Gerald Marleaux is hands down one of my favorite bass builders. His artistic touch and attention to detail make all of his instruments play and sound just as good as they look. This week we’re checking out his Contra model, which takes its semi-acoustic design in part from the violin family.
“The Contra is made with the same materials as fine violins and bass viols. The result is a dynamic, responsive, and harmonically rich instrument,” Marleaux writes. “Hear the true voice of this bass in passive mode – woody and acoustic. In active mode this inherent voice is enhanced and taken to a new level. The ergonomic design works well on a strap or in your lap.”
The materials used include flamed maple for the body, spruce for the top, maple for the neck, and ebony for its fingerboard. A little less traditional is the fact that the bass comes in four, five, six, and even seven-string versions. It utilizes neck-through construction with a matching headstock while neck options include a fretless fingerboard and inlays.
For electronics, Marleaux fits the Contra with a pair of Delano humbuckers matched to his V2 Marleaux 2 band active/passive preamp. Check out how it sounds in this clip of “Fourscore” by Heiko Jung:
Marleaux Bass Guitars Contra Bass Specs:
|Strings:||4, 5, 6, or 7|
|Body:||Semi-Hollow Flamed Maple|
|Top:||Spruce with F-Hole|
|Frets:||24 (Fretless Available)|
|Electronics:||V2 Marleaux 2 band active/passive with passive tone control EQ|
|Bridge:||Custom Marleaux Contra bridge by ETS in black|