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Bass of the Week: R.Hyde Guitars Soul Machine

R.Hyde Guitars’ Soul Machine Bass bodyThis week we check out the R.Hyde Guitars Soul Machine, an instrument Ryan Hyde calls a blend of traditional and modern values. Hyde honed his skills in Ken Smith’s shop before starting his own in Philadelphia.

“The Soul Machine is meant to be a work horse instrument of the highest caliber,” he states. “It exudes the classic vibe of yesteryear, but plays and sounds like the hand-made, over-engineered, rock solid work of art that it really is.”

Hyde builds each Soul Machine to order with options including 4, 5, or 6 strings, bolt-on or set-neck construction, and an array of woods to choose from. The model that caught our eye features a stunning walnut body with full binding. This particular bass is a bolt-on and has a 6-bolt ultra contoured neck joint. Its neck, which is also bound, is a three piece laminate with a layer of wenge sandwiched between two layers of padauk.

This Soul Machine is fitted with a pair of Nordstrand Neo humbuckers and a 3-band Nordstrand preamp. It has volume, blend, treble, mid and bass knobs as well as a switch to toggle the pickups between serial, humbucking and single coil operation. The volume knob doubles with a push/pull function to switch the preamp on or off. Hardware includes Hipshot Ultralite tuners and a Hipshot B-style bridge.

For more, check out the R.Hyde Guitars website.

R.Hyde Guitars’ Soul Machine Bass Photos:

R.Hyde Guitars’ Soul Machine Bass Specs:

Body:2-piece Walnut
Pickups:Nordstrand Neodymium Humbuckers
Electronics:3-band Nordstrand Preamp
Tuners:Hipshot Ultralite
Bridge:Hipshot B-Style
Finish:High Gloss Lacquer

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Wayne Renardson

Wayne Renardson

For the curious re: weight & fretless, Mr Hyde tells me:

Hello Wayne!

The weight can vary a bit depending on the woods used…I just weighed a Walnut body 4 string and it came in at 7.5 LB’s.

Since Walnut is one of the heaviest woods I use, that’s about as heavy as they get.

I can certainly make a fretless version with whatever fret markings you might want!

Thanks for the inquiry, let me know if you have any more questions :)


Aaron McLean

I’ve seen it and played it. Its an amazing instrument.



Looks like the neck is really Padauk/Wenge/Padauk not Wenge/Padauk/Wenge. Very nice.



That bass is beautiful to me. Where can I go try one?