Why I create and build my own bass guitars.
First off, I'm a left handed player.
I started thinking about building my own basses around 1990, the reason for this was that I wanted a five (or more) string, at that time there were not that many left handed bass guitars available and what was on the market were either starter basses (4 strings with a P-pickup) or boutique stuff, nothing or almost nothing in between.
Somewhere around 1993/1994 I decided to build/rebuild one, done some thorough thinking and was lucky to find some nice slabs of wood (for free), with this I build the mk1 types.
The first one I did was a four string, donor parts for this bass came from a Hohner Steinberger copy which at that time was almost the only left handed bass above starter level you could buy here in the Netherlands, nice bass but I just could not get used to the body shape, I used the neck and all the other hardware and electronics for this one.
At the time I was very happy with the result and decided I could build a 6 string neck through, but this time without any donor parts.
This was what I came up with. I even made the bridge myself (I'm a metal worker for a living, so that was the easy Part :-) ), I used EMG pickups and electronics. Once again I was very happy with the result... and at last had more than 4 strings at my disposal.
1995, after spending a lot time with these two basses I found out I was not completely satisfied with the body shape they had, they were nice but could be done better.
Which I did!! I designed the mk2, based on the experiences with the mk1 I made a body design that up to this day I still love.
Six strings were nice but not always needed, so for my first mk2 I went for a 5 string bass.
Bought Bartolini pickups and electronics, some tuners, some fret wire and could once again get my hands on some free pieces of wood. Did the bridge myself again (in those days you couldn't just buy everything through the internet).
1996, happy with what I've achieved I started thinking what I wanted, instead of could afford (nice feeling!!), I wanted a 8 string double course bass, so once again started designing and after that building.
Bartolini pickup, BassTec electronics, some tuners and more use of the second stock of free wood.
1998, hmmmm, I want a seven string, let's build it!!
Started designing and gathering parts and ideas but also got heavily involved in photography as a hoby, and later on digital photography, spent less and less time with my basses.
This is how far I came at that time with this bass.
2010 Started playing bass again!!! It began with buying myself a Squier VM Jazz Bass.
Yes, nowadays you can buy some descent lefty bass guitars, thanks to the internet the search has become a lot easier, and modern cnc manufacturing keeps the prices at a nice level.
Bought myself a nice collection of bass guitars over the last couple of years.
I also started building again, finished the seven string and build a collection of great basses since then.
Also rebuild the above basses, nicer woods, modified pickup configurations, some other electronics, refined neck shaping and with the mk1 refined body designs as well.
Next project: Another seven string, starting somewhere in February 2014.