Bass of the Week: Lane Poor Minima

While looking up videos of Jack Casady on YouTube, I stumbled upon a real head-turner of a bass: the Lane Poor Minima. Poor, who is renowned for his pickups, designed and manufactured the bass in the early ’90s.

Lane Poor Minima Bass

Besides the obvious headless and stepped-tuner body design, the Minima had a graphite fingerboard with special epoxy “frets”, which as Bob Gollihur put it, “large flat protrusions off the board.” The super strong epoxy is said to never wear down or need replacing.

The Minima was armed with Lane Poor’s soap bar pickup, though some of the few hundred produced have variations in pickups. Another innovation is the bass’s volume control, which is a large cylinder placed on the edge of the body next to the pickup.

The Lane Poor Minima was discontinued in 2000 after only a couple hundred were made, but you can find them popping up every once in a while for around $1,500.

Check out Jack Casady playing the bass with Hot Tuna:

Lane Poor Minima Bass Gallery:

Lane Poor Minima Bass Specs:

  • Body: Maple
  • Neck: Graphite
  • Fingerboard: Graphite
  • Headless Design
  • Body-mounted Tuners
  • Lane Poor Soapbar Pickup
  • Cylindrical Volume Control

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Share your thoughts

  1. Fugly. And that is being kind.

  2. That’s one strange-looking instrument. Talk about “jumbo frets”.

  3. I honestly think they could not show less of the bassist. The camera guy got more on screen time…

    • That is unique, Tim…do you see any advantages to that kind of design?

    • @[615447461:2048:Bob Hentrich] No Bob. None whatsoever. But I’d still like it! ?;^ )

    • @[615447461:2048:Bob Hentrich] Actually Bob. Lane Poor was a great designer of bass pickups, and from what I know, he jsut …quit. His pickups are highly prized and used ones bring a great value. I have a jazz bass with Lane Poors and a J-retro preamp. Given some great amplification, this combination roars!! His bass is a unique design. With the tall frets, you’re fingers never bottom out on the fretbaord which can give the player some unique advantages .

      All in all, to me it rates way high on the cool meter.

    • You also, Tim, rate high on the cool meter.

  4. Outer Space design with Jumbo Fret!

    • Interesting bass indeed. Can’t say I was all that taken by the tome of the thing though – could have been the recording quality. Good post Blackhawk

  5. I really like this “bass of the week” section. When will you feature a Sukop bass?
    Those basses are truly amazing (

  6. I would definitely like to play one just out of curiosity, especially the frets. I probably wouldn’t like it as a player though because of the small body. I know I don’t like Steinbergers for that reason.