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Review – Sire Guitars Releases New Bass Guitar Model, the Sire P7



The Sire Revolution continues with the recent release of the Sire P7 electric bass guitar.

This new model follows in the well-established footsteps of its sibling models, the Sire V7, the Sire Vintage V7, the Sire M3, and the Sire M7 electric basses.  Like the other bass models made by Sire Guitars, the Sire P7 is just as well made as the other basses in Sire’s stable of bass models.

The Sire P7 is a very different bass from the jazz bass inspired Sire V7.  The obvious differences are that the Sire P7 has a jazz type pickup near the bridge and a precision type pickup near the neck.  Also, the control knob configuration is laid out in a very practical, yet aesthetically pleasing manner.  A difference that is especially noticeable when playing the Sire P7 is the wider neck than the Sire V7.  The sound of the Sire P7 is also another thing that sets this bass apart from the other Sire models.

All of Sire Guitars’ bass models share the same powerful and versatile 18-volt Sire preamp, as specified by Marcus Miller.

The Sire P7 also shares many of its high quality finishes with the Sire V7.  The headstock on the Sire P7 is the same as the headstock on the Sire V7 jazz type bass.  The body, neck and fingerboard wood options are also the same for the Sire P7 as they are for the Sire V7.

Okay, Tell Me About It

The Sire P7 has a noticeably wider bolt-on neck than the Sire V7 jazz type bass (neck width listed below).  The wider neck really works for this bass.  The comfortable neck profile, along with the wider neck, makes for an easy to play bass.  The Sire P7 has a 20-fret fingerboard.  The neck is made of Maple.  Players can choose either a Maple fingerboard, or a Rosewood fingerboard.  Sire Guitars continues their tradition of using high quality percoid block and binding on the Sire P7’s fingerboard.

The scale length of the Sire P7 is a comfortable 34 inches and neck is affixed to the body with four bolts.  The nut is made of bone.  All 20 frets are easy to access due to the generous body cut-away.  As with other Sire Guitars basses, the Sire P7 can be strung either through the body or through the high mass bridge.  The open tuning machines are tight and feel smooth when turning the tuning machines.   The hardware (bridge & tuning machines) has a beautiful chrome finish while the control knobs only come in a sort of black rubberized plastic.

The Sire P7 shares the same phenomenal preamp with all of the other Sire bass models.  Its controls are stacked volume/tone, pickup blend, treble, stacked mid/mid sweep, and bass.  There is also a two-way toggle switch to put the bass in either active or passive mode.

Currently, the available options for the Sire P7 are either four or five strings.  The body wood options are either Alder or Swamp Ash.  Fingerboard options are Rosewood (on the Alder body models) and Maple (on the Swamp Ash body models).  The finishes are Black, White, Natural (Ash models only), and Sunburst.

But How Does It Sound?

The bass used for this review is a five string bass with a Swamp Ash body and a one-piece Hard Maple neck with a Maple fingerboard.  It was also used to record, practice and perform live.

In passive mode the P7 has a huge, warm and muscular sound.  The precision type neck pickup does an excellent job of bringing warmth to the sound, while the jazz type bridge pickup adds articulation.  Soloing the precision type neck pickup results in a beautiful, warm and settled vintage precision sound.  In passive mode, the three-band EQ with a sweepable mid-range is not functional, which is typical for passive/active preamps.  However, the tone knob is available for tone shaping in passive mode.

In active mode, the Sire P7 turns into a percussive, deep sounding, articulate tone machine.  Once the active mode is turned on, the three-band EQ with a sweepable mid-range becomes available to the player.  The 18-volt preamp offers plenty of headroom, and the EQ allows for an incredible amount of tonal adjustment.   The sound of the bass in active mode retains its bigsound, however, the bass gains more sonic presence and a wonderful percussiveness.  The combination of the precision style neck pickup and the jazz style bridge pickup work together beautifully.  The low end, mid-range and high end are very well represented without being unbalanced.

Thumping or slapping the Sire P7 is a lot of fun, thanks to the wider neck and the great sound!  The slightly wider neck, the sound for the precision and jazz pickups, and the percussiveness come together to make the Sire P7 a great platform for this type of playing.  A player can dial plenty of bottom end, enough mid-range to achieve the desired articulation, and some high end for a little sizzle.

As an added bonus, the Sire P7 comes with a highly protective gig bag.  The Sire gig bag has two pockets, one of which is large enough to fit a music folder or iPad.  The neck gets a neck pillow with a Velcro restraint to keep the bass from moving around while in the gig bag.  Although it offers good protection, the Sire gig bag is very light in weight.

In designing the Sire P7, Sire Guitars has again designed a bass that continues the company’s tradition of quality at an affordable price.  The Sire P7 is capable of playing highly articulate parts as found in jazz or pop music.  It is also easily at home anchoring a rock band or any musical situation requiring a great bass sound.  Audio engineers will also find this bass a very easy instrument to work with in the studio.

For the bass players who already have a Sire V7 jazz bass, a Sire M7 or some other make and model of a bass, the Sire P7 is a great addition.  It provides a very different and wonderful sound and feel.

Okay, How Much Does It Cost?

  • The Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard 4 string Sire P7 is $499.00
  • The Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard 4 string Sire P7 is $599.00
  • The Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard 5 string Sire P7 is $599.00
  • The Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard 5 string Sire P7 is $699.00

Although it is very reasonably priced, this bass is not a bass that needs upgrades.  It is ready to gig right out of the box!


Sire Guitars managed to surpass themselves with the design and construction of the Sire P7.  The quality, playability and sound of the Sire P7 are truly amazing at any point, however this bass is reasonably priced.  The Sire P7 will make a very capable workhorse for a working professional, or a very affordable quality instrument for a new bassist.  It also makes a great addition for a bass player with several basses.



  • Material: Swamp Ash / North American Alder
  • Shape: Sire Precision Bass Type
  • Color: Ash Body – NT (Natural), TS (Tobacco Sunburst), WB (White) | Alder- Body-4 TS (Tobacco Sunburst), AWH (White), BK (Black)
  • Pickguard: Ivory Pearl (Swamp Ash) / Tortoise (Alder)


  • Material: 1 Piece Hardmaple
  • Shape: C-Shape
  • Scale: 34”
  • Neck Joint: 4 Bolt Steel Square Plate


  • Material: Hardmaple(Swamp Ash ) / Rosewood(Alder)
  • Radius: 7’25”
  • Frets : Medium Small, 20 Frets
  • String Nut: Natural Bone 38mm width(4 string)
  • Binding: 1 ply Ivory
  • Inlay: WH Pearloid Block


  • Pickups: Marcus Super Precision(Neck) + Jazz(Bridge)
  • Preamp: Marcus Heritage- 3 with Middle Frequency Control
  • Controls: Volume / Tone (Dual Stacked Pot) | Pickup Blender | Treble | Middle / Middle Frequency (Dual Stacked Pot) | Bass, Mini Toggle (Active / Passive )
  • Knobs: Modern Black Plastic


  • Bridge: Marcus Miller Heavy Mass Standard
  • Tuning Gear: Sire Premium Open-Gear
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome

Approximate Weight

  • The approximate weight of the Swamp Ash body/Maple fingerboard Sire P7 four string bass is in the range of a little over 8.5 pounds.   The five string is around 9.5 pounds.  The weight of the Alder body/Rosewood fingerboard Sire P7 was not available during the writing of this review.

For more information, visit online at







Bass Videos

String Instrument Humidifiers



String Instrument Humidifiers

String Instrument Humidifiers

After living in some very humid parts of the country for decades, we moved to a dryer, much sunnier location. As a result, I started noticing some fret sprout on my string instruments and recently did a video on fret sprout correction.

It occurred to me that I should take a more preventative approach to string instrument humidification. Of course, I turned to my instrument maintenance experts, Music Nomad Equipment Care, for a solution and they suggested their Humitar series. (Note: They sent two press samples and I purchased the remainder online.)

Join me as I look at these useful tools for keeping my string instruments in tip-top condition.

The Humitar series is available online at Music Nomad Equipment Care, as well as

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Bass Videos

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks



Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

CrystalBright Rombo Picks

PR Sample

Playing bass with a pick is still a touchy subject in our community. I believe you should be able to use whatever you need to get your sound. Even though I mostly play with my fingers, I like to check out innovative new picks that might have something new to offer, sonically speaking.

Judith and Carlos from Rombo recently contacted me about a new material called CrystalBright that they have been researching for the last 12 months and offered to send some prototype picks. After trying them out, I put together this video with my findings.

For more info check out @rombopicks

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New Joe Dart Bass From Sterling By Music Man



Sterling by Music Man introduces the Joe Dart Artist Series Bass (“Joe Dart”), named after and designed in collaboration with the celebrated Vulfpeck bassist.

Above photo credit: JORDAN THIBEAUX

This highly-anticipated model marks the debut of the Dart bass in the Sterling by Music Man lineup, paying homage to the Ernie Ball Music Man original that all funk players know and love. The bass embodies many of the original model’s distinctive features, from its iconic minimalist design to the passive electronics.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The design process prioritized reliability, playability, and accessibility at the forefront. Constructed from the timeless Sterling body, the Dart features a slightly smaller neck profile, offering a clean tone within a comfortable package. The body is crafted from soft maple wood for clarity and warmth while the natural finish emphasizes the simple yet unique look.

Engineered for straightforward performance, this passive bass features a ceramic humbucking bridge pickup and a single ‘toaster’ knob for volume control. Reliable with a classic tone, it’s perfect for playing in the pocket. The Dart is strung with the all-new Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flatwound Electric Bass Strings for the smoothest feel and a mellow sound.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The Sterling by Music Man Joe Dart Bass is a special “Timed Edition” release, exclusively available for order on the Sterling by Music Man website for just one month. Each bass is made to order, with the window closing on May 31st and shipping starting in November. A dedicated countdown timer will indicate the remaining time for purchase on the product page. Additionally, the back of the headstock will be marked with a “2024 Crop” stamp to commemorate the harvest year for this special, one-of-a-kind release. 

The Joe Dart Bass is priced at $399.99 (MAP) and can be ordered globally at 

To learn more about Joe Dart, visit the official Vulfpeck artist site here

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Gear Reviews

The Frank Brocklehurst 6-String Fretless Bass Build



The Frank Brocklehurst 6 String Fretless Bass Build

A few months ago, my Ken Bebensee 6-string fretted bass needed some TLC. You know, the one rocking those Pink Neon strings! I scoured my Connecticut neighborhood for a top-notch luthier and got pointed to Frank Brocklehurst, F Brock Music. He swung by my place, scooped up the bass, and boom, returned it the next day, good as new. Not only that, he showed up with a custom 5-string fretted bass that blew me away. I couldn’t resist asking if he could whip up a 6-string fretless for me. 

Alright, let’s break down the process here. We’ve got our raw materials: Mahogany, Maple, and Holly. Fun fact – the Mahogany and Maple have been chilling in the wood vault for a solid 13 years. Frank is serious about his wood; they buy it, stash it away, and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s stable.  

First up, they’re tackling the Mahogany. Frank glues it together, then lets it sit for a few days to let everything settle and the glue to fully dry. After that, it’s onto the thickness planer and sander to get it nice and flat for the CNC machine. The CNC machine’s the real star here – it’s gonna carve out the body chambers and volume control cavity like a pro.

While the Mahogany’s doing its thing, Frank goes onto the neck core. Three pieces of quartersawn maple are coming together for this bad boy. Quartersawn means the grain’s going vertical. He is also sneaking in some graphite rods under the fingerboard for stability and to avoid any dead spots. The truss rod is going to be two-way adjustable, and the CNC machine’s doing its magic to make sure everything’s just right.


Now, onto the design phase. Frank uses CAD software to plan out the body shape, neck pocket, chambering, and those cool f-holes. I had this idea for trapezoid F-holes, just to do something different. The CAD software also helps us map out the neck shape, graphite channels, and truss-rod channel with pinpoint accuracy.

Once everything’s planned out, it’s CNC time again. Frank cuts out the body outline, neck pocket, and the trapezoid F-holes. Then it’s a mix of hand sanding and power tools to get that neck just how we like it. Oh, and those f holes? We’re going for trapezoids of different sizes – gotta keep things interesting.

Next step: gluing that neck into the pocket with some old-school hide glue. It’s got great tonal transfer and can be taken apart later if needed. Then it’s onto hand-carving that neck-body transition.

For the custom-made bridge, Frank uses brass for definition and Ebony for tonal transfer and that warm, woody sound.

BTW, for tunes, Frank went with Hipshot Ultralights with a D Tuner on the low B. This way I can drop to a low A which is a wonderful tone particularly if you are doing any demolition around your house! 

Now it’s time for the side dots. Typically, on most basses, these dots sit right in the middle of the frets. But with this bass, they’re placed around the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets.

Frank’s got his pickup hookup. Since the pickup he was building wasn’t ready, he popped in a Nordstrand blade to give it a whirl.

It sounded good, but I was itching for that single-coil vibe! And speaking of pickups, Frank showed me the Holly cover he was cutting to match, along with all the pink wire – talk about attention to detail!

A couple of things, while it is important for me to go passive, it is equally important for me to just go with a volume knob. Tone knobs are really just low-pass filters and the less in the way of a pure sound for me, the better. 

Finally, it’s string time! As usual, I went for the DR Pink Neon strings. Hey, I even have matching pink Cons…Both low tops and high!


Once we’ve got everything tuned up and settled, we’ll give it a day or two and then tweak that truss rod as needed. And voila, we’ve got ourselves a custom-made bass ready to rock and roll.

I want to thank Frank Brocklehurst for creating this 6 string beast for me. 

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Gear Reviews

Review Transcript: BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass



Review - BITE Custom Bass - The Black Knight PP Bass

This is a written transcript of our video review of the BITE Custom Bass Black Knight PP Bass originally published on March 4, 2024

BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass Review…

Bass Musician Magazine did a review on a Steampunk bass from BITE Guitars about three years ago, it was an amazing instrument, and we were very impressed. Now we’re happy to bring you another BITE bass, the Black Knight PP.

Everybody needs a P-type bass, it’s the standard of bass. If you’re recording, they want you to have a P bass. So why not have something that gives you a little more by having two instead of one P pickup. That’s the idea of this bass, it’s the first thing that leaps out: the double P pickup configuration.

Installing two of their 1000 millivolt split-coil pickups, BITE then went one step further and wired them up in a 4-way parallel/series circuit, a look at the controls reveal a 4-way rotary selector:

The first position, marked “B”, gives you the bridge pickup by itself.

The second position, marked “P”, gives you the bridge and neck pickups in parallel mode, that’s the traditional J-type circuit, it reduces output due to the physical law of parallel circuits.

Position number 3 is marked “N”, it gives you the neck pickup by itself.

And finally, number 4, marked “S”, gives your bridge and neck in a series (humbucking) mode which adds up resistances and thus boosts output. The other two controls are master volume and master tone.

What’s more, like every BITE bass, this one also has a reinforced headstock heel designed to give it extra output and sustain. The BITE website features a graph and explanation of what they have done to the heel, as compared to traditional headstocks.

A look at the body reveals a beautiful Black Blast body finish and underneath that we have alder wood. The bass has a matching headstock with a 4-in-line tuner setup and the traditional bite out of it, so everybody will know what kind of bass you’re playing. The pickguard is 3-ply black, the neck is vintage tinted hard maple and it has a satin speed finish at the back which keeps your thumb from sticking.

On top of that, there’s a clear-coated roasted black locust fretboard with black blocks marking the frets. The nut is a black Graph Tec nut, we’ve got diamond dome control knobs, and the tuners are lightweight compacts with cloverleaf buttons and a 1:17 ratio precision gear. The bridge is a Gotoh brass bridge with 19-millimeter string spacing.

Overall measurements: we’ve got a standard 34″ scale, a 1.65″ width nut and a C neck profile. This bass weighs 8.2 pounds, or 3,7 kilograms for our metric friends, and it uses standard 18% nickel silver frets.

Taking a closer look at the sound, this bass is a joy to play. The BITE proprietary 1000 millivolt pickups deliver an extraordinary amount of output which is surprising considering this is a passive instrument. You may even want to set your amp to active mode because of all of the juice you’re getting out of this guy.

The tonal possibilities are very versatile, it’s a straight P if you want but also much more with those different arrangements of the circuitry. So why have multiple basses when you’ve got one that can give you your basic P plus a lot more?

To sum it up, the Black Knight PP is an amazing instrument. The attention to detail that BITE puts into their basses is second to none. This bass is also amazingly balanced and gorgeous to hold and feel with the satin neck finish.

For more information, visit online at

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