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Bass of the Week: Roks Instruments Microtonal Futura

Sanne Verbogt with Roks Instruments Microtonal Futura Bass

We’ve featured some gorgeous basses from Roks Instruments before, but this one comes with a twist. Luthier Axel Roks collaborated with bassist Sanne Verbogt to create a stunning microtonal bass.

“Sanne started to see structure in music at the beginning of her conservatory study, which eventually led to her own music theory method: SV Method,” Roks writes on his website. “Microtonality was the next step on her path of musical growth, but she quickly hit a very practical obstacle: the regular bass guitar isn’t made for this. A fretless instrument would have been the simplest solution to explore the distance between the frets. By removing all the frets, not only the timbre of the instrument changes; it affects the feel and requires a different playing technique.”

Together they formulated the Microtonal Futura. Based on the builder’s flagship model, the five-string bass features a short 32-inch scale and is tuned E-C. It’s built with an American walnut body, an Italian olive top, a hard maple neck, and a wenge fretboard. No, you’re not seeing double: there are 48 frets.

“We opted to strike a balance between innovation and tradition. It was very clear in the beginning that this shouldn’t be a bass with just a lot of frets, but a well-designed instrument. We kept a lot of the traditional aspects but infused it with microtonality, resulting in a fretboard with 48 frets instead of the traditional 24, finished in silver for the traditional frets and gold for the new tones. Corresponding with the two tone frets, we found a way to accent the frets by using aluminum and brass side dots.”

Roks Instruments Microtonal Futura Bass Specs:

Number of strings:5
Scale:32″
Tuning:E-C
String spacing:progressive
Hardware colour:black/chrome
Number of frets:48 total - 24 (nickel alloy)/24 (evo Gold)
Body Wood:American walnut
Top:Italian Olive
Fretboard:Wenge
Neck:Hard maple
Tuners:Gotoh
nut:Brass
Side dots:Aluminium/brass
Pickups:EMG Wood cover
Electrics:Noll 3 band semi parametric

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