In 1992, my son Dave bought a consignment 4-string fretless Lado Custom bass guitar from Lakeshore Music when they were located on New Street. I discovered years later that the seller was Alistair, now a very good friend of mine.
Dave's love of Primus and Les Claypool drove us to seek out Joe Kovacic ("Mr. Lado" himself) in Toronto for an estimate on a Lado 6-string fretless custom bass. During that visit we had the pleasure of meeting Joe personally and, while we questioned him about the details of construction of the bass, he showed me a partially-made bass which planted a seed in my brain.
On our drive back to Burlington, we discussed how Dave might finance the Lado custom bass, i.e. sell his drums, sell his guitars, sell his amp, use some Christmas money and some of his saved money. Even after all that he was going to fall short of the total cost.
My drive from Toronto back to Burlington with a very disappointed 14-year old triggered this idea that maybe I could make the 6-string bass for him myself!
Even though my wife and son thought it would be too home-made looking, I convinced them to let me make a pattern and prototype first and then they could judge accordingly.
I used the Lado 4-string fretless bass to make a bristol-board pattern for the 6-string fretless bass. I studied many other basses, especially the Carl Thompson ones owned by Les Claypool, to observe the fine details of their construction. Then I made a prototype out of pine and cedar to represent the contrasting woods in the laminating process.
At this point Dave liked what he saw and gave me the cash to buy the exotic woods, bubinga, curly maple and pau ferro, to hand craft the "real" 6-string fretless bass. After 90 agonizing hours of labour the bass (THE KL01) was finally completed. It was "agonizing" because I wanted to make this bass as perfectly as I could and, with each step, I checked over my measurements and angles several times, so it took dozens of hours longer than necessary. ____________________________________________________ Over the last fifteen years I have completed 9 Liscombe Custom guitars and I must say that, along the way, I have received a tremendous wealth of information, help and advice from many different sources: friends, relatives, other luthiers, music store employees, music store customers, guitar players, as well as many who cannot play the guitar at all. I feel a debt of gratitude to all these special people and have included the ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS page for them. Ken Liscombe, November 27, 2005