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Jonas hellborg bass?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Thurisarz, May 18, 2005.

  1. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    What bass did Hellborg play with in the mahavishnu days? Wal? What sorts of pickups is it?

    Regards :)
  2. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    With Mahavishnu, Jonas played a doubleneck Wal (fretted/fretless 4-string) bass. Each 'half' of Jonas' bass uses one Wal pickup (custom designed by Ian Waller) in the bridge position, while most Wal basses these days have two pickups.
  3. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    I've seen that he's using a "one neck" bass, is that also Wal then, what model can it be?
  4. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    He did have Wal make him a singleneck bass modeled after his doubleneck (with only one pickup) and with a similar headstock, but it also has the addition of a whammy bar.
    But I don't know if this is the bass you are referring to, as I've seen (pictures of) him playing several different basses.
  5. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    this one has block inlays on the board and a whammy thingy. But it has two pickups....could it be from another brand then?
  6. I had read in his interview a month ago in bass guitar world,that he's using a Peavey Cirrus.Either a 5 or 6 string.Hope this helps.Joe
  7. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Here's a pic of him and the doubleneck:


    I didn't notice before that it appears to have an extra pickup or something right up against the bridge on the fretted half.

    And here's a pic of the other one I mentioned:


    Those pickups (on both basses, but moreso on the black one I think) are just a little bit farther away from the bridge than the standard bridge pickup on a dual-pickup Wal bass.
  8. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
  9. It could be a Wal, but there are some other options as well. One is the "Jonas Hellborg Bass Guitar", as advertised in his book Chord Bassics: Eller 528 ackord för basgitarr from 1984. If you want more details, I'll be happy to provide as many as I can. What I can't do, though, is tell you who made the above mentioned bass, or the "Jonas Hellborg amplifier" (as advertised in the same book).
    There's also a mention of a custom bass, along with a couple of Wals, in the liner notes of his second solo album Elegant Punk. If I could only find my copy, I'll quote it for you if you're interrested.
  10. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I have the Chord Bassics book too (bought it around 1984 when it came out, also had one called Thumb Bassics), and he does talk about a custom bass he had built for him that has 27 frets because he wanted it for doing lots of chords high up the neck. I don't recall who made the bass but I'm pretty sure it's a custom luthier in Sweden. And that bass you posted a picture of looks like it has at least 27 frets so I'm thinking that's it.
  11. I'm obviously a slow writer.
    That is a "Jonas Hellborg Bass Guitar"! This is what he says about it in the book Chord Bassics (1984):

    "It is designed for todays demansing bassist and is the result of a long labour of love. During all 13 years I have been playing I have studied bass building and been building basses. I have carefully taken notes of how mikes, type of wood, strings, tailpiece etc affect the sound and how shape and weight balance affect playability.

    This is an instrument I am proud of putting my name on. It has all importantt features for modern bass playing, including

    27(!) fret fingerboard.
    Shadow humbucking pick ups with
    3-position switches for selecting humbucking - single coil - out of phase.
    String holder on the back side of the body - to release tension from tailpiece which gives maximum sustain.
    Panpot between bass and treble pick up makes it possible to set the balance and change the volume maintaining the sound.

    This bass is built without compromises and still it is affordable."

    I don't know about you, but I would like to know some more. Like: "who built it?", "how many were built?" and "where can I find (an obviously used) one to try?"
  12. That's quite possible, and if so, I'd love to know who. There aren't that many around, and probably noone that could actually mass produce a bass, and hence make it "affordable."
    I'm right there with you. It must be it.
  13. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    Thanks for the info buddy! I want to know what woods he used.
  14. So would I. I'm thinking it might be mahogany, since both Wals and his signature Status basses are made out of that wood.
  15. flange


    Feb 22, 2005
    Cochrane Alberta
    In one of his other books he is holding the same black bass
    that has on its headstock Designed by Jonas Helborg for
    sound of sweden. I assume this to be a signature model. but
    it may be a one off.
  16. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I'm pretty sure his doubleneck is solid Walnut, without the usual mahogany core that most Wals have.
  17. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I remember trying one out in the late 80's. The shop owner claimed it to be "the best bass guitar ever made", but I thought it was quite uncomfortable to play and that it sounded weird. It was also pretty heavy, as I recall it.

    Of course I was an inexperienced bassist at this time, so I can't say how much of it that was due to poor setup, etc.
  18. Hellborg using a Peavey??? that is interesting!!!
  19. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    Here he is with his Vigier Excess bass.

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