Fender has announced the MonoNeon Jazz Bass V, designed to meet the needs of renowned funk bass player Dwayne Thomas Jr., aka MonoNeon.
MonoNeon was the last bassist to play with Prince, and has worked with the likes of Bootsy Collins, Jacob Collier, Nas and countless others, while he has been dubbed “the greatest fucking electric bass player” by Flea – and his signature model delivers on his versatile approach to the low-end.
Most notably, the new five-string features an alder body with a neon yellow urethane finish, and a neon orange painted headstock and pickguard. “These are my two favorite colors, because I love how the construction workers look on the highway,” says MonoNeon. “You can see them from far away. It’s inspired by them.”
A 22-fret one-piece roasted maple neck is complemented by a 10”-14” compound radius fingerboard – ideal for Mono’s ’board-spanning excursions – and pearl block inlays.
In the electronics department, the bass is packing a pair of Custom Fireball five-string humbuckers, with tones delivered via an 18-volt active preamp with a three-band active EQ (the bass’s fourth knob is, of course, a volume).
Finally, there’s a Fender HiMass string-through-top-load bridge, promising increased resonance and sustain, while gold hardware sets off the look.
In true Mono style, the MonoNeon Jazz Bass V also comes with some tasty accessories, including a MonoNeon sticker pack and, yes, a custom headstock Stance sock (a ’headsock’, surely?).
“MonoNeon is one of the most inventive bass players of this generation,” says Justin Norvell, EVP of Products at Fender. “We worked closely with him to create a bass that not only visually represents the online persona we’ve come to know, but also embodies his funk-inspired, abstract and microtonal playing.”
Accompanying the launch is a video hosted by George Clinton, as he guides viewers through the “Monoverse”. The video features a series of jam sessions, including the “Duo of Bullshit” with MonoNeon and Blaque Dynamite, as well as commentary from his mother, grandmother and his father, Dywane Thomas Sr.
“Seeing my dad holding my bass is really crazy," says MonoNeon. "He’s like my first musical hero. I’d just practice to all of his records, try to find anything he played on and just learn it. I wanted to be just like him and I still do.”
The MonoNeon Jazz Bass V is available now for $1,549. For more information, head over to Fender.