Electric Upright Bass

A new look, a familiar feel

Leading bass players who admired my violin and cello designs had been asking me for years,"When are you going to make a bass?" At the NAMM show in January of 2003, I told them to stop by next year and see the new bass. Having committed to complete this project in a year, I started refining some sketches that had been made on speculation over the years. Using visual aspects of the new cello design of 2003 and the tuners behind the bridge headless concept of the violin design, gave this bass design a distinctive look. I like to design instruments that are different and eyecatching even to the casual observer, and immediately recognizable as Jordan instruments to the astute observer.

I have several gifted bassists as repair customers and I've asked for their input over the years as to what features they'd like to see in an electric upright bass. In addition to being an amateur performing electric cellist myself, I double on upright bass and have a nice acoustic upright that was used as a model in the development of this electric upright bass. It was critical to me that any new design should have the exact feel of a fine acoustic instrument on the bass upper bout where a player leans into the bass. To me, this could only be done in carved wood rather than the removable attachments used by many other makers. In years of playing upright bass, I've thought long and hard about what functional limitations encountered in an acoustic upright bass I could remove in a new electric design. This drive towards perfection causes me to continually consider what could and should be done, that hasn't been done yet.

First, in an electric upright bass, there's no practical need for a body on the treble side of the neck. With the removal of the body on the treble side of the neck and by eliminating the heel from the treble side of the neck, the thumb can remain behind the neck (if desired) avoiding the need to switch to thumb position over the body.

The low A extension to what would otherwise be the low B string started out as an addition to my acoustic upright bass when a piano player pointed out that the piano went lower than a bass, even with a low B string. I originally converted my upright just to show that piano player that a bass could go as low as a piano, but playing with horns often allows me to make use of the low Bb an octave lower than would otherwise be possible. This striking new design while visually asymmetrical maintains standard upright bass geometry in its contact points.

All normal contact points as well as standard upright bass geometry and proportion are maintained allowing any upright bass transducer system to be used and the solidbody design ensures no feedback even at stage volume.

Price

The JORDAN ELECTRIC UPRIGHT BASS standard four string features maple neck thru body finished in a solid opaque color of your choice and a Barbera Standard transducer bridge: $5,000.

See options below to determine the price of your instrument.

ADDITIONAL UPGRADES

  • Five string bass - add $1,400
  • Six string bass -add $2,200
  • Fingerboard Extention (For low D or C on the E string available on any bass, or For Low A on the B string - on five and six string basses only) - add $220
  • Fretted fingerboard - add $650
  • WOOD AND FINISH UPGRADES
  • Pearlescent or metallic finishes - add $60
  • Heavily flamed maple with transparent finish - add $1,200
  • Exotic hardwood body - add $1,200 & up
  • Holoflash, or other custom finish - add $340 & up
  • Harlequin color shifting finishes - add $580
  • Gold plated metal hardware - add $160
  • Custom Inlays - quoted individually

  • TRANSDUCER OPTIONS

    RMC Transducer Bridge with Polydrive Preamp (when installed on 4 & 5 String basses) - add $400

    (Note: The RMC System is standard on 6 string basses, but is an optional upgrade on 4 & 5 string basses.)

    Alternative Transducers, Internal and external preamplifiers - Quoted individually

    CASES

    Hard cases or padded bags - Quoted individually

    AMPLIFICATION

    There are many excellent choices of amplifiers that work well with electric upright bass. Most of the best choices are designed as acoustic instrument amplifiers as these have ultra-high impedance inputs that match ideally with the types of transducers used to sense the string vibrations, and they are designed for accurate sound reproduction, however many standard bass guitar amplifiers also work well. My personal choice for perfoming on bass is the Acoustic Image TEN2 which in many prominent players opinion is unsurpassed in quality. We are also a dealer for the entire line of Acoustic Image Amplifiers. There are far too many brands and models to list all the possibilities, but here are some of the most popular choices: AER BassCube 2, Schertler LaFaro

    STRINGS

    We highly recommend Super-Sensitive Pinnacle Strings for our basses. Super-Sensitive makes the special low and high pitched strings for our extended range instruments and their standard pitch strings are also unsurpassed in quality. These will be the strings that come stock on your Jordan Bass and you can always order replacements sets from us.

    You can also...

    Read a Product Review of the Jordan Electric Upright Bass from BASS PLAYER Magazine

    Watch a Video featuring the Jordan Electric Upright Bass in a trio setting (bass comes in 1 minute into the video)