Kenneth Lawrence ChamberBrase II 5-string
Update: Weight and some new pics
Ken Lawrence is without doubts one of the best luthiers ever. Even Vinnie Fodera came to this conclusion (and well, he might know a bit about basses as well… ;-)). I have been playing Ken's basses for long time and can 110% confirm this reputation. Besides being an extraordinary player himself Ken is the nicest guy who really cares about his customers.
This bass is extremely rare and kind of a full-house-configuration, see spec sheet below. It hardly gets any more exclusive:
Abalone inlays and logo, ebony bindings on fretboard, LED-Dots ……
The craftmanship is out of this universe. The construction with its semi-hollow body gives the instrument an unbelievable dynamic and response. The sound does have an acoustic touch with some "airy vibe", but ultimately this is a powerful electric bass that delivers an amazing low-end. In fact I have and had also several Foderas from 33" to 36" scale and this bass has by far the best b-string I have ever player.
The bass has been used and played a lot, but always extremely well cared. I used it on several tours throughout Europe and did not have to touch the trussrod a single time. Even on real big stages the sound is well-defined and precise, never boomy.
Very low action with B-G at the moment. Also used E-C for some time, so that is possible of course
The ramp can be removed without any marks
Condition is excellent, I would give a 8.5 - 9 / 10. After very close inspection I found 3 marks:
A little mark at the wooden electricity cover, a mark at the upper flush mount straplock and one next to the input jack. The last two marks are very superficial and just affecting the lacquer (Ken uses an ultra-light finish). It is not in the wood, no dings or dongs.
The instrument would cost > 10.000 USD new plus shipping, tax, customs etc. and at least 2 years waiting time (guess it might be even longer, Ken just takes orders in January). So much more than 10.000 Euro with all the overhead.
The bass is located near Bonn / Germany. Shipping at buyers expense and risk is no problem.
Kenneth Lawrence Instruments ChamberBrase II
Scale Length: 33"
Nut: 1 3/4” nut
String Spacing: 19 mm, Adjustable To 18-20mm
Body Wood: Claro Walnut
Top Wood: Figured / Blackened Redwood Top and Headstock Cap
Neck: Eastern Maple 3 Piece with Dual Function Stainless Steel Truss Rod
Fretboard: presumably Cocobolo with Gaboon Ebony Binding
Inlays: Paua Abalone Blocks with Matching Paua Abalone Headstock Logo w/ Ebony Surround
Additional: Gaboon Ebony Control Cavity Cover
Electronics: Blue fibre optic side dots with on/off switch Nordstrand hum-cancelling "J" pickups w/ Gaboon Ebony covers Customized Glockenklang 3 band preamp, Tara Labs wiring
Weight: According to my old bathroom scale the bass weights 4.1 kg. In comparison to my other basses where I know the precise weight this makes completely sense…
Toggle switches: There are two toggle switches, one switch is the on / off for the blue LEDs in the fretboard, the other one is some sort of boost. It adds a big load of db to the signal and gives the bass a fat bottom (as far as I see it can be trimmed, its the blue circuit, please the new picture of the cockpit).
Haven't used both switches at all, as I usually have enough light on stage and play the bass 90% passive. I used the EQ as a second setting with a slightly shaped solo sound. However, I asked Ken about the exact specs of the circuit and will be able to give a more profound answer very soon hopefully.