BunnyBass Field Trip: 2003 NAMM show, page 7.

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Nordstrand Guitars. Jon's prediction: 2003 is going to be the year Carey Nordstrand breaks out. This guy is just too talented and he has so much going for him. His experiences includes working with John Suhr and Steve Azola, and as soon as you hold one of his basses you can immediately see that he is really bringing his knowledge together in a very coherent, beautiful way. The singlecut fretless 4 string Carey's holding in the picture was meticulously constructed and played very, very nicely.

We first became aware of this young luthier's work when someone consigned with us an F bass that a guy named Carey Nordstrand had set up and done the frets on - it was dead perfect, some of the nicest fretwork Jon had ever seen. So of course Jon filed this name away in his metal rolodex, and here we are a couple years later meeting at the NAMM show. It all makes perfect sense.

Carey Nordstrand left a very nice feeling in all of us, and we think he's going to do very well. This is only the second instrument we've seen from him, so we're looking forward to perhaps being able to document and review his basses more thoroughly, but our initial reaction couldn't be more positive.

[ www.nordstrandguitars.com ]

G. Gould Music. This is Geoff Gould, well-known for founding and steering Modulus Graphite for over twenty years, and now president of G. Gould Music. If you haven't played a G. Gould bass before, you might want to go find one and give it a try, they are really terrific instruments. The necks are the heart of this bass. At first glance they look more traditional than, say, an all-composite neck, simply because there is a lot of wood showing. But on closer examination you'll notice the very controlled application of graphite in the wood in order to create exactly the right structure for ideal sound production. You can see little hints of the underlying structure at the heel and on the headstock - sheets and strips of graphite are visible here. The end result - a beautifully balanced combination of organic warmth and rigidity. The feel and tone is superb.

Harry (on the 6 string shown at left): "This is one of my favorite basses at this show. It's the nicest 6 string bass so far. It feels very, very good."

[ www.ggould.com ]

Citron Guitars. Here is Harry with Harvey Citron. Harry has known about this talented luthier's work for a long time, from the late 70's and into the 80's, when he bought a couple of beautiful Veillette-Citron instruments in Germany. They turned out to be wonderful recording instruments and Harry has followed their development ever since.

The AE5 Harvey is holding is his latest version, he has been steadily improving upon this design for many years. There is not enough room here to detail of our impressions of every thoughtful and innovative design element on this bass - there are too many. The one-line version is that this bass simply sounds phenomenal, with an almost unlimited range of luscious, organic sounds. The Citron pickups, blended with the EMG piezo in the bridge, are incredibly sensitive to touch and will reward good technique.

Jon: "This is a bass for bassists who actually listen, it's a rare instrument... What I find so excellent about this bass is how it immediately suggests so many new directions in playing, just because of the incredible variety of sounds..."

[ www.citron-guitars.com ]

Wechter Guitars. We spent a long time at Abraham Wechter's booth. Already well-known for his fine acoustic guitars, if you are a bass player you probably know him as the one who built bass virtuoso Jonas Hellborg his famous double cutaway acoustic.

The bass shown here is the first of a new design. This instrument features several innovative structural design elements - the internal construction is very interesting, and the neck is attached in such a way as to offer unimpeded access to the upper registers. The bridge is esquisite - beauty, simplicity, and perfect functionality combined. We talked for a while about acoustic bass guitars - especially focusing on what's missing from or wrong about the current selection of ABGs - perhaps we'll be able to keep this conversation going. We were certainly impressed with Mr. Wechter's sense of design values, and of course his craftsmanship. Could this acoustic bass become the one that electric bassists finally fall in love with? We'll report back to all you in the near future if any developments arise.

[ www.wechterguitars.com ]

Lightwave Optical Pickups. These are the gentlemen from Lightwave Optical Pickups. If you're unfamiliar with this system, we strongly recommend a visit to their excellent website (you'll need Flash to view it properly). At the heart of the system is an optical sensing device mounted in the instrument's bridge. It's a radically new technology that works incredibly well. The sound is wonderfully clear, accurate, and musical. The functionality of the system is extended by sending the signal generated by the sensors to a modular, open-architecture EQ section (in addition to the ones already available, new daughterboards will continually be under development, allowing bassists the ability to quickly and easily customize their sound by themselves, without soldering - finally!). In tandem these elements potentially offer an extremely powerful and flexible system of pure sound generation unachievable by any previous (i.e., magnetic) means.

Several manufacturers currently offer basses with the Lightwave system preinstalled, and Lightwave plans to release their own line of basses very soon (a fretted semi-hollow example, pictured at left).

[ www.lightwave-systems.com ]

[ continue to page 8 : basses : Hanewinckel, Pedulla, Moses, VFGW ]

Table of contents.
[ page 1 ]  
introduction & setting.
[ page 2 ]  
basses & builders: Jens Ritter.
[ page 3 ]  
basses & builders: Michael Spalt.
[ page 4 ]  
basses & builders: Celinder, F bass, Dave Olson.
[ page 5
basses & builders: Rick Turner.
[ page 6 ]  
basses & builders: Mike Kinal.
[ page 7 ] 
basses & builders: Carey Nordstrand, G. Gould, Citron, Wechter, Lightwave. <--you are here
[ page 8
basses & builders: Hanewinckel, Michael Pedulla, Moses Graphite, VF Guitar Works.
[ page 9
interesting!: Daisy Rock guitars, King Doublebass, Burrell (the twisty bass).
[ page 10
other cool stuff: Coffin cases, Nancy's balalaika, the Strapture strap, Jeff Berlin.

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