|Manufacturer||Currently Fender. Previously manufactured by the Guild Guitar Company (1986-1988). The Ashbory was re-introduced by Fender in 1999 under the DeArmond brand name.|
|Period||1986 — 1988, 1999 — present|
|Body||Agathis, Guild models used poplar (one-piece neck and body)|
|Neck||Agathis, Guild models used poplar (one-piece neck and body)|
|Pickup(s)||One active piezoelectric bridge pickup.|
|Black, Frost Red, Moon Blue|
The Ashbory bass, invented by Alun Ashworth-Jones and designed by Nigel Thornbory, is an 18-inch scale fretless (but marked) electric bass developed in 1985. This scale is just over half of the 34-inch scale of an ordinary bass guitar. When amplified, the Ashbory produces a low, resonant bass tone similar to the tone of a pizzicato (plucked) double bass.
The Ashbory uses silicone rubber strings and an acoustic piezo-transducer pickup to create the instrument's tone. The lower string tension of the instrument means that no truss rod is used in the Ashbory's neck. Unlike electric basses and electric guitars, neither the bridge nor the neck is adjustable. The manufacturer recommends that the silicone strings be dusted with talc powder to make the strings easier to play.
The manufacturer recommends "standard electric bass 'fingerstyle' playing", and acknowledges that electric bass techniques such as slapping and popping and pick playing do not work as well on the Ashbory. On the other hand, the Ashbory can be used to create additional sounds. By muting the strings with the left hand and using the right hand to strike the strings, an analog-synth-like sound can be created. Snapping the strings with the right hand can create an upright-bass-like slap sound.
The Ashbory bass was originally conceived as a more portable option for bass guitar players, just as the now-standard 34" scale was first used as an alternative to the double bass. It is now manufactured under license by the Fender corporation.
- Large Sound Ashbory Bass resources
- The Elastico acoustic Ashbory style bass
- The Story of the Ashbory Bass by Nigel Thornbory (Ashbory designer)
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