Meridian basses are complety handmade in Avezzano, Italy, by luthier Davide Cardone.
These are basses that have been designed from scratch following some really artistical lines. Davide studied arts in Italy and you can tell that just by looking at the perfect proportions of his insttruments. We also love the fact that these are original designs and not just another copy of famous "boutique" basses, if you know what we mean.
As you can see there's a certain modern design to these basses but the use of quality tonewoods anchors them within the fine tradition of Italian lutherie. We love this perfect blend of form and function.
We love the fact that all Meridian basses include some information about the year that the wood for the body and/or neck was cut. This averages 35 years and of course the wood has been drying ever since so as you can expect this makes for exceptionally stable instruments. Davide is also a firm believer in thin finish. If the finish is too thick or if it is thin but too many layers are applied, he feels that the wood cannot vibrate freely, resulting in a slightly muffled tone.
Actually the first thing you notice when you play a Meridian bass unplugged is how incredibly alive and consistent the vibrations are. This is the percect start for a great plugged in sound.
The combination of light woods that have been drying for years plus just the right amount of layers of thin coat plus light hardware make for basses that feel strong, are vibrant and of course can be played for hours with no fatigue.
The icing on the cake is the neck which is slim and ultra comfortable.
This model is named Aural II and it is a Meridian original design. This bass in particular is the headless version and it is in our opinion one of the best of this type ever made.
The mahogany body is just 38mm thick. A hard rock maple neck that was cut back in 1986 is safely bolted to the body with 5 bolts. Access up to the 24th fret is surprisingly easy. For the fingerboard a nice piece of mopane is used. This is an incredibly hard wood that is particulartly well suited for fingerboards. We love the truss rod access at the body that also shows the brand in a very smart and delicate way. Oh, and we love details such as the carbon fiber nut and zero fret.
The top is are made from Spalted maple handpicked by us. Just gorgeous.
Electronics are top notch too: a set of Delano Times Square pickups are mounted in classic 60's J locations. These can be selected for Single, Parallel or Seires operation at the flick or a swtich (one per pickup) so the sounds on tap are a lot. The third mini switch activates a Delano Sonar 3 preamp giving you control over three very well selected frequencies for Bass, Mid and Treble . Operation is completely noise free both in active and passive modes. Amazing.
Regarding the hardware, the bridge is a special unit for headless basses with 19mm spacing. We just love the neck and overall playability. The slim neck and perfect dimensions make playing this headless Aural II a breeze.
By the way, scale lenght is the traditional 34" but the low B here is phenomenal. It sounds full, clear and every note sounds the way it should.
This is an incredibly comfortable bass. It weighs in at just 3.7kg and balance is about perfect. We just love the combination of the Singlecut design with the exotic top.
To sum up: an incredibly affordable high end handmade bass that sports really stable tonewoods, top notch hardware and electronics and is a pure work of art to look for as well as an instrument that will give you years of service and pleasure.
By the way, the included gigbag matches some costing 300€ and completes a simply gorgeous instrument.
Meridian Aural II 5 Headless Spalted Maple Top