Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

A Bass Guitar Built For Phil Zach

A Bass Guitar Built For Phil Zach

Instrument Delivered To The Customer On 8/30/2006

Instrument Delivered To The Customer On 8/30/2006

After two of Phil's brothers each received their custom Tundra Man instruments, he got pretty exicted about owning one too. Being a virtuoso bassist, Phil knew exactly how he wanted the instrument to play, but beyond that we were starting with a clean canvas. He knew he wanted an instrument that screamed "rock 'n roll", had a classic single cutaway design and that he'd like it to be black. After talking with him at length and going back and forth over several different ideas and aspects, here's what we came up with.

Phil's brother is named Paul. I dubbed this instrument the "Mor Phil", which is a sad word play on "Les Paul". In this case, we didn't want less Paul, we just wanted more Phil.

  • Shape: Modified single cutaway type shape, slightly larger than the original with a carved top.

  • Neck Type: Neck through

  • Body Wood: 1.5" walnut wings with a .5" walnut top. 2" total body thickness.

  • Top Edge: Bound edge with w/b/w/b/w laminations.

  • Bottom Edge Radius: .5" roundover.

  • Other Body Features: Cheese-belly cutout.

  • Number Of Strings: 5

  • Scale Length: 34"

  • Neck Wood: Laminated walnut with maple stripes. Thin profile.

  • Truss Rod: Dual action, carbon fiber reinforced.

  • Fingerboard: Bound ebony with decorative curve on body end, 12" radius.

  • Inlays: No dots on fingerboard face. "Crown" inlay at the 12th fret. Standard side dot markers. Inlaid Tundra Man logo on the headstock. Inlaid "Crown" with Phil's initials on the back.

  • Nut: Tusq (White), 1.75" Nut Width

  • Hardware Color: Chrome

  • Headstock: Bound, walnut overlay, Gotoh tuners

  • Bridge: Schaller 496

  • Strap Buttons: Dunlop Strap Locks

  • Electronics: Bartolini 72BC5CBC-B neck pickup, Bartolini 72BC5CBC-T bridge pickup, Bartolini active preamp. Volume (with push/pull to control active or passive mode), blend knob, bass, middle, treble controls and a 3 way switch to control mid EQ.

  • Finish: Nitrocellulose lacquer. Opaque black front, very subtle translucent black sides and back.

Up until receiving this bass, he played a Peavey Cirrus. Much to my delight, the Cirrus has now been demoted to backup duty.

Here's a full shot of the front of the instrument. The low end on this bass is absolutely thunderous. I've never heard an instrument sustain as long as this one does.

A full shot of the front of the bass.

The headstock is fully bound with the Tundra Man logo inlaid in mother-of-pearl. The truss rod cover is also bound.

A closeup of the headstock.

Here's a close-up of the 12th fret "crown" inlay. This piece of MOP really has some incredible depth in the right light.

A closeup of the 12th fret inlay.

A closer shot of the bass body. The carve is hard to see in these pictures, due to the black finish. The control knobs are "frenched" so that they are all the exact same height even though the top of the guitar slopes at an angle.

A picture of the bass body.

Here's another shot of the body. From this angle you can see the cheese-belly cutout on the back.

Another shot of the bass body.

This is a full-shot of the back of the instrument. The back was stained with a very light black stain. In these pictures, you can't hardly tell it was stained at all.

A full shot of the back of the bass.

Here's a closer picture of the back of the body. You can see the inlaid "crown" with Phil's initials in ebony. Pardon the scratches; Phil played the bass for a couple of hours prior to taking these pictures, and his belt buckle started the rashing process.

A picture of the back of the body.

This is a different angle on the back. The lighting downplays the depth of the cheese-belly cutout.

Another picture of the back of the body.

Watch Phil's bass being built in our shop.

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This page last updated on 06/28/2018