Bass Number 99 Ed Roman – “The Goosenbacker”

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001

Of all the basses in 101 Basses, this one is really the most unique.  It’s position of Bass Number 99 in 101 Basses is rather suitable.

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001 and Terri

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001 and Terri

This bass is a custom built bass from Ed Roman Guitars of Las Vegas Nevada.  Ed Roman was one of those people that you either loved or hated and there doesn’t seem to much in between.  To say Ed was colorful and opinionated might be and understatement, but you have to admit, he built a lot of cool bass guitars.  Sadly, Ed passed away last December, but he left a wonderful legacy of work of everything from copies to some great original instruments.

Ed Roman Seymour Duncan Pickups

Ed Roman Seymour Duncan Pickups

A few years ago my friend Clint Wilson asked Ed Roman to build him a custom Rickenbacker 4001 copy.  This bass was the result of that collaboration.

Clint owns two real Rickenbackers plus this one.  And he actually enjoys playing this one over the others.  For sure, this one is a lot more flashy and looks great under stage lighting.  But as for the sound, they both sound great.  But Clint will go so far as to say this one might even sound better than the Rickenbackers.

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001 - Body

Ed Roman Goosenbacker 4001 - Body

The pickup set for this bass is made by Seymour Duncan.  Looking through the Seymour Duncan catalog, it appears these pickups are the 4000 series SRB-1 set which has been designed for use in Rickenbacker basses.  This would probably account for the Ric sound.

The headstock name for this bass was also a collaboration between Clint and Ed’s staff.  Clint’s nickname for many years has been Father Goose.  Clint wasn’t interested in having the name “Rickenbacker” printed on the headstock, so Roman’s staff came up with the name “Goosenbacker”.  A rather fitting name.  Don’t you think?  And a one of kind name for a one of kind bass.

Official Ed Roman Gigbag

Official Ed Roman Gigbag

Ed was able to find an aftermarket bridge that looked like a Rickenbacker bridge.  So that one was chosen.  The pickguard was modified from the original Ric style to account for the smaller sized Seymour Duncan pickup.

One odd thing is that I don’t think there is any way to identify this as an Ed Roman instrument.  There is a serial number stamped at the high end of the fretboard.  Presumably there is a way to date the instrument from that.  But if you were find this in a store somewhere, the only clue you have that this is from Ed Roman is the gig bag that it comes in.

As to the cost of this bass, I don’t really know, but I think it was up there.  This is a custom made bass, hand built by a builder with a world wide reputation.  I guessing that doesn’t come cheap.

This bass is one cool bass.  Thanks to Clint Wilson for allowing me to share it in 101 Basses.

“Stay Tuned!”
Terri

 

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