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LEH Guitars Releases their Latest 4-String Bass

Discussion in 'News & PR' started by TalkBass, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. TalkBass

    TalkBass News Poster

    Mar 12, 2004
    LEH Guitars is proud to announce their new flagship bass: the Offset 4-String. This instrument features an offset alder body with a maple burl top, strategic chambering in the body to reduce weight and prevent neck dive, 21 frets, a hand-carved maple neck, a “design patented” 3-knob slider preamp design, Nordstrand Audio NP-4 and Bigman pickups, a custom-wired Nordstrand Audio 3-band preamp, Hipshot and Gotoh hardware, and a Pat Wilkins finish.

    Not a novelty: the first thing you’ll notice about the LEH 4-String is the unique 3-knob slider preamp. At the root of the system is a 3-band Nordstrand Preamp, modified for boost only with three Bornes faders. “A fader is a more visual way to dial in your eq,” notes Lisa Ellis Hahn (the LEH in LEH guitars). “Knobs can be hard to see onstage and it’s easy to second guess your settings. With sliders, you can instantly “see” your sound.” The bass also features a stepped heel allowing players unfettered, comfortable access to the upper frets.

    “This bass has been in my imagination for years,” says Hahn. “After playing it and hearing it in the hands of much better players, I’ve been impressed with its tone and versatility. My favorite thing is the sustain: it doesn’t stop. This is partly because of the exaggerated neck-to-body joint, but it’s really the sum of all the parts.”

    The 4-string joins LEH’s current crop of 5-string basses, which all use the same slider preamp and offset styling. “I spend a lot of time making sure that the tonality of the woods work together, that the neck joint is tight and perfect, and that all of the boxes are checked off on the fretwork and overall construction,” says Hahn. “It doesn’t matter how good your bass looks if everything isn’t quite right under the hood.”

    About LEH Guitars: Since 2002, Lisa Ellis Hahn has repaired and built instruments for many of the world’s top touring guitar and bass players—as well as thousands of regular players. She has worked at the Sadowsky shop since 2005 and has been the manager/top builder since 2013. She continues to mentor up-and-coming builders and pursue “continuous improvement.”

    Offset4_2. Offset4_1. offset4_9. offset4_8. offset4_7. offset4_6. offset4_5. offset4_4. Offset4_3.
  2. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Not for me, this.
  3. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    Overall a nice-looking bass, but those big ugly sliders...no thanks...(easily replaced with something smaller perhaps?)
    Charlzm and Phil508 like this.
  4. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I was just thinking a few days ago that I wish there was a high quality Ibanez Talman and this might be it. $3800 isn't cheap, but it also isn't insane if the quality is there. Would love to try one and go from there.
  5. JeffJ2112

    JeffJ2112 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Nowhere Indiana
    Great, now I have something else to drool over. ;)
    Notch Johnson and Hahnzy like this.
  6. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I like the headstock. It reminds me of The Jetsons in a good way.

    I think the sliders look really cool in a '60s sort of way. Maybe they don't go as well with a modern look. If that bass had chrome hardware and chrome pickup covers the sliders would add it the retro vibe.
    Leiria and SirMjac28 like this.
  7. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Good stuff. I like the sliders.
    Hahnzy likes this.
  8. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    No joke. If this was more in the $2,000 ballpark, I'd consider ordering one. This thing is gorgeous.
    TJH3113 and Hahnzy like this.
  9. Usidore T Blue

    Usidore T Blue

    Jun 28, 2017
    That is gorgeous and looks practical, too. i don't know the specifics of manufacture, but I don't think the price seems out of line for that spec and look from a small shp.
  10. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
  11. Hahnzy

    Hahnzy Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2017
    Shop Manager at Sadowsky Guitars
    Hi, this is my bass. Happy to answer any questions!
    Robert B, JeffJ2112, Sosa and 13 others like this.
  12. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    there was at least Harmony H82G in 70s that had faders as well:

    how could anyone make a patent on this design in 2019 when there was a production-made prior art with same idea back in 70s?

    this is the first time I ever heard of LEH Guitars, but they already look like crooks to me.
  13. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    C'mon guys... she applied for a design trademark so that it wouldn't be exactly copied after NAMM. Clearly people have used sliders in the past and continue to now on other instruments (almost every acoustic/electric guitar has sliders). The design trademark is so that this exact layout/design of this bass won't be copied.

    Like her site says, this bass is not for everyone. But if it is, you'll love it. It's a serious, quality instrument.
    LBS-bass and Aloe like this.
  14. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Hand carved neck and body, chambered body, impeccable fretwork, good weight...
  15. Hi hi.

    Been a while since I've been on TB, but the builder is a great friend of mine, I'm the proud owner of one of these fine basses, and I had to jump in here. I've never met a single person in my life with more integrity. These instruments are the real deal, and so is LEH.

    Harmony has been defunct since '75, and those patents haven't been active for years...Harmony isn't even the only company to have ever done it...additionally, faders are a generic audio component, and the use of them in a general guitar design can't be patented. The actual circuit, design, and schematic can surely be copyrighted, but LEH's preamp is a completely different beast. LEH's faders are a 3-band EQ circuit with an Active/Passive switch, not a 4-fader, JCPenney passive tone control.

    I'll post a demo video later. This thing is a beast and a HALF.
  16. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    I like everything about it except for those sliders. Finish is beautiful, cool headstock, I have no doubt it's a high-quality bass...:thumbsup:
    Charlzm likes this.
  17. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Lisa Hahn built my Sadowsky NYC 5-24. It’s amazing, so I’m sure these are too!
  18. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    uhm, are we still talking about "design patents"? design patents cover the design, not functionality like active/passive switch or what type of electronics you connect the wires from faders.

    design patents should be issued only "if the design is novel and not obvious for all items". we had guitars with 4 faders right in the same spot (I know the abovementioned Harmony and Teisco, but could be much more). we had and have a lot of guitars with 3 faders in other spot. I still don't get, what "novel and not obvious" do we have in 3 faders instead of 4.

    I'm not trying to offend any guitar builders or happy users, but how the heck you can get a design patent on the things that we had for 60 years yet? that should be only possible either with a bribe or with incompetence (patent office does not have Google in 2019 to check some prior art? weird).
  19. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I guess you’re a lawyer? Or just play one on the internet?
    MDBass likes this.
  20. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    Yeah, I wouldn’t get too hung up on this. Her design is protected through the appropriate channels and filed using the appropriate terms by a real lawyer.

    You either love the design or you don’t...the p/bigrig in series sounds amazing.

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