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The Tutmarc bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NewWaveBasser, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. OK, I didn't know about the Paul Tutmarc deal until a few months ago.

    Anyway, I finally got to see the Audiovox 736 on emplive.com, the website of the museum now owning the only known 736...

    Man I was fascinated as heck by this bass. And this thing was made in 1935! Well so much for Leo Fender inventing the electric bass guitar...

    Your thoughts about this bass and the controversy it (may have) generated?
  2. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
  3. marklinca


    Nov 11, 2003
    So Cal
    The Tutmarc was clearly ahead of it's time.

    Most people in the know credit Leo Fender with the first commercially viable electric bass - sort of similar to the Broadcaster / Telecaster introduction (he clearly didn't invent the electric guitar) which were preceded by the Rik Frying Pan and Les Paul's "Log".

    The Tutmarc bass at the EMP and the book "How the Fender Bass Changed the World" have helped right the wrong. The Tutmarc is crude, but the layout and all of the components are right there. The Tutmarc is even more amazing in the context of development of the electric guitar in general - it falls between the Frying Pan and the Log.

    The strings and the amplification are the items that weren't quite ready for the Tutmarc. Leo put these crucial items in place and also designed an amazing instrument from the get go. Leo brought the electric bass to the masses, though it still took half of the 50's to really get it going.
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I actually wrote a term paper on the fact that Leo was miscredited with the invention of the electric bass. I may be able to find it if anyone's interested (only 5-10 pages or so) not to mention the fact that Leo didn't patent his bass for 2 years after its original invention. Who knows, maybe even HE didn't think the Fender bass would catch on.

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