Ashbory Bass Tour   by Brock Frazier   Next >>

Part one: What is an Ashbory? (an introduction)

DeArmond Ashbory

The following tour is designed to inform you about the Ashbory bass, what it's like, what it sounds like, and how it compares to more familiar bass instruments. By the end, hopefully you'll be better informed about the most innovative stringed bass instrument to come about in the last 25 years.

Overview of the Ashbory (from the DeArmond Ashbory press release):

Originally produced by Guild, DeArmond once again offers this bass to players who are tired of playing the countless clones of the same old instruments. Its solid one-piece body and neck is just thirty inches long, and weighs in at only two pounds. Its small size allows for easy portability, and makes it comfortable enough to wear over another instrument. And, its signature silicone rubber strings produce a low-end response to rival that of any upright bass.

The Ashbory Bass has master volume, bass and treble controls, and features active circuitry that allows an array of varying tones. For the punchy sound of a standard electric bass, turn up the treble and pluck the strings close to the bridge. For that true acoustic bass sound, simply adjust the on-board bass and treble by turning them all the way up. And with the Ashbory's patented preamp powered transducer, any configuration will yield an exceptionally low signal-to-noise ratio.

The eighteen inch scale length of the Ashbory's neck, with its much smaller than standard frets, allows players to make reaches that would otherwise be impossible with an upright. This lets bassists play faster than ever before, without sacrificing any of the clean tones that are associated with the acoustic upright bass.

The Ashbory has a fretless, silk-screen fingerboard pattern with fret markers and "dot" inlays, and features a wholly unique headstock design fitted with Custom Designed tuners.

...and from the specifications department...

Model DeArmond Ashbory
Body One-Piece Agathis
Neck Agathis
Tuning Machines 4 geared in-line reverse
Scale 18"
Pickups Ashworth Piezo
Controls Volume, Active Bass and Active Treble


The end result of the Ashbory is a very expressive, deep sounding, portable electric fretless bass which records very well, but is small enough to take to the sky with as a carry-on or haul in the trunk of a Mazda Miata.

The most common Ashbory Basses are the original Guild Ashbory Bass models produced between 1986 and 1988, and the current DeArmond Ashbory introduced in 1999.

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