Guitar nr 234
Width at nut: 40 mm
Width at 21th fret: 65 mm
Nr of frets: fretless
Scale length: 864 mm (34")
Radius of fretboard: 406 mm (16")
Width at lower bowl: 300 mm
Length from neckjoint: 390 mm
Body: Swedish Poppel
Neck: Swedish Maple
Pickguard: Red Vintage turtle
Neck: T-bear P pickup
Bridge: T-bear J pickup
Color: Three tone sunburst
Ready at: 2002-09-27
It is a challenge to build guitars in lightwood. One of the most popular is
basswood and normally also the most dead tone wood there is. 'Why?', you say;
You need not only to dry the wood, you need to let it mature also. I have in my
workshop a lot of Swedish Poppel, that is so light weight. It could be very
beautiful in grains and if you put some linseed oil on it looks really wild
and dramatic. The surface is very soft and that makes it tricky to use as
a guitar body.
With all this in mind I decided to make a fretless bass in just this Poppel wood. The wood pieces has matured in my workshop for seven years and the “tap tone” is now bright and clear with an interesting and remarkable sub tone. Poppel is a water loving tree and when it dries, the water leaves lots of “tone chambers” in it. These type of woods have normally a lot of knots and I decided to make this one with a pickguard to cover some knots. And I love a three tone sunburst! I sprayed 35 coats of lacquer to make this one shine.
To compensate the long neck and the heavy tuners with this light weight body I designed the body with a long upper horn. That made the balance perfect. The neck is made of Swedish maple that I cut down myself almost 20 years ago. It is more dense than ordinary hard rock maple and its tap tone is much more rich and powerful. The fretboard is made from a kind of rosewood that I got from a furniture company located in Motala, Sweden. It is very hard and smells so strong and sweet when I work with it.
I put the pickups in and stringed the bass with flatwound La Bella strings. The pickups are handmade by Tbear pickups. I told him to make these pickups with a compensation for the sub tone in this wood. He somehow knows how to do this.
Finally I listened to it and I get stuck with the bass for a couple of hours. A fretless bass has normally a soft and short “woody” tone. But this one sang. A long sustain and with a beautiful deepness that I haven’t heard before. This one growls with a distinct and clear midrange. I brought it to a guitar show in Stockholm in October and it is sold.