Solidbody / Production 1961 – 1974
The Fender Bass VI is a short scale bass of 30 inches, but the tremolo along with its guitar style 6 string spacing, revealed its true identity as a low tuned guitar.
The body and tremolo came from the Jazzmaster, and the three pickups were styled from the Stratocaster (shock gasp, horror) . Its simple electronic system consisted of individual on/off switches for each pickup, controlled by a master volume and tone. It was tuned an octave below a guitar, so it would have the same range as a bass, but its high strings would extend well into the mid-guitar range.
Fender introduce this hybrid in 1961, inspired by the mild success of Danelectro’s six string bass, but without a clear market demand for such a model. With its unique sound, which consisted of either a thin high bass or a low thick guitar sound, depending on a perspective. The Fender Bass VI was used by a number of bands including the Hollies and Jack Bruce used one on Fresh Cream. Fender last made the bass in 1974.