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Bass of the Week: Hilton Guitars Sk8bass

Hilton Guitars Sk8bassPart of the fun of the NAMM show is finding all the oddities that are tucked away into the booths for different vendors. One of the coolest discoveries for us this year was an intricate striped bass at the Hipshot booth. After a minute we got to talking with its creator, Pete Hilton of Hilton Guitars, and I got to ask what kind of woods it was made from. His one word answer stopped me in my tracks: “Skateboards.”

That’s right. The Sk8bass is made up of an array of skateboard decks. The idea began during his time working with luthier Carl Thompson. The two discussed tone woods and jokes about making a bass out of plywood. Years later, Hilton moved to Los Angeles and finally decided to follow through. “After the move from NYC to LA I thought more about it, but wanted to include some of my past history so I decided I was going to make it out of skateboards,” Hilton explains.

The 36-inch scale bass also features a mahogany neck with purple heart and curly maple binding, but Hilton says the body was the most laborious aspect of the instrument. “I’d say the hardest part of making was really making the pieces go together seamless,” he said. “I was dealing with 7 different skateboard companies with different lengths and concave, so it became very puzzle-like.”

Hilton fitted the bass with a pair of Aguilar DCB pickups with matching covers as well as an Aguilar OBP-1 preamp. And how does it sound? “As far as tone of the instrument, that depends on the person playing it. I’ve seen people get a punchy, active tone to another person who you thought was playing a fretless. It’s very similar to my other instruments and I was very happy the way it all came together.”

Hilton Guitars Sk8bass Photos:

Hilton Guitars Sk8bass Specs:

Scale:36″
Body:Maple Veneer (Skateboards)
Neck:Mahogany with Purple Heart and Curly Maple Binding
Fingerboard:Macassar Ebony
Pickups:Aguilar DCB
Electronics:Aguilar OBP-1

For more information:
Hilton Guitars website