Bass of the Week: Toby Chennell Arco Acoustic Bass Guitar

Toby-Chennell-Arco-Acoustic-Bass-Guitar-frontIn July, we posted a cool video of Bart Soeters displaying a wide variety of basses, and one of his instruments really stood out to me: the Toby Chennell Arco Acoustic Bass Guitar.

The electric bass and upright bass share several qualities, but overall they’re really different instruments. UK-based luthier Toby Chennell set out to bring more of their elements together in the bass, which he describes as an acoustic bass guitar restructured to be played and sound like an upright. It’s got the 34? scale that’s typical of bass guitars while featuring the body, bridge, and endpin of an upright bass. The result gives the bass a more familiar feel to electric players with a voicing of a double bass. It can be bowed or plucked.

The Arco Acoustic Bass Guitar is available as a 4- or 5-string and is built with a hand carved, quarter sawn, book matched European spruce top with maple back and ribs. Its 3-piece maple neck has an adjustable truss rod and the headstock comes in several shapes.

The fingerboard is a choice of solid ebony, wenge, or rosewood and is playable up the the 33rd position. Similar to an upright, the bridge is maple and has brass adjusters to change its height. Two ebony tailpieces are supplied with each bass: one to accommodate 1/4 double bass strings and one to accommodate bass guitar strings. A hybrid style is also available to fit all string types. The Arco’s picup is made by Chennell and fits under the foot of the bridge.

For more info, check out the Toby Chennell website.

Toby Chennell Arco Acoustic Bass Guitar Photos:

Toby Chennell Arco Acoustic Bass Guitar Details:

  • Scale length: 34? (custom options available)
  • Top: Hand carved, quarter sawn, book matched 2-piece, European spruce
  • Back and Ribs: Hand carved Book matched 2-piece maple, flat or carved back optional, level of flame optional, alternative wood available
  • Neck: 3-piece maple housing adjustable truss. Choice of headstock, alternative wood available
  • Fingerboard: Solid ebony, wenge or rosewood. Playable up to 33rd position, Spacing and position markers can be customised to suit.
  • Bridge: Solid maple with solid brass height adjusters
  • Tailpiece: Solid ebony, two types supplied with each bass to accommodate either 1/4 double bass strings, or bass guitar strings. Hybrid style available to fit all strings.
  • Finish: Hand rubbed oil finish
  • Pick up: All basses supplied with Chennell Underfoot pickup, good for pizz and bowed playing, custom options available
  • Gig Bag, with bow pocket, zipped, durable and padded.
  • Optional Hard Case: Polypropylene with steel ball-corners, aluminium edging, flush handles and latches. (18kg loaded weight)

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Share your thoughts

  1. Where can this bass be seen/tried? Who carries it, or is it only available direct?

  2. might have to try this!

  3. This bass guitar looks very cool! I have seen different guitars on that will help the people when buying their instrument.

  4. I’ve sent a mail for contacting and visit/buying this workshop in Bournemouth (UK) but no answer…