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GuyR

Shergold Marathon

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I was unexpectedly invited in to a neighbour's house today to give an opinion on a bass guitar, which I have brought home.

He has had it 30 years and it has lived in his shed for the last 10. It is in pretty good condition, the finish is a bit crazed, some of the screws are a little rusty, but the neck looks straight. When he bought it he was told it was rare - fewer than 100 made.

I had never heard of a 6 string Shergold marathon bass. The serial number is 7040, stamped on a metal plate on the back of the headstock.

41144721832_a9d823288e_b.jpg

Does anyone have any useful further information?

cheers, Guy

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
request for valuation

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There is, naturally, a Shergold discussion forum.  You could do a lot worse than join that for the most accurate info.  Assuming he is still alive - I haven't been on there for a couple of years - there is even one of the original Shergold luthiers joins in discussions.

https://www.shergold.co.uk/forum/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=58d1c55a8f6df950a5941f35424348ef

 

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Thanks Paul, have signed up. There's a forum for pretty much everything these days 🙂

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Given the position of the bridge, it looks like a guitar, not a bass.

 

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50 minutes ago, Wylie said:

Given the position of the bridge, it looks like a guitar, not a bass.

 

It's short scale - 30"

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1 hour ago, Wylie said:

Given the position of the bridge, it looks like a guitar, not a bass.

 

It's the same body as a 34" scale four string but with the bridge positioned for a 30" scale neck. Hence the roughly 4" gap behind the bridge.

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22 hours ago, GuyR said:

I was unexpectedly invited in to a neighbour's house today to give an opinion on a bass guitar, which I have brought home.

Are you buying it from him?

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No, it's not really my cup of tea. nice to have a different bass round the house. Will take it to the gallery next week when I am back at work for a set up.

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There was a set of strings in the case, so I thought it would be rude not to give it a whirl. Unfortunately they are too thick a diameter for the brass nut, so three of them don't touch the zero fret, knocking the intonation out. Still using the top three and using the others as drones, it's quite an interesting crossover instrument for the uninitiated. The string spacing is narrow, the neck quite manageable  for a six string - surprisingly easy to play finger style and quite precision-like in sound. The strings with it were suitable for a low B - perhaps this bass is designed to be strung E-E?

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8 hours ago, GuyR said:

The strings with it were suitable for a low B - perhaps this bass is designed to be strung E-E?

Yes, that’s correct. That’s a tidy looking example of a rare and desirable bass. 

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9 hours ago, GuyR said:

The string spacing is narrow, the neck quite manageable  for a six string - surprisingly easy to play finger style and quite precision-like in sound. The strings with it were suitable for a low B - perhaps this bass is designed to be strung E-E?

Could you do me a big favour and measure the width of the nut from the lowest to the highest string. It would be interesting to compare it with the Fender/Squier Bass VI which IMO has an overly narrow neck.

And you are right in assuming that it was originally intended to be strung EADGBE like a guitar only an octave lower. The scale length is really too short to go much lower than this, and while you could go A-A baritone guitar tuning, the single pickup and its position is more suited to bass tones rather than down-tune guitar.

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9 hours ago, BigRedX said:

Could you do me a big favour and measure the width of the nut from the lowest to the highest string. It would be interesting to compare it with the Fender/Squier Bass VI which IMO has an overly narrow neck.

And you are right in assuming that it was originally intended to be strung EADGBE like a guitar only an octave lower. The scale length is really too short to go much lower than this, and while you could go A-A baritone guitar tuning, the single pickup and its position is more suited to bass tones rather than down-tune guitar.

The overall width of the nut is 49mm and the distance between strings - the centre of the low E string to the centre of the high E string is 41mm. 

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2 hours ago, GuyR said:

The overall width of the nut is 49mm and the distance between strings - the centre of the low E string to the centre of the high E string is 41mm. 

Thanks! That's a significant improvement IMO over the Bass VI which measures 35.5 between the centres of the highest and lowest strings.

If you wanted some better strings for this bass over the ones that came with it have a look at La Bella Bass VI set.

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So nice.  If you ever want to sell it I'd make you an offer.  I'm in the US but have friends in the UK that could pick it up for me.

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