The Bass Centre Frankenstein BassThe Bass Centre Frankenstein BassThe Bass Centre Frankenstein BassThe Bass Centre Frankenstein Bass

The Bass Centre Frankenstein Bass

UK Price:  £495.00 Inc. 20% VAT
Worldwide Price: £412.50


Limited Stock Available - Buy Now!  

Limited Stock Available - Buy Now!

  (2 Reviews)

Frankenstein Unbound

Who bass legend, John Entwistle, was a very good friend of The Bass Centre's - from our early days in Wapping High Street right up to his untimely passing in 2002 - and his personality, wicked sense of humour and astonishing talent will always be sorely missed. So, with the new British Bass Masters Series "Frankenstein" Bass, we are proud to pay tribute to the most iconic, influential and - damn it, yes! - THE greatest bass player of all-time.

Renowned for using a LOT of basses, one instrument stands out from the rest of John's incredible collection, if only because of its unique origins. The beast affectionately dubbed "Frankenstein", famously assembled from the remains of a number of "dead" instruments, was his main stage & studio axe from 1967 to 1971, the golden era during which The Who released their classic albums "Tommy", "Who's Next" and "Live At Leeds" and cemented their reputation as one of the World's greatest live rock 'n' roll bands.

In 2003, a year after his death, as testament to the reverence in which John and this particular bass are held, the original Frankenstein went under the hammer at Sotheby's in London, for an astonishing £62,400 ($100,000)!

Sporting a gorgeous salmon pink finish - as its namesake was eventually refinished in the mid 70's - our Frankenstein model may not have been brought back from the dead, but it does feature period accurate looks, cool retro features, an authentic growling tone, a super fast, satin finish neck... and a considerably more affordable price tag!

The Bass Centre Frankenstein Bass Features

body Lightweight, balanced basswood body with classic Salmon Pink finish and mint green pickguard
neck Satin finish Bass Centre "Super Slim Sixites"® maple neck
FINGERBOARD 20 fret maple fingerboard with black dot markers
pickups Vintage voiced split single coil
bridge Standard roller bridge
hardware Chrome "ashtray" bridge cover / Chromed brass dome top control knobs / 4 bolt chrome neck plate
strings Bass Centre Elites
extras Premium quality Bass Centre padded gig bag included

"It's Alive! It's Alive!"

Throughout his life, John Entwistle was renowned for his eclectic choice of instruments, but few of them are as celebrated - and none quite as unique - as the "Frankenstein" Precision Bass that was his main weapon of choice for the Who's stage & studio work from 1967 to 1971.

Ostensibly, Frankenstein appeared to be a 1965 three-colour sunburst Fender Precision with a maple neck (serial no. 13081), but its origins are far more arcane. Just like Mary Shelley's renegade scientist, Entwistle actually brought life to this unholy beast himself, from the remains of a number of dead basses - including two rare 1966 UK only limited edition "slab" body P-Basses - during down time on The Who's 1967 US tour.

I had a day off in San Francisco once and spent it screwing a bass together from five smashed Precisions including a couple of slab ones, of which they only made about 20. I took the pickup and scratch plate from one of the slab Precisions, the neck from another, machineheads from a Jazz Bass, the body off a sunburst Precision and the tailpiece from another... Two hours with a Phillips screwdriver and a soldering iron and I was running around my hotel room screaming “It’s alive! It’s alive!”

The scavenged bass was used prominently (through his awesome Hiwatt rig) for the next four years, a period during which The Who conquered Woodstock, became renowned as one of the World's most incendiary live acts and released their breakthrough rock opera "Tommy" as well as the stone-cold classics, "Who's Next" and "Live At Leeds", one of the all-time great live rock 'n' roll albums. So when you listen to John's fluid, melodic lines driving "Pinball Wizard" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" or his corrosive, snarling solo on the Leeds' live cut of "My Generation", that's Frankenstein you're hearing, in all its feral glory.

Although Entwistle retired the bass from onstage work in the mid 70's, at which point he had it refinished from sunburst to salmon pink, he remarked in a 1994 interview with Bassist magazine... “I have about 35 Precisions, all with different colors and from different eras, but I always go back to Frankenstein.”

Many of John Entwistle’s belongings and personal effects were auctioned off after his untimely passing in June 2002, including his incredible instrument collection. Frankenstein itself went under the hammer at Sotheby’s Auction House in London in May 2003, where it was expected to fetch something in the region of £5,000 to £7,000 but, after heated bidding, the storied bass eventually sold to an anonymous American buyer for £62,400 ($100,000).

Of course such a high price tag isn't so surprising when you consider that John's legacy and influence as a musician remains so strong — in 1999, Musician Magazine crowned him "Bassist of The Millennium" and, in a 2011 Rolling Stone reader's poll, holding his own against a whole new generation of amazing players, he was still voted the #1 bass player of all-time.

Quite simply, John's effortless cool, unique personality and his truly groundbreaking reinvention of the role of the bass in modern rock music make him one of a kind and, with The Bass Centre "Frankenstein", we are proud to pay tribute to an amazing musician, a genuine, gentlemen rock 'n' roller and a good & valued friend.

Body Basswood
FINISH Gloss polyurethane with natural headstock
Pickguard 3 ply vintage mint-green
Neck Satin finish maple with Bass Centre "Super Slim Sixties"® profile
Fingerboard Maple with black dot markers
Frets 20 medium nickel frets
Pickup Bass Centre vintage voiced split single coil
Controls Master volume / Master tone
Machineheads Chrome vintage style, clover leaf, open-gear tuners
Hardware Chromed brass dome top control knobs / Chrome "Ashtray" bridge cover
NECK PLATE 4-bolt chrome plate
Bridge Chrome standard roller bridge
Scale Length 34" (864mm)
Neck Width at Nut 40mm (1.57")
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 11.5mm (0.45")
String Spacing at Bridge 19.5mm (0.77")
Weight Approx. 4.1kg (9.0lb)
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 / British Bass Masters instruments come with a 1 year warranty
Country Of Origin World Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., South Korea

John Entwistle In Action With "Frankenstein"

No doubt due to his legendarily stoic presence on stage — and to the considerably more energetic performances given by his fellow bandmates — camera men filming Who concerts did tend to focus more on Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon & Pete Townsend than on John Entwistle!

Nevertheless, even if you don't see so much of him in these clips, you can definitely hear him unleashing the raw power of Frankenstein in 1969, tearing it up at Woodstock and closing their epic show at the London Coliseum with suitable bombast.

Average Rating (2 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

16 March 2021  | 

Iíd actually been looking around for a Precision but couldnít find one that felt right, so, after cruising through the Bass Centre website, I came across this, the Frankenstein Bass. I read the spec and, as we were in the middle of a Covid lockdown, decided to take a chance on it. Customer service was excellent!

The big unboxing day arrived. Straight out of the box it was great. With a little tweak to lower the action it was amazing. It's incredibly light (great for those of us who are getting a little long in the tooth!) and well balanced. It sits on the strap perfectly. The neck is smooth and silky.

Now, the important bit Ė The sound. I plugged it into my live rig (Ashdown Evo III) and rolled the volume up. Smooth, no cracks or pops. It is loud, full bodied, and hot to trot. The pickup is incredibly responsive. Digging in with a pick gets that John Entwhistle 'Boris the Spider' sound. Lots of grind but without losing any of the bottom end. Beautiful! Backing off the treble pot a bit and losing the pick it gets real mellow. Nice. For recording I DI through an Ashdown MiBass. Absolutely no loss of tone or power whatsoever.

I have played a lot of basses over the years from my first Kayís catalogue precision copy to some heavyweight names with heavyweight price tags.

This bass is one of the best I have ever played.

£499? An absolute bargain.

Are you sure you didnít miss a digit out of the price tag?

Superb Instrument
25 September 2017  | 

I'd dealt with The Bass Centre back in the Wapping days and knew that Barry wouldn't be selling his Bass Collection instruments if they weren't worth putting his good name and reputation behind. I was curious to see just how good they are and, on the strength of the Frankenstein bass that has just arrived, the answer is 'BRILLIANT'.

The neck is wonderfully slim, straight as an arrow with very nice fretting and plays great with the satin finish. The slightly thinner depth basswood body makes for a lighter guitar than my regular Fenders, but without any loss of snap or sustain. The electronics and hardware are more than adequate and it does all that you could ask of a P-Bass, while giving you scope to upgrade and customise if you want to.

The fit and finish is excellent with a flawless paint job. The gig bag is also nicely made. All in all, this is the best budget bass that I have played in many years and really would put many far more expensive P-Basses to shame. The price point seems ridiculously low for what you are getting (and no, I'm not related to Barry!).

If this is a typical Bass Collection instrument then I would recommend them to anybody.