Synergy Custom Basses Custom Fretless 6-string Reviews
This bass was hand made in 2001 by Kevin Hartle, a Luthier in Brimingham, UK.
He is just starting out in the instrument making business under the trade name
Synergy Custom Basses, and this bass is only the third one he has ever made,
but it ROCKS. Specs are:
35" scale neck-through 6-string fretless
5-piece maple and rosewood neck with two graphite reinforcing bars
24 fret ebony fingerboard with bubinga fretlines and white side dot markers
Mahogany body wings with rosewood top
ABM 3-way adjustable bridge, Gotoh GB7 tuners, all gold-plated
Seymour Duncan ASB-6 soapbar pickups
Seymour Duncan STC-3 onboard preamp with 3-band EQ
Controls are master volume with push-pull slap contour, pickup blend, treble boost/cut, mid boost/cut and bass boost/cut
Finish is a high-shine tranparent plastic coating
Bass came with a very nice Protec gigbag and a set of Status flat-wound strings
Price was 1250 pounds Sterling
This bass was custom built to my requirements by Kevin over a period of about
three months. I am a classical guitar player by training, and wanted to keep my
playing position, ie sitting down with my left foot on footstand and the bass on my
left thigh. In order for this to be possible the shape and position of the lower 'waist'
and lower bout are crucial, and very few production models would accommodate
this. I had been using Fender jazz basses until I met Kevin, but when he said he
could build me any body shape I wanted I jumped at the chance. The final product
resembles a jazz bass with elongated horns and a wider lower bout, and is actually
a cross between a jazz bass and a classical guitar. Getting this design right and
down on paper took nearly four hours of experimentation, but Kevin was very patient
and kept altering his actual-size drawing until we were both happy. He then proceeded
to build the drawing!
The result is exactly what was intended - a custom bass in every sense of the word.
This bass is unique, and hence pretty much irreplacable. It fits me like a glove, and I think my bass-shopping days are over. It plays well, is responsive, dependable and robust. I had the string-spacing made quite narrow (16mm at the bridge) so the neck is not an aircraft-carrier deck. The best bit about the instrument is probably its sophistication - from looks to finish to tone, it is a thoroughbred Rolls-Royce of a bass. Nothing flash or fancy, just great sound! Oh yes, and the price - I challenge anyone to find a custom made bass this good for this price. Better hurry up and order one, before Kevin puts up his rates! I must also mention that one of the nicest things about Kevin is that he deals with his customers one at a time, face to face, and he is REALLY a perfectionist - if the instrument is not EXACTLY what you need, he will take it back and make it so! Also, because he has no templates or standard models, each instrument is truly unique: designed by you, built by Kevin, from start to finish. He even came down to Oxford from Birmingham when I couldn't make it up there to discuss the bass specifications, and put me up overnight when I went to collect it. Now is that customer service or what!!! He is also constantly available to give advice and help after you take the instrument home.Bruno Goh Luse rated this unit on 2001-11-17.
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