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Where are the British brands?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Bit of a shower thought today; why aren’t there more (any?) MAJOR British bass/guitar manufacturers? When it come to amps they’ve got some legendary giants with Vox, Marshall, and Orange all hailing from Britain. Yet, the only British guitar/bass brands that I know of (not to say that’s a fully comprehensive knowledge) are Burns and Chowny, both of which I would consider pretty niche. Is it because of some comparative advantage in manufacturing electronics, prior to outsourcing manufacturing to the Far East? Some laws or regulations that made instrument making less lucrative?

    on a side note, for years after I started playing I had thought that Rickenbacker was British, because Brits are who seemed to always be using them. The jangle of the British Invasion is a Ric guitar, Macca, Chris Squire, Lemmy, etc. Kinda blew my mind when I found out Ric is American.
  2. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Check out Overwater and Alpher.
  3. 80jazz


    Jun 28, 2008
    Is Waterstone still over there?
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  4. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Nice basses, but not what I would call major manufacturers. Those are both what I would consider boutique brands, with their most “affordable” models starting around $3k. I had meant run of the mill production brands that you would expect to find on Sweetwater, MF, or hanging on a wall in GC.
    Dynacord and murphy like this.
  5. KrzysztofSyposz


    Dec 3, 2020
    British bass company’s to check out, Yes they are all boutique Handmade however overwater AND Anaconda do have more wallet friendly models with outsourced but high spec quality Low batch production and materials and then finished in house. But all excellent quality.

    Sei basses, produced in workshop below The Bass Gallery in Camden, London. Basically best bass shop in the Uk, like an Aladins cave of basses tucked away in a modest fronted shop. Find basses of all shapes and sizes and ages in the shop and then Sei basses, owned by the owner of the shop, who is also a master Luthier in his own right.


    Anaconda basses

    Sei Bass

    Vinny_G and PennyroyalWe like this.
  6. KrzysztofSyposz


    Dec 3, 2020
    Oh and Ashdown amps
    More mainstream
  7. luciens


    Feb 9, 2020
    Origin Effects is a British manufacturer. They're the maker of the Cali76 compressor pedal I have and it's absolutely second to none in quality, tone, built like a tank etc....

  8. msb


    Jul 3, 2002
    Halifax,N,S. Canada
    Don't forget Wal .
    J0ttem, 600 Ohms, lomo and 20 others like this.
  9. cdef


    Jul 18, 2003
    Status is pretty well established, too.
    J0ttem, 600 Ohms, knumbskull and 13 others like this.
  10. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    | Retrovibe
  11. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    In addition to what has already been mentioned, I would add:
    Let's not forget that Ashdown now also makes basses: Basses

    Edit: Bass Collection, the house brand of the Bass Centre boutique. They also sell strings and accessories.
    Bass Collection
    British Bass Masters

    Regarding amplification:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
  12. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Wow, these are awesome! Finally someone made REAL tele bass! Though it looks like these are mostly modified basses made by other manufacturers?
    Nebula24 likes this.
  13. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    Retrovibe Basses
  14. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    Wal and status. /Closethread
  15. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    In the 60s Burns basses (and guitars) were very popular, and of course in the British Invasion era Hofner basses which are neither American nor British but German. Also a lot of interesting Italian instruments from that period.

    These days I'd say you could really only point to Wal and Manson, who are both low-volume (but very high quality) makers. And Sei but also not a volume maker.

    Amps is our thing. And pro audio (Allen & Heath). Is Marshall owned by Uli Behringer yet? We also make cheese.
  16. Bleecker

    Bleecker Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2006
    Etown NY. USA
    Great references here. Some beauty basses that I've never heard of before...Thanks!
    Vinny_G likes this.
  17. Trabeen

    Trabeen Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    ACG is second to nobody, serious basses from Scotland.
  18. Chapman appears to be out of the bass game.

    In some ways, I think they made a mistake going with Guitar Center as their exclusive dealer in the USA. If they had gotten proper distribution and had their instruments show up in smaller shops, they’d probably sell better.

    Just doesn’t seem to be a “Guitar Center customer” type of brand.
    Vinny_G likes this.
  19. In Brittain

    - Hides -
    equill likes this.
  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Overwater and Wal and plenty of niche artisans. Burns is allegedly coming back again, again. I've been waiting to order a next gen Bison because they understand the definition of "cool".
    Hayden guitar amps. Mmmmm. Orange. RotoSound. Laney. Shergold. Wilkinson?
  21. 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.

    Feb 28, 2021

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