Luthier Michael Gillett has launched a new range of basses called the Gillett Contour Electro-Acoustic Bass. Introduced at the London Bass Guitar Show, the aptly-named hollowbody basses feature unique contouring for an ergonomic experience.
“Our basses have been a long time in the design and creation phase starting out over ten years ago when I was working as a peri teacher in schools trying to teach 8 year olds how to play bass with a 34 inch scale,” Gillett writes. “Back then I started a long journey which has resulted in our innovative ergonomically designed instruments. The patented design introduces a shorter scale 31½ inches but with through body stringing there is an extra 5 inches or so of string vibrating inside the body. The extra sustain has to be heard to be appreciated.”
The Contour comes in four and five-string versions with a standard or S-Type, or Slimline, model for a thinner body. It’s built with a Canadian Maple neck, poplar or rosewood body, and Indian Rosewood fingerboard, but that’s not all. Gillett create’s the bass’s shoulders out of a Canadian Maple “sandwich” with options of American Cherry and Walnut, Zebrano or Mahogony, which are also options for the rear dish recess and wrist valley. The top can be Sitka Spruce, European Spruce, or Western Red Cedar.
Another interesting feature is the bass’s bridge, which is made of the laminated plastic material Tufnol. “[It’s] a lightweight material used in electronics and aviation,” Gillett writes. “It has a removable saddle impact panel, which allows alternative panels of differing materials to transmit string frequencies to the sound board. Saddles are provided in sets of two and are of composite materials of differing molecular structure and density and therefore transmission properties.”
Electronics include a J-Bass neck pickup by Bareknuckle and an under saddle Schatten transducer, each of which is blended with their own system by Custom Circuits. Get the rundown of the Contour and Contour S-Type basses from Richie Blake:
The Gillett Guitars Contour Bass and Contour S-Type basses are made to order with options for four or five strings and fretted/fretless versions. A 6-string model is in the works. The basses are available with price points between $4,292 and $5,238, depending on options.
Gillett Guitars Contour Bass Details:
|Body Shape:||Standard or “Slimline”|
|Strings:||4 or 5|
|Neck and headstock:||Canadian Maple|
|Shoulders:||Canadian Maple sandwich with options of American Cherry and Walnut, Zebrano or Mahogony|
|Rear Dish recess and Wrist Valley:||American Cherry, Walnut, Zebrano or Mahogony.|
|Top:||Sitka Spruce, European Spruce or Western Red Cedar|
|Back and sides:||Poplar or Rosewood|
|Pickups:||Bareknuckle J-Bass, Schatten Transducer|
|Electronics:||Blending system by Custom Circuits with side mounted controls|
|Finish:||Oil and wax|
For more information: