Bass of the Week: Prophecy Instruments PLASMA-4

Prophecy Instruments PLASMA-4 Bass

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)
Body:2-Piece Ash
Neck:Walnut/Wenge With Blue Birch Accents
Fingerboard:Sapwood Ziricote
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

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Share your thoughts

  1. Nice, unique design – well done!

  2. Jim

    I love the looks, but I’m into that sort of thing, being a sandberg Boden player. But that has to be the most useless demo I’ve ever heard. What did he play? 8 different, slapped notes? Useless.

    • Geoffrey Oliver

      100% agree. Bass is a wild design and from the description sounds well built. But that, “so called” demo was the worst I’ve ever heard in my almost 50 years on bass.
      Next time please get someone who can, no. 1, play. And, no. 2, know how to demonstrate the sounds and characteristics of the instrument to give us “players” and opportunity to guage our true interest. Thanks

    • Craig Murata

      Terrible. He was only slapping on the open E string. Not much of a review on the sound of the instrument.

  3. Greg

    Love the Art/Materials mix.
    The Scale, AND the Passive electronics are a sweet touch! I’d love to hold her! She looks lovely!
    Nice, Simple, bass groove. I’m shure we could find some more of her overall “Buhm” on y’all’s website. Happy New Year ?! ?

  4. Greg

    Love the Art/Materials mix.
    The Scale, AND the Passive electronics are a sweet touch! I’d love to hold her! She looks lovely!
    Nice, Simple, bass groove. I’m shure we could find some more of her overall “Buhm” on y’all’s website. Happy New Year ?! ?

  5. Kevin

    Prophecy looks Sci Fi cool and it’s sound is right up my alley.Probably expensive.

  6. Greywoulf

    Looks like a very clever way to create a ramp for use as a thumb rest. -Also great carrying ‘handles’ built into the body! Twang-ticky-tink demo video however makes it sound like anything but a bass!

  7. Roger Roy

    Nice write up… How much is the question. I play Steinberger basses since 1980s. It would be great to up date.

  8. Andrew Rocker

    Why are we trying turn a Bass guitar into some Weird piece of Furniture, You take a perfectly good piece of wood that’s nice and tonal and put two big holes in it. Really I mean just take all the Tonal characteristics right out of it. And then we add furniture bolts yes those are actually furniture bolts. To hold on the neck on.. right in front of the Passive pick up system. What was our thought there summon the gods of feedback.. No wonder the video shows him slapping eight notes instead of actually playing.. Hey But it Looks Cool I could see it on Star Trek you know Spock throwing down a bassline..

  9. Joe vasta

    Hi there guys and girls
    I have been playing my whole life. Come from a family of players and composers. Farther was old school train player. Knew just about everything he played trumpet. Piano valve trombone. Vibes. And wrote in every key. Me Iam a bass player. I play a 66p-bass. Good weight but want something lighter
    This is great. Had one of the first steinburg basses from Brooklyn I knew Stan from mandolin brothers great guy. And Ned who made it all happen. The sound. Hard to get true bottom end on bass like this that’s why it sounds so thin. EQ. I know. But would lov to try
    Peaceout everyone