This is a brand new Overwater Perception bass. The Perception range of smaller, more afforable basses come to fill in a market segment where it is not easy to find professional 100% handmade basses. Welcome the Perception. A little bit od history:
While the Progress and Evolution series have been available for many years, Overwater's founder and owner Chris May felt there was a need for a more affordable handmade bass that would retain the essence of Overwater basses but could sell for a little less. Instead of releasing a cheap far Easter made copy (which obviously would degrade the Overwater name), he designed the Perception range to be essentially the same quality as the other basses they made, but cutting down a few options. Initially the basses were made by small shop in the Czec Republic by a skilled luthier who had worked for Overwater in the U.K. for many years. With the current exchange rate of the Pound against the Euro, these basses started to cost the same as the upper models from the U.K., so eventually Chris took production back to his shop in Carlsisle, U.K., adding at the same time some upgrades to the Perception series, such as the same electronics as in the Progress Series, the possibility to choose among a large selectrion of exotic tops, and even Neck Thru as an option.
One of the first things you notice when you see a Perception bass is that the body shape is smaller than in other Overwater models, and the basses are lighter too. These are good news indeed.
These are the specs of this particular fretted 5 string bass
American ash body
Bolt on maple neck, extending up to the neck pickup.
Bird's eye maple 2 octave fingerboard
English walnut top with matching headstock
Overwater Custom pickups by Aaron Armstrong with walnut covers
3 Band Overwater circuit by John East (new upgraded model)
Neutrik special locking output jack
Previous Perception basses came with a 2 Band preamp that sounded good, but new models come with the latest version of the 3 band preamp (with extra Bright when you pull the Volume pot). One of the first things that you notice when ou tweak the EQ is that it has more range than the old board, and also seems to have more headroom. As usual, it is very musical. With all 3 bands set flat, the bass actually sounds amazing, but we encourage you to experiment with the EQ, as few times 3 fixed bands have been so versatile.
The smaller size is really ergonomic and well designed. The long upper horn is responsible for the great balance when used with a strap, and the small lower horn lets you reach the highest notes perfectly.
The traditional 34" scale also contributes to the familiar feeling of this bass. No stretching your arm here to reach the notes in the 1st position. By the way, this bass proves that you can get a great low B with a 34" bass.
The sound of this bass could be desribed as punchy, sweet, expressive... The bridge pickup has the right amount of bite and attack, and the great EQ can make it sound old school too (just turn the treble down a hair and boost the mids and bass controls slightly and you'll be in Jaco mode). Chances are you'll be using that sound most of the time, but the truth is that this bass has many more sounds on tap, and you only have to spend some time with it to discover them. When a bass like this delivers the sounds you need and expect, and then some more, we can only say "thank you Overwater". The neck pickup can go from a traditional P type of sound to an almost acostic tone depending on your touch and how you set the EQ.
To sum up, a handmade bass with pro specs, the best woods, hardware and electronics, that is very lightweight and easy to play, looks gorgeous, and costs less than 3000€. A true bargain!
If you want to follow the building process of this bass and its fretted "brother", click here.