I see that you like the history hehe. So, for your interest, this post will cotain all Defil basses produced during factory activity.
The first produced bass was Lotos. You can find its photo on the first post. It clearly looks like Hagstrom Kent, but with different headstock. It was a shortscale, the scale length was 780 mm (which is approx 30,71 inch). This bass was popular, especially in punk rock during the 80's.
Due to its shape, it was often customized, to make it look like Fender Precision. When Precision pickups were able to buy in the 80's it became even easier. It sounded more like a Jazz Bass, because of two single coil pickups, but the resistance was lower (2,5 kOhm)
I'm not quite sure which bass came later, but since both of them have the same neck, and similiar hardware, I'll show this one first. It's clearly a Hofner copy, and it was made due to Beatlemania. Like most of Defil guitars it cotained a guitar, stylised the same way. It was called "Romeo"
Its a hollowbody bass, like the real Hofner. The neck has 800 mm length, which is 31,5 inch. Its also the scale, that most of Defil basses will use. These pickups will be also used in most guitars and basses, but anyway, their sounding was pretty nice - both in guitar and bass. Technically, there are 2 single coils, but the construction is more like Rickenbacker pickups - the magnet is not on the bottom, but coated with the wire, inside the plastic cover. The metal cover was added, to make them look nicer, and the coloured inside, is just a plastic addition.
The second bass I wasnt sure about production dates is the Mamba bass:
As you can see its a hollowbody, that looks much like Gibson basses. The bass was built, using a body of jazz acoustic guitar (simply called Defil Jazz, which was very popular in Poland, and its prices are very low), and what is more interesting, also 4 models of electric guitars were made using this body (1,2,3 pickups version, and 12 string). The pickups are the same, used in Lotos. How does it sound ? Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhDr6QT-PGg
The beginning of the 70's was also the time, when some ES-355 lookalike series started to be produced. The bass version was called Rytm
It was another hollowbody bass, but it featured a long scale neck - 34 inches, so its a Precision scale. Also the pickups had a similiar construction to a Fender single - the magnet was placed at the bottom. The poles could have been regulated.
The 70's were also the times, when politicians have changed. During the new plans for production, basically everything was planned. So that, even guitars were made to complete the plan.
So, later in the 70's a solidbody bass came, to be produced instead of Lotos. It was named BasTon.
The design was pretty much original, especially for the controversial headstock. This bass featured known earlier pickups. The neck still had 31,5 scale, but the fretboard had no radius (it was flat) what made it unpopular. Even tough it was playable, because everything is a matter of our practice.
The other thing you can notice, is the big change in small hardware. New machine heads, new pots (they were regulated by sliding, not by turning them), new neck markers etc.
The worst thing about BasTon (and mostly every Defil guitar with the number "2") was no truss rod in the neck. It was fat enough, and strenghtened with an aluminium bolt, but due to a bad treaten, by users, the necks had a tendention to change their shape.
You can hear BasTon in this punk rock song, its in pretty good quality (it also features Samba guitar) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i27IoDMqqE
The bassist unfortunately destroyed his BasTon, customising it badly, and then leaving it for slowly decay. In the 90's he bought a PB. To me, he changed just like The Clash did ...
The Romeo bass, also was changed with the next model, proudly called ... Romeo 2 !
As you can see, it featured mostly the same hardware as BasTon, but the main thing was, that it was a hollowbody, just like the first Romeo.
And also, the ES-355 series had changed. And the Rytm bass, was changed by a Rytm2
And here we have the same hardware one more time. But the 34 inch scale still standed. The main change, was a big pickguard, that covered a big hole in the body. You can notice that also BasTon and Romeo2, had big pickguards. It was all to make production simpler - you put electronics on the pickguard, and the maker dont have to work with the whole body, just with a piece of plastic.
Shortly after BasTon was took off the production, the BasTon22 came. I dont know why there wasnt BasTon2, but maybe its all because it was produced together with Jola guitar (we had Jola, Jola2, and Jola22). It looked much like that:
The body was probably a little bit changed Lotos body. It featured sliding pots, and pickups from Rytm. Neck had the same fretboard and length as BasTon, but it featured a truss rod. It was a very small production, and its the most rare Defil bass.
The plans didnt succeedeed, because the west had an interest to block our export. We havent earn much on export, and stayed with money to be paid. But thats another story.
In early 80's there were another changes. Most Defil basses featured mostly a standart 2+2 neck, you'll see soon. The truss rod was present in every neck, and the radius - no more flat fretboards. The scale was still 31,5 inch. The little hardware has also changed - the bridges were mostly tune-o-matic, standart pots came back, and the machine heads turned full metal again.
Much produced bass was Luna. It featured 3 versions (Luna, Luna2, and Luna22 that I own personally).
The versions have changed, but the changes featured mostly the electric and visual look. The first version still had a pickguard with complete electrics, and featured only a metal covered pickups. The second version threw the pickguard out, and featured a plastic cover pickups (technically, only a cover had changed). The last version got a really good humbucker pickups. These were designed for guitar originally, but they sound very good with bass too. Due to their specification, the bass had some similiarities with MusicMan sounding. Altough the bass didnt gained popularity, because of the big body, and no similarities with Precision or Jazz Bass (even tough its clearly been influenced by american bass guitars !).
The last hollowbody bass was Orlik, produced from the early, to the mid 80's.
It featured the same hardware as Luna (the pickups were included with metal or plastic version), the scale was the same (because of the same neck), and the main difference was a hollowbody construction.
In 1986 the Aster Bass production was started. It was a clearly Jazz Bass influence.
The scale was again 34 inch, so like Precision bass, the featured pickup was also a Precision bass one. The hardware and truss rod system was different from the one used before at Defil guitars (standart truss rod was more like vintage one). Used bridge was clearly inspired by a Precision bass. The machine heads were changed. Firstly, there were standart Defil machine heads (like those in Luna), secondly there were MUZA tuners, with original shape, and there were also PRESTO tuners, that looked like the Fender ones (seen in photo). PRESTO was a manufacturer, that produced mostly guitar hardware and strings (during the 60's bands like The Rolling Stones or The Animals played on PRESTO strings).
The pickups were very good quality made. The poles could have been regulated, and their sound was anormous. For me, it has beaten original Fender Precision. Mostly because during this time MUZA factory (that produced Defil hardware) created a S570 guitar humbucker, that sounded nearly like DiMarzio DP100 (but with less middle channel), so maybe this pickup (marked as S580) was also a DiMarzio stylized pickup.
In 1991 the last Defil model was created. It was Aster Bass 2.
The bass featured a small change, that was a new bridge - a tune-o-matic with strings through body system. I got one in home (but it belongs to a friend). The whole body, neck, and fretboard is made of maple. To me, this was a really great bass.
The biggest problem was that, in 1989 the political system has changed. Poland has turned from socialist republic, to a normal capitalism republic. Guitars started to be imported from other countries. Defil had to be one of the brands, that can earn for itself (earlier they didnt had to worry about it, because they were the only guitar developer at country). The thing wasnt about quality - the Aster Bass is a great bass. The thing was mainly about IT WAS A DEFIL. In 1994 the production of electric guitars and basses had stopped, and till 2001 Defil carried on, producing acoustic guitars. Now the factory is about to be demolished.