Two basses really stood out this year for our resident bass guru, Roger Newell. Although Fender's 60th Anniversary P-Bass is close to perfection and an absolute must-try for anyone looking for a pro-level fretted four-string, it's a British luthier - in collaboration with one of the world's biggest bass names - who has won the day.
As well as building Matt Bellamy's guitars, Hugh Manson is the man behind the instruments favoured by none other than Led Zeppelin legend and recent Crooked Vulture John Paul Jones. Here's what Roger had to say about the Manson John Paul Jones Signature E-Bass:
"The JPJ positively oozes quality, not only in how it looks, but how it feels, plays and sounds too. Of course this all comes at a price, but at just over two grand (thanks partly to the Czech build) it's not the most expensive bass out there.
"So, if you want to sound like John Paul Jones or, better still, explore a whole new range of sounds from a beautiful and contemporary bass guitar then this is a great place to satisfy your needs."