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Steve Harris bass; what is it supposed to be?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ultra60, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Found this photo in another thread;


    One missing headstock logo, one early 70's logo, a later 70's logo, then the one with 50's/60's logo.

    The signature model lists a 1.75" neck. Does Steve really use that?
  2. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    Yes, his basses are tanks and he likes the necks thick and chunky.

    The original 70s bass started out white, then black, and then the metallic blue flake that became his look for several albums. he of course had a backup or two made the same way, before his first one got yet another refin back to white with the West Ham burgundy and blue trim. This is the one that the logo has worn off completely (on the left) which now has a backup as well - built by a TBer actually - and that's the story of why you see two of each (though I believe the one on the far right is a Fender Steve Harris Signature model).

    They all sport BAII bridges, SD pickups, chrome plated metal PGs, Rotosound heavy gauge flatwounds and those thick maple necks with the larger style tuners. His wireless unit is inside that "sock" that covers his shoulder strap and that too, is on the large side. His basses would crush most regular players who chase after those <8lb lightweight basses.

    He's also played a CAR red one at recent shows from his side project band.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
    fourstringgirl likes this.
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    What are they supposed to be? Awesome!!!
    hover likes this.
  4. I believe the original one he used, which would be the one on the far left, is a 72 or 73.
  5. How did the chrome pickguard come to be? Did fender make them way back when or did he get a custom made one?
  6. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    I think Fender may have made them at some point. I happened to score one on ebay last year and there are notes on the back regarding '66 pots and '69 pickups, so it's back in the pre-CBS era either way.

    It's made from brass and chrome plated and mine weighs 1lb 2oz all by itself. That and the BAII would no doubt make any bass heavy, but it may have been deliberate to counteract the neck dive from what must be a fairly weighty neck.
  7. Steve`s bass is a 74 they reckon but aren`t sure. The other white bass, was built by Jason Smith at the Custom shop. According to Steve`s bass tech, they could not find any alder heavy enough for the body. In the mid 70`s they had a supply problem with alder timber, so they used Western big leaf maple for a time and they reckon the bass was made of this. That is why it`s so damm heavy!

    The tone pots are all disconnected to prevent problems from Steve`s sweat. How nice!
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I am pretty sure it's a Fender.
    hover likes this.
  9. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    His old school bass is a '70.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  10. TheAnalogKid

    TheAnalogKid Yer Doin' GREAT!!!!

    Dec 7, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    I wonder what ever became of this?


    EDIT: Apparently, I have my answer: it is a '59, which used to be Fiesta Red, but re-fin'd to what's here (source: http://bassoutpost.com/index.php?topic=5432.0).

    I always featured Steve (aside from Lados and Ibanez models he played) to be a one-piece-maple-neck-fingerboard player through and through! I seldom associate him and rosewood fretboards :laugh:
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  11. Thanks for the replies. My question really is: Why did Fender do the Steve Harris with a 1.75 neck, and 60's logo, if his bass is a 70's?

    I'd be all over that with a 70's style neck and logo. Does Harris actually use a 1.75 nut width?
  12. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Because the folks at Fender aren't always on point with small details. Yes he uses 1.75" nut. As mentioned above, he likes the neck big. The blue sig model has a baseball bat neck, literally the biggest 4 string neck I've ever played. It's massive.
  13. The logo was used from the late 60`s till 1976 and Steve`s is a 74 as far as Michael Kenney his tech is aware.
  14. Right... the logo used from the late 60's until '76 is the one on 2nd white bass, and not what is on his signature model. I also am fairly sure that those years did not have a 1.75" nut width.

    If Steve's #1 is a '74, its most likely not a 1.75, right? Fender got the color right, or at least what it was at the time. But did they really get the neck right on his sig model?
  15. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    '74? I've been a 'arry 'ead for 30 years. He's the reason I started playing bass. I've always thought it was a '70. That's what it says on the Live After Death insert. Double checked it yesterday. Maybe the information wan't available back then for proper dating?
  16. Imagine the uproar there would be here if a tb'er did that finish to a '59!!
  17. The 74 comes from a interview Michael gave to the British Bass Guitar magazine in October 2012. I have just checked and he said "We don`t know the exact year of it, but we`re guessing around 74."

    I am guessing that when they gave it to the Custom shop to make the white replica (the one with the logo), they came to that conclusion based on the wood the body is made of and when that wood was used in production.

    Or mabye not :unsure:
  18. deeptubes


    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    ♫eerie music♫ Mysteries of the unexplained. Perhaps it was gifted to him from...aliens! :nailbiting:
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  19. Aliens, eh???

    That would explain how the guy can play so damm fast!

    On a related point, I once bought a set of his sig Rotosound flatwound strings and they were the worst set of flats I have ever bought, and the most expensive at £28. That is $47 in your money.

    Yeah, $47.
  20. MarkoYYZ

    MarkoYYZ Commercial User

    Jan 31, 2012
    Hammersmith Music
    They're not meant to be flats by most player's standards. He seems to like a smoother string in a heavy gauge, but since they are apparently changed out for a fresh set before every show, he also likes them to be very bright and not broken in for any retro thumpiness. His technique is definitely meant to be dirty and the deliberate fret noise is probably a lot more tame with bright flats than with rounds. More click and less zing.

    Like deeptubes, Harris is one of the reasons I ever picked up a bass at all.

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