This Purple Special bass is a stunning tribute to Prince

Shortly before his untimely death, Prince received a custom Purple Special guitar from Gus Guitars - he liked it so much, he commissioned luthier Simon Farmer to build him a bass version. Now, a year on, that bass is complete.

Like the guitar, it features chrome fibre elements in the construction, holographic gold fibre inlays, purple candy paint and gold-plating on all metal work.

Based on Gus Guitars' G3 Four Active model, the Purple Special packs a Gus Tube humbucker and single coil pickups with a three-band active EQ.

And, of course, Prince's Love Symbol adorns the front and back of the body.

“There's obviously an overriding sadness to the project in the fact that Prince won't get to see or play the bass,” says Farmer, “and this is a thought that's been with me throughout the construction process, but I felt it was important for me to finish it and to show people what I've built, and for the bass to honour his legacy as one of music's most dazzling performers.”

His Royal Badness would be proud.

We got our hands on Gus Guitars' original Purple Special before it made its way to Prince - here's what we thought of it.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.

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