The Guy Pratt Betsy BassThe Guy Pratt Betsy BassThe Guy Pratt Betsy BassThe Guy Pratt Betsy BassThe Guy Pratt Betsy Bass

The Guy Pratt Betsy Bass

UK Price:  £695.00 Inc. 20% VAT
Worldwide Price: £579.17
Colour

+ Lined Fretless Fingerboard
+ Babicz FCH Bridge Upgrade
+ Badass Bass II Bridge Upgrade
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  (25 Reviews)

A tribute to long term Bass Centre comrade Guy Pratt, this new addition to our British Bass Masters range is a glorious recreation of "Betsy", the storied 1964 Jazz Bass which has been Guy's go-to instrument for many years.

As he enthuses, "Betsy is the best bass guitar in the world. I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise! It has a little date carved inside it, June 7 1964, which I love because it’s my dad’s birthday, and it was him who gave me my first bass".

Purchased from the legendary John Entwistle in 1987 after Guy's mate Johnny Marr insisted that if they were going to play together he needed a Fender — a good one! (it was also Marr who inspired the nickname ‘Betsy’) — Guy collected the original 1964 Burgundy Mist beauty from the Bass Centre’s Wapping HQ in London, after a set-up by the store’s long-serving, in-house tech Chris Ward.

"It's a fab instrument"

Fast forward to 2019 and Guy was searching for a new road-worthy, high performance instrument for his touring commitments with Saucerful of Secrets. Suitably impressed with the quality of the vintage themed Bass Collection range Guy, and Bass Centre MD Barry Moorhouse, struck upon the idea of a modern, commercial recreation of Betsy in all her glory, incorporating the Bass Centre's "Super Slim Sixties" neck profile, period accurate detailing, and beautifully balanced, lightweight construction.

Like its namesake, the new Betsy is loaded with EMG's superb, active, low-impedance J pickups. The original received an active upgrade during early rehearsals with Pink Floyd in August '87, although not without controversy : "I said to my tech, Syd Price, one day, ‘These pickups are a bit quiet, maybe we should think about getting some new ones?’ — and the next morning, it had EMGs in it. I shouted ‘What the f*ck have you done? You can’t put EMGs in a ’64 Jazz!’ but when I plugged it in, it sounded amazing!"

Needless to say, the Betsy also comes complete with Guy's strings of choice: "I play Elites roundwounds and have done for decades. They’re utterly reliable".

Completing the circle, every new Betsy bass will have its pickups installed and be set up by none other than Chris Ward, still taking care of business in the Bass Centre workshop after 35 years!!

A versatile, stage and studio workhorse, Betsy — now available in original and black finishes — has been designed for Guy, not just to appease his own exacting standards, but also to deliver a superb, competitively priced instrument to modern players. The fact that Guy is using one for the demands of Saucerful Of Secrets is testament to the success of the project... "It's a fab instrument, and very reasonably priced."

The Betsy Bass Features

body Classic Burgundy Mist or Black gloss finish with matching headstock and period-accurate, mint-green pickguard
neck Satin finish Bass Centre "Super Slim Sixties"® maple neck
FINGERBOARD 20 fret Macassar ebony fingerboard with pearloid dot markers
pickups EMG Active J pickups
bridge Vintage "Retro Roller" bridge with knurled saddles for string width adjustment
hardware Chrome control plate / Vintage style black control knobs / Bass "C" engraved 4-bolt chrome neck plate
strings Bass Centre Elites Stadium Series
extras Premium quality Bass Centre padded gig bag included
Guy with Betsy at Friars Aylesbury on the Saucerful of Secrets Tour, April 2019 — Photo: David Phillips

"The Jury's Still Out!"

Guy Pratt is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, comedian and actor whose career took off at the tender age of 19, when he was asked to join Australian act, Icehouse for their prestigious support slot on David Bowie's 1983 “Serious Moonlight” tour. This led to him being asked to perform with Robert Palmer, Bryan Ferry, Womack & Womack, and The Smiths (for a week!), before being promoted to the global bass premier league when David Gilmour selected him for Pink Floyd's post-Roger Waters "Delicate Sound of Thunder" and "P*U*L*S*E" world tours in 1987 and 1994. He also toured as part of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's "On An Island" band.

Beyond the Floyd fam, Guy has also worked with Roxy Music, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Echo & The Bunnymen, Kirsty MacColl, Tears For Fears, Lemon Jelly, The Orb, All Saints, Stephen Duffy, Robbie Robertson, Tom Jones, Iggy Pop, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Coverdale/Page, The Power Station, Bond, Natalie Imbruglia, The Pretenders and The Transit Kings (with The Orb's Alex Paterson and Jimmy Cauty of The KLF) amongst many, many others.

As a composer, he has written TV scores for "Spaced", "The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star", the Vic Reeves re-boot of "Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)" and Jimmy Nail's "Crocodile Tears", won a Grammy and been nominated for 2 Ivor Novello Awards and co-wrote Jimmy Nail's UK Number 1 hit "Ain't No Doubt". Amazingly, Guy has also found time to present his one-man music and comedy show "My Bass & Other Animals" around the world, as well as write a best-selling book based on the show (a signed copy of which accompanies every purchase of the Betsy Bass).

In 2018 Guy joined Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets (alongside Spandau Ballet guitarist and fellow Rockonteurs podcast presenter Gary Kemp), performing early Pink Floyd classics with the new Bass Centre Betsy now an integral part of his on-stage arsenal.

And, of course, Bass Centre Elites Strings have also been with him for the last 25+ years — even if, as he maintains, "the jury's still out!!"

Guy and Bass Centre MD Barry Moorhouse at the London Bass Guitar Show, September 2019
Body Basswood
Finish Gloss polyurethane
COLOUR OPTIONS Metallic Burgundy Mist or Solid Black, with matching headstock
PICKGUARD 3-ply vintage mint green
Neck Satin finish maple with Bass Centre "Super Slim Sixties"® profile
Fingerboard Macassar ebony with pearloid dot markers
Frets 20 medium nickel frets
PickupS 2 x EMG J active pickups
Controls Volume / Volume / Master Tone
Machines Chrome vintage-style, clover leaf, open-gear tuners
Hardware Chrome control plate with vintage black control knobs
NECK PLATE 4-bolt chrome plate with engraved Bass Centre "C" logo
BRIDGE Chrome "Retro Roller" bridge with knurled saddles for string width adjustment
Scale Length 34" (864mm)
Neck Width at Nut 38mm (1.5")
Neck Width at 12th Fret 57mm (2.24")
Neck Depth at 1st Fret 20mm (0.8")
Neck Depth at 12th Fret 22mm (0.87")
String Spacing at Nut 10mm (0.4")
String Spacing at Bridge 19mm (0.75")
Weight Approx. 4kg (8.9lb)
Strings Bass Centre Elites
INCLUDED EXTRAS Premium quality Bass Centre padded gig bag with dual handles, cushioned shoulder strap and zip-up accessory pocket
Warranty All Bass Collection instruments come with a 1 year warranty
Country of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., South Korea

BrooksY's BASS CORNER

Mike Brooks — pro bassist, Bass Guitar Magazine/Bass Player contributor, and host of YouTube channel 'Brooksy's Bass Corner' — provides a cracking introduction to the myriad sonic delights of the Betsy Bass, as well as a thorough, deep-dive review of this wonderful instrument.

Detroit, Betsy-Style

The Betsy Bass in action on a slap-tastic version of Marcus Miller's 'Detroit', from our good friends at the Sims Custom Shop.

A veritable classic with many stories to tell has been modelled for this new Guy Pratt Signature model. "Anyone interested in some Burgundy Mist?" asks Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks | Bass Guitar Magazine | February 2020

Guy Pratt's well-travelled 1964 Fender Jazz, referred to as 'Betsy', was previously owned by John Entwistle of the Who and despite her vintage, value and general desirability – Burgundy Mist was a very limited colour – has covered many miles on the road with Guy. There comes a time, however, when taking certain basses away from home isn't practical, so Barry Moorhouse suggested copying Betsy as part of his Bass Collection British Bass Masters range, so that Guy will no longer need to take Betsy away from home.

As Mr Pratt says : "They've really captured the feel of the old girl, and it sounds great. There's a really nice punch and depth. I don't like taking Betsy on the road too much, so I've used two of these on tour now and intend to continue doing so next year. It's great that it's so affordable, too."

Let's plug in and play – and see if we agree...

Build Quality

Having played the original Betsy back in 2013, what struck me was how playable the bass was and how it naturally resonated, still with a massive spring in its step. This new signature copy certainly catches the eye, matching headstock, chrome hardware and white three-ply scratch plate. All the usual Jazz characteristics and features have been lovingly replicated.

Wear and tear aside, the contouring at front and rear and the cutaways – with excellent access to the upper region of the 20 fret Macassar ebony fingerboard – retain all the charm of the original, while the team have sensibly opted to fit the bass with passive EMG single-coil pickups, just as Guy did when he purchased the bass. The hardware is simple and efficient : The chrome machine heads, bridge and control plate set off the vintage vibe a treat and work as they should. A nice touch is the inclusion of a vintage-correct bridge with string-spacing options.

The player-friendly neck dimensions have been retained : The neck profile and nut are a slinky as you could ask for, and the satin neck finish is the icing on the cake. The traditional three-control layout (volume/volume/tone) should be familiar to most of you, and mother-of-pearl position markers adorn the front-facing of the fingerboard, with white dots along the side. If you like your bass to look as a classic Jazz should, the Betsy ticks all the boxes.

Sounds & Playability

Betsy has a standout tonal character and this model retains much of that. The basswood body (alder was trialed but was heavier with no tonal improvement over basswood) and maple neck are aided by the ebony fingerboard which gives the note increased definition due to the hardness of the timber. Playing the bass acoustically, the whole length of the neck has a natural bounce and bite, while retaining the natural woody characteristics of a Jazz.

Plugging in, those familiar single-coil tones jump out at you : Checking each pickup individually, the EMG units really deliver the goods. Thankfully, the D and G strings don't sound clinical, but match the warmth of the E and A strings, and considering this is a passive bass, the tonal delivery is substantial. There is clarity, matched with a solid, powerful response, especially in the low-mid register. All three controls works across the whole turn, as opposed to the all-too-familiar on-off response which e sometimes see.

Both pickups provide a responsive display and in a band mix, the bass doesn't disappoint, bubbling along nicely without sounding wooly or indistinct. In terms of playability, the 19mm string spacing at the bridge is instantly familiar, while the neck dimensions make you feel very much at home. There is some minor headstock bias, but the bass sits perfectly on a strap.

Conclusion

This bass is an absolute joy to play – I can't recommend it highly enough. It's solidly constructed, with a cool finish, playability and comfort by the bucketload, and a tonal performance that out-boxes many a bass at double the price. The Bass Centre have a winner on their hands – check out Betsy's sibling as soon as possible.

What We Think

Plus Faithful Jazz tones and playability
Minus None
Overall A 24-carat winner

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Average Rating (25 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
So, so good!!
21 November 2023  | 

Was looking for a Jazz Bass - played a few in stores here in Australia - but then I remembered seeing Guy Pratt talk about these on YouTube. I love Guy's playing, so I thought why not?

Now that I've got it, I love it so much!! Neck is beautiful, thin and smooth, action is just right and sound (EMG's) is just perfect. A great bass at any price, and this was a great price.

Arrived here in Australia in about a week - so super fast too!!

And the colour? Burgundy Mist. Best ever.

Thanks Bass Centre (and Guy Pratt).


Rating:  
Amazing bass
17 November 2023  | 

Right out of the box, the setup was perfect and it plays amazingly. The bass itself is lightweight and sits very comfortably. I love the tone from the EMG pickups. Itís got nice warmth with a tiny bit of attitude.

Overall Iím extremely pleased. Shipping was very fast from the UK to Canada.


Rating:  
Nice Jazz
08 November 2023  | 

I ordered from US (Virginia), and it got here quick (about a week). No issues with shipping and packed well.

First thing I noticed is that the finish looks better in person than I thought it was going to from the photos, itís a really classy looking bass. Itís lightweight, came with 40-100 roundwounds, and set up well with good action out of the box. I prefer the lighter strings so I was happy to see it didnít come with the standard 45-105s. Neck feels really nice, and the ebony fretboard is a step up from a standard Jazz copy. The active EMGs also help this bass stand above most Jazz clones in this price range. No doubt, itís just as good as the Lakland Skyline, Sire, or Fender (Japan and Mexico) I have owned.

Overall solid choice and great value. These arenít too common in the US, itís always nice to have a ďconversation starterĒ bass. People want to know the story behind it.


Rating:  
Excellent bass
21 August 2023  | 

Really great quality bass. Sounds punchy and looks superb.


Rating:  
Blown away by Betsy
18 August 2023  | 

I am completely blown away by the Guy Pratt Betsy bass from The Bass Centre.

Ordering from the US, I knew I was taking a chance, but it has exceeded my expectations. The sound and playability are as good as basses costing many times more and the fit and finish are exquisite. I have owned and played Fender, Ricks, Ibanez, EBMM, Sires, and more and this bass is as good as any of them. The combination of Jazz-style bass, fast neck and EMG pickups is amazing. It will take its place on the stage with my custom built basses.

What a fantastic instrument! Cheers and count on me to add more to my collection from the Bass Centre!


Rating:  
Unbelievable service
06 July 2023  | 

Just received my Betsy bass and all I can say is "Wow". The quality on this is amazing.

I want to also thank you for the care you took to get the order right for me, especially calling me personally to advise on string choice and setting it up perfectly. Unbelievable service.

I can see why Guy Pratt wanted to work with you. Thanks so much


Rating:  
Legit
12 May 2023  | 

The Betsy is WELL worth the price. She has joined my favorites alongside a Ď75th Anniversary Jazz and Ď63 P-bass. Solid feel and effortless playability, super looks. A tonal beast! I upgraded the bridge to a Badass, although I read that Guy uses the ďfactoryĒ bridge. My pedalboard includes a Boss OC2 with which Betsy gets along quite well. Seamless service, gig bag, and autographed book came standard.


Rating:  
As good as a JB must be
21 February 2023  | 

Excellent instrument and excellent shop (first order, but not last). Fine settings.


Rating:  
Outstanding bass
20 February 2023  | 

This is my first purchase from The Bass Centre and, judging by my first experience, it won't be my last.

Following many online reviews and videos, all praising the Betsy Bass, I decide to buy one, just under a week after order it arrived in perfect condition, complete with Guy's book and several items concerning the set up and strings, which is a nice touch, you can see what the procedure was before it was dispatched.

The bass feels great, once tuned up i gave it a play, it is nicely set up out of the box and the EMG pickups are sounding very nice.

The overall quality of the bass is very good, the Burgundy Mist paint is really quite something to look at and this will be a welcome addition to my collection of basses and certainly will be a regular player.

Highly recommend checking one of these out if you're in the market for a good jazz bass alternative.

Thanks to all at the Bass Centre for looking after my order.


Rating:  
Rough start but we are good friends now!
08 November 2022  | 

Two and a half weeks after my order I had Betsy in my home in the neighbouring country. During the waiting time Bass Centre answered my emails in a very friendly manner.

Unfortunately I received Betesy with a completely broken G-string tuner which made it impossible to tune the G-string. Also the screws of the bridge pickup stuck out very high out of the body.

After mailing the Bass Centre I was offered a new tuner. I received it some days later together with new strings (I had to cut the G-string in order to replace the tuner). Although I am not technical, driving in the screws and changing the tuner literally cost me only 5 minutes!

And there the adventure began! What a powerful bass this is! A lot of lows and a lot of mids, more than I was used to with my Fender MIM Jazz.

I normally play with flatwounds but these Elites Stadium roundwounds are so light! I am sure I will keep using this, at least on this bass, and maybe on my other Jazz as well.

The power that comes out of this bass is unbelievable and much more than I paid for. I can easily compare this to my Mexican Fender Jazz, and I'm not sure who wins the competition (but it might be Betsy).

I haven't changed the battery yet which is something that works a little different than with my Fenders, but I have never done this before so I think I will manage .

Lots of sounds to find, a lot of basspower, a beautiful finish and a signed book by Guy Pratt! Is there nothing wrong with Betsy?

I would say no, although some would want to replace the nut or some other hardware. It is perfect for me as it is.

Thank you, Bass Centre!


Read all 25 customer reviews...

FREE SIGNED BOOK

Buy the best-selling Bass Centre Betsy Bass and get a free hand signed copy of Guy Pratt's fantastic autobiography ‘My Bass and Other Animals', a bold and upfront memoir that charts Guy's hilarious journey from playing in a mod band in Southend to performing worldwide with Pink Floyd,  David Gilmour, Bryan Ferry, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Robert Palmer.