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(NBD) Early US Masters Fretless P-5: P-bass on the Juice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Slapped, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Slapped

    Slapped Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Queens, New York
    UPS dropped off the newest addition to the family this morning. Very low serial number US Masters fretless P-5!! Ordered on reverb- arrived quickly in a sleek off-white hardshell case that was mysteriously locked... but no keys in sight! After “figuring out” that debacle, popped open the case to find this gorgeous specimen:
    C338F07A-6150-49DB-84AD-270A9D6D2AA3.jpeg 8F67B80E-B890-4490-9B02-5537DB36DCC5.jpeg

    This. Bass. Slays. First thing I noticed was the wood grain - it’s got a mahogany body, heavily figured birds-eye maple neck, and what appears to be either rosewood or pau ferro fretboard. If anyone can chime in with some ideas on what it might be, that would be awesome.

    This thing is also REALLY light. My main fretted is a Warwick Thumb, so the contrast is really obvious. Has a smaller body like a thumb, but much longer upper horn (terminates above 13th pos.) so balance is acceptable. Haven’t weighed it, yet but honestly feels like almost half the weight of the thumb.

    The electronics are interesting: 1 precision pickup, 18v preamp (I believe proprietary US Masters), with volume, bass, mid, and treble knobs. Packs a serious growly punch, but can also roll back into warm tubby thump land. Very versatile and responsive to dynamics, especially palm muting.

    It appears there’s a custom wooden electronics cover on the front, haven’t taken it off yet to uncover the mysteries below...

    Also has Sperzel locking tuners, a first on any bass I’ve owned. Very solid and interesting concept, made the string changes a breeze. Currently rocking TI rounds, my favorite fretless string.

    Thanks for looking, recordings coming soon!
    franklindayala and PWRL like this.
  2. Bill Staudt

    Bill Staudt Guest

    Jun 18, 2002
    Very cool! I almost picked one up back in the day. I've never seen one with a control plate like that.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
    Slapped likes this.
  3. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Those are really interesting basses. I had a chance to buy one with a solid purpleheart body years ago, but passed it up because I was silly. One of those IIKT (If I Knew Then) stories. Nice bass!
    Slapped likes this.
  4. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Good looking bass, but... Ummm...what's up with those strings at the peg head?
    Slapped likes this.
  5. franklindayala


    Feb 8, 2015
    Congrats. Lovely bass. Beautiful fingerboard, what wood is it?
    Slapped likes this.
  6. Slapped

    Slapped Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Queens, New York
    It was probably added by the previous owner, seems to be from after the fact. Maybe there’s something hiding underneath.

    Thanks! There’s a full purpleheart body/fretboard P-4 in the classifieds right now

    Haha thanks for pointing that out, I took the set of TI rounds off another bass - these are expensive strings and wasn’t trying to cut the ends off just yet before I was sure they worked for this one. The Sperzels aren’t too-load for the string ends, they’re more like guitar tuners.

    Thank you!! Not sure if it’s rosewood, pau ferro, or maybe cocobolo. Didn’t get much info from the seller.
    wraub and PWRL like this.
  7. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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