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- Order number: 673
This extremely unusual instrument is a bass with short 64 cm guitar scale and set-in neck. It corresponds in large parts to the well-known Hollywood basses of the manufacturer, but seems to be a unique piece in terms of equipment. Maybe a custom-made one... Following the short-lived fashion in the early sixties, it has an original plastic cover in shiny, glittering and very nobly made imitation mother-of-pearl. Only the Jakob Winter company in Nauheim, a case manufacturer, could cover solid-body guitars with imitation leather using a vacuum process, and they did this mainly for Höfner and Klira. But Jakob Winter was a cousin of Franz Sandner and so Fasan was able to get plastic- and vinyl-covered bodies also as custom-made or in small series.
The body is made of light alder wood, the black lacquered neck is made of maple. It has a non-adjustable metal rod reinforcement. The rosewood fingerboard has rectangular pearloid inlays in four frets. Despite its asymmetrical shape, the headstock has two open Schaller single tuners with transparent celluloid handles on each side. Height adjustable bridge, nickel plated hardware.
Two single-coil pickups are each controlled by an on-off switch, plus there is a master volume and a master tone control. Simple, practical and completely sufficient. The connection is made via a DIN three-pole socket, which was widely used at the time - we left it that way for reasons of originality and supply a matching cable with a three-pole jack at one end and a standard jack at the other.
We do not know much about the history of the bass. We took it over as part of a small bundle of basses/guitars. It hung together with two other vinyl instruments we took (a Klira bass and a Klira guitar) and various old junk instruments (violins, trumpets, dulcimers, etc.) for at least 25 years as wall decorations above the stage in a small event hall in a village in the Wetterau in central Hesse. The owner and seller of the hall told us that his father, who furnished the hall, had bought everything cheaply for decorative purposes at flea markets and from acquaintances or had received it as a gift. The hall is now abandoned or converted to storage. The bass was completely run down, the frets were played to almost flat, the fretboard was worn out, the electrics were out of order, all the tuners were missing, the nut was broken, the pickguard was completely warped, the plastic cover was partially detached and part of the keder had disappeared. But no question that we had to save such a rarity anyway!
First, we completely disassembled the bass, glued the plastic covering back together properly, and replaced the missing piece of binding with an old original profile. The neck was revised, the fingerboard stripped and straightened, the worn frets replaced with new jumbos. Four matching tuners including bushings from our Kirschnek stock from the sixties were mounted and a new saddle was crafted. The electrics were completely overhauled, a defective pickup was rewound and everything was neatly re-soldered. The black pickguard is straightened and polished. Pyramid in Bubenreuth made us a matching set of flatwound strings with red silk wound, after mounting them a setup completed the work.
You have to look for such an unusual instrument for a long time: Symmetrical tuner arrangement on asymmetrical headstock, short guitar scale, plastic covering of the body - this never existed as a series. We suspect a show instrument, which originated as a "custom shop bass". After restoration, the Fasan is back in top condition! The body shines and shimmers, the nickel finishes flash, fretboard and frets are new or like new. Everything is intact with no damage and works as it should. Wear or play marks are only a few on the black pickguard, everything else has survived the passage of time with virtually no damage or marks. The Hollywood bass delivers wonderful sounds, both pickups are in top shape, of course with the flatwounds it all goes more in a soft, jazzy direction, but that suits the bass very well. This unique collector's item is still a show instrument, which makes a good figure on any stage, but also the uncomplicated and resilient player for all days. And lightweight two and a half kilograms can be carried for a long time without back pain.
Overall length 40.6”/103 cm; body length 18.9”/48 cm;, lower bout width 13.4”/34 cm; waist width 9.1”/23 cm; upper bout width 10.6”/27 cm; body depth 1.4”/3,5 cm; scale length 25.2”/64 cm (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 1.7”/4,2 cm at nut, 2”/5,2 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 2.500 g, string action on 12th fret 0.08”/2 mm (adjustable).
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