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Bass of the Week: Esperanza Spalding’s South Paw Fretless 5-String

Esperanza Spalding with South Paw Fretless 5-String Bass

If you happen to follow Esperanza Spalding’s Facebook page, you might have seen from photos of her Radio Music Society summer tours that she’s wielding a slick new 5-string fretless.

The bass is a South Paw, created by NYC luthier Simon Propert, and it’s one of a kind.

“Each bass is custom and a little different, so there is no model name,” Propert shared. “They’re all the same basic shape, but each one evolves into something different.”

Esperanza’s bass is centered around a maple body with off-center maple and ebony strips that complement its jet black ebony fingerboard and maple neck. The pickup is a Bartolini Stingray Five that’s wired to a three way switch that toggles between the coils. It has three modes: series double coil, parallel double coil, and single coil, which utilizes only the neck coil.

Esperanza Spalding’s South Paw Bass Photo Gallery:

Esperanza Spalding’s South Paw Bass Details:

Body:Mahogany, Maple, Ebony
Neck:Maple
Fingerboard:Ebony
Pickup:Bartolini Stringray 5
Controls:Volume, Tone, 3-way Toggle

Photos of Esperanza Spalding performing by Daniele Solavaggione, Russ Kirby and Willeke Machiels.