Bass of the Week: Ulrich Bass Design Nicolo Fretless
This week, we’re checking out the Nicolo, a new fretless model from Ulrich Bass Design with a lot of character. The bass is described as having a unique tone thanks to a “naturally resonating acoustic approach” that preserves purity and warmth.
Ulrich drew from classical elements for the semi-hollow instrument, which takes its name from famed violin luthier Nicolo Amati, including an f-hole shape from an Amati design that they then scaled up to fit the bass. Using this mindset, they sought to build an electric bass that would focus on the acoustic aspects.
“The Ulrich Nicolo features a solid wooden bridge, which was designed especially for this fretless model,” they write. “It consists of a one-piece woodblock, which is placed into the body. The height can be adapted to your individual preference with two adjusting screws. The string action can therefore be changed within seconds using an Allen key. The strings are mounted inside the solid mid-piece of the body behind the bridge. The Nicolo bridge – the system provides the ultimate natural tone due to its optimal resonating properties.”
The bass was built with a one-piece walnut body with spruce for its top and bottom. Its three-piece maple neck is fully glued in all the way to the bridge pickup position. This gives the bass long sustain and a fast attack while preventing feedback commonly associated with hollow body instruments.
“The resonating chambers on both sides of the solid centerpiece provide the acoustic character of this instrument. The soundboard and the back side are made of Alpine spruce or Western red cedar, depending on the customer’s wishes. Already for centuries, both tonewoods have been used as preferred materials for soundboards in acoustic instrument making.”
Ulrich fit the Nicolo with a Harry Haeussel Bassbar pickup and an active three-band Glockenklang preamp. Other appointments include brass side dots, a bone nut, Schaller tuners, and a USB-C port for charging the preamp’s battery.
Hear it in action with this demo by Bass Sklave:
Ulrich Bass Design Nicolo Fretless Specs:
|Top and Bottom:||Spruce|
|Pickup:||Harrry Haeussel Bassbar|
|Electronics:||Active 3-band Glockenklang|
|Controls:||Volume Push-pull (Active-passive), Mids, Treble/Bass|
|Control Plate:||Wenge Magnetic|
|Bridge:||Ulrich Nicolo Bridge|
|Finish:||Hellac Semi Gloss|
|Other:||Includes Cas, Strap, and Certificate of Authenticity|