Your basses.....Seite / side 4

2008 Fender Jaguar Bass

When Fender issued these for the first time a few years ago for righties only, I nearly fell out of my chair. "What a gorgeous bass," I sighed, "They'll never issue one left handed." Fast forward to about a year ago when I'm perusing the always fascinating/always frustrating website of Japan's Taniguchi-Yakki - a haven for the most unbelievable left handed eye candy to be found but beyond the reach of the Western world due to a poor rate of exchange and exportation restrictions - only to nearly fall out of my chair again when I stumble upon lefty Jaguar basses, in 4 finishes to boot! I decided I HAD to have one of these basses somehow. Well, I tried. I even got estimates from escrow shipping companies, but it simply couldn't be done without spending a small fortune. Then I heard about and their willingness to ship to the US. I contacted them about getting a lefty and a week later this beautiful bass arrived.

1980 Musicman Sabre Bass

- Pre-Ernie Ball lefty Stingrays are very rare, but Sabres are even rarer because they were never as popular. This bass is a slap monster and unfairly under-appreciated.

1979 Rickenbacker 4001 Bass

In a rare Burgundyglo finish. 99% of all lefty Ricks I've seen have the reverse headstock, and this one's no exception. Doesn't bother me as much as it does the righties, LOL. Ricks have finally caught up with the rest of the vintage market (for better or for worse). Like most Rick owners, I took off the pickup cover, since it interferes with my playing.

1967 Guild Starfire I Bass

One of the oldest basses I own (next to the Hagstrom HBII). Popularized by 60's icons Jack Cassidy and Phil Lesh. Fat, tubby, boomy low end great for roots rock. These basses also feature a "squelch" button that can suck all the low end out of the tone if needed, though why you'd want to do that is beyond me.

1971 Fender Telecaster Bass

Fender's first attempt at a '51 Reissue Precision. This one's been refinished in 2 tone tobacco sunburst and body contoured to resemble the changes made to the '55 Precision. I much prefer the appearance of these early P/Tele basses to the standard P design, and with the single coil PUP in the sweet spot you get a snappier, more aggressive tone as well. I've since put the chrome covers back on, making it quite a looker. (Pix to come).

1972 Fender Jazz Bass

I wanted a Jazz bass ever since discovering Jaco Pastorius and his incredible tone/playing in high school. I searched and searched for 2 years to find a lefty, and finally found this one in Manny's in New York by accident. My first "real" bass, purchased in 1984 for the (then) high price of $400 with a student loan that I defaulted on and took 10 years to finally pay off after threats from creditors, LOL. (Update: I've since learned how to handle money better, LOL). In 1985, I was playing with a Brazilian percussionist who regularly played with Jaco. Long story short: we did a gig in New Jersey and Jaco sat in! He didn't bring his bass, so he ended up playing mine UPSIDE DOWN, and flawlessly I might add. It's been my main bass for 25 years, and still going strong. I still have the original PUPs (which need to be rewound, the chrome covers, and the bridge.

Two 1972 Fender Jazz Basses

Seeing double? Here's my two skinny Js. The one on the left was purchased in '84 and has been my main bass since. The one on the right was found in 2005. Only took 20 years to find another, and believe me I looked!

1973 Fender Precision Bass

I'll be the first to admit I was wrong about P basses. I have never cared for them, preferring the look and tones of a J instead and finding them generally boring and too prevalent in music history. Well, there's a reason why they are the most widely heard bass in musical history: they simply get the job done extremely well. Their "meat and potatoes" tone just sits so well in a mix, especially in rock trios, and they're as simple as can be - just plug and go. I strung this one up with 10 year old D'Addario Chromes and it comes close to that Jamerson Motown vibe all the way. (Less the talent, LOL). I've since ordered a set of the Labella Deep Talkin' Jamersons to get me closer, so I'll give my update in 10 years, LOL. I can't stop playing it and I'm a P bass convert now.

1975 Fender Telecaster II

Bass Here's my second Tele bass, which I traded for a Tokai Strat I once owned. The previous owner added a P pickup near the bridge, which is an improvement that Fender should consider when reissuing these (which they've since done under Squire). Monstrous huge tone with both pickups on, and finally some added clarity to that Lover mudbucker.

1977 Fender Telecaster II bass

The second Telecaster-inspired design from Fender, and nothing like the original Telecaster basses (which were copies of the original single coil '51 Precision bass). Featuring the much-maligned Seth Lover mudbucker in the neck position, offering players of the Fender camp the opportunity to experience Gibson tone without crossing over to the dark side. THE bassiest bass I own, fat, boomy yet non-distinct tone perfect for dub or reggae.

1979 Guild B302

One of my personal favorites and yet another underrated Guild. Previous owner routed it for larger Dimarzio Model 1 and Model G(?) pickups, but this one would be a good recipient for Darkstar pickups, if and when I can afford them.

1980 BC Rich Mockingbird Bass

Rare "short horn" version with more switches, knobs, and tonal options than you'll ever need. Once upon a time BC Rich instruments were hand made and represented the highest quality, rivaling other boutique companies of the time. Somewhere along the way BC Rich limited their marketing (and quality level) to Metal music, possibly pigeonholing them forever. Shame, as these early Ricos are top quality.

1980 MusicMan Stingray

Very rare pre-Ernie Ball 'Ray with 2 band EQ. Made the same month/year as my Sabre, by coincidence. As good as the EB instruments are, I much prefer the pre-EB Stingrays for their warmer, more organic tone.

1983 Fender Precision Elite II

A very rare and unique anomaly in Fender's history, and one of their first attempts at active circuitry. So many specs on the bass were new designs for Fender, and never to be revisited again for unknown reasons (i.e. preamp, pickups, bridge, and tuners). A great slapper and very versatile.

1985 Carvin LB50 Bass

An interesting well-made bass in rare red finish and top-of-the-line materials (neck thru, ebony fretboard). Loosely modeled after a Rickenbacker with stereo outs but with many more tonal combinations. Carvin's always been a lefty-friendly company, offering nearly all models through the years with a myriad of options. I've mounted a Roland GK3B midi pickup on it in hopes of exploring midi further, which I enjoy on my Godin midi guitar.

1989 Steinberger XL2

Another icon of the 80's, and still one of the most radical and ingenious instrument designs ever. Everyone played these back then, from Geddy Lee, Sting, Tony Levin, to many New Wave groups like Devo and The Cars. A perfect travel instrument.

1991 Wal Mach I Bass

Mwah, baby! Paduak body and back with sap wood running down the center; Fretless ebony fretboard. Purchased from Steve Chesney, who probably owns the largest collection of lefty Wal basses in the world (Hell, maybe even the largest collection of Wals period). This pic was taken by him before I purchased it. It even has his name personalized on the headstock. (Note the backwards stringing, which is how Steve plays). I first fell in love with the fretless tones of Wal after hearing Mick Karn and Percy Jones recordings. THE best preamp I've ever encountered, featuring low pass filters/resonance tone controls and a push/pull pick "attack" volume knob that enables you to dial in virtually any tone. Extremely rare and probably the best chance for any lefty to get a Wal is if Steve happens to sell another bass, since Wal appears to be defunkt.

1994 Spector NSCRFM

Punch punch punch! Amazing slapping bass. Probably the best playing/sounding active slap bass I've ever played.

2000 Rogue VB100 Bass

A nice cheap alternative to a Hofner at a fraction of the cost. Strung with DR Beatle bass strings, it really captures McCartney's classic tubby thump.

2001 Burns Bison Bass

Attention Lefties! You have me to thank for these, even if they're no longer made and were only made in very limited numbers. I lobbied Burns for 2 years to offer these lefty, and they finally came through. A very cool bass with unusual 3 pickup combo featuring Burns's excellent Trisonic pickups (made famous by Brian May) and nearly unlimited combinations. I have also seen 1 lefty in a white finish with gold hardware.

2001 Danelectro DC Bass

Light as a feather plywood constructed hollowbody bass feels like it's about to fall apart in your hands (even the "binding" appears to be some form of masking tape!), but offers that terrific unmistakable Dano tone.

2001 Ernie Ball Musicman Sterling Bass

The best bass ever made by Ernie Ball and/or Musicman? I realize that's saying a lot, but in terms of playability, sound, and comfort it's the best, IMO. Doesn't even need a second pickup. This has become my main Go To live bass.

2005 Warwick Thumb Bass

Bolt on neck; There are fewer basses that inspire a divided camp of lovers and haters in the bass community than Warwicks. Personally, I like them, but I can see why others hate them. A thick, awkward feeling neck (at first), often poorly balanced, and a very dry hi fi tone not at all what I woulkd call, "the sound of wood" according to Warwick. This is, however, an incredible bass for slap with super fast neck response where notes leap off the fretboard seemingly faster than you can play them. I'm still not completely comfortable with the neck feel, but the Thumb is a surprisingly forgiving instrument and one of the few basses I've played where trebly clicking and clanking of strings against the frets actually sounds musical.

2000 Dearmond Ashbory bass

righty strung lefty. This is a fun little bass (WHEN it's set up right) with an amazing fat huge upright tone. Features infamous silicone rubber strings that require talcum or baby powder to feel smooth and take forever to acclimate before they'll stay in tune. They also can and will snap apart if you so much as look at them, so be sure to wear goggles when you play this. Features 1 piezo in the bridge and a lined fretless neck that approximates intonation, so use your ears. You'll need to anyway when you get past the 12th fret, as fret lines are about 1/4" apart.

2005 Ernie Ball Musicman Bongo

The latest in the Musicman line of quality basses, and very versatile. Can still cop a close proximity to the classic 'Ray tone, while offering more tonal range and versatility due to the added 2nd pickup. It's decidedly daring looks make an immediate statement, though are not for everyone.

2007 Davison V Bass

Purchased purely for the looks, which is based on the "infamous" Gibson Flying V bass but a much longer scale. In fact, it's THE largest bass I've ever seen!. Not a great bass, but at $189 it was worth taking a chance and I have every intention of upgrading it. Besides, where else are you gonna find a V style bass in lefty?

2007 Eastwood EEB-1 Bass

Eastwood does it again by resurrecting one of the coolest designed basses ever. Modeled after the Ampeg AEB/AUB basses of the 60's. Sorely lacking in design is the scroll headstock of the Ampeg originals, but I'm assuming it would be either costly or a trademark infringement. It is estimated that only 5 lefty Ampegs were ever made, and 1 sold on ebay a few months ago.

2005 Eastwood Hi Flyer Bass

Modeled after Mosrite instruments of the 60's, and played most notably by the Ventures. The Eastwood has an aggressive dark tone that would work great in hard rock/punk settings.

1974 Gibson EB-3

Left handed Gibson basses are very difficult to find because Gibson hasn't made lefty basses in at least 20 years, and they don't make many basses to begin with. The EB-3 was most popularized by Jack Bruce. Some love Gibsons propensity for mud tones, while others despise them. I personally enjoy playing it, and I've always loved the SG looks, but I have little respect for the Gibson company due to their poor treatment towards lefties. This one features the neck pickup moved closer to the sweet spot, presumably to improve clarity and treble, but in all fairness it's still a fairly muddy bass.

2000 Epiphone Thunderbird Bass

made in very limited lefty supply for 1 year only. Gibson has never made a left handed Thunderbird for the masses (other than ridiculously over-priced custom orders), so this is the closest we lefties will get. Tokai also makes lefties and are still available, but only in Europe from what I understand. This bass differs from a Gibson in that the neck is bolt on and the choice of woods is not mahogany, so the Gibson purists dismiss these. Still, it's a nice sounding bass in it's own right, with a deep, dark driving tone perfect for rock, especially when using a heavy pick.

2001 Fender Hot Rod Precision Bass

Transparent Orange finish. With all the basses I've acquired over the years, I was shocked to discover that I didn't own any basses with a PJ style passive pickup configuration. This bass represents one of the rare moments when latter day Fender offered a left handed top of the line US made instrument with more finish options than the usual black or sunburst (though those finishes were also offered on these).

1999 Gretsch Broadkaster Bass

This is, hands down, THE most beautiful looking bass I own, and pictures don't do it justice. I'm not sure of Gretsch still makes these or not, but personally I've never seen another lefty.

1987 Guild Pilot Bass

Bang your head! What a wonderfully gaudy time capsule from the bygone era known as the hair band 80's. It even has a Kahler bass tremolo on it, no doubt to cover prerequisite dive bombing just in case your guitarist isn't wanking enough. All Guilds, especially Pilots, are very underrated (and affordable), and this one is light as a feather. It also may be the only one of it's kind.

1967 Hagstrom HBII Bass

The little bass that could. It feels and looks like a toy until you plug it in. Just a great, fun bass to play with a surprisngly solid, deep tone thanks to the highly coveted Hagstrom pickups, which are much sought after.

1992 Jerry Jones Longhorn Bass

Very rare bass only offered in limited lefty numbers from '89-'92. Based on the Danelectro Longhorn bass of the 60's and still made today. I have only seen 1 true lefty Dano Longhorn, but it's only sold in Japan and may possibly still be in production over there. One of the best sounding short scale basses made, IMO. Feels like a cheap piece of crap (and is actually), but sounds amazing.

1994 Ken Smith CR4

Okay, I'll be the first to admit I could never justify the cost of a boutique bass. I mean, how good could they be, especially when a good ole Fender Jazz does the job 99% of the time? Well I've since changed my opinion. This is THE best built, highest quality instrument I own, and as much as I love my '72 J there's simply no comparison. Flawless in every way, from feel, tone and appearance.

1980 Kramer DMZ4001

Unique aluminum necked bass that got popular (briefly) in the late 70's/early 80's. (John Deacon and Tim Bogert used them at one time). A heavy instrument that sustains forever with a very piano-like tone.

2004? Italia Maranello Bass

Leave it to the Italians to design such a striking, alluring, (gaudy?) instrument. Gold sparkle finish with toilet seat pearloid covering the entire back of the bass, this bass screams to be seen. I can find no serial number or indication of when the bass was made, so if anyone knows how to date an Italia, please let me know.

2003 Phantom Teardrop bass

A rare reissue of the infamous Vox Teardrop bass of the 60's, as made famous by the Rolling Stones and later the English Beat. It is believed that Phantom made less than 20 of these left handed.

2005 Schecter Baron H Bass

The coolness of Telecaster-styled basses always come with an unfortunate price. The body design usually lends itself to a poorly balanced, uncomfortable instrument, as I can attest to on my previously owned G&L ASAT Bass. Not so on the Schecter Baron! This hollowbody bass with visible F hole has a surprisingly modern, hi fi active sound reminiscent of a Stingray. Mine's stamped factory second "B" on the heel of the neck due to a minor dent in the finish, so I got it for a song. Schecter gets high marks for offering most of their instruments left handed.

1980 Westbury Track II bass

MIJ, maple neck/body; 1 Dimarzio P pickup. You may be asking why I own a righty bass. This bass represents the first bass I ever owned (this is not the original, as that one is long gone and I would love to track it down). After acquiring my '72 J and inspired (or instigated) by an interview I read with Jaco about how he converted his J to fretless, I yanked the frets out of the Westbury very poorly, taking chunks of rosewood with it, and painted the body in a design reminiscent of the Partridge Family bus using Acrylic paints right over the lamination. (No prepping, sanding, priming, no nothing, Lol). I later traded it to a Brazilian drummer I was playing with for a lousy Dr. Rhythm Drum machine (stupid, stupid, stupid!). I was feeling nostalgic for my old bass recently so I jumped at the chance to own another one when this popped up on ebay.Westbury was a subsidiary of Marshall.

1980 Yamaha BB1200S

Neck thru, forest green finish on body, neck and headstock; 1 reverse P style PUP with 3 band active EQ, active/passive switch, and master volume/tone knobs. Popularized by Peter Hook (New Order, The Cure) and Paul McCartney (briefly). The early MIJ Yamaha BB series are amazing quality instruments (this one reminds me a lot of my Spector) and they have their loyal fans. They're also sorely undervalued on the market, so if you find one buy it.

1977 Fender Jazz Bass

Very rare bass and even rarer with the rosewood board and pearl block inlays. Most later 70's lefty Fender Jazzes to be found have maple necks with pearl white block inlays.