MkI Fretted 4: black & gold beauty

I stumbled onto a well-loved (read mildly abused) fretted MkI that was handmade by Pete Stevens in 1990. Fortunately the price wasn't as bad as anticipated. When it finally arrived, this bass had all of the right chemistry: a soft V shape that tapers down as you get further up the neck, the killer electronics package and pickups, paddle headstock and wonderful light weight and balance. The shape of both the body and headstock of the Wal MkI are somewhat suggestive of Gibson styling, but that's where the similarity ends. Here are the details:

Wal MkI fretted four string
34" scale, 21 frets
Solid mahogany body
Maple/hornbeam bolt-on neck
Rosewood fretboard
All black poly gloss finish
All hardware is gold-plated
Weight under 9 pounds
Condition: minor finish blemishes
Handmade in 1990
Accessories: an ATA flightcase

Having spent over a quarter of a century playing my original '62 Precision bass, I had a hard time finding instruments that felt right to me. Wal basses fit like they were tailor-made for my hands and playing style, which is why I write so fanatically about them. But that's only one part of the equation. It's the tone that these basses are capable of that really set them apart, and this little bass is a tone monster. It should be noted that the poly-finished instruments, most in black although some pewter and a few white ones were made, tend to be a little brighter than their wood-faced counterparts. Wood facings definitely impart a tonal character to the sound of these instruments.

This bass arrived with a nice custom ATA flight case bearing the band logo "Anthem" and presumably the album title "Lost Within the Times". Interesting bass player. While it's apparent that this instrument had been on the road for a while, the blemishes are minor and I will have Pete tend to them at some point.