June 1999

8-strings of Power

Most of the time when you think of an eight string bass, you think of double courses on a four string. Mark had something else in mind when he designed this magnificent bass with string gauges of .128 - .105 - .080 - .065 - .045 - .030 - .020 - .013 and a host of other unique features.

Most projects we do involve every person in the shop participating in the construction. In this case, most of the woodworking was done by Steve Harding (at right) because of the complexity of this bass. Steve made many specialized tools and jigs just for this project.

Steve and 8-string
heel detail Here's where it starts to get really interesting. The 35 inch scale neck has eleven central pieces, six ebony, three purpleheart and two maple. Then note how the outside maple of the neck is the same piece of wood as the body - talk about integration! When you look at the front view, you can see that Mark had Steve cover the front of the dizzying neck with the bocate bookmatched to the center.
The Flame Maple body/neck is hollowed in parts of the body area to reduce weight. On the back of the bass, Bob covered the plates with the fallout pieces from cutting the electronics cavities. The continuous wood backplates are truly a savory eye treat. Note the three output jacks below the large plate.

plate detail
electronics Ever see a neater looking rat's nest? This heap of wires is kept at bay with lots of gold plated friction locked connectors and many cable ties. Each pickup has its own low pass filter with Q switch, bass and treble control. There are additional switches that control the L.E.D. operation and stereo/mono modes for the three outputs. There isn't much room for anything else. The other backplate houses batteries to power the side L.E.D.s.


  • 8-string Custom Europa Bass
  • Bocate top, bookmatched to center
  • Ebony, Purpleheart, and Maple neck core
  • 35 inch scale
  • Flame Maple semi-hollow body with integrated neck
  • Ebony fingerboard, 31 frets
  • Coninuous wood backplates
  • Amber side LEDs
  • MXY pickups, neck pickup slanted
  • Custom electronics with three side output jacks

Price available on request

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