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No Affiliations: Doug Irwin Bass for Sale (Grateful Dead Luthier)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by silvertone, May 9, 2016.

  1. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
  2. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    Someone tipped me to the description which was hidden:

    This is the very last Doug Irwin instrument completed by the master himself. I contacted Doug in his Santa Rosa shop to build it in the summer of 1977 and it was completed in his Geyserville shop in 1980. My younger brother who initially introduced me to Doug also contracted Doug a couple months before me to have a guitar built (That guitar may also be soon available).

    During those two and one half years Tiger had come in for some custom "cavity" work. Their is plenty of speculation to what the cavity under tiger was for including a stash box and even a string ejector system. It was always interesting to see Doug in action with the few instruments that had come and gone in the last years of his guitar building business. Needless to say, the build quality and uniqueness is no different than Jerry's beautiful Tiger, Wolf or Rosebud.

    On many trips up to Doug's place in Santa Rosa and then to his shop in Geyserville, we spent a great deal of time discussing life, wood, dreams and even politics. He was a gifted artist and real pleasant individual and at the time, I knew I had something special that was well worth every dollar I could spare. And yet I never thought I may be the last to own a piece of history that reflects the brilliance and artistry of a true craftsman.

    Similar to a Travis Bean's aluminum neck guitar or bass, the pickups and bridge are attached directly to the ebony neck. Doug and my concept was to isolate the sound and sustain of the ebony and take advantage of that by making the neck a slide in body style attachment. This concept also saved a little weight. One has to remember that Ebony like this is no longer available and there is no other bass (that I know of) on the planet that has a solid Ebony neck. At the time, Doug's shop was filled with the aroma and beauty of rare hardwoods from around the world and it was an unforgettable experience for Doug and I to select the pieces of wood that would go into my bass.

    The headstock has Doug's very beautiful brass Eagle over the Mother of Pearl Earth inlaid logo set in ebony and surrounded by an inlaid brass binding that continues down both sides of the fret board. The neck side dots are Mother of Pearl and located in the side of the fret board above a thin inlay feature strip of maple. The ebony fret board markers are Mother of Pearl. The bridge and nut are solid brass both hand made by Doug.

    The body is of both of our design and has a carved flame maple front, an American walnut core, and a flame maple back with a brass electronics cover plate.

    The pickups are EMG HB's and the recently upgraded preamp is the five knob (three of which are stacked) ACG EQ-1 running on two 9v batteries for increased headroom. The tuners are Shallers and the new black brass knobs came form Best Bass Gear. I do have the original brass knobs.

    The neck dimensions are built similar to a Fender Jazz at the nut but narrower at the body (measures 2.017 inches at the 22nd fret from E to G string).

    There is bass tone that pros with years of experience seek including myself that can't match the warmth, the sustain, the richness, the clarity, and even the brightness, and consistency of sound that this bass can offer. I've played many very collectable basses that are considered icons of the industry but fall down short in delivering the sounds that are available within this Irwin.

    The condition shows wear as it's been played and enjoyed on the road, the studio, and in my home over the last 34 years. I did have it refretted in the 90's and just added the new preamp (the original Stars Guitars preamp failed) but other than that, I've not refinished anything on this bass since taking delivery of it from Doug. The Mercedes Benz clear auto finish Doug used has protected it well and shows wear on the back from clothing.

    Included is a custom built road case which is explains the weight and shipping costs. Please feel free to contact me for questions.
  3. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    bobyoung53 and Tonetodiefor like this.
  4. Basho83


    Jun 16, 2019
    Wow! I'll take two.
  5. 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.

    Apr 14, 2021

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