Fender has unveiled a signature five-string bass guitar for MonoNeon, with the Prince collaborator and doyen of 21st-century funk opting for a typically retina-scarring but nonetheless super-cool Neon Yellow finish on a Jazz Bass V.
This, quite possibly, could be the first signature bass visible from space, and even in the dark with no lights on this is going to make itself seen – the hi-viz orange pickguard and headstock cap offers a nice contrast, improbably amplifying the finish.
Of course, if the headstock is too much orange, simply pop the custom sock over it. That’s right, this signature bass comes with a sock.
But then, MonoNeon (real name Dywane Thomas Jr) is no ordinary bass player, so why would an ordinary off-the-shelf bass with a stock Fender finish do?
Also included is a sticker set, but the signature flourishes are not simply aesthetic. Instead of the dual single-coil pickups we might normally find on a Jazz V, MonoNeon has a pair of Fireball 5-string humbuckers, which are controlled by an 18V active preamp, with 3-band EQ, volume and pan controls, and a mini-toggle for switching between active and passive modes.
The MonoNeon Jazz V has a 34” scale, a caramelised maple neck, carved into a Modern C profile, with a sculpted heel easing passage to the top end of the ‘board. The caramelised maple is reprised for the 10”-14” compound radius fingerboard, with 22 medium jumbo frets.
At the top you’ll find a bone nut; the bridge is a top-loading five-saddle Hi-Mass unit, gold to match the open-gear tuners, and of course, a gold neck plate, which is engraved with an illustration of MonoNeon.
“Getting my own artist signature bass with Fender is definitely a full circle experience happening right now,” said MonoNeon. “Seeing my dad holding my bass is really crazy. He’s like my first musical hero. He’s a very funky player. I’d just practise to all of his records, try to find anything he played on and just learn it. I wanted to be just like him and I still do.”
That finish might suggest some kind of avant-garde material has been used for the tonewood. But purists, if they haven’t tuned out by now, will be relieved to learn that the body is solid alder.
The MonoNeon Jazz Bass V is available now, priced £1,399 / $1,549. See Fender for more details. See below to see and hear it in action.