BunnyBass Field Trip: Zon Guitars (continued).

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The set-up room. When all the wood- and finishing-work is complete, the basses are brought upstairs for final assembly, set-up and adjustment, as well as for final testing before being shipped out to locations all over the world (the Zons are tested on a Walter Woods amp powering a SWR 2x10 cabinet, just in case you were wondering...). The large cabinet in the background is something Joe built with the intention of it housing some of the very early, 'historically important' Zon basses in this room - a mini-Zon museum if you will. Perhaps this will still happen later - but for the time being it has turned into just another shelf (albiet a very big one) with a lot of 'miscellaneous stuff' on it!

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The workbenches. There were quite a few lovely Zon basses scattered throughout the room, many in various stages of completion, and all of them undergoing constant experimentation. Joe is constantly testing new electronics together with different combinations of woods and construction methods, in a never-ending pursuit of the perfect tone. The spalted maple fretless Sonus in the left foreground was especially nice (note the matching headstock overlay, something Joe's been doing a lot more of lately).


L: Jon and Joe pose with a couple of basses; R: a Legacy 5-string with a koa top (click either for a large version)

Did you guys really buy those shoes? Here's Jon with Zon Lightwave bass number one, while Joe holds an older Legacy Standard in red. In the background you can also catch a small glimpse of some very, very early Zon basses (the one to Jon's left is a super-rare Zon Standard 8-string - Joe and Jon both agreed that the next time we visit we'll have to photograph a couple of these basses for the BunnyBass Museum of Vintage Exotics...). Above right: Another example of the fruit of all this labor - one of Jon's favorite 5 string basses ever to pass through BunnyBass, a stunning Legacy Elite model 5-string with a highly figured koa top. This bass was incredibly nice - light-weight, beautifully made, played like butter, and had a sound that was absolutely to die for!

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Joe holds Zon #1, Nancy displays the Zon t-shirt Joe gave her.

Joe's first bass. Before we said good-bye, Joe was nice enough to show us one last bass - the first one he built. It looked... 'rough', featured what seemed like a lot of pickups and switches and knobs, and, of course didn't look like any of the instruments he is making now. But this bass from the very beginning of Joe's career actually made for a good and appropriate ending to our visit - it helped serve as a nice reminder of how every journey has a beginning somewhere. Joe has travelled a very long road to come to where he stands now, and the bass world has been very enriched by his ongoing commitment to intelligent, useful innovation and high-quality bass building.

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If you have additional questions or comments for the folks at Zon Guitars, you can reach them at the Zon Guitars office:
          Zon Guitars
          780 Second Ave
          Redwood City, CA 94063 USA
          telephone 650-366-3516
          FAX 650-366-9996
          e-mail: customerservice@zonguitars.com

And, of course, please remember to visit their website:
          [ www.zonguitars.com ]

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