Betty 070610

A combination of old vs. new, Betty has it all going on. I finished her this last week just in time to exhibit her in the Iowa State Fair’s Luthiers class wood working section. She was a fun build and a style that I have never attempted before. I always loved the old Starfire type basses and I had seen a picture of Phil Lesh’s Alembic converted Starfire that prompted me to give one a try.
Lets start with the 5 piece quarter sawn Mahogany neck with 2 Wenge stringers running the length. Inside there is a dual action truss rod and 2 carbon fiber bars to give her the strength. Next her Macassar Ebony fret board has a 32 inch scale with 20 frets. Pearl oval inlays mark her positions and match the pearl in the logo inlay on the head plate. Her head plate is made from the scraps of the top wood from the body and match very well in color and figure. The back headplate is made from sligtly figured Maple and has 2 Wenge stripes to match the neck’s stringers.
Her bodacious body is topped with nicely figured Curly Maple and is relief carved with a slight German curve. The back is made of very old Mahogany that was reclaimed from wood removed from an old historical building in Des Moines that was being renovated (the neck wood was too). The entire bass is finished in a light satin varnish to bring out her luster and protect her from this Iowa humidity.
For her electronics I used EMG HB 4 string humbuckers that have a nice warm punch to them. Each pickup is mounted into a ring made of Macassar Ebony to match the fret board. Satin finished Hipshot Ultra-Lite tuners and Supertone bridge round out her hardware.