We use what worked, what always worked, and either improve on it incrementally, or execute as faithfully as possible.
Resonant, Lightweight, Beautiful. Redstone basses are made for players by players. Made for professional bassists, serious students, and those who love the bass guitar.
There are things we know, and things we have, that were not available to the pioneers. In those cases, we take advantage of the tools and methods that result in a better instrument.
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The electric bass guitar was born as a production instrument in the early 1950's, and evolved remarkably in the following decade. So much so, in fact, that early 60's instruments are coveted and have skyrocketed in value. Why? Because they sound good, feel good, and look good. They have a 60's vibe.
Redstone Bass Guitars was founded by a life-long bassist, the son of a NASA Rocket Scientist, with over 50 years as a gigging bassist, collector, builder, and repair man. A player of jazz, R&B, rock & soul, Tom Winstead has sought the sound and feel of the best of bass. What is the difference between a great bass and one that is just okay? You can have two instruments made in the same factory that come out completely different in their tonal characteristics, their feel, the weight of the instrument, and all of this and more impacts whether the instrument can be your voice--can take what you put in with your hands and what you hear from the speaker, from the tape, in your headphones, or however you experience the instrument.
And it's really no surprise that what matters is...everything. Like great cooking, the ingredients matter. The methods matter. Combinations of things such as preparation, storage, sourcing, presentation, and an innumerable number of other things lead to the result of either a wonderful experience, or something less.
So with apologies to the debate over finish, woods (tone woods?), electronics, hardware, etc---IT ALL MATTERS!
Redstone basses are crafted out of a combination of woods. All of our basses have a core of Swamp Ash AND Alder. Necks are generally laminates of hard maple, although sometimes we use a single piece neck if the wood is exceptional. All necks are reinforced with graphite billets and a two-way adjustable truss rod, which is accessible to the player without disassembly.
The necks, like the best of the basses from the 1960's, are bolted on, but also feature an X-axis attachment assembly (which is being reviewed for a patent). The body cores are chambered for weight and resonance, and are capped with a variety of woods. Ash and Alder tops are painted or stained and finished with nitrocellulose lacquer as a nod to those great 60's basses. Exotic woods are finished with either nitro or a proprietary rubbed finish consisting of a house-made mixture of natural oils and waxes. Necks are finished with that same rubbed finish, and have a smooth, satiny feel that doesn't stick, and doesn't fade.
Pickups and hardware are a mixture of traditional and new, with a focus on weight. Redstone basses are light, resonant, and comfortable to play. Pickups include incredible 1960's reproductions by Aguilar, as well as some of their more modern takes on the traditional P or J pickups. Also featured are the brilliant new Bartolini B-Axis pickups which retain the best of the 1960's J and P pickups: that hi-fidelity Bartolini character with the very familiar characteristics of those old wonderful vintage basses. The bridge is manufactured by KSM--a super hi-contact, ultralight block of aircraft aluminum. Lightweight tuners from Hipshot. All are the very best of the very best.
While we love (and default) to vintage style controls, we are essentially a custom shop. If you must have a preamp on board, we can accommodate your wishes. Let's chat--I have some ideas!
100 Series: Traditional 34" scale four string instruments, with one, two, or three pickups.
Mercury: One P style pickup, or an Aguilar Super Single (wonderful for fretless).
Gemini: Two Pickups, either J, Super-J, or PJ.
Apollo: Three Pickups (Three Super J with VVV controls recommended).
95 Series: (Available mid-2020) 32" scale with one or two pickups. While this instrument is designed for younger players and female bassists, it is not a 'student' instrument. It is built with the same philosophy and materials as our 100 Series, but is smaller, lighter, and absolutely remarkable in how it retains the characteristics of its big brother.
Agena: One P or Aguilar Super J.
Delta: PJ Pickup configuration.
105 Series: (Available later in 2020) 35" Scale 5 string. One of the few ways to get a decent low-B is the extended scale string. The fundamental of the string needs the length and density to overcome the rest of the resulting tones. I've tried, and don't think the 34" string produces a 'tight' enough B. Also available with a high-C.
Saturn V: Two or three pickups, Super J's recommended.