Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

WATSON Classic Series Bass - First in our new line of lower-priced basses!
(Serial 09B032) 4-string 34" scale active/passive neck-through single-cut bass
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Call
951-659-8616. or email us here!

   
Price: Hand made 4-string: under $3500!!!! Best deal on the marketplace!
Scale Length: 34" Model 09B032 as pictured. Available 30" to 35" scale.
Materials:

Top: Ash. Body:Mahogany: Core:Sycamore and Ash (other woods also available)

Fingerboard: Asian Ebony
Pickups: Watson High Output Humbuckers - splittable to Single Coil
Electronics: McKeen or Audere 3-band 18v (pictured is McKeen)
Hardware: Black
Bridge:

Individual string or Hipshot-A (pictured is Johnson individual string)

Tuners: Hipshot Ultra Light or Gotoh GT350 (pictured is Gotoh GT350)
Options: Single Cut or Double Cut body styles - both neck-through
Finish: Satin with custom tint

This is the flagship for our new series of lower priced single and double cut basses for 2010. We want to maintain the Watson build quality but at the same time make our instruments affordable by the average bass player. We hope that after comparing features at our price point, bass players will realize that they will get a great deal more from these instruments than from other brands selling in the same price range!

We have created a super-versatile, lightweight neck-through bass at a price which competes with domestic volume producers and higher-end imported instruments. For the same price (or less) you can still get a one-of-a-kind hand-built instrument!


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The back of the Classic bass. Note that the 18v battery cover and the control cavity cover are attached by magnets.
(1/12/10) The bass has now been completed and is ready for its debut at the 2010 NAMM show. We are very happy with the punchy sound and clarity the bass has, along with a very good balance, a comfortable fit in an overall lightweight package. The satin finish really feels good too! A pretty classy single-cut for the price!!!
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This photo shows the back view of the bass. Controld are volume, blend, bass, middle, treble and two switches to change each pickup from single coil to humbucker.

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We haven't had a lot of time to take glamor shots of the bass yet - this one shows the color of the body and shows the bridge and knob layout.
(1/8/10) The bass has been tinted and coated with its satin polyester finish. We have mounted our pickups and installed the preamp and other electronic hardware. We now have it on the bench for some final assembly and getting the magnets into the cover plates so we have a complete instrument. Then we'll see how it sounds!
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Here's a photo that better shows the color and the grain of the ash top.

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This photo shows how the fret markers are on top of the fingerboard up to 12th fret - then at the lower edge from fret 12-24.
(12/22/09) We have provided a few new features on this bass. The fingerboard has more intuitive fret markers and we used a large bass fretwire from frets 1 to 12, and slightly narrower frets from 12 to 24 (exactly the same height) to achieve the best possible intonation on the upper 12 frets. Hard to see on the actual instrument but we feel it may well make a difference in the actual playing experience.

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Production bass weighs in at 5.5lbs before hardware..
(12/17/09) Most of the work is done on this bass. We still have to remove some material from the neck but it is otherwise almost ready for the finishing process. Since it felt so light in its current condition we decided to weigh it to get a rough idea of how the net weight will be when the project is complete. We were surprised and very pleased to find that the bass, without its hardware, weighs a mere 5.5lbs!

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The fingerboard is now being glued onto the neck.
(12/12/09) We have attached the fingerboard to the instrument and everything looks good. The bass is VERY LIGHT and as soon as we weight it with its hardware we'll post an actual weight. The fingerboard has maple markers, on both sides. Below the 12th fret they are in the usual top edge of the fingerboard, from the 12th fret up they are on the lower side. Looks good. Now we are working on the final shaping of neck and body.

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Close up of the fingerboard which will sooon be on this bass.
(12/8/09) We have been hard at work on the fingerboard of this bass. It has some unique features. First of all, we are using two different kinds of fretwire on the board. Wider frets from 1-12, and narrower frets of the exact same height from 12-24. This is done for no other reason that to provide better intonation above the 12th fret. Also, from the 12th fret upwards, we moved the fret markers from the top to the bottom side of the fingerboard.

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Cutting pickup holes into the top of the body.
(12/5/09) Moving right along - we are now machining the pickup holes into the top of the body. This will allow is to start the final shaping of the body. The bass is working out very well - it is surprisingly light and well balanced. We're very happy with its progress as the first ever Watson production bass. Some lucky future owner will have a great instrument at a great price. We truly believe that this bass offers more for the money than anything else on the marketplace!

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Control cavity and battery cavity have both been machined into the back of the body.
(12/2/09) Today we set the instrument up on the CNC machine and cut out the control and battery cavities and the recesses for their respective matching wooden covers. While we were busy cutting the battery area we also machined in a recess for the serial number, which we will cut from some other material on the laser. We also were able to cut the two cover plates from the same mahogany material we used for the body halves.

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Top of the bass has been glued onto the rest of the body.
(11/29/09) The bookmatched ash top has had the neck joint machined into it and has been successfully glued onto the rest of the body of the bass. The grain looks great on the instrument and even with the additional weight of the top the bass remains very lightweight! We will try to get the pickup holes machined into the top at the next opportunity in our very busy workshop. Ebony fingerboard has been started too.

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The center core with the two mahogany back pieces guled on.
(11/25/09) Initial machining is complete and we are now able to glue the rough cut body halves onto the core of the instrument. The mahogany is very lightweight so the instrument so far looks like it is going to be equally light! Next we'll have to machine the top surface flat, cut wiring slots into the body and prepare the ash top for assembly onto the body. If possible, we'd like to have this bass at the upcoming NAMM show.

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Gluing the two bookmatched Ash top plates together.
(11/22/09) Here we are gling the bookmatched pieces of ash together. This particular sample of ash has a very unique grain structure and will definitely enhance the look of the bass when it is completed. We will decide closer to finishing whether we want to tint this material and if so, what combination of colors. Where else can you get such a quality single-cut, neck through bass for $2500 or less!!

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Machining the neck portion of the bass on the CNC.
(10/20/09) We are currently machining several important features of the beck/body core section. In this setup we cut the joint face for the fingerboard, the perimeter of the finished neck, the headstock angle, the body angle, the truss rod slot and the two carbon fiber slots. The sycamore machines nicely and has a very nice figure running through it. We hope this becomes a nice feature of the neck wood when the instrument is complete.

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This is the Mahogany we are going to use for the back of the body.
(10/12/09) This is the mahogany we will be using for the back of the bass. Very lightweight and sonically will impart a very warm tone to the instrument. Also, the wood finished nicely and we will be able to give each of these instruments a very appealing appearance. When all the parts come together we expect to end up with a lightweight instrument with great tonal qualities. We can't wait to see what this bass delivers!

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We are gluing the neck laminates together.
(10/8/09) We were able to find some very nicely figured sycamore to use for the neck of this bass. We are combining the sycamore with a central laminate of ash. The three woods together should work well both for sound and for stability. In the photo to the left you can see the first of the neck laminates being glued together. These production basses with all have at least three neck laminates (for 4-string and 5-string basses). Possibly 5 laminates for 6-string and up.
Last update January 19, 2010