Just when you thought you'd seen it all something pops up out of the blue and takes you completely by surprise.
Tanglewood's Baby Bass is a neat little performer from the Sundance range. It's certainly aptly named, being several sizes down from a regular acoustic guitar let alone an acoustic bass, but in spite of the diminutive size this is a serious bass and is well put together.
The satin finish and construction materials alone put this alongside some esteemed competition. The maple bound body makes use of Canadian spruce and African mahogany and the neck is mahogany too.
Ebony is used for the fingerboard and bridge surrounds and bone for the bridge saddle and top nut. The die-cast machine heads are gold plated and the use of green abalone around the soundhole and for the inlays is a touch of class. It's also fitted with two strap buttons.
Perhaps the crowning glory here is the inclusion of a B-Band EQ system that more than makes up for any lack of physical size.
This is a great system with a gutsy delivery, the rotary controls enabling you to explore the tonal potential to the full. The battery compartment is separate, in the side of the body underneath the endpin.
Because of the conventional single saddle bridge and the reluctance of the thick E-string to go over the bridge – it being so close to the endpin retainer – the break angle is compromised here and the intonation suffers as a result.
However, this is not overly noticeable until you reach the upper frets so is not a major problem.