For those who don't know what the hell I'm talking about

Hey, first off I want to say that this will not be happening immediately (if ever), more likely to be started mid summer if I get enough shop time and my other planned build underway. I have some questions regarding this build that I'd be happy to have answered so here goes:

1. What would a standard/optimal scale length be for a deluxe (12 string) stick be?

2. What truss rod would you recommend that would be strong enough to take the tension and still be very finely adjustable?

3. What would be the optimal choice/combination and arrangement of guitar pickups to satisfy the lowest bass strings and the highest treble strings?

4. What woods would be best for the construction of a stick? I figure I can use the same woods used for guitar necks, I'm just worried about the ridiculous amount of tension created by 12 individual strings. This I suppose is rectified by the truss rod though.

more to come, guaranteed.
Last edited by Ice4600 at May 22, 2010,
That's the coolest thing I've seen since my top and neck earlier. Rawk on.
Life is about taking risks, as long as the risks aren't too risky.
I love chapman sticks, mostly because I love Cynic. PLEEEEEEEEAAAAASE try building one.
Their site says the 12 string grands (which I assume is the one you want to build) has a 36" scale.
I'd say use two truss rods (some basses do this) for strength. I'd probably get the stewmac hotrods for basses if I was building one.
You should look around to get a pickup custom made for it. this guy has a custom pickup (delano brand) and his bass is pretty similar to a stick soundwise. It seems like the best option in my opinion. Maybe email around a few places. I know nuthinbuttrubl8 on UG makes custom pickups (he's in the US), as does CorduroyEW in the UK.
EDIT: I'd use harder woods like rosewood, maple, wenge, bubinga, paduak, etc... for strength. If you made a 3 piece or a 5 piece it would be far stronger than a 1 piece.
Bari Build

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Last edited by salsawords at May 22, 2010,
Thanks, I figured I'd end up having to use 2 truss rods, I'm just a little scared of them not being parallel and breaking the fretboard or even just getting really off intonation and action.

I was thinking a 7 or 9 piece laminate of figured maple, walnut and ebony arranged Maple/Walnut/Maple/Ebony/Maple/Ebony/Maple/Walnut/Maple (or 7 pc without the outer Maple laminates). those seem to be strong enough woods but I'd like opinions.
Those woods sound good, but you should use wenge instead of ebony. Ebony is REALLY expensive, around 3 or 4 times as much as wenge where I buy wood, and in my opinion wenge looks better in a neck anyways.
If you install the truss rods right, you shouldn't have any issues. Measure 50 times and cut once.
Bari Build

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___ \/ ___

For pickups, you might want to look at the Q-Tuner pickups for 6-string guitar. They've got incredible wide band response. And the design is awesome (and if you don't like it, they're available in opaque black (not transparent) too).

Otherwise, you should be able to use almost any guitar pickup (well, two of them slightly offset) and get decent sound out of the stick.
I don't know much about Q-Tuners but I'll give them a listen when I get some time. I was thinking EMG's would be the most practical due to their identical bass and guitar sized pickups so I could stack them like P-Bass pickups, but I don't want a lifeless sound so I'm still searching. I'm finalizing my design and specs to have ready-to-go when I get time to start the build. Last thing I'm trying to figure out is the bridge. I'm not going to shell out for a real stick bridge so I'm going to have to make do with what I can find. I was thinking to stick a guitar hipshot next to a bass hipshot and go from there, or I could buy individual saddles and make my own bridge. Opinions?
I was contemplating a stick build some day... I wish someone on here with some experience would build one so everyone else would know how.

Maybe just a bass pickup on the bass strings a a guitar pickup on the higher strings.

For wood, any wood that would be good for a neck would work, and 2 truss rods + carbon fiber rod reinforcment would probably be a good idea.


I was thinking about stacking a 5 string EMG bass humbucker and a 7 string EMG guitar humbucker (or whichever have the same housing) with the bass closer to the bridge to get a good balance. I was also thinking, maybe a 2 or 3 band active onboard EQ to help with tone shaping? Carbon Fiber rod is a good idea, would I just stick it between the two rods in its own little channel? Lastly, how do you guys think a piezo pickup would sound in the body of a stick? has this been done before?