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What make is Jonas Hellborg's acoustic bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. I hope some of you have checked out Jonas Hellborg's recent trio recordings with the now dearly departed Shawn Lane? If not prepare to be inspired by the original punk jazzer, he's got the lot playing-wise and he's a good composer too, problem is I really want one of his acoustic basses - because they sound gorgeous. He slaps like hell and plays great fingerstyle and chords and all with a beautiful acoustic edge - which sounds ultra-sweet through his EBS gear - so my question is

    a. What does he play? Is it still a Wechter? (spelling?)

    b. Could anyone recommend a really nice acoustic bass guitar instead?

    c. My one big plus is that I know someone who can get me Warwick stuff at trade price and I have my eye on one of their Vampyre acoustics....yum.

    Like to hear your thoughts on any of the above...cheers M

    This is the bass:

    <img src=http://www.jkhroute66.de/hellweb/images/hamburg2.JPG>
  2. This one?

    Richard Lindsey (NY, US) has a really nice 6 string acoustic made by Shuker.
  3. No - something like this:

    <img src=http://www.jkhroute66.de/hellweb/images/ingojonas.JPG>
  4. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    The top one is a Wechter - it's the same make as the acoustics his former boss John McLaughlin plays.

    This link takes you to the Wechter site page that features the bass Hellborg played:


    My lousy German tells me that the bass in the second pic is of Korean origin, according to the Hellborg fansite. Looks like a Washburn or something like that. I could be wrong.

    My fave ABG remains a tie between a Martin and the Tacoma Thunderchief.
  5. Thanks dudes - BTW those Status basses look really cool - didn't mean to sound negative...
  6. My fault as well... I couldn't see the first picture when it loaded. The status bass is a Jonas Hellborg signature as well, so I thought.... :bassist:
  7. I think I've seen discussions on Jonas' newest acoustic in the bassist section, or maybe the Wal newsgroup on Yahoo, and IIRC it's a Crafter - a Washburn owned brand name, again IIRC - made only for him. But I might be wrong.
    And like urb_munki, I love Jonas' acoustic tone (especially on "The Silent Life", and the tune "Roman", possibly the most beautiful piece of music composed for bass ever), and I've seen him perform with his Wechter on two occasions; once with the percussionist Trilouk Gurtu; and once with a violinist and a cellist. The second performance was quite different from what you usually hear Jonas play, as the did some pieces by Bartok, and other classical composers - together with a few Jonas penned tunes. The most amazing thing with that second performance though, was that it was entirely acoustic, with no microphones to be seen anywhere, but still, the ABG could be heard clearly. And I remember reading in Bass Player that the action on his Wechter is set very high, so that he can dig in, and get more volume from it than with low action. That probably works, from what I could tell.

    And, isn't Warwick's ABG called "Alien"?
  8. Yeah - I could potentially get one of these at 'trade price' so I'm guessing a third less than a shop bought one, but it's still more money I don't have! I have played one and it was kinda nice - I would need my action quite low though as I am a total wuss/speed idiot - which might not be possible...it's so bloody tempting though cos I really want to be able play totally acoustically - and a double bass just sin't an option due to a. costing even more b. I have fretless c. they are simply too big for my flat (appartment)- and I want an acoustic instrument to take anywhere - ya' see?
  9. Also Love "The Silent Life"... but my favorite acoustic bass guitar sound has to be in "The Word"...simply amazing!!!
    :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:
  10. bassjamn

    bassjamn Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    Hey just some related hellborg/sipe info i noticed this new link on abstractlogix.com

    They have some live, webcasts up there and this one


    Hey i just realized Paul Hanson(basoonist) is the guy who sat in with the flecktones , cool!
  11. Agreed, but what I like most about "The Word" is the hyperactive drummer. :)
  12. I'm still gutted I missed the Indo-fusion quartet, with the two percussionists, Lane and Hellborg - when they last came to London - the reason I didn't go was because the last Hellborg stuff I'd heard wasn't that great - but then I got sent all the Hellborg/Lane albums and I was totally blown away...there's a tune called 'Who Would You Like To Be' that has the nasiest finger-style funk bass line - that's a complete bitch to try and play...

    Last thing to say is - if you don't have the <b>'Paris'</b> live DVD anyone who even vaguely likes Hellborg should own this - a really great concert film if ever there was one!
  13. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    I am a big Hellborg afficianado (and his acoustic/chordal playing style has had an enormous influence on my own similar style). Jonas owns quite a few basses incl. the Status Jonas Hellborg sig model, which is a solidbody, as well as the one-off semi-acoustic 6 which someone posted (what an amazing piece that is; tuned EADGBE with narrow spacing and a 32" scale).

    His most famous ABG work (The Word, Silent Life etc. was done with the Wechter. The Wechter bass was originally made especially for him, but now Wechter offers the same model in their catalog (about $3k IIRC).

    Several other CDs (Ars Moriente, Zen House etc) were made using one of his Ovation ABGs (one is standard, the other a double neck freeted/fretless 4 string ABG).

    Of late, Jonas has been playing two Crafter ABGs. These are not custom made, just regular, off the shelf models. MAde in Korea and nothing that special about them (altho they are quite nice basses). One he added a mag pickup to, and changed the electronics out to a Fishman setup with the onboard blender (this gives him three sources: the piezo, and internal condenser mic and the mag PU). The other he also traded out the stock electronics for the Fishman system, and added a fifth string. I believe it is a high C (it's funny in pics, as the tuning gears of four strings are gold finish and the 5th is silver...)

    He apparently really likes the Crafters, and has stated that these basses give him the feel and response he has been looking for in an ABG.

    Though they are making some rep for the acoustic gtrs, Crafter ABGs are still little known. They look much like the Washburn/Dean/Ibanez etc. ABGs which all come out of the Samick factory in Korea (as does Crafter). Fairly inexpensive, tho mostly distrubuted in Europe.

  14. I used to have a Crafter 5-string ABG. Very nice instrument for very little money, although the acoustic volume of the thing was nowhere near enough to cope unplugged. I eventually sold it to buy a fretless.
  15. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Have just exchanged a couple of emails with Rob Green at Status about copying this Hellborg semi-acoustic 6:


    I was pleasantly surprised by the quote I was given - it comes in at around £600 less than the semi-acoustic 5 I have discussed with another luthier. I haven't decided yet, but I am tempted!
  16. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Guitars maybe, but I've yet to see a bass :meh:
  17. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
  18. Black quilt maple I think - I used to own one and it was quite a nice bass, although not loud enough to play acoustically with anyone else. It was good for practising unplugged, and my left hand technique improved a LOT while I had it. I sold it to make way for a fretless.
  19. I have the Thunderchief Bass and love it. Using Thomastic Acousticores is an important part of the sound and playing experience. Much more comfortable and expressive.

    But if you have a connection for the Vampyre then I would go for that. That things looks hawwt!