Bass of the Week: AJR Guitarmods Piccolo Bass
Last year we featured a gorgeous singlecut bass from AJR Guitarmods that wowed readers. Now, builder Andy Rogers has finished a new instrument in a different direction: a semi-hollow piccolo bass. The elegant model was built for his band’s bassist, Pete.
“Pete wanted a bass that he could practice with, and sort new riffs out, on the settee without risking the life or limbs of his wife, family or friends with a flailing 34” neck and headstock! So he asked me to build him a piccolo bass,” Rogers states. “I confess that, at that time, I didn’t know what a piccolo bass was. And nor did Pete, really! I then found out that there were a number of different views what one was: a full-scale bass tuned up an octave; an ultra-short scale bass tuned to bass pitch; a short-scale bass tuned up an octave. The latter of the options was what Pete was after and what I have built for him.”
The bass features short multi-scale with at 26 inches for the E-string and 25 inches for the G-string. It’s built with a mahogany back, black walnut top, a three-piece maple/mahogany neck, and a snakewood fretboard. The pickups are a pair of Seymour Duncan Cool Rails that are wired ’58 style, which Rogers says gives full interaction between tone and volume. The whole bass weighs in at just 5 pounds and 14 ounces.
“The scalloped back gives two advantages – tangible weight reduction and a much slimmer neck heel to body transition,” the luthier says. “The same satin finish has been applied on body and neck, and the result is a silky-smooth organic feel. It really is a delight to handle and play. The tone, although tuned to 6-string electric pitch, is warm and clear with excellent balance across the strings.”
AJR Guitarmods Piccolo Bass Specs:
|Scale:||Multi-scale from 26″ (E) to 25″ (G)|
|Top:||Black Walnut top|
|Pickups:||Seymour Duncan Cool Rails, wired ‘58 style to give full interaction between tone and volume; coil split|
|Hardware:||Generic mid-budget tuners and bridge components, mixing and matching a black set and a gold set|
|Frets:||Jascar EVO Golds|
|Strings:||Rotosound RS200 Flatwound Jazz Guitar strings|
|Finish:||Satin (Tru-oil “slurry and buff” method)|