Our first longscale bass, equipped with a pair of Duesenberg Bass Toasters and quite tricky wiring. In addition to the usual low-pass tone control there was a second potentiometer that changed the midrange characteristics. Subtle but ingenious. The bridge/tailpiece combination was specifically designed for this model. dThe Toaster pickups sit within their own oval surrounding plate that nestles within the larger scratchplate echoing the stepped design to good effect.
As the jack socket is edge-mounted this plate holds just the three controls and that distinctive Duesenberg 'D' logo that makes the whole thing cohesive and neat.
The simple looking solid brass bridge is a very efficient unit with tough saddles and good adjustability. There is enough movement to allow optimisation of the speaking length of the strings with the low B reaching almost 876mm (34.5-inches).
The maple neck is satin smooth with a flattened profile and the rosewood 'board has slightly rolled edges, pearl dots and pretty big frets with a more than acceptable string spacing.
We should also mention the nut, which on this D-Bass is beautifully shaped and smoothly rounded at the edges.
The smaller headstock and downsized tuners assist in better instrument balance and reduce overall weight - what's not to like?
With a robust sound and one of the most powerful bottom Bs we've encountered, the D-Bass seems intent on leaving its sonic mark. The combination of tone and mid-range controls gives an inherent sound that is as individual as the looks.
The split Toaster pickup and unusual circuit supply a bottom end that is both big and full with a good definition throughout, but with the added advantage of series or parallel wiring we also get a brighter, more focused delivery when switched from series to parallel.
There's not, of course, the scope of sound you'd expect from a modern active bass but there's plenty of variation on hand to make this a great all-rounder with a bigger voice than you might imagine - and that B-string will appeal even to metal monsters.
As the first full-scale Duesenberg bass, the D-Bass joins the range in quite dramatic style. Yes, Duesies are all about visual style but it's nothing without tonal substance and the D-Bass delivers in both the playability and tone.