This wild trapezoidal four-string with a flat back is said to have more volume and sustain “than any acoustic bass in the known universe”

Bass guitar veteran Troy Johnson has spent several years on tour with Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy among other artists. During his travels, particularly an acoustic tour with Pearcy, Johnson noticed what he felt were a number of gaps in the acoustic bass guitar market.

Although he enjoyed playing the Washburn AB45 which he used for the ride, Johnson was not inspired by his performance when it was not amplified.

After seeing his friend, John Hargiss of Hargiss Stringed Instruments, build a harp guitar while making a resonator for Johnson’s banjo bass, inspiration struck.

A diagram of Troy Johnson's unique double bass

(Image credit: Troy Johnson)

“I would go from straight to guitarrón / mariachi bass and harp guitar, plucking and listening,” Johnson said. “I then drew a trapezoidal, flat-back body with guitarrón / Ernie Ball Earthwood dimensions, and an elongated harp arm that connects to the headstock, almost creating a small grand piano.”

The bass features a 2-ply birch top, back and sides and a 34-inch maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. It can be played with a guitar strap or with a mouthpiece such as a double bass.

The bass can be ordered with or without freight, and comes with a K&K Twinspot pickup and carry bag included.

Troy Johnson holds his acoustic bass in an open field

(Image credit: Troy Johnson)

Ultimately, the Big Johnson Bass – according to its inventor – “has more volume, sustain, durability and playability than any acoustic bass in the known universe.”

A steep claim, no doubt, but one that we would potentially like to examine with the scrutiny of a demo someday.

For more information on The Big Johnson Bass, visit Johnson’s website.

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