As a Canadian bass player, there's a lot of cool instruments and equipment that I've only had the chance to see online or in a magazine. Luckily, in the past few years there have been a few Canadian retailers emerging that specialize in bass-only gear. One such store is Ultimate Basses, located in Guelph, Ontario.
I had a chance to ask Dave Scovell, the owner of Ultimate Basses, a few questions about his store and why he was drawn to the bass guitar in the first place.
Bass Guitar Rocks: How old were you and under what circumstances did you first start playing bass?
Dave: If memory serves me correct, it was just after seeing my first concert. That would have been Alice Cooper when I was 13 years old. Dennis Dunaway stood out for me at that show. I bought a department store cheapie soon after that and was hooked!
BGR: What is it about bass that fascinates you?
Dave: You can be creative and still hold down the groove. Seeing Mark King live opened up a whole new realm as to what the bass was capable of. I love how you can ‘feel’ the notes on a bass at a live show.<
BGR: Did you play in a band? If so – what style of music was it and how often did you perform?
Dave: I was in a band with a few friends, nothing serious. Rock was what we liked to jam on. After damaging my right hand I had to give up my aspirations of being a musician.
BGR: What was your motivation to start up a "Bass Only" store?
Dave: I have been a music distributor since 1985 and had always thought of making the switch to retail. One of my customers asked about ordering a Fodera bass back in 2004. When I got the OK from Joey, I looked at what else I could sell to compliment Ken Smith and Fodera. I really enjoy the sales aspect of the business and genuinely like talking bass with my customers.
BGR: What are the current brands that you offer at Ultimate Basses?
<Dave: I feel I have a good selection of what most bass players would consider mid to upper end equipment. Amps and cabinets: Epifani and Schroeder. Basses: F-Bass, Fodera, Ken Smith, MTD and Nordstrand. Cables: Evidence Audio and Monster Cable Strings: Ken Smith, Fodera and Thomastik Infeld
BGR: What (bass-related) product do you wish you could sell in your store?
Dave: I would love to have Moog Taurus l bass pedals and Wal basses in my product line.
BGR: What are your favorite basses and why?
DAVE: There are many great instruments to choose from. I love the 80's Yamaha BB series, especially the passive BB3000 and BB5000 basses. They have so much fullness and warmth in their tone. Wal basses have a unique sound that is perfect for a band such as Tool. Justin[Chancellor -ed] has what I consider the baddest tone going. The Pre-Kramer and Kramer Spector NS-2 basses are also great. I've owned a few and enjoyed playing them. For me, A Fodera Imperial 5 fits my hand the best. Great pre-amp, finish and balance. Some of the best necks in the business are on Mike Tobias' American Series basses. Nothing plays faster and easier. As for a 6 string, I've always loved how a Ken Smith neck-through bass feels. Classic tone and consistently well made. I have a few Nordstrand basses on order and look forward to seeing how they compare.
-End of Part 1-