If you’ve met Jack Casady, you’d know that the Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna bassist is particular about his gear. He’s always tweaked his basses, pickups, and amps to get just what he wanted, so it’s no surprise that he had a large role in designing his own signature bass with Epiphone.
“It’s based off of the Les Paul bass that was put out in the early ‘70s,” he told us. “I found [one] in Chelsea Music in New York City and I really loved it, but I found that the pickups were a bit shy. They were ok by themselves, but with a band – especially with a keyboard or something like that – you tended to lose the low end and clarity.”
He approached Gibson with the idea of reviving the bass and even designed the pickup himself, spending nearly two years to develop it. The JCB-1 Low-Impedance humbucker is then matched with a 3-position VariGain switch that has 50, 250, and 500 ohms settings for different tones.
The bass’s body and top are maple, while the neck is mahogany and the fingerboard is rosewood. It comes in two standard finishes of Metallic Gold and Ebony, though a limited edition Silverburst finish was introduced this year. Hardware includes a 3-point adjustable bridge and die cast Clover tuners.
For more, make sure you check out Casady’s website, where he details his bass’s setup from string height to bridge settings. Also worth checking out is our two part interview with the bass legend (part 1 and part 2), where he talked about gear and a whole lot more.
Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass Photo Gallery:
Epiphone Jack Casady Signature Bass Specs:
- Neck Material: Mahogany
- Neck Joint: Glued-In; Set-Neck
- Body Material: Laminated Maple Top, Back and Sides
- Neck Shape: 1960’s Rounded Bass Profile
- Truss Rod: Adjustable
- Truss Rod Cover: 2-ply
- Scale Length: 34?
- Fingerboard Material: Rosewood with pearloid “Trapezoid” inlays
- Pickup: Low-Impedance JCB-1 Humbucker
- Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
- 3-Position VariGain Switch: 50, 250, 500 ohms
- Pickguard: 1-Ply
- Fingerboard Radius: 12?
- Frets: 20; medium-jumbo
- Bridge: Original 3-point adjustable
- Nut Width: 1-1/2?
- Nut Material: Imitation Bone; White
- Hardware: Nickel
- Machine Heads: Die-Cast “Clover” Bass Tuners
- Colors: Metallic Gold, Ebony, Silverburst