Phillip Stark is a musician based in Spain, I met him playing in several groups like Las Infantas, Phil is also co-owner of Stark Plugs, these plugs are a great idea. If you are a musician, surely you also like go to concerts, but you need to take care of your hearing and with these little plugs you can hear the music absolutely fine without damaging your ears.

Well, Phil ordered a handmade Mustang bass from me in black and yellow, the colors of his company. He had become used to the shorter scale (30,292 inches) during the recording of their recent LP, so it was a feature he wanted in his custom bass as well. I was quite lucky to get hold of a 1969 Mustang (thank you very much Tommi Tampere) to be able to measure it from top to toe, and from there make the tweaked templates.

making mustang bass
making the templates with my mate Ilkka

making mustang bass-2

Apart from templates, you also have to make several jigs to make it easier to do some tasks, for example cutting the slot for the saddle. Many jigs will serve you for several different designs, but some are just for one purpose only.

making mustang bass-3

My plan was to make a vintage feeling bass that was as close to the original as possible, so I chose alder for the body, maple for the neck and rose wood for the finger board. The neck radius is 7,25″ and for frets I picked Dunlop 6105, which are medium width and fairly tall.

making mustang bass-4

The neck of the original felt chunky, but comfy,  for a small bass so I made it similar. It surely feels like an oldschool C shaped neck without it diving towards the floor all the time.

making mustang bass-5

The hardware had to be as original as the rest, so no high mass bridges or light weight tuners etc. So for the bridge I chose a Squier Mustang Bass bridge and the tuners Gotoh, both in chrome to go nicely with the black body.

making mustang bass-6

The color, as mentioned, is black with bright yellow speed stripes. The stripes, that were featured on the original as well, were so called Competition Finishes and were issued in 1969. I didn’t use paint to achieve the color, but several layers of stain mixed with polyurethane.

making mustang bass-7

The Harakka logo was then cut out by hand, all the way to the wood, and the filled drop by drop with polyurethane to form a sort of a window. It was then leveled with the rest and polished to a hi sheen.

making mustang bass-8

Doing the final setup is interesting in many ways, it is then when you finally find out if all the proceeding steps have been a success or a failure. With this Mustang I can gladly say it sounds even better than I thought it would. Being a bass player myself, and having always prefered 34″ scale instruments, the Mustang surprised me with a very punchy, in your face type of sound. And not lacking in sustain at all. Even if I say it myself, just the sound my friend Phil was after…

making mustang bass-9
Almost ready!

Sunbathing in December in Finland is only for very special basses.

mustang bass-5

mustang bass-3

mustang bass

Mustang Bass for Phil
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4 thoughts on “Mustang Bass for Phil

  • July 14, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Hey there!

    Beautiful project, turned out great!
    Can I ask for a favor? Do you have a higher resolution picture of the one with the ‘raw!’ wood with those measures written on it? I am currently starting to build a mustang bass as well (not commercially), and it’s so heard to find good information about all the measures. Hope to find help here!
    Thank you in advance!

    • July 31, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Hello Marvin,
      I am actually on holidays so I don’t have access to my computer,
      but tell me which measures you need and I will help you. 🙂

  • July 23, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Oh my….

    This thing is appears superb… Eli sama suomeksi: Wow! 🙂

    • July 31, 2016 at 4:34 pm



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