SOLD Campellone 5-string, rare and beautious

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bass Guitars' started by RickC, Oct 10, 2011.

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  1. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Testing the waters here. I should probably have my head examined for even thinking about selling this :rollno:

    Before he became one of the world's top archtop guitar makers, Mark Campellone built basses - about 100 or so between the late 70's and early 90's. One of the pioneers in the high-end custom bass world, his instruments were heavily inspired by Alembic but have their own thing going on too. And being an excellent bassist himself, these are very much player's instruments.

    This one is from circa 1987, right at the peak of Mark's bass building years. It's a neck-thru with african mahogany/cocobolo wings, three piece maple/?/maple neck, gorgeous macassar ebony board and macassar on the front and back of the headstock too. Electronics are a pair of early Bartolini soapbars with a single Bart EZQ filter. The EZQ was Bart's take on the Alembic Series II idea, with filter sweep and variable Q; the big difference here being that both pickups share the same filter.

    This bass has a big, rich, organic, woody vibe to it. It's very much like an Alembic, but the ergonmics are better - balances perfectly on the strap and everything is right under your hands where it should be. It almost "disappears" beneath you; something my Alembics never did :).

    34" scale, 17mm at the bridge. I'll have to check the exact weight but it's under 8.5 lbs. Comes with a heavy duty Calzone flight case (de rigueur for a high-end bass from this era).

    $1800 shipped in conus.







  2. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Don't do it Rick!

    With that said, if you make it into Boston near my place bring it by. I've always wanted to check out Mark's work.

    ....but don't get rid of this one man.
  3. swpyne

    swpyne Basses R Loaded! Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2005
    Centennial, Colorado
    Beautiful and quite reasonably priced!
  4. BassQ

    BassQ Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Boston, MA.
    I have a late 70's Campellone Jazz Bass neck with an ebony board that Mark attached to a '65 Fender "L series” body that I purchased in '81. I've played numerous basses over the years and ALWAYS come back to this one. Although I'd love to add your bass to my humble collection, my advice to you is don't sell it. If you decide to move forward however and are receptive to trades, I have a couple of basses I'm considering selling/trading.
  5. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Agree with the above.. Unless you really have to don't sell it..

    But for reference what number is this. #83 and #102 want to know which brother might be going to a new home.
  6. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    So, that's an interesting question. Mark remembers this bass; it was hand delivered to a dealer in NJ. I got it from the original owner who bought it from that shop. There is no number on the bass, anywhere. Note the open space on the headstock where the numbered medallion usually sits. Mark said he did build a couple like that.

    So based on it's history and a search through Mark's records, we determined the bass was built circa 1987 and should have a number in the 60s range.

  7. cmoore


    Jul 19, 2011
    Attleboro, MA
    Are you local to MA?
  8. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    What a great piece...good luck with the sale.
  9. mp40smg


    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    I have seen another with that split headstock design. But it had the coin on the back. It is odd that he didn't put one on. But, he is a rather odd guy (in a very good way).
    I wonder if he would have serialized it in the control cavity.
    Not that it really matters. There is no getting around what it is and who made it.

    and a bump for I hope you decide to keep it!!
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I take it the control layout is volume, filter sweep, Q, and a pickup selector switch? That's just flippin' gorgeous, BTW!

  11. Killface


    May 26, 2011
    Alsip IL
    Beautiful bass.
  12. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Sale is financially motivated, but those things usually have a way of working themselves out one way or another. I'm going to spend some more time with it this weekend and re-evaluate my decision. Thanks for all the nice comments.


    re Riis, yup volume, filter sweep, Q, and pickup selector

    re cmoore, yup I'm a masshole
  13. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    That's absolutely beautiful! How's the B string?

    Also, how do the Barts sound? I haven't liked the way 90% of the basses I've owned with Barts, but every once in a while I'll get one that blows me away. Does it have the typical dark and polite tone that they're known for or are the mids a bit more aggressive?

  14. cmoore


    Jul 19, 2011
    Attleboro, MA
    Maybe we can meet up one day next week
  15. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    These are less dark, more aggressive, but not the *most* aggressive Barts I've ever heard. The earlier Campellones I've seen usually had the old Hi-A Barts; these are just after that.

    Low B is imo the way a low B should B - a natural continuation of the low E. It's not god-of-thunderous like on Modulus but not at all wimpy; just right.

  16. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    Someone asked me about scratches, dings, etc. The bass is very clean but not mint. There are several small dings on various edges. By far the most significant is this one on the upper body edge (towards the right of the pic) along with an area of finish discoloration (towards the left).

    Note that the camera flash makes the ding look more discolored than it really is; in person, it's the same color as the surrounding wood.


  17. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    gone to California


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