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Bass of the Week: LowDown Bass Guitars Special Custom Series 4F Fretless

LowDown 2017 NAMM Show Special Custom Series 4F Fretless Bass

Wandering around the halls at the NAMM Show is great for finding unique instruments. While browsing Hall E this year I saw this killer four-string fretless built by Tim Seisser of LowDown Bass Guitars. With all the interesting body work and the stunning fingerboard, I had to find out more.

“This bass started as an effort to use some really nice cutoffs I had in the shop that I didn’t want top throw away or burn,” Seisser explained. “I had a decent sized piece of superior alder leftover from some previous builds that I knew I could use as a lightweight core. In addition to that, I had a bunch of nice Mahogany, Maple and Zebrawood leftover that I could use as alternating stripes to do a “rainbow bass” inspired body, as the alder was too narrow to use on it’s own. I used a bunch of layers of Maple and Mahogany veneers as well to accent the alternating layers. Then I just capped the body core with a real nice 2-tone Flame Maple top and very nicely colored Mahogany back.”

Its roasted ash neck is topped with a Marblewood fingerboard, which Seisser says is one of his favorites for fretless basses. “It is extremely hard and handles the roundwound strings fine with a nice bright and clear tone. I initially chose Marblewood because it’s Janka rating and the fact that it looks a lot like Zebrawood, which I knew would tie in nicely visually with the Zebrawood ramp and knobs. As with all my instruments, bolt on neck design with steel threaded inserts. This particular body actually features a slightly smaller lower horn for easier access to the upper portion of the fingerboard. I try to have subtle differences in all my builds to make each and every LowDown unique.”

Seisser finished the bass off with a set of Nordstrand pickups and electronics as well as Hipshot hardware.

LowDown 2017 NAMM Show Special Custom Series 4F Fretless Bass Specs:

Body:Alder core with Mahogany, Maple and Zebrawood accent layers and veneers
Top:2-tone Flamed Maple
Back:Figured Mahogany
Neck:1 piece Roasted Ash
Headstock:Top matching Maple headstock cap with hand inlayed Chrysocolla stone emblem, Maple and Mahogany rear headstock veneers
Fingerboard:Marblewood
Frets:Fretless
Nut:Ebony
Pickups:Nordstrand NJ4SE Hum-Cancelling Pickups
Electronics:Nordstrand 3B-5a preamp with push/pull active passive volume and push/pull mid frequency selector
Bridge:Hipshot B-Style
Tuners:Hipshot Ultralite
Straplocks:Dunlop Dual Design
Other:Zebrawood knobs, Zebrawood cavity cover, Zebrawood top ramp with Mahogany and Maple accent layers

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