Bass of the Week: Kenneth Lawrence “Joust” 11-string ChamberBrase I

Kenneth Lawrence Joust 11-string ChamberBrase I

The world of extended-range basses has taken off over the last few years, and if you’ve ever searched for the term “bass” on YouTube, you’ve likely seen this week’s bass of the week: the Kenneth Lawrence “Joust” 11-string ChamberBrase I, built for Nuclear Rabbit and solo bassist Jean Baudin.

A customization of Lawrence’s models, the bass features a chambered North Eastern Ash body topped with spalted Brazilian rosewood with a matching headstock cap. The body shape was redesigned from Lawrence’s original template to accommodate the size of the wenge neck as well as the multiple scale lengths ranging from 35” to 30.5”, for which fanned frets take care of intonation. Purple fiber-optic lights are installed in the sidedots for visibility, and are turned on by a switch next to the bridge. The 11 strings are all tuned in fourths: F#, B, E, A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab.

For pickups, the Joust has two custom Seymour Duncans, spec’ed out by Lawrence, which are covered with Brazilian rosewood and Katalox. The preamp was custom made by the builder. Hardware includes Hipshot Ultra-Lite tuners and katalox knobs by THG.

The bass gets its name from the classic Joust video game logo inlayed into the Katalox fingerboard.

Baudin, who is a video game fanatic, says the bass weighs 14-15 pounds, but balances well due to a lead counterweight under the tail. He used this bass to record the the Super Mario Brothers theme, which has been viewed over 10.5 million times:

Kenneth Lawrence “Joust” 11-string ChamberBrase I Photo Gallery:

Kenneth Lawrence “Joust” 11-string ChamberBrase I Specs:

  • Spalted Brazilian Rosewood Top & Headstock Cap
  • North Eastern Ash Body (Chambered)
  • Wenge Neck with Purpleheart/Maple Stringers
  • 2 Dual Function Truss Rods and Graphite Beam
  • Katalox Fingerboard
  • Katalox Tail & Bridge Cradle (w/ ABM Saddles)
  • Multi-scale “Fanned Frets: 35” – 30.5”
  • Compound Angle Headstock (the headstock twists)
  • Custom Body Template
  • 15mm Spacing (same for all my customs)
  • Tuning: F#, B, E, A, D, G, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab
  • Purpleheart/Wenge/Purpleheart Veneer Theme
  • (under headstock, top, heel, tail, etc.)
  • Purple lighted Fiber-Optic / Mop Sidedots
  • Katalox Push-button on/off switch for Optics
  • 2 Custom Seymour Duncan Pickups (KL’s spec)
  • Brazilian Rosewood / Katalox Pickup Covers
  • Custom Ken Lawrence Preamp
  • Joust inlay in White, Gold, Black & Red Pearls + Legal Ivory
  • Katalox Knobs by THG Knobs
  • Hipshot Ultra-lite Tuners (Black)
  • Custom Fodera Strings
  • Hand-rubbed Oil and Wax finish

Photo credits: Jean Baudin

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Share your thoughts

  1. Simon

    Why not just get a chapman stick or WARR guitar at this point?

  2. Low-B 5-String

    What a beautiful piece of ART! I wonder: what gauge string for the F#? And does it do a clean ~20Hz?

  3. The artistic qualities of this thing are great but I think I’d rather hang it on the wall than try to play it. I don’t get the point of playing such things other than a showoffy “hey look how awesome I am, I can handle _this_ thing” quality. I’m not even sure I’d call it a “bass” and usually people ou see playing something like this aren’t really _playing bass_ anyway.

  4. Also they usually have big-ass hands, which I don’t.

  5. Fubar Bundy

    Sorry but this is fucking ridiculous. What are the other strings doing that a 5-string can’t handle? Five strings is well enough. I’m lost for words. Yes, it looks cool but… wtf?

  6. At what point is it no longer a bass? To me this isn’t anything that hasn’t been done with a chapman stick
    It has a body so it’s a bass?
    Not my idea of what a bass is.
    It’s why I love guys like Wooten, they use the voice of a bass and do amazing things.

    This should be another class of instrument