Bass of the Week: KB Guitars Magical Root Bass

KB Guitars Magical Root Bass

Ken Bebensee is known for building unique designs inspired by the works of Stradivarius and D’Aquisto, but he also takes his cues from nature. This week we’re checking out an instrument that he literally took from nature called the Magical Root Bass.

“One day, back in 1998 I was hiking along a creek in the redwood forest near Big Sur, California when I found a small root burl and thought it would be fun to make a bass out of it,” he wrote on the KB Guitars website. “The shape evolved into something quite different than what I had originally planned. Though in essence, this basic bass instrument is fantastically lightweight, easy to play and the tone is warm and rich.”

The luthier fitted the burl body with a neck of flamed maple and walnut with a rosewood fingerboard. Originally, he loaded the body with a Bartolini pickup, which he replaced with a Lane Poor pickup, and finally reverted to a Bartolini BBCX quad coil. After owning it for over a decade, he added a by-passable preamp for extra tonal texture. Finally, he included Sperzel tuners with a Drop-D tuner.

The Magical Root Bass is not traditional in any sense of the word, but that doesn’t matter to its builder. “It makes me laugh when I hear some of the comments people make about this bass,” Bebensee says. “Some people hate it and some people love it. However, there is only one bass like this and it is truly magical. There are inclusions that God intended through the bass where the light shines.”

KB Guitars Magical Root Bass Specs:

Body:Redwood Root Burl
Neck:Flamed Maple/Walnut
Pickups:Bartolini BBCX Quad Coil
Electronics:Bypassable EQ
Tuners:Sperzel Tuners with Drop D
Weight:6 lbs

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