I had just wanted to write a quick piece on a new acquisition of mine, something that may be of interest to some of you because there isn't really a great deal about Manne basses on the internet, especially these older models. There is so little, in fact, that I don't even know what this model was called when it was first made, though I will probably write to the company to find out more about it.
In any event, Manne are still around today and probably doing a better trade now than they ever have done. They remain very popular in their native Italy and have a very strong following there. Notably, the virtuoso Dominic Di Piazza used to play one of these. They've been in production since the late 80's with the original luthier still in charge today.
I spotted this one for sale on Reverb at about 3AM on a night shift a couple of weeks ago and made contact with the owner, a nice Italian guy who was selling the instrument after owning it for 30 years! Yes, I was dealing with the original owner who remarked that it had cost him a 'fortune' when new and it had obviously been well looked after. After a few days of exchanging messages to work out the logistics of a sale, a deal was made and the bass was promptly shipped from Italy, flying out from Milan and making it's way to me in Northumberland, England.
I've liked the look of Manne basses for years but I've never seen one in person, never mind held one. However, I am fairly adaptable and must say it is very comfortable to play. The body and neck are maple, with some sort of burled wood veneer on the headstock. The fretboard is unlined ebony with dot markers in line with where the fret would be. It's a substantial instrument, I have not weighed it but it feels about on par with an old maple Yamaha TRB. The neck is very fast and quite thick front-to-back. In comparison to my Pedulla Pentabuzz, which has a very flat neck which is thin front-to-back, the Manne is considerably heftier but no less comfortable for it.
The electronics have been replaced with an EMG setup with active/passing switching. So far, I just run it flat choosing active or passive as I fancy it. The output must be buffered because there is no drop off in output between the two, though the tone in noticeably altered. I haven't yet restrung it with new strings, but I can say that present it has an insane amount of grunt and 'mwah'. The sound is full of body, rich and with a very tactile attack. It really responds to plucking hand placement and technique. The setup gives such low, clean action that makes notes 'bloom' and sustain for ages, just the ticket for carefully considered glissando and sliding a few cents up or down into a note.
One thing that tech-heads will note is the tuning system, which is one of the smartest I have seen. The headstock has string-posts that the end of of the string is wound through. The post is controlled by a very small, smoothly geared knob mounted on the back of the headstock. The strings are threaded through the post and locked in at the headstock and then tuned from the bridge. Again, the tuning action is so smooth and accurate. I find this unique system to be rerally smartly made and it works perfectly. It seems that this tuning system faded out in the early 90's, I will try and find out why that was. I expect it was pretty expensive to make compared to off the shelf parts.
In any event, this bass is a real find for me. I must thank the original owner for keeping it in such good condition. I am now going to woodshed some UZEB and Alain Caron material...
I'm not looking for any trades at the moment but my arm could be twisted by a nice 4 string classic ray with a rosewood fretboard, or a Spector euro LX. (Cash either way)
I had this up for sale a few months ago and withdrew it because I knew I would regret it. However, its time to put my big knickers and to let it go once and for all.
Its a great bass, in great condition (see pics, shout if you would like some more pics).
Check out the following link for details
I would prefer social distance collection, although I'm happy to drive for an hour to deliver. (say 80 miles top)
I can post, shipping and Insurance will be at the buyers expense
Here is a summary, see pics for weight according to kitchen scales and the width of the nut.
Neck: Bolt on.
Fretboard: Ebony (No Makers)
Scale: 34 inches
Pickups: Delano SBC
Electronics: Marleaux EQ BC3
Controls: Master Vol - Pickup Blend - 3-Band Active / Passive
Switch: Pickup Split
Hardware Finish: Black
Made in Germany
Happy to answer any questions.
So it seems like there are not a lot of short scale fretless basses around, but if I can find a decent one within my budget limit I sort of ponder on buying one in the near future.
I'll like it to be max 30" scale length, preferably be a 4 string, and my budget limit would be about 400£, but I'd prefer cheaper, as long as it is still decent (I would suspect a pickup upgrade down the line being necessary anyway in this kind of price class).
Does such a bass exist?
All suggestions are welcome.
For Sale £1950 shipped
Lovely Roscoe Century 4 Fretless purchased less than 6 months ago from Bass Direct. Comes with soft case and letter of authenticity.
Only room for one fretless in the house when two cash sponges have returned home from college without jobs.
Three piece Spanish Cedar Body
Flamed Maple top
Finish - Amberburst satin
Three piece Maple neck with contrasting stringers
Fingerboard - Lined Black Diamondwood (resin, pressure impregnated wood)
Bartolini 3-band pre amp with volume, pan, treble/bass stack, mid/mid freq select push/pull (250/800hz)
Bartolini JJ Pickup in the JB position
Black ultralight Gotoh tuners
Black Hipshot B style bridge in Aluminium
Strings: D'Addario EXL Nickel 45 - 105
TKL Pro Case (soft)
Weight: 3.7kg/8lb 1oz
Fantastic unique Squier VM fretless jazz with upgrades. Refinished in Graffiti Yellow, fitted with replica tort plate and genuine Fender bridge and pickup covers. Body in mint condition apart from a few minor surafce marks to bottom and side edges and one small ding on the rear top contour as shown, otherwise like new. Replaced stock neck with Mexican Fender pau ferro, mint condition and lemon oiled for a lovely finish. Previously fitted with an active preamp and still has side mounted jack if wanted to upgrade. Strung with Picato flats, nice and worn in.
Prefer local collection (somehow) as out of boxes to send (at buyer's cost). Cheers!