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New Headless Birthday Bass Day!


Thanks to the sterling collaborative efforts of @Paul S and my lovely partner, I got this for me birfday! It's a Riverhead Unicorn RUB1090, from 1985-ish. I've wanted one of these since I tried one at the old Bass Centre in Wapping in 1985, and sadly found myself unequal to the £500 price tag!

They don't turn up too often & I've missed out on one or two, including this one when it first came up a few months ago. Happily Paul gave me first refusal - and a great excuse to get it at no personal expense! So everyone's a winner! :D

This is in nice condition for a 35-ish year old bass. A lot of these are pretty tatty, seemingly the factory finish wasn't too durable, but this has had a decent refin at some point, over the original matt black. The hardware's in near-new condition, which I'm surprised & very pleased about - many of these have corroded-looking metal parts. There's a little bit of fretwear, mostly under the E & A around the first 5 frets or so. A fret level/dress would help but I don't know if I'll bother - Paul's strung it with flats & the slight acoustic rattle doesn't seem to be audible when plugged in. Actually this is the first time I've had flats on a fretted bass in about 15 years & I'm surprised how well they work on this! Through my little Yamaha THR10 it sounds nice & full, with a bit of a Jazz growl to it. Pickups are passive single coils & fairly close to J positioning.

First impressions are that it's a bit nicer to play than my Hohner B2A or Cort Space headlesses - the chunky pickups provide a more natural feeling hand/thumb position and the narrow (39mm nut) but fairly deep neck makes it feel pretty substantial.

Very early impressions, I may try a bit of recording with it over the next few days. On the whole, I'm chuffed to bits!


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I remember seeing Ashley Hutchings playing one of those back in the day in the Albion Band. I think they fall into the category of interesting.

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