Stanley Clarke unveils his Strat-inspired Spellcaster short-scale bass

Stanley Clarke Spellcaster
(Image credit: Oneonta Guitar / Milo Stewart Jr.)

Stanley Clarke has officially launched his much-anticipated Spellcaster bass guitar through Oneonta Guitar. Featuring a short 30.5" scale and reverse headstock, it takes many of its design cues from the Fender Stratocaster.

Besides the Strat-esque body shape, there is a refashioned Strat vibrato, a trio of single-coil pickups designed by designed by Kent Armstrong and Tom Lieber, with a five-way pickup selector and volume/tone/tone control circuit in the time-honoured fashion of the classic Fender electric guitar.

One tone control serves the neck pickup, the other the middle. There is also a mini-switch that offers a further two pickup combinations with either the neck and bridge pickups together, or with all three pickups engaged at once.

The Spellcaster arrives in classic Vintage Sunburst finish on an alder body, it has a bolt-on maple neck and a 25-fret rosewood fingerboard. The reverse headstock design was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's playing of a right-handed Strat as a leftie, promising increased tension on the E string while reducing tension on the G. 

Pleasingly, the listed eight is a friendly 8.5lbs, and the Spellcaster should make an attractive option for guitar players taking a quick holiday over to Planet Bass.

“The Spellcaster Bass is not intended to replace your existing guitar, but instead, to give you more options as a player – to expand your arsenal,“ says Clarke. “When the time comes to play that song with a bass solo, this is what you will want in your hands.”

The Spellcaster has a list price of $2,200 but is available direct through Oneonta Guitar for a direct price of $1,635.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.