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So who's owned or owns a Lotus Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sijjvra, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    I'm curious. A Lotus bass was the first bass I ever owned back when I was about 16 or so. Bought it on a whim because my friends told me they were starting a band and I "should be the bass player, it'll be awesome!".

    The owner of the bass was from a local band called White Russian. It was a black Lotus that weighed a ton, had a J+P style pups, warped neck, felt like I was playing on a piece of driftwood, had action so high it hurt to press down on the strings...and had these awesome bumble bee stickers on the headstock. Of course at the time I thought it was the most bad mother of all basses ever. The guy sold it to me with some amp called a Gorilla bass amp (15 watts if I remember correctly) for 250 bucks, which was about 200 bucks more than what the entire thing was worth :p

    It was a real hunk of junk. I should dig out a picture of it and post it. I sold it to a pawn shop for about 30 bucks after I upgraded to an Ibanez TR50. And that low end TR bass was about a thousand times better than the Lotus :smug: that's how awful that bass was.

    I wish I still had it though.
  2. Science couldn't measure how big mine sucked.. it was almost Madonna.
    Beej likes this.
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    My very first bass was a Lotus. I think I was maybe 13 when I got it. It was apparently an attempt by Lotus to make a high(er)-end instrument, as it was made from one piece of wood (maybe two; not sure what type), had a through-body brass bridge, brass nut and brass inlays. The tuners were junk, so I had them replaced with Gotohs. I swapped out several pickups before settling in on the Bartolini split-P. The volume and tone pots were crap, so I replaced those. Later, after years of not being used, I took it to Phil Maneri to have the bow fixed, and he ended up routing out the body to mount the bridge lower.

    The thing is, this bass rocked! I kept wanting to buy a "better" bass, and I'd play all these other more expensive basses, but the Lotus held its own. In fact, I held out right up until I bought my Gibson Thunderbird.

    And get this! I still have that bass:





    And I still like it. :cool:
    NigelD, Bass V, andruca and 3 others like this.
  4. The only one I've seen was a black P-copy with gold
    pickguard, like said, very heavy, and with a warped neck.

    Maybe a good body, but not much else.
  5. Sijjvra-
    I remember seeing them in pawn shops and some of the music stores that focused on pianos and orchestra instruments. Seemed like they were usually copied from a popular Gibson, Fender or Ric....kind of like the Electra brand.
  6. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    I had one...very first bass with a 15 watt Crate bass amp.

    Mine was a pearl white w/ white pickguard. P Bass style w/ p pup and body. Neck was also warped after the first year of ownership. I bought mine new from a music store in Kennesaw, GA for $150 and the Crate amp was $50. My grandma helped me by giving me $100 and I paid for the rest. That bass helped me through a "teach yourself bass" book until my parents bought me a Fender American P Bass Deluxe for Christmas about three years later. I gave my Lotus to a friend in highschool who wanted to learn how to play bass. He then gave it back to me about two months later and I walked out to my parent's driveway and smashed it into about 8 pieces.
    VincentB likes this.
  7. I used a school bass once that was a Lotus.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I bought this P-special style bass in a pawn shop for $60, covered with runny black spray paint and with part of the hardware missing. The reason I bought it was that I wanted a test frame to learn how to defret a neck and refinish a bass. The logo had been sanded off, but the shop listed it as a Lotus, and the headstock design matches other Lutus P/J models I've seen pix of.

    Here's what I learned:

    - The neck is slightly wider than a P neck, and it's solid and very stable.
    - The body is a laminate.
    - Overall weight is not bad, and the balance is nice.
    - Nice work takes time. Between the defretting, neck repair and slot filling, body stripping, sealing, multiple lacquer coats and polishing, I'd estimate I put 80 hours of work into it.

    I replaced all the hardware with black stuff (other than the output jack) bought on Ebay, in the process I also found a very nice old Guild bridge. Pickups were replaced with DiMarzios bought on Ebay.

    The bass turned out absolutely beautiful; in fact, I entered it in my county fair in the crafts category and won Grand Champion, even beating a gent who hand-built a 3-foot model home out of hardwood! DANG!!

    You might consider this a very "upper-end" Lotus.

    Bass V and JollySpudd like this.
  9. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    :D Nice to see I'm not alone in the Lotus nostalgia. I hear they discontinued them though, which makes me slightly sad.

    Pilgrim, that bass looks a lot like the model I had actually...but not nicely refinished and worked on. Same pickup style (I'm sure mine were stock though) and tone knobs , and same headstock and neck from what I can tell. Nice work on it!
  10. Sijjvra


    Mar 31, 2009
    Found a picture!

    Don't mind the black fingernail polish and the ...eh, vampire? outfit. I was 16, and it was the 90's and the heyday of shock rock :p one of those stages or something.

    But there's the Lotus. If you look closely you can see the bumble bee stickers on the headstock and more faded ones on the body near the neck. Apparently I had mis-matched brand strings on it too. I dread to think about the abuse I probably put that bass through. Even a Lotus doesn't deserve that !

  11. LCW

    LCW Banned

    Mar 2, 2009
    my friend who is a drummer has a silver burst gray pearloid p bass lotus the neck is way fatter and thicker than a p bass , my senior year of high school 2008 my dean bass i had played for 5 years got a warped neck i had to play that lotus for 6 months even at prom ughhh;)

    its not a bad bass heavy and thick i still play it at practice sometimes
  12. But Electra was high quality and had original models too.
    This is pertaining to the real SLM Electra, not PCM.
    PCM wasm ostly Korean form who knows where.
  13. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I bought the same bass, in black, when my '73 Jazz was stolen (1981). It did the job, but it wasn't what I was used to. I liked it and played it a lot. I wish I still had it, but only for the sake of nostalgia.
  14. tombowlus: I have one extremely similar to yours...

    Well, it's not technically mine, it's my friends, but I'm borrowing it. Anyone recognize this?
    Bass V and tombowlus like this.
  15. Dude, I'd play that just beacuse it looks good. I like it.
  16. The only Lotus I've owned was a headless Steinberger copy. I bought it for $90 at a pawnshop. It was a neck-thru, had Steinberger licensed tuners, PJ pup configuration and was a great little bass. The only problem with it was that it's lack of a traditional body made it hang awkwardly on a strap... the neck extended waaay out to my left since there wasn't an upper horn above the 12th fret for a strap to attach to like with a conventional bodied bass.
  17. that is ridiculously yellow.
  18. I have a Lotus P my buddy just brought over the house.

    It's...odd. I haven't really gotten a chance to get at it yet.

    No pots (someone removed them) so I'm not even sure the electronics are sound right now. Strung up with flats, action is SUPERLOW. E string actually needs to come up, but other than that the neck is pretty nice.

    She's ugly. Really. If the electronics are working, I will be playing it (assuming it sounds decent). He got it for free at a yard sale.
  19. It's just because the camera sucks. It's more of a creamy white.
  20. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    I bought one locally for next to nothing a couple months ago. It was covered in stickers, missing strings, nasty pots and the like. I hadn't heard much about Lotus basses until I got this one.

    I've got a whole series of pictures but I'll just post the end result. I replaced the bridge with a SX bridge I had, put in a couple CTS pots since the stock ones were shot. Gave it a good cleaning and cavity shield, rolled the blocky feeling fingerboard edges, polished frets. This bass has boutique low action without a buzz anywhere, it really plays amazingly well. I mainly bought it because it reminds me of 80s MIJ Fenders like my JBS with the no pickguard. I didn't really need another bass but this thing is just too nice for me to want to get rid of. It has a great sound to it too.