The DNA Accelerator is one of those few basses that is deceiving. Upon initial inspection, you’d swear it was either a short scale bass, or maybe a model designed for smaller players. But, you’d be wrong. Get past your initial impressions and you’ll realize that comfort, playability and tonal range are all major aspects of this bass’ DNA.
The DNA Accelerator is a compact bass! The body is a sleek, contoured swamp ash, putting the bass at only 7lbs! A 20 fret, maple neck has a very comfortable, round shape. Hipshot hardware and Callahan pickups (this one is a traditional 70s jazz setup, but they also offer a P and PJ option as well) round out the total package. DNA states that their endorsers call it a “Thunderstick” because of the size and tonal options available.
A Secure Fit
The contact between a neck and body is of the utmost importance; without it, there isn’t a solid transfer of sound vibrations. This is where many production line basses fall short. While many account for this by having a very snug neck pocket, they still use wood screws to secure the neck. DNA approaches this by using brass inserts and machine screws for the neck, allowing you to tighten the screws more than you’d be able to traditionally.
They also bring this concept to the bridge, with their proprietary patent pending 5-point contact inset bridge, which helps maximize string vibration. With both the neck and bridge designed like this, you have a bolt-on instrument that has the punch and sustain of a neck-through.
Another bonus; the brass inserts allow you to take the neck off the bass and travel with it much easier. It was with this in mind that I had the bass sent to me for review. It came in a box half the size of the typical bass box. I put the bass together, strung it up and had no issue playing it immediately. I was surprised that the neck didn’t need any tweaking or adjusting.
An Active Signal from a Passive Bass?
Plugging in the DNA Accelerator, the first thing that surprised me was how loud and punchy the Callahan pickups are. I’d never heard of these before, but enjoy the full range of sound they get, while retaining that typical jazz “throatiness.” The bass is standard vol-vol-tone, which I like. I was able to jump between that dry, sharp Jaco tone and then move to something more motown back to forward and grinding.
As mentioned previously, the neck is a comfy round shape, closer to a Precision neck. I prefer this type of neck, so it was very familiar. The balance on the strap is great! As you can see in the videos, it balances in a way that puts the headstock a little closer to you, so the bass “feels” like a smaller bass, even though it isn’t. This aids in the comfort level when playing.
This is definitely an instrument you could play for hours at a bar gig, and not worry about your back or shoulders the next day. That’s a huge win.
The DNA Accelerator Bass has a lot of really cool features that make the tonality – and the range – front and center. The smaller body weighs next to nothing and balances well on a strap. The electronics are simple but robust in their offerings. All in all, this is a great option for someone that wants a jazz bass that does a LOT more than just what you’d typically think of.