Fender VI

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Shibby!, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Shibby!

    Shibby! Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    Anyone own one? if so i'd love to hear about it's faetures and your experience thx

    Attached Files:

  2. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    You mean the Bass VI, or a 6-string Fender bass?
  3. Shibby!

    Shibby! Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    yup the baritone
  4. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Bass VI is a contrabass, not a baritone

    Check out this thread for more info:


    Baritones are tuned a 4th or a 5th down from standard guitars (that is, a 5th or a 4th above basses). Most are tuned 4th below standard guitar tuning. You can tune a baritone down a full octave below prime, but the strings get very floppy when you do that; it's akin to tuning a standard bass from E-A-D-G down to B-E-A-D—if you're going to do it, you really need to use much heavier strings, and file the nut & perhaps the saddles to accept them, as well.

    Here's a Guitar Player article from last March about several offerings in the baritone electric range:


    The Bass VI is really a short-scale, 6-string bass, just tuned E-A-D-G-B-E instead of B-E-A-D-G-C as most 6-string basses are today. You *can* play chords on it, but it sounds really muddy and inarticulate when you do (kind of like playing full chords on a 5- or 6-string bass).

    Are you looking for a baritone guitar, or a more like a six-string bass, as far as the role in sonic space you're trying to fill?

    Here's a video of a Bass VI (the low string is the same pitch as the low string on a regular 4-string bass):

  5. They are great instruments, but very expensive at the moment. Unfortunately there aren't too many short-scale six-string basses out there currently being made, but there are a few you can get for much less than the cost of a Fender Bass VI

    You should visit the thread dedicated to these types of instruments, there are a few Bass VI owners who have posted, including a couple who have built their own Fender Bass VI clones....

  6. I own, and treasure, this one, a CIJ RI:

    It's a great instrument, in every way.
  7. 62bass

    62bass Guest

    Apr 3, 2005
    Sorry to take so long in replying. I used to own one of these for about a year or so. Someone gave it to me in payment for a repair job I did for him back in 1980 or so. I tried to use it to record with but it didn't sound as good as the cheapo Danelctro I owned. Strings were hard to find that would fit the instrument. It picked up a lot of noise and hum. It was heavy and poorly balanced on a strap. I couldn't find a use for it so I sold it to a guy in a Christian rock group who owned one and wanted a twin. I think I got the best of the deal. I can see why they never made it in the marketplace. The guy who designed it was probably on drugs at the time.

    The Danelctro 6 string bass however, is a different instrument. It was used a lot for recording back in the 60s, usually doubling an upright acoustic bass, both in Nashville country sessions and in L.A. rock. They were very cheaply and poorly made and sold for a little over $100 when new, but they did have a unique and useable sound. The hard part was just in getting them playable.

    Carol Kaye owned one that she modded with improved pickups. Glen Campbell borrowed it to play his famous solo on "Wichita Lineman" (I think that was the one) It unfortunately got stolen some time later while she was loading her car after a session. You can't take your eyes off your gear anytime, even for a minute, if you want to keep it.

    The Fender is probably worth a few bucks as a collector's item these days. I'd never use one to play though.
  8. I've seen film of John Lennon playing one on a TV show when Paul was playing the Piano.
  9. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    CIJ RI '95


    My jumping board to bass playing. :D
  10. Rockingbird

    Rockingbird Guest

    Feb 21, 2010
    New Jersey, US
    Never played one, but I do know that there's an Agile guitar thats based off of it for like $400.


    If you can find the strings for the Bass VI, Then you can tune it the exact same way. Or use regular guitar strings and end up with C# or D tuning.
  11. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bass VI's are simply not attainable in Australia, and even if I could find a reissue, they're going for over Oz $2000. I recently picked up a Schecter Hellcat VI, one of the other popular budget options. Under Oz $800 shipped from a decent US online store.


    Downside is that it's wired more like a Strat with coil-tappable humbuckers, so if you're looking to exactly replicate _all_ the tones available to the Fender Bass VI it's not possible without a bunch of wiring mods. It's obviously a fixed bridge vs the VI's tremolo system, but it uses Grover tuners and a very nice bridge that has no issues with intonation (unlike the CIJ reissues, apparently).

    That aside, I LOVE IT :bassist: I've always tended to the melodic side of playing, and this thing makes for the most beautiful chordal work. The bridge tone is nice and snarly, and I think the middle pickup soloed gets very close to the Cure tones you hear.

    It strikes me that somebody handy with a trim router could cut a new pickguard to suit a trio of Jaguar pickups and maybe a Bass VI control plate, but in reality I'm very happy with it's sound already.

  12. kidgloves2


    Mar 27, 2006
  13. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    +1 :D
  14. s_mcsleazy

    s_mcsleazy Guest

    id love to see one for under £1000

    but its never gonna happen :(
  15. You could always have a simple mod done, replace the other knob with another push-pull switch wired for a "neck PU always on" setting, it's a common Strat modification which makes the 5-way switch work the same way but with the neck PU remaining always on. It gives you two additional PU configurations to choose from - all three at once, and neck + bridge.
  16. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    After playing it for a while, I'm thinking I'll leave it stock - I only use two settings for the most part, Middle/Humbucker for bass tones, and Bridge/Single for thinner guitar tones. What I might do is wire a second push-pull for bass-cut, however.

  17. matt_bass

    matt_bass Guest

    Jan 20, 2008
    idoru, I have researched getting one and like yourself I'm from Oz, so its painfully difficult! May I ask what store you got it from so I can keep an eye out for one in the future?
  18. benmoore88

    benmoore88 Guest

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brisbane , Australia
    good to hear this item arrived and tickled your fancy mate.
  19. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    I used ProGuitarShop.com - I'd bought pedals and pickups from them before, with no hassles. They covered the insurance at their end (make sure you ask about it though!). The item did arrive with a little ding on the back of the neck, but considering I got a bass that is very hard to get here in Oz for a an awesome price, I really don't care.

    They also had one of the best demos:

  20. BOSS302BASS


    Sep 27, 2008
    Devon UK
    I built this one...



    ...and the red one...


    ...in Melbourne, Australia...