• Meridian J-24 5 Ebony Top
  • Meridian J-24 5 Ebony Top

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 from the strings are. This is the percect foundation 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 J-24 meaning it is loosely based on a classic Jazz Bass (bolt on neck, classic pickup location, etc.) but with modern appointments and Davide's view on a classic.

The black walnut body is chambered for low weight and is just 38mm thick. A hard rock maple neck is safely bolted to the body with 5 bolts. Access up to the 24th fret is surprisingly easy. We love the Music Man type truss rod nut as this allows for a very easy adjustment of then neck relief without the need of a particular tool. Cool.

Instead of the usual dots, the macassar ebony fingerboard sports side aluminium strips. Elegant and different.

The top is a gorgeous piece of macassar ebony handpicked for us. This bass comes with a non-installed dark semi trans pickguard that really compliments the top and brings the classic element but with a twist.

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 John East preamp giving you control over three very well selected frequencies for Bass and Treble plus semiparametric Mids. On top of that there's a Passive Tone pot that works both in Passive and Active modes. Operation is completely noise free both in active and passive modes. Amazing.

Single Coil mode is reminiscent of a good old Jazz Bass. Parallel exhibits a more modern character with added detail and clear highs. Series sounds fuller and darker. Lots of sounds, and the good news is that all of them are fantastic.

Regarding the hardware, the bridge is a Hipshot Style B unit with 19mm spacing. Tuners are Hipshot Ultralite, helping keep the weight of the bass controlled as well as reducing neck diving. We just love the neck and overall playability. The combination of a narrow nut (45mm) with a wide spacing bridge (19mm) is probably one of the best recipes for comfort in both hands. Some 5 string basses feel a bit intimidating but in this case the slim neck and perfect dimensions make playing the J-24 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.

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 J-24 5 Ebony Top

Body: Black Walnut (chambered)
Top: Makassar Ebony
Neck: Hardrock maple cut in 1986
Fingerboard: Makassar Ebony, 16" radius
Construction: Bolt On
Frets: 24 (wagner medium)
Pickups: Delano Times Square x2
Electronics: Active-Passive John East
Controls: Voume, Balance, Tone, Bass + Treble, Semiparametric Mids. Switchs for Active-Passive and Single-Series-Parallel (x2)
Weight: 4kg
Neck width at nut (mm): 45
String spacing at the bridge (mm): 19
Scale (inches): 34
More: Deluxe padded gigbag included
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Meridian J-24 5 Ebony Top