PRODUCED: 1970 – 1973/74
TYPE: Solid slab body, Passive 4-string
BODY: Obeche (African hardwood), twin cutaway
NECK: Maple, 20 jumbo frets plus zero fret
SCALE LENGTH: 864mm (34-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Maple, very thin black binding to edge
HARDWARE: Steel & Perspex, sturdy 4-saddle bridge, open gear shamrock tuners
PICKUPS: Superflux double-pole staggered pick-ups positioned over a metal ‘vibrosonic chamber’ plate.
CONTROLS: Volume & Tone plus a 3-way selector switch
FEATURES: Name featured on the rectangular control plate, two smoked transparent Perspex cover plates, same material for complex scratchplate, round hole through the headstock for a clear ‘H’ disc insert, hand-carved ivory nut
FINISHES: White, Tobacco 2-tone, Cherryburst, Black & Natural
COMMENTS: The Hayman Company was formed in 1969 when Jim Burns and Ivor Arbiter went into partnership. Also involved was Bob Pearson from Vox (designer of the Phantom range) and two former Burn’s colleagues, Jack Golder and Norman Holder, who took care of the woodworking and truss rod engineering.
Hayman produced three guitar designs but the 4040 was the only bass. Something of a heavy weight however, these basses were good to play and produced sounds somewhere between a P-Bass and a Rickenbacker.
Each Superflux pickup had eight adjustable screw pole pieces so it was easy to balance the output from the strings, and they benefited from the hidden vibrosonic chamber beneath. Joint string trees neatly feed the strings from nut to tuners.
The bridge was a curious affair with a clear plastic anchor and the steel saddles on a separate plate. The slab body had minimal curving to the body edge front and back, and the overall shape is similar to the early Wal Pro basses that would appear a little later on.
The neck was fixed using a standard 4-bolt plate with a separate chromed plate displaying the serial number. Lefties were made to order. The company morphed into Shergold, controlled by Golder and Holder, after Jim Burns pulled out.
The confusion as to when production finished is due to their serial numbering system, which suggests some Hayman basses appeared in 1974. Our sincere thanks go to Guy MacKenzie for allowing access to his fascinating guitar collection.