How to Build a Whamola! (Part 2, Electronics)


Don't be confused, it's easy!

So you’ve built your whamola, and would like to hook your amp and distortion pedal up to it.  Fortunately for you, this isn’t too hard.  To do this, you’ll need the following parts.  All can be bought, or an old donor bass guitar would also work as a source:

  • Whamola assembly – see this post
  • P-style bass pickup
  • Volume and Tuning Pot
  • 1/4 inch plug receptacle

Tools Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Milling machine or Router to make cavities
  • Soldering iron (optional, but recommended)

Obviously, the barrier for most people on this job would be the milling machine/router but if you’ve somehow followed the first instructions, you’ve figured out how to do this somehow.  Click on the “read more” for instructions, and a video of everything getting put together!

channel for whamola electronics

Electronics channel. Pickup channel is on other side near hand.

What you’ll want to do is first mill a channel above the bridge that the pickup can sit into.  Mill it deep and long enough for the pickup and wiring to fit into.  On the other side mill a longer channel big enough for your volume, tone control, and plug receptacle can fit into it to the side.  If positioned correctly, both will intersect, making for a great place for the wires to go from the pickup to the other side where the other electronics are.

Put some holes in for your pots/socket to go into and slide everything in.  Tighten it down then connect your pickup.  Since our pickup/electronics were salvaged from a bass guitar, we just took the second pickup out of the loop and connected the first where the second would normally go to.  I’m not sure if this is correct, and Jackson said it wasn’t properly grounded, but it worked OK.  If you’d like to learn how to correctly do this, here’s a link that may explain things a bit better.


An unused bass guitar will make this project much cheaper.

I seriously don’t pretend to be any sort of expert in instrument manufacture, so you should definitely use your own judgement if building one of these.  Even once you get it done, it can be dangerous!

Be sure to check out part 1, for information on building the whamola itself, or the introduction article for another video of his instrument in action!