After many years of promising to extend our product line into Electric Bass Guitars Pasquale Custom Guitars has finally begun our first prototypes of our Detonator Series Guitars of basses. Why did we call our Bass Model “The Detonator”? ...because when you turn the switch... here comes the BOOM!
I really wanted our Bass Models to be as unique as the rest of our Signature Models. I wanted to capture the essence of what makes the bass guitar a unique instrument. I wanted to capture all the tones and nuances of the bass frequencies that add of the overall musical presence of both live playing and recording environments.
My desire to finish this series of guitars was reignited at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show when I got to meet the legendary Stuart Spector. Stuart is the brilliant designer and builder of Spector Bass Guitars which are famous for their tone and versatility. Stuart is an incredibly humble guy who still has a passion for his instruments even after all these years.
Stuart and I discussed the differences between the guitar and bass frequencies when perceived in the overall mix of sound and how a truly great bass guitar needed to be able not only to meet these demands. A truly great bass needed to have a full range of frequencies available in a single instrument but also needed to be able to switch frequencies on demand at a moment’s notice.
Often times in both Live and Studio environments there will be subtle dynamics in the performance that demand switching tones to compliment the guitar tone and quite often “standard” basses do not have the potential to accommodate this. Sure, this can be accomplished by using external effects or even on board preamps and such but the overall tone is still similar.
As with great guitars, the true secret to getting bass tone starts with the wood. All the external processing cannot overcome the lack of tone from poor quality wood. But with the bass guitar it is even more essential to choose the right wood for the job. Too often basses are made from woods similar to guitar woods. This can have a twofold effect that is negative either way. The first is that the bass sound will swallow up the guitars low end in the mix. The second is just as bad, the bass sound will become “mushy” in the mix and be ineffective for the dynamics needed.
The answer to this problem is really quite simple. You have to use a wood that is extremely bright and punchy. Maple is a great wood for this and this is why Spector basses are typically made of solid maple.
You would think that this would have a negative effect on the tone because the sound would be too bright and brittle but the opposite is true. A great set of pickups can add low end warmth to the sound but they cannot add a useful midrange sound if the frequency is not present in the wood.
Nonetheless we experimented with various types of wood to create an excellent balance of tones that allow us to get a full spectrum of tones from a single bass guitar. We created several “Tone Cocktails” of mixes of woods that allow our Detonator Basses to truly come alive.
Once we had our wood selections done we began to lay out the templates for our new design.
The first thing we did was design the body for ergonomics and balance. We took the basic shape of our Modern 24 Guitar and set the centerlines to allow for more wood below center to accommodate the weight of the headstock. Since the body had to be slightly bigger to accommodate the needed hardware we slightly arched the shape of the rear upper bout to allow smooth forearm access without discomfort.
Next we added a 34” Scale neck with a unique 3/1 or 3/2 tuner split to keep the balance centered when the guitar hangs from a strap.
Finally we set out to have the perfect set of pickups designed to meet all of our tonal needs.
I contacted my good friend Carey Nordstrand at Nordstrand Pickups who is a genius at designing pickups. His area of unquestionable expertise is bass pickups. He and I discussed the specs I would need to accomplish my goals in tone and we came up with a custom NPJ- Vintage Set with an active preamp boost and 5 band EQ.
After years of discussing and designing we are proud to introduce The Pasquale Custom Guitars Detonator Bass Guitars Series. Our Detonator Bass Series Guitars are designed to be the ultimate in sonic performance and playability that can go from Pop and Funk music to Progressive Death Metal.