Model 8 bass.  She is one of  a few basses that I made this Summer, just to sell, with no particular customer in mind.  For this one, I decided that I was going for a passive bass with a fast neck, user friendly hardware, and to be light in weight.

Her sleek quarter sawn Maple neck has a 24 fret Ebony fret board with 24 highly polished, vintage gauge, stainless steels frets.  The peghead is capped with Ebony front and Maple in the back.  Dual action truss rod and carbon fiber stabilization.  The neck finish is oil with lacquer on the face and back of the peghead.

The body is a two piece Alder back with a 3A grade flamed Maple top finished in a honey amber colored lacquer.  There is some chambering and the control cavity is quite large and shielded.

The pickups are Aguilar DCB A3’s and are wired with a volume 1, volume 2, tone configuration.  The tone is very big and punchy.  No weak output from the bridge pickup like you may have on other basses.  Both pups pump out the tone.  Sounds good pick style or with fingers.  Even has a great slap tone.

Hipshot tuners and A style bridge.  Dunlop strap locks.

The neck has a classic C shape and is 1.5 inches at the nut and 2.48 inches at the 24th fret.  7 Pounds!

Iris 022908

This is Iris, a bass I originally built early in 2008 to use with a project I was playing with. I did eventually sell her off as a used bass.  Recently her third owner sent her to me to have some updates such as a logo and a new body shape.

She has a 3 piece neck made out of quarter sawn Hard Maple with a Walnut stringer down the center. Her 35 inch scale Wenge fret board has 21 frets and her peg head is laminated with Maccasar Ebony front and back. I had Rosie add a script style Drake logo as I felt that it looked best on this type of peg head.  The neck is finished in a fast feeling oil varnish.

Her body is of a single piece of Swamp Ash.  I modified a Model 9 shape to accommodate her longer scale.  I finished the body in a natural colored lacquer.

This bass has EMG jazz pickups and a two band BTC preamp for electronics package.

Very light in weight and is under 8 pounds.

Arlene 081215

This little darling was complete in August of 2015, and is my take on a classic design.  The first bass I ever owned was very similar to this bass.  I liked the bass and I felt that someday I could improve on the design without losing the basic look.  I recently needed a bass with that good old passive tone for a musical project, so I decided to see if I could make one like my first bass guitar, only better.

I first made the scale a little shorter than the traditional 34 inches.   I have small hands, short fingers, and arthritis, so I need a fast scale length.   I slotted the Pau Ferro fret board with a 33 inch scale and for 22 frets.  I used a slightly figured piece of flat sawn hard Maple for the neck.  I installed a dual action truss rod that runs the length of the fret board exiting at the heel.  Vintage gauge fret wire and real MOP logo and face dots.  A smooth and fast polyurethane oil coats the neck.  Inset ferrules bolt the neck on rather than the traditional plate.  I also contoured the heel some.

I made the body out of simple Basswood and finished her in a black lacquer.  The size and shape of the body are ever so slightly reduced from the common design, but I feel the dimensions fit the bass’s scale well.  I made my own pickguard using some real nice red tort material and a homemade jig.   I improved the design by making a functional access to the truss rod.  A feature that has been lacking on similar instruments.  This is through both the body and pickguard.

Hardware is basic Hipshot tuners and bridge.  Dunlop straplocks.

Seymour Duncan Hot P and J pickups with a volume and tone control for each pickup.  Nice and powerful vintage tones.


Noah’s Betty Bass

This bodacious beauty was built for new customer, Noah, and is numbered 022215.  Noah contacted me last year with a request for a Betty style bass but with teardrop f-holes and a blue finish on the top.  I started this bass in December of 2014 and completed the bass in June of 2015.  A long build due to some design aspects and a new finish that I had not tried before.  I am happy to say that she has turned out well and will be regular offering for Drake Custom.

Her neck is Hard Rock Maple with an ebony fretboard that boasts a 32 inch scale length.  We inlaid diamond shaped position marker made out of shell.  We capped the peghead with Maple from the body top and Sapele on the back.

Her body is a seriously hollowed out back of Sapele and is topped with a gorgeous Maple top that I dyed blue.  The pictures make the top look really dark due to the background of my photo booth, but the color is really a nice medium blue.  I finished the bass in lacquer and polished the top and face of the peghead to a high gloss.  The back and sides of the bass are satin. I added a faux binding line to separate the top and back colors.

Her pickup are TV Jones Thunder Blades that are set into mirroe backed pickup rings.  The pickups have a nice beefy tone to them.

Hardware is Hipshot brand D style bridge and Ultra-lite tuning keys.  Standard strap buttons.  Ebony control knobs complete the equipment.


Paul’s Bass

This beauty was commissioned by a new custom named Paul.  Paul wanted a bass much like his old one that he had years ago.  He had a few specs that he wanted to incorporate into the build.   He wanted Koa for the top, a single pickup just South of the middle position, and the bass to be in a 31 inch scale.

The neck is made of some quarter sawn Sapele with a dual action truss rod and some carbon fiber support up high.  The 20 stainless steel frets are seated into the nice Ziricote fret board.  Paul chose to go with MOP dots for the markers and logo.  The peg head veneer is Koa on the front and Sapele on the back.

The Body is made of Sapele and is topped with some very nice Koa wood.  As you can see in the pictures, the body top is carved and is convex across it’s width.  The control cavity is covered by a Sapele cover that is held on with magnets.

The pickup is the EMG MMTSW with a switchable coil.  If the Volume control is pulled up, the pickup is made into a single coil.  Pressed down, the pickup is a full on humbucker with thick round tone.  The tone control has been replaced with a EMG BTC 2 band EQ.  The tone of the bass is smooth and warm with a bit of growl than makes a nice Rock tone.  I can get a Classic Rock tone of her easy.  With the single coil engaged, I can get a clear snarly tone that is fine for pick style playing.  I was jamming out to some old Cream tunes with her.

Hardware is my Hipshot equipment and Dunlop straplocks.

This bass weighs only 8.4 pounds.



Drake 100th Bass

This nice little 33 inch scale 4 string bass marks the 100th bass guitar built by Drake Custom.  The body and peghead shapes are of my new Model 9 style.  This bass was started last year and was purchased midway through the build.

The neck is exhibition grade Birdseye Maple that was originally owned by the Martin guitar company a long time ago.  It has been around for quite some time and I have held on to it for something special.  When I was getting close to 100, I decided that it would be perfect for a special bass.  The fret board was sliced off of the same billet.  We decided to go with 22 frets plus a zero fret which helps with the action and intonation.  I capped the peghead in Claro Walnut and the back in some of the Birdseye.  Since the bass was purchased mid way through the construction, the customer was able to specify that we use abalone shell for the inlays.

The body is made of Brazillian Mahogany which has been around for many years.  It was from the same lot that I first used to build my basses.  It was some of the nicest Mahogany I have ever seen and I was fortunate enough to obtain a piece to use on 100.  The top is Claro Walnut with quite a lot of beautiful figuring.

I selected Nordstrand DC4 pickups wired with a EMG BQC preamp.  You get a nice passive organic pickup with a high performance preamp that is 3 bands of EQ with a mid sweep feature.  Very versatile easy to use. The 9 volt battery can be accessed via a quick magnet cover that is removed simply by pressing in the lower corner.  The magnets are strong enough to hold the cover fast.

The hardware is Hipshot with Dunlop strap locks.

Very light in weight and with an organic passive tone that is both punchy and growly.

I am featuring the Model 9 style this year so there is a discount for this model in both 4 and 5 string versions.  Call or email for details.





Fretless Model 4

This little number is a project I built for myself.  I have been meaning to build myself a fretless bass for a long time but every time I built one, someone would want to buy it.  This time I used what I had laying around the shop so she is a no-frills type bass.

I will start with the Maple neck topped with a beautiful Macassar Ebony lined fingerboard.  I lined it with 20 Maple strips to mark the fret positions.  Next, the body which is made of soft Maple and is completely hollow inside.  The front and back pieces are .25 inches thick and there is no center block.  Just hollow space.  The pickups are EMG HB pickups which are basically a reversed P pickup.  The pickups are suspended in chrome rings made for guitar since there is no material for them to screw into.  I installed an extra EMG BTC 2 band preamp that I had in stock to round out the tone.  Very big and round tone.  just the right amount of stringiness with the tape wound strings.  The bridge is a Hipshot B style and the chrome tuners are Wilkinson brand that I thought I would try out.  The bass is very light weighing in at 7 pounds.


Annica 081405

This amazing bass was originally one of the first batch of three basses I built when I opened up my shop in Des Moines, Iowa.  I was only a part time builder at that time and sold instruments only as a side business.  I did not have a logo then as this was before drake Custom.  This bass was sold to a great player out in Philly who has purchased several instruments from me since.  After all of these years, the owner decided to send the bass to me for a fretless conversion (the bass was originally a fretted bass) and a re-finish after installing a logo inlay.  I also decided to remove some of the excess wood in the control cavity, reset the neck angle, laminated the back of the headstock to match the front, upgraded the wiring, and recut the nut.  The owner opted to upgrade the hardware from no-name generic stuff that was heavy, to light weight Hipshot brand gear.  Then we added a EMG preamp to the bass before replacing all of the guts with new solder less connections.

The neck is Hard Rock Maple with an Ebony finger board.  The body is made of Leopardwood with some Walnut stringers.  I capped the peg head with the same wood as the body.  EMG P and J pups with a BTC 2 band EQ.  This bass is now finished in a satin lacquer and weighs 8.8 pounds now.

Michel’s Bass

This remarkable bass is a 32 inch scale Drake Model 4 commissioned by a new customer from Canada.  Michel’s specs were that the bass be light in weight, have an amber colored finish, be active in the electrics, and be in the Model 4 shape.  He also liked the center stripes and core wood look that he saw on another Model 4 bass I had done years ago.

It was decided that we would go with a 22 fret Ebony fret board decorated with MOP dot inlays.  I used stainless steel fret wire for this bass.  I elected to add glow in the dark side dots as a little bonus.  The peghead veneer is of Spalted Maple and the rear veneer is Maple.

Michel selected some nice Spalted Maple for the top of the body.  He liked the look of a Mahogany core wood and wanted to go with an Alder wood back.  This was all to be separated by  Mahogany, Walnut, and figured Maple stripes down the center.   The body is chambered out quite a lot and therefore leaves the body nicely weighted and balanced.

The electronics are EMG 35 P and J pickups with Alnico magnets for a warmer tone.  The preamp is an EMG BTC 2 band EQ system.  The bass is warm and punchy but a growly Rock tone can be made easily by changing the EQ curve.

Hipshot hardware and a tinted Honey Amber urethane finish her off.

This bass weighs a little over 7 pounds.


Mariah 060614


This is a special order bass for returning customer Dave K.  Dave asked me to build a 4 string bass that was inspired by a custom bass he had seen.  He wanted me to make the scale 33 inch scale neck out of Wenge with a 22 fret Wenge fret board.  Dave specified vintage size EVO fret wire and a zero fret on this bass.   The Redwood topped Peghead is reminiscent of another bass that he liked the design of.  We tried a newer style deep inset bolt on neck that allows for better reach to the highest frets without the body getting in the way.   We added glow in the dark side dot markers for low light stages.

The body is crafted out of light weight Ash for the back and figured Redwood for the top.  There is an accent line of Walnut like many of my designs have.  Dave personally laid out the pickup and control design.

Dave selected Reed James pickups for this bass as well as a Pope Flexcore preamp.  The preamp and pickups sound great together and have a nice warm growl to the tone.  The preamp is so versatile that you can bring up almost any tone from Slap style Funk to Rock and or Roll.  The dual battery compartment and electronics cavity are covered with Wenge covers attached by magnets.  By pressing down in a certain spot, the cover pivots and can be removed.  This is to facilitate battery changes and to allow access to the mid control switches that  change the mid range curve of the EQ section.

The hardware is Hipshot brand Ultra-lite tuners and Brass B style bridge.  Dunlop straplocks, and what I call Gucci knobs round out the equipment.


This bass is an amazing player and she only weighs 8 pounds.





Jason’s Bass

This bass is a project I took on recently.  Jason had bought a Thru-style Carvin neck along with all of the Carvin components so that he could build himself a bass guitar.  At some point he decided to send the parts to me to make the body wings and finish out the bass.  Jason chose the Model 9 shape for the bass and decided on body wings made of Alder wood topped with some nice Redwood.  He also wanted me to laminate the headstock with Redwood to match.

The neck is Rock Maple with Koa stringers.  I added some Walnut stripes to the edges of the neck block before adding the wings.

Jason decided to use my favorite electronics set up that includes EMG 35 P and J pickups and BTC 2 band EQ.

The hardware is Carving tuners and a Hipshot A style bridge.  I added a wood cavity cover and a Rosewood truss rod cover.

This bass is finished with a urethane gloss finish and is not stained or colored in any way.

I am thrilled with the results.  The bass has a wonderful range of tones and is very light in weight.

Jade 081305

This is one of my first basses and my own personal bass for several years. She was sold and recently came in for some upgrades.  Her neck is of Hard Rock Maple with an Ebony fret board.  She is of a 34 inch scale and has 22 frets.  The MOP dot inlays are original but the logo and Ebony peg head veneers are new additions.

Her body is my original shape and is of Black Walnut.  The bass has been refinished in a gloss urethane where as she was first finished with a hand rubbed varnish.

The hardware is all new kit.  Hipshot brand bridge and tuners.  I rewired the bass with an internal EMG BTC preamp but the pickups are original.

The owner wanted a super low action so I made it that way.  I dressed and leveled the frets and put some new strings on her.  It was nice to get to see one of the first two Drake basses again.

DC 6 041413

This is a new Drake model 6 bass completed Dec 2013.  I worked on this bass for most of the year during my free time as I had customer basses to build on.  I am reall y pleased how this bass turned out.

First we have a nice quarter sawn Maple neck with Walnut peghed veneers.  The fret board is cut from Macassar Ebony and is slotted with a 33 inch scale for easy playability.  There are 24 frets plus a zero fret which makes the open notes as intense as the fretted notes.

The body is a three piece Mahogany back with a layer of Walnut under a slightly figured Maple top.  The center block that runs down the center sports a layer of Maple then the Walnut over the Mahogany.  The Walnut is cut from the same block as the peghead veneer.  The whole bass is finished in satin urethane.

Hardware is Hipshot B style bridge with string through the body and the tuners are Ultra-lite model Y keys.  Dunlop strap locks.

This bass has a big bottom with a girthy growl to her, produced from the EMG pickups and two band BTC EQ unit.  Lots of punch, clarity if you want it, and low-mid growl.  The current pickups are 35p and 35J which are very versatile.  I wired this bass with an 9 volt circuit.

This bass has a 1.5″ nut width, 2.5″ at the 24th fret, and weighs 8.6 pound


Marks Bass

Cripes the stripes! This cool bass was made for a new customer from Nashville who is known for both his upright bass chops and his building of high end bass cabs.  Mark contacted me and was interested in a one-off bass that was simple but with some unique charm.  He liked the idea of having the bass chambered and thought that some sort of a striped look would be kind of cool.  I remember seeing an Italian short scale bass in a pawn shop years ago that I really liked and suggested that we make the shape similar to it.  Mark thought that sounded good to him so we went with it.

I pieced together some stock laying about the shop and was able to fashion a billet of Mahogany, Walnut, and Maple which I sliced into a top and a back.  I chambered out two sections of Mahogany and laminated the striped sections to the front and back of each.  The center block is made of solid pieces of Mahogany and Maple.

The Jatoba neck is from the bass named Raven that survived Hurricane Sandy and was traded in toward another bass.  The neck has Ebony peghead veneers and fret board and she has the very first Drake script style logo with some cool diamond inlays.  Since we were using that neck Mark agreed to use the old hardware from Raven which is a Hipshot A style bridge and Ultra-lite tuners.  Mark supplied the custom made TV Jones pickups  which give the bass a nice deep tone.  Mark asked that I string the bass up with thick strings and tune her to BEAD.

The bass is a 35 inch scale, has 22 frets, and weighs in at about 9 pounds.

Thandie 081813

This cool Model 9 bass has been commissioned by a new customer from Las Vegas named George.  He wanted a bass that can handle several types of music such as Pop and Funk.  He also wanted to get some growl out of the tones as in a low-mid bump so there is still some booty but also focus without muddy bottom.  We selected woods and pickups to deliver that punchy tone he is looking for.

The neck is Wenge with a 33 inch scale, 24 fret, Ebony fret board.  The peghead is laminated with some wood from the top used on the body so it matches nicely.  We included a zero fret so his open notes blended well with the fretted notes.

The body is Honduran Mahogany with a beautiful semi-spalt Maple top.  George selected the wood himself.  The body is chambered to reduce weight but not so much that the slap tones lose anything.  I was able to make a cavity cover to match the back wood.

The heart beat of this baby is the EMG 35p and 35J pickups wired with a two band BTS (bass and treble boost/ cut) EQ system.  I was able to get many amazing tones out of this combination including Jazz, slap, and rock tones.

Her hardware is Hipshot B style bridge and Ultra-lite tuners with Dunlop straplocks.

I was surprised to find that this bass weighs 8.5 pounds as she does not feel that heavy but she does have the 1.75 thick body.  She balances well and is a dream to play.

This bass is sold but I would love to make one for you.