Tuesday, 8 September 2009

LaBaye 2x4 bass


This one is rarer than rocking horse manure. It's a LaBaye 2x4 bass, and it's on eBay right now. Seriously, these hardly ever come up for sale. When was the last time you saw one?

For those not in the know, LaBaye 2x4 guitars were produced in the Holman-Woodell factory in Neodesha, Kansas in 1967, and share features and hardware with the Wurlitzer-branded guitars that were built in the same factory. The guitar is so called because it is modeled after a 2-by-4 plank with a neck attached to it. Controls are positioned on the top edge of the guitar except for the pickup selector on the guitar models situated on the bottom edge where it is very easy to inadvertantly knock and change the pickup selection. (The bass only has a single pickup and therefor no selector switch. However, for some reason it has two tone controls, which is peculiar.) Short-scale bass, guitar and 12-string versions were all produced plus allegedly one or two long-scale basses, but none were successful and production ceased within a year. The only notable player is Devo's Bob Mothersbaugh who uses a LaBaye guitar live on the solo to "Mr DNA" in which he causes all the strings to break by pulling up on the vibrato arm.

G L Wilson

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