Friday, 24 December 2010

Six-string Artist Pro Bass

by Jon Shuker

I was so impressed with my upright bass that I decided to order another instrument from Jon. As before, I paid him a visit in Sheffield to look at various models of electric basses and decide what exactly I want. Jon just introduced his new single-cut bass which looked fantastic. On the other hand, I really loved his semi-acoustic Artist design. As a result, we came up with a specification which combined both designs. Here it is (as from July 2006):

  • Six-string Artist Pro Bass
  • Fretted
  • Single-cut, set neck
  • 34″ scale
  • String spacing 17 mm at the bridge
  • Schertler transducer system + EMG TW pickup
  • Mahogany body
  • Top wood to be decided *
  • Mahogany maple neck
  • Macassar ebony fretboard
  • Two way truss rod
  • Carbon fibre reinforcement
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Black hardware
  • Jumbo fretwire
  • Mother of pearl side dots
  • Polyester basecoat
  • Satin topcoat
  • Custom shape headstock
* In his workshop, Jon presented me with a bewildering array of exotic woods. Later, he emailed me the photos as well. All of them were beautiful but in the end I chose figured cedar.

As with the EUB, Jon kept me up-to-date with the bass construction via email. The instrument was ready by June 2007. However I had to cancel my trip to Sheffield because of heavy rains and floods. Luckily, Jon was able to evacuate his workshop, literally minutes before the building was flooded. I went to collect the bass in July and saw all the destruction.

As far as I know, this was the first single-cut Artist bass Jon has built. Another unusual feature was a combination of Schertler (“acoustic”) system and EMG TW (“electric”) pickup. The latter is a combination of two electromagnetic pickups in one: single-coil and dual-coil, and one can switch between two modes. A separate knob works a balance between “acoustic” and “electric” signals. The purely “acoustic” sound is more similar to the sound of acoustic bass guitar rather to that of a double bass. The bass was (still is) fitted with Rotosound Swing Bass roundwound strings.

More photos of six-string electric bass @ Shutterstock.

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