Status S3000

Status S3000

Year: 1991

Made In: England

Specs: Mahogany body, carbon graphite neck & fretboard

Electronics: Status Hyperactive J pickups, Status PS1 preamp

Controls: Volume, blend, treble cut & boost

Of all the basses you wouldn’t expect to find an Elvis impersonator selling in the depths of rural Ireland, this one would have to rank somewhere near the top. Complete with the welcome appearance of a trophy wife, it was one of the more surreal experiences I’ve been through to get a bass but, eh, that’s all right.

I’ve no doubt there are better cared for Statii out there but they don’t come up for sale often at all, so I picked this one up knowing some TLC would be required. It looked to have been played extensively, a good sign, and also played as a lefty for a period, not so good. Aside from some scratchy pots and some damage to the body, everything functioned as it should. The neck is straight and true, with a really unique shape. It’s very flat, both the fretboard and the back of the neck. There is no truss rod, but the integrity of the neck is sound and the frets are still in great shape with just the right amount of relief set. The action can be set absurdly low. As expected, you put it tune and it stays there forever.

The Jazz configuration is exaggerated slightly by the bridge pickup being much closer to the bridge than on other basses. It’s a bit too thin on its own but there are a lot of usable tones to be had blending it with the neck pickup. The treble control isn’t the most useful thing I’ve ever encountered, though. Boosting just makes it far too bright for my tastes and cutting it too wooly. I’ll probably use the ample space in the control cavity to install a more sophisticated preamp. I’m also thinking of refinishing it, possibly in a solid colour. I think I have a way to go to really get to what I believe this bass is capable of


Patrick Eggle TI Legend

Patrick Eggle TI Legend

Year: 1994

Made In: England

Specs: Mahogany body, mahogany neck, ebony fretboard

Electronics: Gibson Tony Iommi Humbucking pickups

Controls: Volume, tone x 2 & 3-way switch

Now for a rare one. This is from Tony Iommi’s short stint as an endorser of Patrick Eggle guitars during the mid-90’s. There were two models made bearing his name, this type based on their Vienna model and a longer lived SG based model which followed.

Unlike most of my guitars, I bought this one new. Growing up as a Heavy Metal loving teenager in the 80’s, the more digging you did into the influences of your influences, the more you realised all roads lead to Black Sabbath. In the 90’s I and my friends were full-on Sabbath devotees and the arrival of this guitar in a Dublin guitar shop caused much excitement. Sadly though, the price was far beyond what any of us could afford, though we did pop in to play it frequently enough. All we knew of Eggle was that they were essentially the English version of PRS and we had only heard of PRS a few years before that. Both brands were exotic and luxurious and way beyond our means – real items of desire.

Luckily enough, the guitar was included in a half-price sale which coincided with my 21st birthday and, amazingly to my mind, I was the one who bought it. It cost every penny I had but the thrill of owning such a guitar was immense. This guitar was, is, and always will be, the benchmark. I was fortunate enough to visit the Eggle factory in Coventry a few years later and was told that only 48 of this model were ever made before production of the SG model commenced. I got to play a couple of the SG models, as well as the rest of the Eggle range at the time, and they were all genuinely a delight to play.

This guitar is a huge slab of Brazilian mahogany, genuinely a very large body, and is weighted accordingly. The neck is slim but not overly so. It may be that as I’ve played it for twenty years, it feels like a neck should but, even at the time, it was a lovely guitar to play and clearly head and shoulders above anything I had at the time. Originally, it came with bespoke dual-rail humbuckers in a soapbar sized casing. These were very low output pickups with just over 5k resistance and, while they sounded good, struggled to drive an amp without assistance. After a few years I, somewhat foolishly, removed them and installed full-sized humbuckers, routing the body to make room for the bigger pickups. While irrevocably taking the guitar away from original specification, the Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz pickups I installed did give it a new lease of life. I also rewired it slightly, moving from a V-V-T setup to V-T-T. The sweetness remained but it now breathed fire too. It has always been a guitar which sounded great tuned low and, generally, that’s the way I keep it.

It remained in this configuration until, a few years ago, Gibson released an Iommi signature humbucker. It seemed only appropriate to install a pair. Sonically, they’re actually not too far away from the original dual-rails, even though the output is far greater. I believe this will be the final configuration of this guitar, one which will stay with me until the end. I still gig with it, still record with it and it will always be a favourite, no matter how many others come and go.