BunnyBass Field Trip: 2003 NAMM show, page 2.
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Ritter Basses. We knew we were going to have a good NAMM show experience as soon as we got started. One of the very first things we saw was the booth for Ritter basses. Jens Ritter brought perhaps 15 or so of his basses all the way from Germany, and they were absolutely stunning in their quality, sound, and variety.
Near the corner of his booth Jens had a Jupiter model (left) and a Raptor model (which has, of course, among other things a stylized, sculpted claw). Here Harry is holding the Jupiter bass - it's large, has a piano-like gloss black finish, hypercontoured, and melts into your body when held in playing position. Easily one of the most incredible basses we've ever seen - it's both pure sculpture as well as an incredible musical instrument.
Harry (sees the Jupiter bass): "Ooooohmygooooood!!!"
Nancy: "This is scary. It's beautiful and wow I don't think I can carry that... Oh hey, it's nice!"
Jon: "a bass goddess..."
This is a Ritter Classic 5. The maple is given a special (secret!) treatment to accentuate the natural figure in the wood. The finish was perfectly done and the craftsmanship on these basses were also excellent. The overall effect of the bass is one of great beauty, and the triple coil pickups yield an incredibly rich, powerful sound.
A close-up of the bridge and triple coil pickups, encased in ebony. The triple coils allow the player to select between a humbucking sound as well as a noiseless single coil sound - very nice. The pickup case is also wide enough to make for a very comfortable surface to play on.
In contrast to the more symmetrical lower bout of the Classic model, this stunning Roya 5 fretless has a slightly offset body design. This one had a comparably simple electronics setup and sounded incredibly good - tons of growl and lots of variation in tone available by changing up technique.
Harry stuck to the Ritter fretless 5. We all took a long turn on this bass, it was just so sweet. We all agreed that Jens is extremely talented - some builders just seem to know how to combine materials and design in a perfectly integrated way. The resulting instruments are greater than the sum of their parts.
Harry: "Jon, you have to try this bass, it is incredible."
Jon: "This is one of my favorite basses of the NAMM show, and definately one of the nicest fretless basses in recent memory."
Henner: "This is a special bass."
Here is Jens and Nancy. In the background you can see some beautiful examples of the wide variety of finishes Jens offers - transparent glosses, sunbursts, marble-like, even basses completely finished in chrome or 24 karat gold.
A new generation of bass builders have arrived and they are really pushing the boundaries of bass design. Jens invited BunnyBass to come visit his shop in Germany to see how he is doing things. Perhaps we will have to take him up on this someday - a full BunnyBass interview and photo-documentary of his work in the shop would be great. In the meantime you can learn more about Jen's basses at the Ritter basses website.
[ continue to page 3 : basses : Michael Spalt ]
Table of contents.
[ page 1 ] introduction & setting.
[ page 2 ] basses & builders: Jens Ritter. <--you are here
[ page 3 ] basses & builders: Michael Spalt.
[ page 4 ] basses & builders: Celinder, F bass, Dave Olson.
[ page 5 ] basses & builders: Rick Turner.
[ page 6 ] basses & builders: Mike Kinal.
[ page 7 ] basses & builders: Carey Nordstrand, Geoff Gould, Harvey Citron, Abraham Wechter, Lightwave.
[ page 8 ] basses & builders: Hanewinckel, Michael Pedulla, Moses Graphite, VF Guitar Works.
[ page 9 ] interesting!: Daisy Rock guitars, King Doublebass, Burrell (the twisty bass).
[ page 10 ] other cool stuff: Coffin cases, Nancy's balalaika, the Strapture strap, Jeff Berlin.