"The bass is nothing short of magnificent and I am so honored to call it mine. It's motivating me to be the best player possible and to have so much fun with it. I'm really excited to find Orchid is a killer slap bass machine!! I already have the hang of being a better slap and pop bass player. The bass looks like it belongs to me and I can tell it's going to be a part of me.
"I brought Orchid to my lesson today and my teachers were so in awe! When I commented on how beautiful the curves of the bass are and how I felt it was petite and almost feminine for me, they responded by ensuring me it was not feminine at all but a good heavy bass. It has a balance!! It's amazing and feels almost aero-dynamic. It's light to the touch and fun to play. I can't wait to rip down its fretboard.
"Thank You Rick!!! It's beautiful. I'll take care of Orchid for you =]."
February 12, 2008
"The bass is nothing short of amazing. To me, the non-musician, it is a piece of art. A sculpture. The lines are so graceful. I did not imagine it possible to have a graceful instrument that is also a fine work of art.
"I looked at it and the first thing I thought of was running my fingers with an ever so light touch over the body of it. Somehow it creates its own energy.
"Even the color is spectacular. I am here to say the color purple did not sound so appealing to me at first ( Halie loves purple). But somehow it works. It completes it. You are a Master Luthier. Thank you for the honor of your time and effort."
Mother & Daughter
Pam contacted me about building a bass for her daughter, Halie.
Pam is a patron of the arts, and wanted to support Halie's interest in music by investing in an instrument "...as both a work of art, and object of value which would appreciate over time." I added to her criteria with a challenge to myself to create an instrument immediately capable of improving Halie's musicianship by removing impediments to play.
Halie was 16, and as a new player, struggling to stretch her fingers enough to comfortably fret notes, particularly in lower registers. So we shortened the scale to 32" (from a standard 34").
The trade-off with short scale basses is decreased bass response and "flubby" strings, due to less tension. In order to compensate (stiffer neck) as well as to provide her with greater fretting leverage (less effort) we designed around the problem, ultimately devising an entirely new type of neck shape.
In approaching the issue from a problem-solution standpoint unforeseen opportunities presented themselves, to the benefit of all. READ: FULL ORCHID STORY
Neck — Patented Trapezoidal Neck Profile alternating grain stacked-laminate neck-into-body curly maple. Tri-compound ebony fingerboard. 32" scale. Natural bone nut. Abelone inlay. Stainless steel frets. Aircraft-grade aluminum (Alloy 6063-T5) fixed hollow reinforcing truss rod.
Body — Sculpted curly maple and swamp ash. Balanced for standing or seated performance.
Hardware — Hipshot Ultralite tuners and A Style bridge. EMG-MMTW w/single-dual coil push-pull pot. All other hardware stainless steel.
Finish — All wood surfaces underwent multiple grain raisings and final sanding to #1000 grit. Penetrating waterproof gunstock finish, over purple stain, hand rubbed to high gloss.
Case — Levy's leather case with black velvet lining.
Year — 2008
Monster Eats Orchid
When the time comes, Halie will create her own video. This space is reserved for her. In the meantime, I asked my good friend Monster to have a go at the bass. What follows is his first impression of an instrument he'd only seen early in the construction process. Roll camera.