Luthier Murray Kuun Offering First Bass, Elemental Bass… After many years of designing and making high-end violins and guitars, Murray Kuun has finally turned his attention to the electric bass. This is his first bass design and as one can see, it is unlike most other basses on the market. All of his designs are original and every instrument is individually handmade so clients can specify hardware and electronic configurations.
Murray’s background is furniture design (www.designsunlimited.co.za) and he is also a music fanatic! He combined these 2 areas of interest in the 1990’s and began building classical violins. But, even though he does love violins, he was not content to build the same thing over and over so he started designing and building alternative violins. That then led him to guitar design and building, which now, some years later, includes this “elemental” bass – his first bass.
Bob Benedetto (of Archtop Guitar building fame) said of his work… “You have an enviable design apart from traditional parameters. As we both know, it is easy to do something different, for the sake of being different. But your exceptional feel for design legitimately sets you apart from the pack”. In the case of this bass, Murray’s aim was to achieve an instrument that did not closely resemble any previous basses but at the same time was a bona fide, highly playable, instrument.
As far as his design process, Murray has this to say, “Each instrument is fully built by hand and made individually, I would normally make an original proto-type (these photo’s) then possibly a few copies if and when clients request them.”
Being South African, he is currently working on a “Big 5″ series of guitars. The first of which is the ‘rhino” which is being donated to the fight against the horrific rhino poaching. Murray shares, “This bass falls, roughly, into the same ‘African’ theme, and I intend for this design to be perceived as a modern African design and as such, it is made from African wood too (sapele mahogany, imbuia and wenge). The scale is standard 34″ and it features a through-neck, with outrigger ‘side-pods’ one of which contains the electronics.”