Intro and common features to all Overwater handmade basses:
We had been aware of the quality of these British hand made basses for some years (I still keep an old catalogue that Chris sent to me more than 10 years ago). Overwater have been some of the first to introduce in Europe such concepts as multistring basses and long scale instruments for lower tunings (the “C Bass”, for instance).
Being 100% handmade, there is a reasonable build up time, and we were anxious to receive the first 3 instruments. Well, the wait is over and we can say we are thrilled by these truly wonderful instruments.
In case you are not too familiar with Overwater, you should know that they have been making great basses for more than 25 years. Overwater custom pickups are made by Ken Armstrong, who also makes pickups for Ken smith, Chris Larkin, etc.
This Particular model is a wonderful Progress III Deluxe 5 string bass.
Here are the basic specs:
- 35” scale
- Neck through 5 piece Maple/Walnut neck
- Mahogany Body with an amazing Koa top
- Indian Rosewood fingerboard
- Two Overwater Twin Coil pickups
- Active Overwater 3 Band EQ with Active Blend control; Jack & XLR outputs
- Pickup coils and the control cavity are fully shielded against outside interference by low resistance nickel based shielding paint.
- Overwater bridge with 18mm string spacing (perfect for slap and fingerstyle, but also for chords). The increased angle at the saddles improves tone and tuning stability.
- Gotoh machineheads
About the CIRCUIT: having not found in the market a circuit that fully satisfies them, Overwater make their own circuit boards at home, with some special specs:
Bass: +/- 12 dB @ 50Hz very gentle “shelving” curve
Mid: +/- 6 dB @ 250Hz, gentle “bell” curve
Treble: +/- 6 dB @ 1kHz, extremely gentle “shelving” curve, designed to contour the whole of the uppper response of the bass, from the mids right to the very top end.
The idea was to design a circuit that was subtle but effective in use, with an emphasis on “real use” tone controls rather than over the top unusable controls
This is actually a different approach to electronics designing, and we can confirm how musical and practical this is. Thanks Chris!
The active control is an active stage, which prevents the cross-feed that can be experienced with passive blend circuits, where the output from one pickup feeds into and is loaded by the other and vice versa.
The fact that the pickups are so close to the bridge in the Progress model means that the tone remains defined and articulate no matter how you set the controls or play the bass. This is an all round bass that can cover most any style of music, and is terribly easy to be heard in a loud band because of the well defined mids.
As you can see in the pictures, there are two outputs: Unbalanced (1/4” Jack) and Balanced (XLR).
Click here to see how this bass was built