Introducing the Stash Stainless Steel Bass Guitar
From the Great White North comes the Stash Stainless Steel Bass. Designed and built by Stanislaw “Stan” Potyrala in Mississauga, Ontario, the bass is made entirely of stainless steel, which the company claims “improves stiffness, mechanical and environmental stability, sound quality and tenability.” The Stash is the only bass guitar that is made entirely from stainless steel with unified frets and a tubular neck.
The design is not only sleek and modern, but the company asserts that the unique tubular neck provides a more natural and comfortable way for the musician to reach the strings. Potyrala also states that he feels the provocative design can ease the muscle stress that a flat surface can cause to the fingers, hands and wrist.
Every part of the bass is made of the same metal, resulting in it having one coefficient of thermal expansion. This means your bass will stay in tune much longer than conventional basses. It also means even extreme temperature variations won’t harm the bass. The design improves stiffness, mechanical and environmental stability, sound quality, tuning and mechanical accuracy.
» 100% Stainless Steel Bass Guitar
» Pickups custom made split coils with Alnico 5 magnets
» Scale 34” (24 frets)
» Neck Stainless steel tube acoustic 38mm dia (1.5”)
» Frets H=1mm (0.040) W=3mm (0.118”) flat with rounded edges
» Bridge stainless steel adjustable
» Potentiometers 250K volume and tone
» Tuners Gotoh type
» String space nut = 8.5mm (0.334”), bridge 15.5mm (0.610”)
» Jack Switchcraft
» Weight 4.5kg (10 lbs.)
We asked Stan Potyrala for additional information about his creation, which he hand builds to order:
1) Is the fretboard radiused like a double bass? If so, is the bass played in traditional double bass position or as an electric bass guitar would be played?
The radius of the curvature is smaller than any electric or double bass, measuring 1.5 inches (38mm). A large part of the design development took into account that the human hand has evolved over millennia to grasp cylindrical objects such as branches and tools. By working with new materials, there was an opportunity to take the traditional form for a bass neck and evolve the form to offer a more natural and ergonomic grip for the human hand. The current model of the bass guitar plays at the same position as the electric bass.
2) Is the upper register of the fingerboard fretless?
The Stash Stainless Bass Guitar model is made with 24 frets at a 34” scale. Currently, there is no playable fretless space at the upper register. But we are also excited to announce that we are planning to release fretless 35” scale bass in the spring of 2014.
3) Is the instrument passive or active?
The Stash Stainless Bass Guitar is passive, with two custom made split coil pickups (including Alnico 5 magnets) that are located inside the neck. They are designed in such a way as to conform to the internal radius of the neck with the magnets protruding through the neck near the back of the strings.
4) Is there a truss rod? Is this even a requirement for a bass made of steel?
As the neck is made entirely of stainless steel, it does not require any truss rod. This is one of the particular advantages of our instrument — the tubular neck is perfectly straight and rigid, and will always stay this way.
5) How is action and intonation set without a traditional bridge?
The bridge is mounted on the bottom of the neck, and is made of the same material to match the thermal expansion properties of the neck. It is used to secure the bottom of the strings and contains the mechanism to adjust the distance the strings from the surface of the neck as well as the intonation.
6) What was the inspiration for the design?
As any bass enthusiast and player is aware, there are many gorgeous basses that come out every week. For the most part, these are aesthetic iterations on the traditional form. What I wanted to explore was a design that not only looked and sounded great, but challenged the instrument conventions and could possibly introduce new ranges and playing methods. Music and design for that matter are things people should be constantly exploring. If the status quo is not being challenged, the industry is potentially missing out on great developments in both the fields of music and design. My personal hope is to keep exploring and creating tools, so that other musicians can keep discovering new bass sounds and techniques.
7) How long did it take to perfect a prototype?
About two years.
8) What competitive/musical advantage does the Stash provide compared to more traditional models?
Firstly, as we’ve mentioned the neck is made from a single tube of stainless steel, with the frets machined into the surface of the tube. In the case that the bass is exposed to environmental extremes such as temperature and humidity, the acoustic properties have reliably maintained proper tune over time. The shape of the neck is a fairly radical departure from prior forms and provides ergonomic advantages more suitable to the natural grip of the human hand. The design itself, given the material, allows for manufacturing with a high degree of precision and accuracy. It also provides an ideal cavity within the tube to insert electronic magnetic pick-ups of a new design that are naturally shielded from external electrical and acoustic noise.
The design is inherently stronger than other approaches resulting in an instrument resistant to mechanical and physical damage even under situations of extreme impact. So, in other words, for the stage managers out there, your bass players can’t smash it on stage.
The Stash Bass Guitar is available now for an introductory price of $3000. Every facet of the guitar, from the pickups to the body, is custom crafted and hand assembled by Stan Potyrala.