Bass of the Week: Prophecy Instruments PLASMA-4
This week we’re checking out one of the most evocative basses I’ve seen in a while. The Prophecy Instruments PLASMA-4 has an aesthetic design that pulls from both organic and synthetic themes, creating curvatures that summon visions of “strange bioforms and technologies of science fiction.” Baltimore-based luthier Nick Wilson explains the model is not just for looks.
“This PLASMA-4 features a contoured solid ash body in a custom satin finish that lets you feel the grain beneath sweeping surfaces that join to form an ergonomically-considered whole,” he states. “The bass rests comfortably in a natural playing position, with all 30 frets within comfortable reach.”
Wilson crafted the headless bass with a neck of walnut and wenge with blue birch accents. Its sapwood ziricote fingerboard has that enormous range with 30 stainless steel frets on the G-string. Even the blue glow inlay fret markers evoke a sense of sci-fi while complementing the turquoise finish.
It looks great, but how does it sound?
“The philosophy behind this build was to have a compact, high-performance instrument with simple yet versatile tonal options,” he tells us. “The single Nordstrand Zen Blade in the bridge position absolutely delivers on this goal – with clear and full tones in both series and parallel mode.”
Wilson streamlined the controls with two 3D-printed, oversized knobs: one Master Volume with push/pull for series or parallel, and one Master Tone. Hear the bass’s punchy nature in this demo clip featuring bassist Tre Watson.
Prophecy Instruments PLASMA-4 Bass Specs:
|Construction:||Deep Set Durabolt Neck Joint (Steel On Steel Machine Screw Connection)|
|Neck:||Walnut/Wenge With Blue Birch Accents|
|Frets:||30 Stainless Steel|
|Inlays:||Blue Glow Lines|
|Pickup:||Nordstrand Zen Blade Humbucker|
|Electronics:||Passive With Series/Parallel Switch|
|Controls:||Master Volume (Push/Pull For Series/Parallel), Master Tone|
|Knobs:||Custom 3D Printed/Resin Oversized Knobs|
|Finish:||Open Grain Satin Turquoise|