BGRA: Welson Bass (no model name)

Manufacturer Welson Model Bass (no model name)
Reviewer Sleeper
Experience 30+ Item owned 2-5 years
Review Date 2005-01-09 Price paid sec hand cheap
Bass type4 string fretted
Neck joinBolt-On
Neck constructionOne piece, slightly tilted headstock
Fingerboardrosewood, 21 frets incl, zero fret,short scale 30"
Bodyone piece
FinishReally nice 3-tone sunburst
PickupsWelson
HardwareWelson
ElectronicsPassive. Lots of knobs all over!
Welson was one of many brand names on guitars and basses manufactured by a Castelfidardo-based accordion making company founded by Orlando Quagliardi in 1919. This italian factory also built guitars and basses for Vox and Dynacord during the sixties.

The most eye-catching feature of this Welson bass was the radical shape, with a third cutaway on the lower side of the bottom end of the body. The finish was a true three-tone sunburst, one of the nicest I have seen, only surpassed by pre-CBS Fenders. In typical Euro-continental style, knobs and controls were spread evenly around the front of the body, and the more knobs, the less difference did they make to the sound. I never found out what they were all doing.

The pickguard was made up of three (!) separate pieces. Neck and fretboard was of good quality, bound rosewood fretboard with a zero fret relieving the nut. Headstock was tilted backwards with tuners in line on the top side. Tuners were all metal. They worked ok and looked ok.

The mics were the weakest feature. Played at low volume the sound lacked character and punch. Cranked up, the sound became somewhat fuzzed and muddy. Nylon taperwound strings made things better, strangely enough.

As years have passed by, Welson basses and guitars have gained some collector's value, at least if your are into Euro-drek axes from the sixties.

This rewiew is based on my own memories, supported by old pictures and old recordings of jams and rehearsals from the very early seventies. I let the Welson bass go when I got my first Fender.

[note: a reader has suggestion that the model name may be Welson Special Bass. --ed]

construction (85%)
Way too special to be average!
playability (85%)
Nice action, adjustable bridge.
appearance (75%)
Too many pickguards hiding a nice sunburst.
sound (50%)
Fuzzy euro-growl when loud
value (50%)
If any - collector's only
service (0%)
overall (75%)
More strange than average, but...
The BGRA is generously underwritten by David King of Bass Guitar Systems.
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