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Bass of the Week: The Bace

The Bace with Mark Zandveld

One of my favorite movie quotes has always been a bit of a thorn, as well: In the School of Rock scene where Jack Black converts the cellist into a bassist, he says, “It’s the exact same thing, but instead of playing it like this, you tip it on the side… ‘cello’, you got a bass.”

Of course, that’s not the case as the cello is a different instrument altogether, but now that statement is a little closer to the truth. Mark Zandveld has found a happy medium with the Bace, which blends the cello and electric bass for a specific purpose.

“The Bace is an instrument designed for bass guitar players looking for an upright sound while keeping the familiar feel of a traditional bass guitar,” he writes on the Bace website. “It can be played horizontally sitting down, but also upright like a contrabass. It can’t be bowed though, because of the flatter fingerboard radius and much lower bridge and smaller neck angle. The sound is probably as close to an upright as you can get with a 34? scale cello-sized instrument.”

Zandveld experimented with different cello bodies and necks. He also custom designed the electronics to get a woodier tone with two types of pickups plus a microphone. A three-channel preamp blends the sounds together to get just the right balance of “woodiness, focus, and ambience.”

Check out Zandveld’s demo, where he A/B’s it against a few other basses:

The Bace Features:

Cello body
Solid top and back
J-style Bass guitar neck
Three channel preamp
Electret Microphone
Undersaddle transducer
Body sensor
34″ scale
7,5″ fingerboard radius