Eye Candy: 5 String Bass

Here we have a Dome top 5 string bass.

  • 7-foot top radius
  • Curly Maple back and sides
  • German Spruce soundboard
  • Curly maple binding
  • African Blackwood bridge and fingerboard
  • Redwood burl tailpiece, finger rest, and headstock overlay

What’s interesting here is that this guitar has my dome top concept. The top of a Dreadnaught is 28-52 feet. Hence the term ‘Flat top’ guitar. This top radius is 7 feet. It is visibly curved or domed: “DomeTop”. The radius isn’t carved in like in a violin or a mandolin. It is bent and glued to a radiused bracing system.

Why the ‘DomeTop’? In the 30’s the Archtop was mid-evolution. Guitarists were struggling to keep up with the volume needed in swing bands.  Lloyd Loar had built a transducer style under bridge pick up but it was inefficient. Luthiers all over the world were looking for ways to make the archtop project better. Guy’s like Mario Maccaferri, John D’Angelico, and many others were pioneering an instrument for their age.  The instruments needed to have a chop, the ability to hold the downbeat.  It also needed to be able to play articulate leads. Check out Minor Swing by Django Reinhardt.  The Archtop was the guitar for its time. Kind of like the Dude in Los Angeles. Then the magnetic pickup came along. The need for a mostly acoustic instrument to be heard in an orchestra setting went away. The evolution of the archtop stopped. Throw a pickup on it and plug it into an amp. That’s why. That’s why the DomeTop. I thought I can pick up where some great luthiers stopped. I wanted to make a contribution and innovation to the design that has been relatively stagnant for 80 years. The DomeTop will hold down the rhythm and play the melody. I am releasing our Noble Gypsy models later on this year. They employ the DomeTop design and I am very pleased to bring this unique guitar to our Production Series instruments.

Click through the images below for some more info.