Early Ashbory Basses - Pre-Guild

Contributed by Nick Weeks on September 11, 2008. Introduction by Brock Frazier.

Alun Jones and Nigel Thornbory invented the Ashbory Bass. Mr. Jones handled the electonics and Mr. Thornbory did the instrument design and early building. Here's two early pre-Guild Ashborys. The sliding pitch problem described below can still occur with the newer Ashborys (Guilds and DeArmond/Fender), but it is remedied with some technique. A larger image is available here. Notice the G string is snapped on the bass pictured at left.

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Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 17:22:23
From: Nick Weeks
To: frazier@largesound.com
Subject: Re: ashbory basses

OK sorry about the delay .....I finally found my photos of the early basses and scanned them into one picture.

The pink one was..........well.pink and the other one was a dark bottle green. I think you will see the differences from the later models. The scale length was too short so it was very hard to play in tune. In fact it was difficult to tune up as it needed so much stretching that the coil became massive. It's not fretted, just marked with painted lines. There was a simple piezo in the bridge.

One problem was that when you slid up a note the string compressed so you ended up much sharper than the fret you were aiming for if you see what I mean. I let these go ages ago and wonder if the later models suffered from the same probs although Nigel told me increasing the scale solved alot of things.But did it sound like a double bass - not half. I recorded a couple of simple things with the pink one and you would swear it was a miked up double bass.

Anyway, I hope you find that interesting.
Kind regards to you.