Plugging in, I noticed the side-by-side
Fralin pickup approximates a
conventional P bass pickup with very little
noise. Checking out the setup with my little
steel ruler, I found the pickup poles to be
1/4" away from the strings (when fretted
on the last fret). A usual string-to-pole-piece
distance is 1/8", and once you get
much farther away from the strings, bottom
end and volume start to diminish. Hahn
explained that this was a design choice in
the interest of getting more of an acoustic-like
tone. I tested it with his setup, but then
pulled the pickup and added a piece of
foam under it to bring it up to a more conventional
distance. The change in output
and bottom end was obvious.
Other than the pickup height, the bass
was set up just how I like it: Neck relief
was minimal and string height was about
3/32" at the octave. The 6150 nickel-alloy
frets were beautifully leveled, crowned,
and polished. And the 9-pound weight
Taking the Hahn into Action
I was fortunate to try out the Model 22 in
a few performance settings. At a moderately
loud blues jam (with guitar, keys, sax,
harmonica, drums, and vocals), it needed
a little extra volume bump on an Ampeg
SVT-3PRO (with a 1x15 cab) to keep up.
I also found myself playing harder than
usual, but I was surprised that the Hahn
handled the extra attack without rattling
or going out of control. It was one tight-playing
bass, and the highly focused tone
helped the Model 22 cut through the very
muddy acoustics of the club.
In a small studio rehearsal (with guitar, harmonica,
and vocals), the finer, more subtle
tone characteristics were more noticeable.
Running into my small Euphonic Audio
head and a 1x12 cab with tight low end,
the clarity and ringing, piano-like sustain
were very apparent. By adjusting the tone
control and varying right-hand technique,
I could coax loads of tones out of the
Model 22. Interestingly, few were what I’d
consider definitively vintage-Fender tones,
but this a truly multivoiced performer all
The Hahn Model 22 is an instrument
of the highest quality from top to bottom.
Its design elements produce a
modern-sounding instrument in an understated,
vintage-looking package. If you’re
looking for a trusty workhorse that can
thump out a fat foundation for blues, rock,
or roots music, there may be cheaper
alternatives. But if your musical endeavors
take you to where purity, sustain, and
definition are essentials, the Model 22 is a
potential match made in heaven.
you need a super-high-quality,
painstakingly constructed bass with
tone that stands out from the herd.
affordability is more of a concern than
stellar tones and top-shelf quality.