Fender has unveiled a signature bass guitar for Mastodon’s Troy Sanders, a Silverburst Precision Bass replete with an array of subtle details to get the Masto super-fan excited without alienating the rest of the bass-playing world.
Take the finish for a start. Perhaps even more so than Tool’s Adam Jones, Mastodon have been key players in the rise in popularity of the Silverburst. This handsome P-Bass, with its matching headcap and 3-ply black pickguard, wears it well.
Besides the colour scheme, fans will notice the name on the back of the headstock, the Empire Of Sand inscription in the 12th-fret inlay – though from a distance it all looks pearloid block – and on the back the neck plate has been stamped with the logo from the Atlanta, Georgia metal behemoth’s debut studio album, Remission.
Otherwise, this is just a cool retro P-Bass with a cool paint job. It has a solid alder body with a bolt-on maple neck that’s carved into a custom ‘70s P-bass “C” profile. That is topped with a 9.5” radius slab rosewood fingerboard and 20 medium-jumbo frets marked out by the aforementioned block inlays.
A four-saddle Hi-Mass bridge offers a stable platform for monster walking basslines, big sustain, sonorous lows, with open-gear tuners and the control plate all finished in chrome. You can string this bass through the body or for a more slinky feel you can top-load and feed the strings through the bridge.
Bass soloists might want to give the latter a bash; it’s something we don’t often see on Fender’s bass designs, but most notably in recent years the Jimmy Page Telecaster offered that choice too.
The Big F has reached out to Tim Shaw for the pickup design, with Sanders’ bass equipped with one of Shaw’s split-coil P-Bass pickups in the middle position and one of his Jazz single-coils at the neck.
These are wired to an 18v active preamp with controls comprising a master volume, a pan pot for selecting and mixing your pickup voices, Bass and Treble knobs that allow you to boost or cut as desired, and a mini-toggle switch for selecting active or passive modes.
The bass is finished in gloss poly while the neck is a tactile satin urethane. Other specs of note are the regular 34” scale, the 41.3mm synthetic bone nut, and the bass ships with a deluxe gig-bag. Though, we would be tempted to haggle a deal with a retailer for a hardshell case. You don’t want that finish getting damaged.
The Troy Sanders Signature Precision Bass is available now, priced £1,479, and you can hear Sanders put it through its paces in the video above. It sounds incredible. For more details, head over to Fender.