DIG MY RIG

By THOM SMITH, BANGKOK, THAILAND ,

I MOVED TO THAILAND A FEW YEARS ago, but, alas, my Demeter power amp did not. I was able to bring a Kern IP-777 with me, but it was headphones only for a while, and my Bag End 1x12 made an attractive end table. Finally, the Bose A-1 power amp became available here (for 220 volts), and my rig was a trio again. For recording, a Shure SM57 goes through a MindPrint En-Voice channel strip, and I take a direct out from the Kern. The bass is a custom Warmoth body and neck with Fender hardware. The builder—my brother—followed Dan Erlewine’s instructions for applying cyanoacrylate to the fingerboard [Bass Tech, June ’06], and he sprayed the sunburst finish under nitrocellulose lacquer. He also set the bridge and drilled it for string-through-body design. I auditioned several pickups and liked the Bartolini 8CBP the best. After trying about 100 capacitors for the tone circuit, I selected an NOS Arcotronics 0.047 polypropylene film cap. The aim of the project was to build a bass that captured the look, feel, and vibe of a classic, original ’71 fretless P-Bass with a few subtle upgrades and mods to make it a true one-of-a-kind instrument.