The Bruce Thomas Profile Bass

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"Our intention was not to produce a phoney vintage guitar, but to create a new instrument true to the spirit of the original - a bass that's a joy to play. I'm happy to say that's now been achieved" Bruce Thomas • August 2013

Continuing the British Bass Master Series, The Bass Centre is proud to present the Profile Bass, the result of a unique collaboration with UK bass icon, Bruce Thomas.

As a member of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Bruce is celebrated for the soulful, supple & inventive bass lines that were the powerhouse pulse behind one of the best live acts, and one of the greatest English songwriters, of the post-punk era. Although he used a number of instruments during his tenure with The Attractions, it was his '64 Salmon Pink Fender P-Bass that he was most famous for using. When that bass was stolen from his car during a recording session in Los Angeles, Bruce began the search for a suitable replacement but, as it had been so heavily modified, he eventually decided that rather than adapting another vintage model, he'd build one from scratch. When, by chance, he mentioned the concept to Barry Moorhouse at The Bass Centre, the idea of producing a signature model was born...

The Profile Bass has been designed personally by Bruce from the ground up, not just to appease his own exacting demands, but to create a real, modern player's instrument. 

The Profile Bass Features

  • Classic Salmon Pink finish, with tortoise-shell scratchplate.
  • Custom body profile
  • Satin finish custom profile neck with Maccasar Ebony fingerboard
  • Original vintage style, grooved, roller bridge
  • Original 60's style flat-top, chrome control knobs
  • Custom wound pickups
  • Built in Korea by the same manufacturer responsible for the Bass Centre's superb Bass Collection range
  • Complete with Bass Centre padded gig bag and 12 month warranty.

Down in the Tube Station... Wapping 1996

Bruce Thomas - world recognised for his sinuous, inventive, and melodic bass lines and his contribution to one of the greatest British groups of the post-punk era, Elvis Costello and The Attractions - has been both a mate and Bass Centre Elites user for 20 years and counting, so it was natural that CEO Barry Moorhouse would jump at the opportunity to get involved in a Bruce Thomas signature bass project.

As Bruce explains - "The well-known pink 1964 Fender Precision bass I used for twenty years, on and off, with the Attractions was stolen from my car while I was in Los Angeles doing some session work after I “left” the band. Though I tried, in vain, to find a suitable replacement, it wasn’t simply a matter of replacing an early 1960's P-Bass, as I’d made many modifications to it. I’d reshaped the body and the neck, rewired it and re-sprayed it. I came to the conclusion that I’d have to start again and try to reproduce it from scratch.

"I’d been a customer and friend of Barry Moorhouse at the Bass Centre in London for many years. When I told him what I was doing, he reckoned that other people would be interested in having a similar bass, so he offered to make a BT signature model bass as part of their new British Bass Masters Series."

"Barry started looking for the best manufacturer he could find, while I set about recreating the right body shape and doing test paint mixes in various shades of ‘faded red’. But the most important thing was getting the neck profile right to give maximum ‘playability’."

"After a bit of experimenting on my part and many meetings with Barry, we had samples built in factories across Europe and the Far East - we worked on everything from entry-level basses to the elite bespoke instruments. One day we were sent a bass that stood out a mile from anything else we’d seen or played. Although getting the right bass was our only consideration, it turned out that this one was also one of the most affordable."

"Anyone who’s watched the development of the Profile Bass over the past couple of years will know that it’s not a stock bass I’ve simply added my name to, but a genuine personally developed signature guitar. Our intention was not to produce a replica or a phoney vintage guitar, but to create a new instrument true to the spirit of the original, a bass that’s a joy to play - I’m happy to say that’s now been achieved."

With no access to his cherished (and heavily modified) P-Bass, Bruce used Barry's own 1964 model as reference, paying particular attention to obtaining the perfect "Salmon Pink" finish, abandoning distressed early prototypes in favour of a pristine authentic look.

As Bruce himself says - "the best way to make a guitar look used, is simply to use it. And this is a bass you’ll certainly want to use".

After taking delivery of several basses from Barry, Bruce experimented with creating a new body design, sanding them down to create the perfect shape. Ostensibly recognisable as "Precision-esque", the final instrument has a markedly different profile - hence the name.

Choosing the optimum neck was another primary concern, with the production instrument having a width at the nut that falls exactly between the classic P-Bass and J-Bass widths with a depth that provides for both an ideal action and string tension.

Bruce in 2013 with The ProfileBruce specified that the Profile be fitted with a classic, slotted-screw bridge, allowing for adjustment to the string spacing - "I personally prefer the strings set at 20mm apart, rather than the standard 19mm" Bruce says. "In the past I used to ‘heavy string’ my bass with thicker gauge strings, but no longer feel the need to do that as the Profile offers as-near-perfect a playing feel as I’ve ever found."

The choice of a lighter weight body wood and the superb quality of neck and body build (courtesy of the same Korean factory that produces the Bass Collection range) gives the Profile a rich, warm sustain, without the notorious "dead spots" often associated with Precision-style instruments.

The pure, acoustic sound quality can be heard clearly on the the video clips in the adjoining tab, with the Profile's natural warm punchy mid-range perfectly reproduced by pickups that have been custom wound according to the modifications Bruce had made to his original bass.

In summing up the Profile Bass, it is clear that Bruce is happy with the results of the joint endeavour.

 "I’m more than happy and confident that all of the essential ingredients of a truly great bass guitar are firmly in place. The best thing I can say is that I no longer miss my old bass when I pick up the Profile Bass to play!"

Bass Guitar Magazine Bass Centre Profile Bass • Joel McIver • February 2016

GEAR OF THE YEAR 2016 • BEST FRETTED BASS UNDER £500 "Bravo, chaps... a wonderful bass that you will not want to stop playing. And all for £495? A great F*nder alternative... Snap one up if you can"

  << Full review at      << Download PDF version

Rod MacKay Hard driving bassist with great UK based, funky blues act, The Deluxe • 2014

"The bass is a beautiful colour - that's what strikes you first. The neck has a great satin finish with a shallow profile which makes it very easy to play and a very distinct variant of the "P". The sound is very much as one would expect from a split "P" configuration... a well-built, very playable, striking instrument. Having played & owned the instrument for a few months, I think it is probably the most 'Rod MacKay' bass I own... and I have a lot of Fenders! Tone, neck profile, colour, cost.... Good effort!"

Bruce Thomas Demos The Profile Bass

Average Rating (26 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

A thing of beauty
Tuesday, 20 October 2020  | 

I took delivery of the bass yesterday. Itís a thing of beauty. Great job with the set-up too, itís perfect. Many thanks


This review has not been appraised.

The bass Iíve been looking for!
Saturday, 18 July 2020  | 

Iíd spent a year searching for a new P-Bass. I looked at the Mexican and American Fenders. There was always something I didnít like about the ones I tried (yes, including colour!). I wanted a faster neck without the sticky lacquer, I needed a lightweight one due to shoulder and back issues. Iíd always expected to have to upgrade the pickups and probably add a pickguard in a better colour. Then I spoke to a couple of Profile bass owners and read some reviews. I wouldnít usually buy a bass without trying it first but everyone was saying the same things about the Bruce Thomas Profile; consistently lightweight, good pickups, fast, thin neck profile. And the price! I felt it was worth the risk. I wasnít disappointed. Itís a beauty too. Is it perfect? No, Iíll probably change the tuners for ultralights as it is the teeniest bit neck heavy. If you practice sitting down you probably wouldnít even notice it but, with my back, ergonomics are important.

In summary, itís a joy to play, I love the weight, sound and look of it. Once Iíve added new tuners , Itíll be my P-Bass for life.

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Great bass for the price
Thursday, 4 June 2020  | 

I just wanted to let you know the BT bass arrived safely in France... It's a really great bass for the price and the first instrument I've ever bought new that has a perfect setup - there's literally nothing I would touch!

Looking forward to receiving the book.

Many thanks


This review has not been appraised.

Fantastic bass
Sunday, 13 October 2019  | 

A belated note to say a HUGE thank you for this fantastic bass.

Have gigged it twice now, and it's tremendous fun to play - the nut width, and most importantly, neck profile and finish make it much easier to play long sets on hot summer nights.

The pickup is a monster too, a perfect match with the Stainless Steel Elites! What more can I say? A brilliant package with the gig bag and Bruce's book... even the box the bass came in looks cool!

Congratulations on a real winner


This review has not been appraised.

Great bass!
Thursday, 29 August 2019  | 

I bought this bass because I'm a huge fan of Bruce Thomas and his bass playing. After playing it at length a few times now, I just want to say that I am really very happy with this purchase. The neck is very smooth and easy to play - it arrived set up and ready to go with nice low action. The pickups cut through nicely and sound good to me.

It seems to hold a tuning very well as I tuned it up once and it has barely budged since. The color is definitely a conversation starter, especially since I'm not a flashy guy, but it looks great in person. It's definitely more of an orange than a pink to my eyes - I love it now.

On top of all that the bass is actually pretty light so it's a pleasure to play! This was a total impulse buy and I have to say that I am really happy to have it now.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

I cannot recommend this bass highly enough
Sunday, 20 May 2018  | 

It is a steal in terms of value for the build quality, play-ability and tone. Look into British Bass Centre - Americans pay no VAT on imports from them, also.

It is essentially the ultimate hybrid of Precision tone with Jazz sustain and play-ability/neck profile, but lighter and better balanced than either.

I am so delighted with it - brilliant!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great job!
Friday, 20 April 2018  | 

Really pleased with the service. I enquired a few months ago about the Profile - it was out of stock but put my name down to be notified, ordered one when they became available and it arrived a few days later.

I play mainly in a covers band doing a lot of new wave stuff including Attractions numbers. I have an 80's Japanese Precision (owned since '93) which I love but it does have a thick neck and I tend to favour a Jazz ( Mexican) for live as it's more playable. The reviews and history of the Profile looked encouraging, particularly the time invested by Bruce himself to produce a specific instrument that isn't just a signature on a stock guitar, so I took the plunge.

I've hardly put it down since. It feels fantastic to play. I like the satin finish on the neck (was thinking of sanding the gloss neck on my Precision!) and the build quality is that of an instrument that should cost double. The pickups are fantastic - SO LOUD with loads of sustain and generally awesome tone. Also I was pleased to see that although the Profile looks red in a lot of internet pictures, it is definitely salmon pink like the original. Great job !!!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic value!
Thursday, 5 April 2018  | 

Reviewers are absolutely right to praise this great bass for its playability, sound and looks.
It's fantastic value!

But buyers, please note that mine came without the grooved, roller bridge and a signed certificate. I've suggested the Bass Centre should amend their description.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.


Sincere apologies for the oversight, the signed certificate is being replaced by a signed book, we will have these in stock imminently... In addition, the vintage style bridge with threaded rod saddles is still applicable... again, arriving shortly with both to be forwarded to recent purchasers.

Best £500 I ever spent
Monday, 26 March 2018  | 

Everything about this bass is perfect. It sounds amazing and the set up is great. It really is flawless. It's the best £500 I've ever spent on an instrument. Now, if only I could play it like Bruce or Bedders!

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Saturday, 4 November 2017  | 

Very pleased with the bass... and the delivery/service excellent too.

I swear this bass talks to me... so pleased!

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Read all 26 customer reviews...