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Designed in collaboration with the late Allen Woody, bassist of The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule, this cracking short scale bass is a delight to play.
Nice vintage tones
No Left Hand
Any colour, as long as it’s red
Looking around for something to vary the Bassment's diet of super basses and general exotica, our eyes fell on this undeniably retro, 30" scale offering from Epiphone, created in partnership with the late Allen Woody, bassist with The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule. Dan Veall reports.
Designed in collaboration with the late Allen Woody, bassist of The Allman Brothers and Govt. Mule, this cracking short scale bass is a delight to play. The 30” scale neck doesn't look short in this well proportioned instrument and on the knee it behaves itself with no untoward diving from either end. Up at the sharp end, four gold enclosed keys are mounted to an angled-back headstock. A white binding continues around the headstock and the entire perimeter.
The neck itself is a ‘hand-set’ mahogany with rosewood fretboard construction. Dot inlays mark positions up the neck length and the fretboard feels very comfortable featuring a 12” radius. Round the back a Jazz-ish profile is of course very easy to navigate even for small hands I would expect.
Continuing the mahogany theme, the body is chambered and on top is a maple facing. I think it looks great finished in the Wine Red colour too, which is just as well as it's the only colour option available! The gold hardware appointments across the instrument make for an eye catching combination, too, so all in all it's a very pleasing bass, visually.
Epiphone has gone with a three point mounting bridge on this bass, much like that on the Thunderbird bass, so if you know and like that one, you'll be at home with this. It gets the job done so what more can you ask?
If the bridge is simple, so are the electronics, which are straightforward and easy to use. All passive, you have a volume for each pickup and a master tone control. In the video I sweep through a range of settings and what I found is the significant depth of sound; low-end roundness if you will, owing to the type and position of the pickups coupled with the shorter scale length. I’m not talking about extended range note girth here, but more a warm, full bodied blooming in the low end. I played through a fairly ‘flat response’ monitor rig in the studio and didn’t feel that I wanted to add anything at all. Plugged in and ready to go!
Having a chambered body, as well as being a short scale instrument, it was incredibly light. I can't imagine that this one will give me the same back grief as some of the hefty slabs I’ve played in the past at a two hour gig!
To sum up, I'd describe his Epiphone as great fun! Especially if you're looking for something different in terms of both sound and feel, from the obvious choices, and particularly if you fancy trying something a lot lighter, then this bass deserves to be on your audition list. Unfortunately, I don’t think it comes as a left-hand model currently but it's however a lovely bass for the money and I am sure that had Allen not have passed away before it was released, he’d have loved it too.
It was a shame to have to pop it back in its box and give it back.