Bass of the Week: Lignum Sub Octave Bass

Lignum Sub Octave Bass

Nate Navarro may be the new champion of every bassist’s favorite game of “How Low Can You Go?”

The bassist, who has been on the road with Porcupine Tree, collaborated with the creative Croatian company Lignum to create a sub octave bass. As the name implies, it’s tuned an entire octave down from a standard four-string bass.

Navarro received the bass while on tour and was able to give it a test run in an arena of all venues.

“I played it during soundcheck at the Ziggo Dome, and it sounds (and feels) like a portal to another dimension,” he wrote.

Lignum started the design with their Spring Bass model as the template but upped the ante by using walnut, mahogany, and maple for the body, with maple for the neck and fretboard. They also had to take ergonomics into account. Extending the string length would help the strings speak without being too loose. They settled on a multi-scale neck with a massive 42-inch E string tapering down to 39 inches for the G string. (A standard bass scale is 34 inches.)

But just making the bass bigger would put the frets too far away from the player, so they extended the body and set the bridge further down to keep things in a playable range.

Navarro had Lignum fit it with his signature pickups from Bartolini as well as a Bartolini HR-4.6AP/918 preamp. Yes, the notes are extremely low, but they are also surprisingly clear for their range. The low E rumbles at just 20.6 hertz.

Words and pictures only do so much, so watch this demo by Navarro. The low open notes make for a great effect, but he also shows how nimble this bass can be.

For more, check out the “making of” video by Lignum. Be sure to turn on the captions for the Lignum video to get their commentary.

Lignum Sub Octave Bass Specs:

Scale:Multi-Scale E0 42″ - G1 39″
Body:Maple, Walnut, Mahogany
Thickness at nut:20.5 mm, Thickness at 12th fret: 23,8 mm
Width at nut:41 mm, Width at 24th fret: 64.5 mm
Pickups:Prototype Nate Navarro signature from Bartolini
Electronics:Bartolini HR-4.6AP/918
Bridge:Göldo HW60B Bass Single Bridges
Tuners:Schaller BM Light tuners
Other:Schaller S-Locks straps
Strings:Newtone Stainless steel, Gauges: E0 - .170 , A0 - .130 , D1 - .100 , G1 - 0.076

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Share your thoughts

  1. Robert Yaroschuck

    Fuckn Beautiful

  2. Umberto Pettenon

    Sempre stupendi, peccato che non ci sia mai una versione Let hand…

  3. Ronald Mierczewski

    I am a 58 year old bassist I learned how to read music at the age of 14 and I have played bass my whole life and never heard a better sounding bass other then the Lignum sub octave bass (Great Job)