Garncarz Fanned Fret Bass

Inspired by the previously covered Crimson Guitars’ 05Ric Extended Range Bass, John Garncarz set out to build his very first custom guitar based on this design. With mainly a background in lathe turning it’s quite a first guitar project – taking about 9 months to complete.



John had this to say about the hidden pickups…

The pickups are recessed in the body, under the fingerboard, aft of the last fret. Each pickup is a sewing machine bobbin with a neodymium magnet in the center wrapped with 43 gauge wire. Imagine the Ned Steinberger upright bass individual pickups, but hidden. All seven are wired in series through a single volume control.


While quite heavy at 11.5 lbs, in part due to its bloodwood construction, the bass sits well. According to John, “with the tuning pegs in the rear, the center of gravity is just aft of the volume knob.”


Headless Bridge Arrangement

Seven Hipshot triple lock down individual string bass bridges handle the strings on their way to the Gotoh tuners located at the rear of the guitar. It’s an approach we’ve previously seen on the Soloette headless guitar.


  • Laminated Curly Anegre and Bloodwood neck
  • Curly Anegre Kline style body
  • 7 Strings (in the key of B)
  • 7 Individual bridges
  • 7 individual hand wound neodymium magnet pickups
  • 24 fanned-fret, zero radius bloodwood fingerboard
  • 36 inch scale
  • Gotoh tuners
  • Mother of pearl dots
  • Tung oil finish


As John told me, it was “a lot of work for my first stab at building a custom musical instrument” but clearly worth the effort.

Thanks for sharing your project, John!

7 Responses to “Garncarz Fanned Fret Bass”

  1. […] Fret 7-String Headless Bass Guitar Here’s a new DIY Fanned-Fret, headless, 7-string bass: Garncarz Fanned Fret Bass Guitar Here’s an image: The Ultimate Question: What string gauge is needed for 18.84# of tension […]

  2. When I have first seen this kind of guitars, I found them very strange, then I’ve got used to them. But this IS strange, really 😉

  3. What a beautiful instrument! I have a question about the pickups. Do you know the ohms of them and did you use magnets the full depth of the bobbin? Also how close are the pups to the strings? The time was very well spent on your creation.
    Warm regards, Don Thompson

    1. Don;

      Each pick up is wound to ~ 2,000 ohms. In series, they total 14.3K ohms. The neodymium magnets are .25″ in diameter and .5″ in length (the full depth of the bobbins). There is also a bottom steel plate connecting all the pick ups (ala telecaster). The pickups are 11 mm from the string bottoms. 3 mm of wood and 8 mm of air.



  4. Very cool John! I would love to see and hear a video of it being played. I hope you keep up the very imaginative work.


  5. […] Weitere Informationen zum Projekt. […]

  6. […] is featured on and you can read all of the details there. It is the first bass that John has built and […]