Posted on 9th February 2018 by Callum
There’s a fresh batch of guitars out there for the bassists among us. At Rich Tone we’re always looking for the best new products which can take your musicianship to the next level. We’ve managed to narrow down some of our top picks from the latest releases at NAMM 2018. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking for an upgrade, or want to try out something a little different, there’s something here for you. Check out all the latest bass releases over on our site!
Fender’s brand new American Original series is packed with cool and iconic instruments. We’ve picked the 50s P Bass, although there’s plenty of choice. This is the bass that started it all way back in 1951. Leo Fender’s innovation to add frets and electrify the bass made it so much more accessible for countless players across the world. A much-copied design that set the bar for electric basses, however the original has stood the test of time. If you’re looking for that vintage bass tone that’s found on thousands or records then look no further. Classic appointments include period-specific pickups and wiring, vintage frets and hardware, as well as original finishes and colours. Fender have their esteemed reputation for a reason – if you want their classic tone that’s so easily recognisable, it can only be a Fender.
Ibanez are a key manufacturer in guitar and bass development since their inception in 1957. The Japanese giants bring their minute attention to detail and bulletproof build quality into 2018 with a host of new releases. The SR Standard has always been a popular choice for bassists wanting contemporary and versatile guitars. Suitable for anything from rock and metal to jazz and fusion, these are very playable and capable of a wide range of tones. We’ve selected this 5-string addition as we love the cool blue finish and extended range you get from the low B. Reggae, Jazz, Metal… all benefit from access to the lower notes. This is a top quality bass that will help develop you as a musician, as well as stand out with its show stopping design.
Schecter are an often-overlooked manufacturer, however anyone who owns one can’t speak highly enough of them! Known for exceptional build quality and top components, Schecter certainly punch well above their price bracket. This unusual offering is less of a ‘Bass Guitar’ and more of a ‘Bass-Guitar’. It’s 6 strings are tightly spaced to allow you to play in standard tuning, just an octave down. A great option for adding thick depth to a recording, but you’re going to want this one up on stage. It’s a beauty with its Ivory Pearl finish and retro appearance. We personally love the detail on the headstock and think this would be a great addition if you’re looking for something more off-the-wall.
Speaking of off-the-wall, next up is the bass from Fender’s new and exciting Parallel Universe series. The so-called Telecaster PJ bass is a mashup of all the best bits about Fender basses. You’ve got the Precision body shape, with a telecaster-esque pickguard, headstock and finish. In the tone department, there’s also the best of both worlds. The legendary split-P in the middle is matched with the magical Jazz Bass bridge pickup, providing options as well as covering new ground. A wonky take on the highlights of Fender’s history, this is a real collector’s piece you’d be mad to miss.
One of the big leaps we’ve taken from NAMM is the prevalence of multi-scale guitars. These allow you to play long and short scale strings all on the same guitar. No longer a novelty piece in a luthier’s workshop, fanned frets are here to stay. Now bass players can also enjoy the initial headaches and then forthcoming epiphany when the penny drops! Precise build quality from the Ibanez Bass Workshop combined with clear and focused Bartolini pickups make this 6-stringer a joy to use. It’s just as fun on the wall as it is to play! This particular bass features a beautiful Poplar top that will hold your gaze as you examine the natural burls and knots that show through the finish. A big upgrade that will challenge anyone’s playing, but you’ll reap the rewards when you make it!
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Rich Tone Music Ltd is a company registered in England with company number 05285423 and VAT Number 870 3855 09