Bass of the Week: Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass

Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass

Bigger is better. At least that’s the concept behind Knuckle Guitar Works’ Quake, a massive 39.5″ scale built-to-order bass.

With the growing popularity of drop-tuning, bassists have to tune their strings down, which Knuckle explains harms tone by losing the upper transients. Seeing the need for better string response and tension, luthier Skip Fantry set out to create a bass to “support a specific note on a specific occasion,” ultimately creating his company’s flagship instrument. It’s designed to play a natural whole step beneath a 35″ scale instrument, but in standard tuning the Quake can use lighter string guages, thereby adding more harmonic content.

As each Quake is custom made, many options are available – bolt on or neck through construction, fretted or fretless and number of strings. Though wood choice is up to the customer, Fantry encourages the use of domestic species for environmental reasons.

“The primary wood in my necks is maple,” he says, “but with the carbon that the necks contain it provides the option for the addition of other species – softer species that might not otherwise be up to the task.”

Fantry typically uses Hipshot Ultralight tuners, but has his own bridges.

“I am now using my own bridge hardware, but have always relied on individual string bridge assemblies on Quakes to allow custom string spreads,” he says. “On basses with extreme gauges particularly I use a hybrid string spacing that straddles center-to-center and equal spacing – it feels more comfortable, more natural.”

Electronics vary for each bass, depending on what the buyer wants.

The Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass begins at $2,750 for bolt-on construction and $3,750 for neck through. For more info, visit the company’s website.

Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass Gallery:

Knuckle Guitar Works Quake Bass Specs:

  • Scale: 39.55″
  • Body: Choice of Woods
  • Neck: Choice of Woods
  • Fretboard: Choice of Woods
  • Frets: 24
  • Pickups: Choice
  • Electronics: Passive or Active Available
  • Other Details: Hipshot Tuners, Individual String Bridge Assemblies, Water-Based or Shellac/Alcohol Based Finishes
  • Base Price: $2,750 for Bolt-on Construction; $3,750 for Neck-through Construction

Thanks to our Facebook friend Matt Youngblood for sending us a note about the Quake. Have a bass you think we should share? Drop us a line at

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