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MacPherson Guitars – Custom Explorer Bass Review

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MacPherson Guitars – Custom Explorer Bass Review

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Nick Harrison

I have always wanted a bass that was a little different to something you can pick up in most music stores, so I decided to have a bass built in the UK for me using Warmoth parts.

…quite frankly, the big brand names can’t touch the quality of Dan’s work…

The build was a disaster and I was very unhappy with end result. After much research I decided to visit Dan at his workshop to see if it was possible to modify the bass to make it playable.

MacPherson Guitars - Custom Explorer BassDan gave me some great advice on what modifications were possible but having seen his work, I decided to cut my losses and get him to build a new bass for me using the hardware off the new bass. This decision was not taken likely due to cost involved.

The bass is now finished and the end result exceeds my expectations. Dan is a true craftsman.

I have owned a number of factory built basses but this instrument is in a league of it’s own. The finish is stunning and it plays like a dream. This is the first bass that I have owned that turns heads and attracts positive comments, a very unusual experience for a bass player!

I would recommend Dan to anyone thinking of getting a custom instrument made. I can assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Only one negative comment to make – please move closer to Rugby Dan!

Features:

This bass has numerous features suited to my needs and wants as a bass player, matching both my playing style, desired sound and looks. The features of the instrument include:

  • EMG P Bass pick up (neck), EMG J pick-up (Bridge)
  • Flame maple top with a black gold glossed finish
  • Natural binding
  • Maple and walnut core coupled with Maranti wings
  • 24 frets
  • Rosewood finger board
  • Satin finished neck
  • Light weight Hipshot tuners with drop tuner
  • Warwick two piece bridge
  • Abalone inlays and marker
  • Warwick two piece bridge

ALL the above options Dan was very helpful with, offering suggestions on improvements with choices of wood, types of finish and numerous other aspects of the instrument, both during its construction and also during the consultation I had with him before the build started.

Ease of use:

This bass allows me to hone in to the specific sounds I want with great ease due to its wide spectrum in sound due to the EMG pre-amp options and amazing response the pick-ups have.

The neck plays like a dream due to the satin finish, allowing me to smoothly glide from top to bottom of the neck with ease.

Down tuning a step to get into some meatier riffs is made effortless due to the hip-shot drop tuner, which at a flick of a lever switches the tuning from E standard to drop D in the blink of an eye.

Sound Quality:

This has to be one of the punchiest and cleanest sounds I’ve ever had in my life, enough said!

Reliability:

So far during the first gigs I’ve taken it on it’s been very reliable and has had no faults sound wise at all.

Overall Rating:

Amazing bass, would dare to say it’s the best instrument I’ve ever seen or had the great fortune to play AND even greater fortune to own.

I would highly recommend Dan to anyone who’s looking for custom guitar or even looking for an alternative to a big name brand guitars like Gibson or Fender, as quite frankly the big brand names can’t touch the quality of Dan’s work.

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Nick Harrison

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