You can call it Nylon String Bass, Classical Bass, or even Spanish Bass.
It is obviously a bass version of the classical nylon string guitar, and we are proud to say we are deeply involved in developing this instrument.
We worked with a couple of luthiers with an impressive background to create this instrument.
The nylon string bass is not a new instrument. It has been around for some years now, but almost always in a 4 string instrument, with a pickup built in as the only option. It has been associated with traditional genres where classical guitars and other plectrum instruments were used.
Our goal was to develop a better nylon string bass, based on a good quality classical guitar, but adapted to bass player’s need.
When you order one of these basses from Doctorbass, you may choose from this list options:
- 4, 5 or 6 strings. The 5 string hass a high C, and the 6 comes tuned either High C & F (to keep the ascending fourths pattern) or High b & E (one octave bellow classical guitar).
- Scale. We have settled on 83cm, but can order a longer or shorter scale instrument depending on what you need and your preferences.
- Body thickness: you can select really thick body sides not unlike a Mexican Guitarrón (with the result of lowering the useable low frequency) to slim body designs that are more comfortable for stage use.
- Amplification system: Fishman, B-Band, LRBaggs, and whatever you think of. With or without an internal microphone.
- Fretted or fretless. The small guitar fretwire is great for expressive vibratos. If you choose a fretless, you can have it plain or inlaid at the usual fret positions. Side dots are installed at the usual positions.
- With or without Cutaway
- Electric bass tuners (4 & 5 string) or slotted headstock (6 string)
- Several custom options, such as hardware colour, headstock shape, etc.
The bass you can see here has the following specs:
- 5 string (High C). Special Hannabach strings.
- Cutaway to facilitate access to upper frets.
- Thick body.
- Fishman piezo pickup & Pro Blend preamp with built in mic
- Special hardcase included.
Before you ask, we’ll tell you that this is not the loudest bass. Low tension nylon strings do not have enough tension to project a lot of volume, but that was not the idea anyway. This bass sounds absolutely wonderful. The thick & wide body is designed to lower the useable frequency of the instrument, producing a nice full sound that responds admirably to right hand techniques, just like a good classical guitar. Using a good external condenser microphone proves that this bass sounds beautiful on tape. Plugged in, you get a nice solid tone from the undersaddle transducer, ideal for stage use with no feedback issues to talk about.
The built in condenser mic picks up lots of acoustic details and nuances, and it proves itself more useable than on guitars. The fact that the preamp/mic is far from the soundhole means that is captures more of the internal resonances than it does in instruments that have the mic closer to the soundhole. Thus, we were able to find a sweet spot at 10/90 (10% pickup, 90% mic).
This a serious bet from Doctorbass. We are convinced that this instrument will find its place in many acoustic situations. Our first tests show that it is perfect for Folk, Flamenco, and any Acoustic Style. It is also a great addition if you already have several basses and are looking for a new sound and feel.
Please note: this bass was not designed to substitute the double bass (although it takes the same role in a band). Everything from construction method, to materials used, scale and so on are borrowed from the classical guitar and adapted to bass.