GW Basses & Luthiery
HRV Features Page

 DC-2B HRV "Hot Rod Vintage" series Features and Specifications

The Inspiration for the HRV Series

I really love this new series of basses, a lot of consideration, time, energy and emotion went into their design and features. I approached these basses from my playing preferences perspective even more so (if that is possible) than with my neck through series. Why? Well, I am an active bassist as well, and I have this either gorgeous or seriously ugly - depending on your point of view - old beat up `71 Fender Precision Bass that has been my main bass for... oh, about 18 years now. I've had other bassists who don't particularly like that style of bass or the brand in particular who, after playing it have tried to buy it from me. Of course, it is not for sale.

I'm also a big fan of almost all old, beat up, modified, or "frankenstein" basses (and yes... guitars as well), and every now and then when I find ones that are broken, beat up, poorly modified, etc., I'll buy them and not just restore them, but breath new life into them with new parts and improvements where I can make them. I had to give some thought to what it is that tends to draw me to these type of instruments in particular. After quite a bit of soul searching, I realized that I like instruments that have obviously been played a lot. Why? They feel instantly comfortable. All those years of playing and banging around in clubs on and stages have put a nice patina on them. The edges of the fingerboards have been rounded over a bit.. the backs of the necks have been worn smooth from years of playing. I guess it is kind of like a pair of well broken in jeans... new ones feel stiff and rub you in the wrong places until they get broken in from being worn.

Comfortable right out of the case

Now, that is not to say that I wanted to produce a reliced instrument, I still wanted my new bolt neck basses to be new. But I endeavored to put in certain features and other things that would produce an instrument that would feel familar and comfortable right out of the case. As a player, the overall feel and "vibe" of the instrument, which includes how it sounds and plays, is everything to me. If it feels right with the right vibe, it inspires me and my playing shows it.

The other side of the coin, however, is that with all due respect and admiration, I didn't want to create another replica or bass licensed from someone elses design. I wanted to design and build a series of bolt neck basses that would have certain distinguishing characteristics that would make it a GW Bass, but that would still be draw inspiration from what I felt was the essence of my favorite old bass. I set about taking my current DC-1 design and worked at improving on those things that I saw as either weak points or limitations of my old favorite.

The HRV Neck

I believe that the many of the things that make for a great feeling and playing 4 string neck don't necessarily work as well for a 5 string or 6 string neck, and vice versa. So, each GW HRV neck has a different fingerboard radius and neck profile from the others. All of them have about the same taper from front to back, from 7/8" under the 1st fret to just a touch over 1" at the 21st fret. A 4 string has a 10" radius, a 5 string has a 12" radius and the 6 string has a 16" radius fingerboard. The neck profiles are a bit different for each as well. I'm not a fan of really thin and small necks, so the 4 string neck is a bit "beefier" for more sustain and punch. The 5 and 6 string both have a asymetrical profile, a bit thicker and rounder under the low side of the neck and just a bit thinner and slimmer profile under the higher strings. This makes for a neck that sits very comfortably in your hands gig after gig, session after session.

One of the most important things for a bolt neck bass from a structural standpoint is the neck joint. I made the neck pocket of my HRV basses 3/4" deep, a full 1/8" deeper than standard for more stability and to keep the neck screws further away from the fingerboard. It also extendes further into the body for added stability.

For comfort, the edges of the fingerboard are rolled over just a bit to give it that broken in feel. I also like a volute on where the headstock meets the neck, so I've done a bit of a deeper "volute" on my HRV necks for comfort and that "home position on a dark stage" feel. There are 21 frets with full access to the upper register thanks to the deeper lower cutaway, the curved neck heel and larger rounded edge on the rear of the neck pocket for all day comfort for when you want to wail out your best solo!

Threaded machine inserts are used for the neck screws for more stability and a much solid, tighter neck joint that doesn't move and won't wear down over time like wood screws will. Hipshot ultralight "elephant ear" tuners, a "slipstone" nut and a roller string tree are used for spot on tuning stability.

Deep neck pocket
Deeper neck pocket for strength and stability

Machine inserts for neck screws
Machined steel inserts for neck screws gives greater neck joint strength and stability

Comfortable volute
Comfortable volute

roller string tree
Roller string tree with Hipshot Ultralight tuners for all day tuning stability

GW HRV "Hot Rod Vintage Pickups. Humbucker in the neck and a Quad coil at the bridge!

GW HRV Pickups Image

Want smooth, creamy, deep tone? How about sharp, overdrive that bites if you push it just right? Sure! Now how about both out of the same bass? Not possible? It is with the new HRV "Hot Rod Vintage" pickups. The neck pickup is a dual coil humbucker that is wound to be hot enough if pushed, but to really give that smooth and deep for days sound. Flip the switch and it goes from full series humbucking mode to parallel for slightly reduced output, a drop in the lows and mids and increased high end response.

The bridge pickup is a quad coil. Why four coils? Flexibility and bite. With the switch for this pickup in "single coil" mode, what you're actually getting is two offset coils for great single coil sound with humbucking to boot. Flip the switch to the full on position and it kicks in the other set of offset coils for a bite that will push your amp to growl and snarl just right, with plenty of tone and attitude. You're first thought with these pickups will be "active preamp in my bass? not with these pickups".

Neck heel and body contours right shape and where they need to be


Upper Fret Access
Deep lower cutaway for full upper fret access

neck heel carving
Rounded neck heel for ease of upper fret access and comfort

extended upper horn
Upper horn extends just beyond the 12th fret for perfect hanging balance

forearm contour
Ergonomic forearm contour

rear belly contour
Rear "belly" contour just right, not too big or too small

oversize strap buttons
Oversize strap buttons for peace of mind

Details, details, details....

Attention to detail is everything, right? I couldn't agree more and didn't want to cut any corners with the HRV Basses. So I looked to see what details I could improve on. What could be better than a plastic rear control cavity cover with sheilding tape or sheilding paint? How about one made from solid copper and a copper plate in the bottom of the control cavity as well! And again, threaded brass inserts for the control cover screws.

The controls are easy to reach but out of "strike zone" so you can slap away or even bang out chords with a pick and not worry about hitting a knob. They're also laid out in a basic "volume - volume - tone" pattern for ease of use and a familiar feel. There is a switch for each pickup; a series / parallel switch for the neck pickup and a psuedo "coil tap" switch for Quad Coil bridge pickup. The result? An almost infinite number of sound options to go from smooth and deep, to bright and biting - all without a preamp and batteries to change.

Control cavity image
Control cavity has copper plate for sheilding and strength, and is ready for batteries and a preamp if you should ever decide to put one at some point down the road

control cavity cover inserts image
Threaded inserts for the control cavity screws

copper control cavity cover image
Control cavity cover is solid copper - better than sheilding tape or paint!

Allen head machine screws for pickup height image
Allen head machine screws for pickup height adjustments

passive controls image
The controls are instantly familiar and easy to use. A volume for each pickup, a coil tap switch for each pickup, and a master tone control


DC-2B HRV "Hot Rod Vintage" series Price List

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