German luthier Sandberg has unveiled an appealing small package in the form of a new short-scale, single-pickup passive bass design called the Florence Bass.
It’s a design that is based on Sandberg’s Florence six-string, but it has a retro Gibson-like flavor about it, recalling elements of the guitar’s EB-2 and Ripper models.
There’s a solid body in a double-cutaway shape but it looks almost like a semi-hollow at first glance. In keeping with its vintage vibe, the tone woods are tried and tested, with a choice of mahogany or alder for the body and mahogany or hard rock maple for the neck.
You also get to pick between maple or rosewood fingerboards with 20 frets and a 30” scale-length. Various other customisations are available via Sandberg’s configurator site.
The most noticeable feature of Florence Bass (and something reminiscent of the EB-2) is arguably its monster single Sandberg Forty Eight humbucker, which has been located in a central ‘sweet spot’ away from the neck or bridge positions.
The builder says that despite the simple setup, the Florence is surprisingly versatile and the volume and tone controls are augmented by a push-pull switch on the tone pot.
Vintage tones are the order of the day, with P-Bass style split-coil tones with the tone switch in. Pull it out though and it engages a special capacitor, which (as Sandberg’s Marc Stranger-Najjar puts it in the clip above) makes for: “Mud city. It is thumpy, it is warm, it is huge because it cuts out some of the mid-range frequencies.”
Hardware-wise, it’s all homegrown Sandberg gear and there’s a few finish options, including a matte Natural Mahogany, alongside ‘soft-aged’ Tobacco Sunburst, British Racing Green, or Ruby Red.
Expect prices to start (dependent on configuration) from approx. $1,760 (€1,646). Head to Sandberg’s site for more information.