Doner Designs Completes Custom Time Machine Bass Guitar for Charity Sale…
Three years in the making, Doner Designs, maker of custom themed guitars for charity fundraising, recently completed its latest project – a time machine theme bass guitar.
The fully functional instrument features premium materials and sounds like other custom basses, but that’s where the resemblance ends.
While carefully avoiding direct references to the Back to the Future movie series, the time machine bass features flashing lights, a selectable destination year display, a device resembling a flux capacitor and a complex array of electronic components sure to please fans of the time travel entertainment genre including those who don’t play bass. Though not yet listed for sale, Doner Designs intends for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to receive the sale proceeds.
Chicago-based Doner Designs is a part-time charity founded and operated by Steve Doner and his son Richard as a philanthropic hobby.
The time machine bass is their seventh and most complex project to date. Past projects have been donated to large national charities including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which then auctioned the guitars during their annual galas. In their day jobs, Steve works in corporate finance and Richard is an electrical engineer.
The idea for the time machine bass came in 2015 when the Back to the Future movies were frequently replayed on television.
The concept was a natural fit because Richard was in engineering school at the time. This enabled him to design and build the custom circuit boards required for the various time machine circuits. Constructing all of the components, making everything fit into the bass body and overcoming various challenges ended up taking roughly 300 hours over the course of more than three years.
While not designed to be a practical instrument for routine use, the bass sounds and plays like other premium electric bass guitars. High quality components were used throughout, including a Warmoth body and neck, Nordstrand pickup, Audere preamp, Babicz bridge, Hipshot tuning machines and Axetreme Creations pickguard as well as a nitrocellulose lacquer finish using ReRanch nitro.
Prior to initiating a sale process, Doner Designs is seeking to increase awareness about the guitar and the fundraising purpose to help maximize proceeds for the ultimate beneficiary. Founder Steve Doner believes the instrument could sell for $15,000 or more and that a much higher sale price could potentially result if wealthy individuals who are fans of both the guitar and the charity were to come forward.
Doner is hopeful that Christopher Lloyd and/or Michael J. Fox might agree to sign the bass which could add additional value in a fundraising auction. When details of a sale process are available, Doner Designs will make an announcement through its social media pages and website.
Photograph, courtesy of Sweetwater Sound