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But the 6-string bass offers a truly unique voice with a range that’s between a baritone and a standard bass.

The 6-string bass is often misunderstood. Guitarists tend to wonder why you wouldn’t just slap on a heavier set of strings and tune down, or use a baritone guitar to help cover the lower registers. But the 6-string bass offers a truly unique voice with a range that’s between a baritone and a standard bass. For decades, it’s been an essential tool for country players, who use it to fatten up bass lines tracked by upright basses. And famous players as diverse as Jack Bruce, John Lennon, and Robert Smith have made 6-string bass a part of their arsenal.

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The TV Jones Spectra Sonic C Melody doesn’t disappoint in any regard other than the semi-steep price.

If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Brian Setzer in concert in the last 10–12 years, one of the coolest moments—from both musical and a gear-nerd perspectives—was probably when he busted out a long-scale guitar with a oddly shaped pickguard and proceeded to twang the crud out of “Mystery Train.”

That guitar is a baritone based on a prototype built by Tom Jones from TV Jones. Setzer has long been an ambassador for TV Jones—he uses TV Classics in nearly all his Gretsches—and he’s played a huge role in the popularity of Jones’ larger pickup line. In addition to being stock on many high-end Gretsches, Jones’ pickups are stock in the Fender Custom Shop’s La Cabronita line, and are a highly sought-after upgrade item for many tone freaks.

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Mike Lull has been flying under the mainstream radar and making superb basses and guitars for almost two decades now. His basses are revered in the low-end community and

Mike Lull has been flying under the mainstream radar and making superb basses and guitars for almost two decades now. His basses are revered in the low-end community and are the go-to for a number of top players because of how well he fine-tunes features to yield instruments that feel like upscale variations of basses made famous in Fullerton. Lull does all the designing and building himself, and in doing so, has made his name synonymous with tone and reliability.

Those familiar with Lull’s work tend to know of his P- and J-style offerings, while his T-bird-style designs are popular in a more specialized niche. The mad scientist in all of us can dream of combining the favorite characteristics of classic designs, but with the JT5-24, Mike Lull actually takes that plunge with a nod to Dr. Moreau.

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