Our friend Greg B. emailed me with a few shots of his bass, and I couldn’t wait to share it. Greg’s axe was built by Finnish luthier Sampo Leppävuori of Amfisound, who based it after their Kuru model.
The six-stringer – dubbed the “Hellbass” – has two personalities. The first is a gorgeous, bright red 4-string bass with a 32˝ scale. The second is a deep, dark, 36˝ scale bass with two strings tuned an octave below a standard bass’s E and A. The 32˝ scale strings are separated with a extended nut, and altogether the frets line up on all six strings.
The Hellbass is built with a through neck of laminated maple and purple heart with swamp ash wings. The top is quilted maple with red and black high gloss finishes. Its fingerboard distinguishes the bass’s personalities with purple heart under the low E and A strings and ebony under the standard E, A, D, and G strings. Other features include a pair of Bartolini single coil pickups, a Glockenklang onboard preamp, a Hipshot bridge, Gotoh tuners, and Schaller straplocks.
Greg notes that while the standard tuning for the bass is Low E, Low A, E, A, D, G, he’s had good luck tuning the low strings up a bit.
“Just for clarification regarding the tuning, I now tune the two lower strings one step up, and I am very satisfied with the result,” he writes. “The open F♯ on the lowest string being really clear; and honestly, with my current equipment taken into account, I don’t really need to go lower than that.”
We think that’s Greg’s nice way of saying he doesn’t want to subject his audience to the brown note.
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Amfisound “Hellbass” Bass Photo Gallery:
Amfisound “Hellbass” Bass Specs:
- Handmade in Finland
- Tuning: Low E, Low A, E, A, D, G
- Neck: Laminated Maple and Purple Heart with Dual Carbon Fiber Rod Reinforcement
- Body: Swamp Ash
- Top: Quilted Maple
- Fingerboard: Ebony and Purple Heart
- Scale: 36˝ on Two Lower Strings, 32˝ on Regular Four
- Pickups: Bartolini Single Coils
- Electronics: Glockenklang Preamp
- Bridge: Hipshot
- Tuners: Gotoh
- Straplocks: Schaller
- String Gauges: .050, .070, .090, .110, .135, .175