Bass of the Week: Kelvin Daly Musical Instruments 7-String Subcontra Bass

Kelvin Daly 7-String Subcontra Bass

Kelvin Daly has been building instruments since 1992, always with an artistic bent. “My original training in visual arts and sculpture migrated into building functional musical objects as I became more seriously involved in playing music,” he writes on his website. It doesn’t hurt that he has apprenticed with the legendary Carl Thompson since 1998.

This week we’re featuring a gut-rumbling bass Daly custom-designed for a player. The 7-string Subcontra Bass has an enormous 38-inch scale and is tuned E A D G C F A. The lowest string, which is an octave below a standard bass’s E, registers at just 20.5 Hz. Besides the functional depth of the instrument, its construction is a thing of wonder. Its body core is kaya (aka African Mahogany) with a padouk stripe, while ebony and hand-dyed flame maple adorn the top. The back details are bocote and more hand-dyed flame maple. Its neck is a seven-piece laminate of sapele, ipe, cocobola, and pau ferro topped with an ebony fingerboard.

Other features include Hipshot hardware, custom-wound Kent Armstrong soapbar pickups, and a 3-band EQ.

Photos: Adrian Buckmaster

Kelvin Daly Musical Instruments 7-String Subcontra Bass Specs:

Body:Kaya and Padouk
Top:Ebony and Hand-dyed Flame Maple
Back:Bocote and Hand-dyed Flame Maple
Neck:7-piece sapele, ipe, cocobola, and pau ferro
Pickups:Kent Armstrong Custom-Wound Soapbars
Electronics:Kent Armstrong 3-Band EQ
Other:Q-Parts Custom Abalone and Gold Tone Knobs

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  1. Tony

    Like the Ernie ball fretless