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TYPE: Solid body, single cutaway, 4-string
NECK: Non specific, glued-in, V-profile, 20 heavy frets plus zero
SCALE LENGTH: 775mm (30½-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Bound rosewood, white plastic block inlays
HARDWARE: chrome, single bar bridge, Framus guitar tuners with fancy buttons and bone posts, block-type tailpiece with metal cover
PICKUPS: Supersound Hi-Fi single-coil. Equipped with a bar-magnet and suitably branded black plastic cover
CONTROLS: Volume and Tone
FEATURES: Front & rear contouring, long smooth and chamfered heel
FINISHES: Originally white as requested, resprayed black later on
COMMENTS: Back in 1958 Supersound added guitars and basses to their amplifier range, and enlisted the help of Jim Burns who was experimenting with instruments at that time. It was a short lived association but it did produce this, the first solid bass guitar built in Britain, commissioned by Teddy Wadmore who was the bassist with the Ted Taylor Four.
He’d managed to borrow a Fender Precision Bass from a US serviceman and was totally blown away with it, so showed it to Alan Wootton and Jim Burns at Supersound. The SCB (Single Cutaway Bass) is obviously far from being a clone but it does have the badged pickup in the same position as the Fender. It’s a shorter scaled instrument too with guitar sized tuners, and in order to produce enough clearance for the posts they are fitted into a recess at the rear of this substantial headstock.
Not only was this the first British solid bass guitar, it’s currently the only known example in near-original, fully playable condition and indeed it still feels and sounds amazingly good. Our thanks go to Guy MacKenzie for the picture and for allowing us to play this historically significant bass and to the legendary Paul Day for the historic details.