While more recently wideley accepted as a "Deluxe Bass" - it seems in the years prior to the past few, this bass was a "whatchamacallit" - is it a Baritone? A Bass? Both? The answer is Yes.
I sold my Fender Mustang guitar and Bass and replaced it with this after seeing Phil-X demo a few vintage ones on Youtube, and at the time, on a huge B-52's kick - I started looking more and more at this as a possible solution to try some "Ricky Wilson-Esque" things out along with the alternate tuned guitars thing I was already latching onto. In the end, I found a shocking jack of all Trades.
The Bass VI is a 30" Scale Six String Bass with a timbre more like a guitar thanks to a trio of Alnico V magnet 6.4K Ohm Fender Jaguar pickups in all three positions. With a skinny fast neck, split shaft tuners, and a Jaguar-like circuit, a Jag-a-holic like me could not resist. Anyting that can lay down some bass tracks, go battle the Rock Lobster, and then go hang around in Korn-ville like a 7-string can with some creativity and extra tightness makes it now my current go-to bass - and with 3 pickups and rather responsive volume and tone controls, it can emulate just about everything else - this bass basically replaced 4 bass guitars in my collection.
Prior to this bass, I used a 1987 B.C. Rich Ironbird NJ, a 1986 Segovia Bass Guitar, a 2009 Fender MIJ Mustang Bass, and a 2008 Epiphone EB-0 bass - out of all those, the Mustang was my favorite but it just did not have the "kick in the ass" of the B.C. Rich or the Segovia, and the EB-0 was just an awful piece of crap that would not stay in tune and was really just a one-trick pony - and it's rare I'll trash a Bass or guitar, but the EB-0 I feel is deserving of it.
The Bass VI can be like a Danelectro longhorn bass in the bridge, a Jazz Bass with both bridge and middle on, does a fairly interesting P-Bass rendition in the middle somewhere between a P-Bass and A Mustang or Musicmaster Bass, and the neck position has all the tonal character I did sort of like in the EB-0, but this one actually stays in tune and is not a one-trick pony due to an overbearing 32K ohm mudbucker in the neck. As a bass, very versitile, I find my Segovia does not get played much anymore because the VI does a tighter version of that sound with careful EQ.
As a baritone, this thing nails that Ricky Wilson "Rock Lobster" tone in the bridge position like a champ. Apply distortion and it can range from being the sonic version of a concrete drill, to being able to roam around in Nu-Metal/Death Metal/Doom & Gloom sludge lands with ease, and enough frets (21) are there to get up in the Guitar range for some decent soloing - and on top of it, it has a decent tremolo bar!
I mostly play lead guitar and I have used this thing on several recordings.since 2014, including Zombie Jihad's "You Will See Demons" and my own Mad-Mike stuff on Soundcloud. It's also going to be playing an expanded role in a future metal project of mine. I've been considering now doing some arrangements using 2 Bass VI's where they interleave between bass and guitar ranges. It's just been quite a catalyst for creativity because it's an instrument that is so undefined on a specific role or pigeonholed by a specific artist, leaving an open door for all sorts of interpretations on how to play it creatively.
Couple months ago I tried one of those at my local Guitar Center. Honestly, it brings you to the idyllic time of 60's band from California: Offset body in sunburst, tremolo bar, many switches that make it look way more expansive that it really was, Blonde Bassman or Tweed Fender Amp and imagination takes care of the actual sunny August in California.
I am primary a lead guitar player, but this thing would make me to become a bass player. And if you are looking for a sound how to spice your solos as guitarist, without using Octave pedal or detune your Jaguar, this is the real deal. Great thing without musical education you know that you can play 12th fret and higher to get your "regular guitar" sound, and above to get the balls in your solo, riff or improvisation, or just when you want to play bass, baritone and tenor at the same time !
I guess this thing is technically a baritone guitar, but I love this thing for songs that are dark and ominous. Also a great guitar to have with you in the studio. Wish I could afford the Fender Bass VI though.
I used this thing on just about every song on the new Foxes Have Holes album. I doubled the thunderbird a few times, it is the bass guitar on Jolly Green Planet Earth, and it's the over the top fuzzy baritone sound on 11:38
Some of these have slight intention issues but its easily fixable. I had mine set up by a tech and its right on the money! It plays great! Has lots of options for pickup selection and 30'' scale. LOve this thing!
I had to put heavier string on and a new bridge that I could actually intonate the strings, but for the price I got it for, I knew I was going to be tinkering with it to my personal preferences. I think I screwed up the whammy bar settings, but that's okay - I don't use it.
The stock upgrades for the Bass VI are a Staytrem bridge and La Bella flat wounds which I have done.
I recently changed the collet on my Jaguar and realised that the trem arm could be tightened up if I gently squeezed the collet together where it is grooved.
Now I have a trem arm that stays in place without paying to upgrade the trem or collet.
Robert Smith never used Squiers, there were no Squier VIs back then... he used the original Fender VIs, he has a lot of them, maybe 6 or so. Nowadays he's using the Ultracure VI, which is a recreation of the Fender VI from Schecter (it's the one on the profile picture).
f both surf music, and 80's goth music (especially The Cure) I just had to have this when they re-issued it. I put tapewounds on it (La Bella) because I wanted to bring the brightness down a little