Those great folks at TalkBass.com always ask good questions. If you haven’t checked out this incredibly active bass forum, then check it out. Here are some common questions along with their answers. Please let us know what other questions you would like to see addressed. Thanks!
Do you normally build these with a truss rod, and if so, which way does it move the neck?
Every bass is built with a truss rod; usually one in the center is plenty. It actually works the same as a standard bass, pulling the neck back equally across all strings. It’s reacting to the pull of the strings, which of course are spread equally across the neck. Granted each string has a different tension, but in real life that force averages out pretty equally through the neck. I’ve been told that, due to the twist, even though the actual neck thickness is that of a standard neck, the effective thickness is actually much greater. In addition, the fingerboard is a two-piece laminate. The act of laminating that material under the tension of the twist works to produce a very stiff and stable neck.
What’s it like setting these up? Specifically, due to the effect that with an extreme twist, raising a bridge saddle moves the string sideways at the nut, and moving the string sideways at the bridge would raise of lower it at the nut.
Good question. It’s really not as bad as you might think. The sideways movement when raising or lowering the bridge is not enough to have any real impact, except that is takes a little more change at the bridge than normal to affect the same change at the 12th fret. In other words, on a normal bass to raise the string .020″ at the 12th, you have to raise the bridge .040″ at the bridge. With the twist and the sideways loss that you’ve pointed out, you might have to raise the bridge .045-.050″ instead.
Would you ever consider combining your neck shape with fanned frets?
Yes! It’s been a long time coming, but finally in 2011 we made the first Torzal with fanned frets. It works great, which is a good thing because we already had more on order before the first one was done.
How the heck does that thing stay it tune?
Same way your bass does, if it does. Don’t forget, the strings are still straight–that’s one thing I can’t change. They’re just not parallel with each other.
Is it slapable?
Of course it is. When I first started out, I told myself if it doesn’t do everything a regular good bass does, then forget it, it’s not worth it. I believe it does, and it is worth it.
What are the pickup options?
I’m open to whatever you want, really. Maybe someday I’ll settle on the perfect set, but I’m still looking. There are lots of good pickups, and everything has its merits. Everyone has his or her own preferences, too. Maybe if I had any business sense I’d settle one thing for business sake, but for now I just want to make a good bass and make my customer happy.