Bass of the Week: Schönitz Gitarren Zett

Schonitz Gitarren Zett Bass

This week we’re checking out the Schönitz Zett, a five-string acoustic bass guitar with some interesting build details. Luthier Jens Schönitz optimized the body for comfort and extra volume.

“My basses are characterized by a modified rib detail in place of the traditional ‘cutaway’ in order to maximized on the volume of the body. This allows the musician to comfortably reach the 24th fret (second octave),” the luthier explains. “The volume of the body allows for the development of lower frequencies. The construction of basses is designed to produce low tones in particular. In order to achieve these tones, the specific width of the ribs has been increased, the size of the soundhole has been reduced in order to deepen the resonance of the instrument body (the deepest resonance of the air capacity), and the soundhole has been moved to the left upper bow or in the rib.”

This Zett is built with cherry back and sides and a solid red cedar top, elegantly complemented by cocobolo binding. Schönitz continues the wood themes with a cherry neck topped with a pao ferro fingerboard with cocobolo and three-ply maple binding. Other features include a pao ferro bridge utilizing his free adjustable bridge saddle, a K&K transducer pickup, and a soundhole in the upper left bow.

Schönitz Gitarren Zett Bass Specs:

Body:Back and sides solid Cherry
Top:Solid red cedar
Bracing top and back:Fan bracing, own design
Neck:Cherry, with truss rod
Fingerboard:Pao Ferro with Cocobolo and 3 ply maple binding, mother of pearl inlays
Headstock-veneer sandwich:Cocobolo, maple two-sided
Frets:24 and zero fret
Soundhole in the left upper bow:Cocobolo wood, with 3 ply purfling
Saddle:Pao Ferro
Bridge:Pao Ferro, with FABS = free adjustable bridge saddle
Finish:French polish
String:Thomastik Infeld, Phosphorbronze wound on Nyloncore
Pickup:Transducer (passiv), K&K Sound
Scale:864 mm, 34 Zoll
Tuning:H2- E1-A1-D-G
Dimension at saddle:46 mm, 12. Fret: 67 mm

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Share your thoughts

  1. sean s.

    I don’t mean to be a debbie downer, but what good is increased volume if it’s pointed away from the audience? if they can’t hear it without electrification, then who cares about volume anyway?

    • John H.

      Think of the top as a speaker membrane and the sound hole as the cabinet’s port. With this design, you have a larger membrane surface area facing the audience while the port is aimed at the player’s ears. What’s not to like?

  2. jeffrey michael bella

    scale? price? where to buy?

      The price starts around 4200,- Euro.
      The instruments are absolut fantastic! I have a 6-string made by Jens Schönitz. The model name is MUMMEL. The best acoustic bass you can imagine. The loudest acoustic bass paired with a warm, non aggressive, Nylon Style sound.