Bass of the Week: Fleishman Guitars “Big Bass” Multi-Scale Acoustic Fretless Bass
Harry Fleishman has been building instruments for over fifty years. Although he spent time working for large companies like Fender, he’s always kept designing on his own with new ideas and concepts. This week we’re taking a look at an amazing acoustic fretless bass he built after designing a couple for Breedlove Guitars.
The jaw-dropping instrument features a 35″ to 34″ multi-scale neck – a feature that Fleishman has been doing since 1979. “Even the small difference helps balance the upper and lower strings’ voices,” he notes. For materials, the luthier chose Sitka spruce for the top, curly maple for the body, mahogany for the neck, and ebony for the fingerboard.
“The back shows the reliefs for belly and thigh (Thanks for the idea Clarence Leo Fender; I added the thigh for comfort sitting),” Fleishman writes. “The belly cut makes this largish bass feel much slimmer and more comfortable. The little mahogany strip on the neck joint corresponds to the fifth position; it is raised just enough to feel it as one would the heel of an upright, for a reference point.”
Given the dimensions, fretless fingerboard, and wood combination, the bass has many characteristics of a double bass. “The tone is very similar to a small upright, and it plays well with others, having depth and volume to play acoustically with an acoustic group,” he tells us. “The combination of the variously-sized holes and the side slot port extend the low range, as well as feeding some directly to the player to compensate for the long wavelengths. In spite of what seems like a big bass, it is very comfortable to sit or stand with.”
Fleishman Guitars Big Bass Specs: