Bass of the Week: Aron Bach 4-String Double Cut
Aron Bach is a bass builder that has called many places his home: the United States, Germany, Finland, and Austria, to name a few. No matter where he goes, he looks around to find the good in it.
He originally built instruments under the Tuli name when he lived in Finland, utilizing a unique masur birch to create his instruments. After some relocating, he’s settled down again in Western Maryland where he’s restarted his instrument building, continuing to use local woods. This week, we’re featuring one of his latest creations with a four-string double-cut bass.
Bach found that an incredible amount of the lumber in his new neck of the woods is perfect for his craft. This bass’s chambered, quartersawn ash body and AAAA bookmatched curly maple top were both sourced from his area, as well as its quartersawn curly maple neck. An exception is the Indian ebony fingerboard, which stands as a dark contrast to the body, neck, and headstock’s transparent faded blue finish.
Lucky for yours truly, Bach is also local to No Treble HQ, so I was able to spend some time on it. Its smooth curves make for a comfortable fit while its neck is fast and inspiring. The attention to detail is so satisfying, from the great fret dressing to the electronics cover plate, which sits flush to the body. It’s held in by magnets – push its corner and it pops up for access.
While the fingerboard has no front-facing markers, Bach’s fine inlay work is on display on the headstock.
“The image of the Chrysanthemum flower in its flowing complexity has always inspired me. For this reason, I chose it as my logo,” he explains. “After having been personally instructed in pearl engraving by William ‘Grit’ Laskin, I use the logo on every instrument as an opportunity to keep these engraving skills alive.”
The bass is fitted with a pair of Aguilar 4J-HC hum-canceling Alnico V Jazz pickups under an oversized cover that doubles as the ramp. “The veneer covering the pickup is extremely thin at approximately 1.5mm to minimize interference and is stabilized with resin to give it both rigidity and a solid feel under one’s fingers,” Bach says. Four small screws on the back of the bass allow for height adjustment of the cover.
For electronics, the luthier goes with a Richter Electronic Engineering BassXX 3-band preamp. Its control set includes a passive tone control, stacked bass and treble with an active/passive push/pull pot, and a stacked mid and mid-frequency pot. The combination of pickups and preamp make a rich, precise tone with an extremely responsive touch.
Bach himself recently got to play his bass during the jam session of a Bakithi Kumalo clinic. The Graceland bassist hopped on the drum set and let Bach run his Phil Jones rig for a few minutes of fun.
Aron Bach 4-String Double Cut Bass Model Specs:
|Top Plate:||Western Maryland AAAA Bookmatched Curly Maple|
|Body:||Quartersawn Western Maryland Ash|
|Neck:||Quartersawn Western Maryland Curly Maple|
|Fingerboard and Headstock Overlay:||Indian Ebony with a 16″ Radius|
|Finish:||Transparent Faded Blue with satin hard wax finish|
|Inlay:||One piece Tahitian Black Mother of Pearl|
|Nut:||Unbleached cow bone|
|Tuning Machines:||Gotoh GB707|
|Pickups:||Aguilar 4J-HC Hum-canceling Alnico V Jazz pickups set|
|Pickup Cover:||Matching wood ‘rampbucker’ with a 16″ radius that matches the fingerboard radius|
|Preamp:||Richter Electronic Engineering BassXX 3-Band Preamp|
|Controls:||Passive tone control, stacked bass and treble with A/P push/pull pot and a stacked mid and mid-frequency pot.|
|EQ Parameters:||Bass at 30 Hz + 25dB; Parametric Mid at 240 Hz to 1.1 kHz, +12dB; Treble at 6.5 kHz , + 12dB|
|Other:||Magnetically attached back cover plate with ‘pop up’ feature|