Name: Max Kay
Position: Customer Service & Tech
Favorite Tone: Fender bass into my 64' Ampeg B-15n
Favorite Bass Line: My Generation
Favorite Bass Players: McCartney and Jameson
Favorite Preamp: I love my Xotic Bass BB preamp. It makes any solid state amp sound like an SVT without having to break my back to move one or the $300 worth of glass tubes those amps need every now and then.

I'm a luthier and repairman from southern Maine. I've been working on guitars for over 20 years. My initial training was at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in 1990. I've serviced thousands of guitars, basses and stringed instruments. I obsessively collect all the books and information about stringed instruments that I can find. I've watched this trade develop from unusual and esoteric occupation into the popular vocation and ever increasingly popular hobby it has become for many folks. We are truly in a renaissance of luthiery, with more people building now than ever before in history.

I'm pleased to be able share what I have learned as a Luthier and as a bass player here at BBG. I enjoy hearing about your hopes and dreams for your instruments. Your enthusiasm and passion is what keeps me going every day, and constantly serves to remind me what got me into this in the first place.

Bass Uke
Made by Hawaiian Uke maker Owen Holt

"I'd been playing a Kala U-bass for about a year when I decided to get this one. This is one of the hand made originals the Kala was based upon. I don't think Owen is still actively building anymore, so I am super pleased to have one of his originals. "


MATERIALS - The body is made from beautiful flamed koa and the neck koa as well.

SCALE LENGTH - 20", still tuned like a regular bass

STRINGS - The tone of these is about as close to as a doghouse as you can get. It's all about the special strings, which are some type of polymer. They are rubbery feeling and are similar to the Guild/Ashbory basses from the 80's. Everybody that hears this little bass loves it. It's perfect for most of the styles I'm asked to play.

PICKUP - Passive K&K designed for acoustic bass guitar

TUNERS - Custom made for Owen by Hipshot with a special 'spool' top that is good for collecting the extra string when you bring the rubbery strings upto pitch

IN THE WORKS - I'm currently building a tiny P bass solid body version of this instrument with a slightly longer 24" scale, and Hipshot was kind enough to supply me with the special tuners.


Stambaugh Thundercaster
Made by NH Luthier Chris Stambaugh

"I enjoy playing this bass, as Chris is an amazing luthier and did world class work on this, But the real treat for me was just being able to meet Chris, who is now a good friend."


DESIGN - I did the design work and based it heavily off of a Thunderbird. It is what I'd call 1/2 reversed Thunderbird shape, with only the upper bout flipped over.

ELECTRONICS - All passive, featuring a 5-position switch for coil selection. Coil selections are: 1) Bridge, 2) Both parallel 3) Both series 4) Neck 5) Both series, out of phase.

PICKUPS - Fred Hammon Dark Star, which are reproductions of the Swedish made pickups that are found on Guild Starfire basses. They are the big bass brothers of Dearmond pickups found on Gretsch and Guild guitars from the 50's and 60's

BRIDGE - Hipshot Aluminum A-style bridge

TUNERS - Hipshot Ultralight tuners

STRINGS - It's strung up with D'Addario Chromes


Parts Build P/J Bass
Bought on an auction website

"I threw this together just as i started working here. I really like the Fiesta/Black/Creme color scheme and love the feel of the chunky neck."


BODY - Squier 'Vintage vibe'

NECK - Allparts 'chunky' Jazz

PICKUPS - Linley Fralin split P/J set with the 5% overwound Jazz

WIRING - This bass features '1960' Jazz bass wiring with clicking stackknobs and the controversial inline resistor that isolates the pickups from each other so that the tone controls are truly independent of each other.

STRINGS - D'Addario Chromes


Nash Jazz Bass

"I love this bass. This is my go-to bass for any style of music. I bought it on a lark just to see what this whole 'reliced' instrument thing was all about. I'm sure I would love one of the 10k originals this bass is emulating, but in lieu of that this is the closest I'm personally every going to get."


PICKUPS - I've replaced the stock Lollars pickups with Aero's and installed a 4-position traditional vari-tone. The pickups are also permanently wired in series with no blend and just a master volume control. After years of putting series/parallel switches on my basses i realized I just prefer the sound of the series link and the simplicity of a master volume control.

STRINGS - D'Addario Chromes