Bass of the Week: Matteo Rufini Precision IV Custom Vintage Series

Matteo Rufini Precision IV Custom Vintage Series Bass Pickups

A few months ago, Jordan Brown sent us some pictures of a bass he was having made. I knew even before it was finished that it was going to be a killer bass, and it looks like I was right.

Brown, who is an active player in London, reached out to Italian luthier Matteo Rufini to build an instrument that would be versatile enough to cover all his gigs. “I saw one of his instruments on his Facebook page and was captivated by the sheer beauty and perfection of his craftsmanship. It was not my kind of bass, but it radiated that special energy that only those instruments made with love and an obsessive attention for detail have. He was the man to make my dream bass a reality. I got in touch with him and we teamed up. We started throwing around ideas, discussing design and in general having loads of fun.”

The end result is the Rufini Precision IV Custom Vintage Series bass. The bass is built around a 2-piece alder body that’s covered in an aged Fender Daphne Blue nitro lacquer finish. Rufini rounded the bass’s aesthetic out with a Fender vintage aged and Schaller aged tuners. Its neck is a single piece of quartersawn flame maple that holds 24 frets with custom abalone inlays. The bass has an interesting P/MM pickup configuration featuring Tesla Pickups.

“The pickup configuration was actually the original reason why I wanted a new instrument,” Brown writes. “The layout is pretty straightforward: I have a P bass pickup in the traditional neck position, so I can cover the classic rock and Motown tones and then a beefy Music Man humbucker near the bridge, when I need some funk / modern (ish) / heavy rock gnarl. The humbucker comes with a three position switch that gives further tonal options: I can run it in parallel, series or single coil mode. Pair that with the option to blend the front and back magnets and you end up with a tone monster!”

Make sure you check out Brown’s blog for a build diary and Rufini’s website for more info.

Matteo Rufini Precision IV Custom Vintage Series Bass Photos:

Matteo Rufini Precision IV Custom Vintage Series Bass Specs:

Body:2-piece Alder
Neck:1 piece Quartersawn Flame Maple
Fretboard:“Curved board” flame maple
Frets:24 frets
Inlays:custom abalone
Finish:Nitro laquer “Fender Daphne Blue” aged
Bridge:Fender vintage aged
Machine heads:Schaller aged
Pickups:Tesla pick-up, Precision PU & MM PU with series-split-parallel
Electronics:Passive wiring with 3 way switch, Vol, Tone, series-split-parallel miniswitch for MM pick-up

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Share your thoughts

  1. Now if you’re going to do a Fender copy, that’s how you do it. Add more frets. Add another pickup. Two the design flaws that have always driven me crazy about the P bass. I wish I could play this puppy. I don’t really care about aged/distressed finishes, but if that’s your thing sure. After a few years with me, they end looking like that anyway.

    • Two OF the design flaws…. and they end UP looking like that anyway. Notreble, can you see about enabling editing on posts by the original poster, at least for a few minutes or something so those of us who are borderline dysgraphic don’t sound like idiots?

  2. Barry Irwin

    Love the bass with the original powder blue finish,and MM pickup IE. hum cancelling dual jazz pickups+Precision pickups.The attempt at the “old school” look I find a bit frivolous,even unnecessary.This bass has all it needs to stand its ground.It does not need the extra hype like Fenders stupid attempt at making a “Jaco bass” to sell more basses.Only idiots and non bass players (bass collectors) buy such things.Its a nice bass with all the right ingredients it does not need the “paint hype’ to sell it.Maybe a stronger logo on the head stock to single it out would be more appropriate.

  3. I agree with the comment about the distressing of the finish. I would never be interested in a distressed bass. I distress mine the old fashioned way…playing gigs. There’s no substitute for real sweat. Also what is up with that bridge…I know it is authentic but really one of the first things I replace on all my fenders is the bridge. What a cheap piece of crap they are. The hipshot bridge on my favorite jazz transformed the instrument. The only stock bridge I have on a fender is on my fender performer and that is only due to the fact that the string spacing is really narrow and there are no aftermarket ones that would match. This bass does sound really flexible though and that pickup combo is perfect for the stuff I like to do.

    • Enrique

      Have you seen the bridges on the new Carvins? Kind of like a marriage between Babicz and Schaller. They are full-contact and work well with their bass’s string-through-body setup,
      I agree; Fender stock bass bridges leave much to be desired. I don’t know why so many otherwise good guitar makers scrimp on the bridge. Thirty years ago a friend and I revamped an old Gibson EB-3 which had a bridge that resembled a car door handle. In this case it was Schaller to the rescue.

  4. Dave

    No price listed on their website and no list of dealers. Great way to hold on to your inventory!

  5. Enrique

    I really am a fuddiduddi because I don’t understand the interest in “distressed” musical instruments. If we gig regularly our instruments are certain to develop wear. I realize that perception of beauty is subjective; that powder blue which Rufini has used is one of my favorite colors. It just looks so strange with that fine alder body peeping through. But Mr. Brown is all about the sound and playability, and if that’s good then I suppose the bass could look like a bologna sandwich. I’m getting ready to have a P-bass-style instrument made with the same setup but without Tesla p/us. I opt for the surf green, a retro look. Over the years
    I will no doubt “distress” it myself.

  6. Something just doesn’t seem right with the saddle heights :S Sounds good though

  7. Such an excellent take on a classic. Too bad about the distressing though.