Sunday, 5 May 2013

Multivox/Premier scroll bass from late 1950s/early 1960s
This Multivox/Premier scroll bass currently listed on eBay is quite a looker, but despite its alleged rarity I think that the Buy It Now price of $3,695 can only be called optimistic.

We've looked at Multivox/Premier guitars before now on this blog; I always thought they looked really classy although if you read this Guitarz review of a 1959 Premier guitar renovated by blog reader Mark you'll see he mentions that build quality could be inconsistent and that these instruments often suffered from quite basic issues such as bad fret spacing.

Of course, incorrect fret spacing wouldn't have worried the late great Mark Sandman of Morphine, who played a Premier bass strung with only two strings with a glass slide.

G L Wilson

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  1. Once again a good and original design but an not really playable instrument sold at very high price!
    I recently had an experience of that kind but very very cheaper; I bought for 40€ a Peavey Orange County Choppers model,very cheap but well thought, one pickup,no nonsense construction and a very good original design.But,in the end, the frets were misplaced and I couldn't get it to play in tune... Maybe I should keep it for 10 years more in my attic and sell it for 5000€ when I'll retire...

  2. Not to mention that you seem fascinated by dead musicians!

  3. Comment from Mark via email as follows:


    Having played a number of these 1950s-60s solidbody Premiers I
    definitely wouldn’t generalize that they are unplayable, and I would
    say the overall build quality, playability, and tone ranges from
    "average/certainly functional in a low-fi setting" to "excellent/wow,
    play it anywhere." My own feeling is that whatever shortcoming any of
    them might have is worth working around for their rarity and striking
    eye-catching design and materials. As for the sometimes erratic fret
    spacing (not sure if this afflicts the basses), either fix it (not
    impossible, I have done it), use the thing for slide (see Sandman and
    Cooder), or just embrace a little dissonance!




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