Johans Custom history

Johans Custom bass story of owning and playing "10 brands"

Took my first bankloan at age 19 to buy an 5 string Fretless Warwick Thumb bass. Price 17500 SEK (1750 dollars)

It was the first 5 and fretless Warwick ordered to Scandinavia at a time when 5 string starting to come along.

Bought an Fodera Emperor 5 string for 3500 dollars when arriving in USA 1992 to study at Berklee College Of Music. Realized that a 36 inch long scale bass was too much for my smaller hands and traded it back to Fodera and got an 6 string Emperor, 34" with exact the same specs: Mahogany body, Ash toneblock, Olive top, Ebony fingerboard and 2 Bartolini Jazz style paralell pickups.

The Fodera was used on my first album "What i am doing now must be done" and I had to compensate the tone by rolling off treble and aschieved a warm Contrabass like tone for comping and an open sound for chords and melody. However the bass was to bright sounding when using the EQ flat.

Over the years this is the factory made basses I had, that I want to mention:

Jazz bass original 1964 - The best Jazz bass with almost black fingerboard and a warm fantastic finger tone, to me the best reference for good Bass sound.

Jazz Bass Custom Relic 64 - White beautiful color and nice sound, obvious a bit brighter than the one above.

Precision 1962 Sunburst - Best Precision I ever heard. Sounded like an upright bass with lots of tone.

Precision 1963 White - Great sound with a bit more Rock tone

Had some 70´s Jazzbasses, a nice Black 76, a Red 78 (best Funk) and a fantastic 74 Sunburst (best finger sound of the 3)

Yamaha BB 2000 fretted and fretless - Very well built and warm sounding basses.

Used the fretless, modified with Bartolini PU´s on my first album.

ARIA TSB 550 - My first bass, a good one indeed, bought this instead of a Moped at 15.

Musicman Stingray 79 and 3 Bongos (one 5 string and a fretted and fretless 6 string)

Over the years I had many custom basses, these come to mind:

Fodera Emperor 5 and 6 string, read above. Monarch Standard 5 standard White - All a bit to wide spacing (19 mm)

Strandberg Prog 5, low weight and interesting ergonomics - Didnt like the fanned frets when playing chords in upper register.

Leduc 6 string headless, very nice with Alder body. - Could only use special ball end strings.

Sandberg 4 string, ok but basically a Fender with active PU´s with a bit more low end then the normal Fender. - A bit to boomy.

Lakland 4 string Deluxe, Ash body and fingerboard - A very nice instrument with sweet tone, however the neck was a bit off center to the body.

Manne 5 string Acoustibass fretless - Very sweet sounding with black nylons. - The neck was very unstable and had to be adjusted on a regular basis.

Tobias I owned 4 different pre 94 basses and all were very nice (3 of them were 6 strings). I sold them in 2018 when I started to play short scale basses. My favourite was the basic one, all white with Alder body.

MTD 630-24, my first serious handbuilt short scale - The reason I switched to 30" leaving the 34" behind. All Mahogany body with a warm nice sound. - The Bartolini PU´s are only ok but I prefer Unicorns PU´s that have a more natural open and warm sound.

Marleaux 6 string DIVA fretless - Very beautiful design - 18 mm spacing doesnt work for me on a 6 string, unfortunately the neck gets to wide.

Unicorn PURE ART The circle has come all the way and I had the privilage to design a bass together with Christian Olsson at Unicorn.

All things designed exactly as needed based on 40 years of experience, it all landed in PURE ART with No compromises! This is were things start..