Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cue the Beach Boys! "Since she put me down...."

 It's the only one we ever did like this.  Maple on maple neck, which you noticed on second look.  First look was the body color.  Wow! No wood grain showing at all!  Paint even!

We don't have a name for the color.  Lemon chiffon?  Sweet potatoes en glace?  Canary melon?  Sweet banana pepper?  I'm not sure why all these ideas are food.  Now that I think of it...

Well we're back now, and it was a marvelous snack. 

There is another uniqueness worth noting here:  The layout of the knobs.  Looking back in these recent blog posts you'll see that, on the B1, the three knobs are in a vertical line.  On Rhonda, they follow, artistically, the arc of the shoulder.  This identifies her as an early, perhaps the earliest, cutaway.  Her serial number suggests that as well. 

Everything else is typical B1:  passive Duncans, all that.  What's different here is the Wow factor, and it's notable.  Sometimes when I walk back into the stock area I have to ask the other basses to quiet down.  They're always ooohing and aaaaahing when Rhonda's in the room.

There was considerable extra effort to achieve that automotive finish, but that is canceled by the New Old Stock designation.  She's been around a while.  Not played at all, actually.  We just never got busy marketing her.  So now you get a chance to see and imagine.

MSRP:  $3795
Street:   $2895

Your price:  $2500 plus (continental US)  $100 shipping.

But wait.  As an added incentive to make a purchase of one of these Barker Basses, there's a discount.

[note:  as of 10/18/2013 the discounts described below have been claimed]

The following information applies to seven of the eight basses currently listed in the blog (the exception is the B2 prototype).

Be the first to buy any of these seven, and subtract five hundred dollars ($500) from the purchase price.
Be the second, subtract two hundred dollars ($200) from the purchase price.
This is posted at 11:07 am June 12, 2013. 

Payment will be via PayPal, in full. 

Contact via email or phone, from our web site.  I am generally gone from the office Saturday and Sunday but know the calls will be dealt with in the order they are received, messages included.
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The Venerable One: The B1!

 The Barker Bass that put us on the map:  The B1.  The first production model.  Jazz bass neck width, jazz passive pickups (Seymour Duncans) and the heft and the chambers that dish up that chocolate tone. 

This one is a bit splashy in the showy grain department.  Not enough to snap necks (I hate those lawsuits!) but ample to generate comments about the "beauty of the wood."  (Followup question always is, "what wood is that?")

Cherry.  Always select, always bookmatched on the B1s. 

The rest is likewise typical: rosewood fingerboard, maple neck.  She's just awaiting your hands to bring a sense of purpose to the whole endeavor. 

The numbers:  MSRP.......................................$3795

This is a new old stock bass--it has been in inventory for a while.  It has not been played out, but it is just not, statistically, new-new.  So the price is discounted thus:................................................$2500

Plus shipping (continental US)..............................$100

Your turn!  Feel free to leave a comment if you have played or are playing a B1four.  We'd like to hear....
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Under $2000 or bust!

 Joel Barker walked into his dad's office and slapped down a yellow legal pad on the desk.  It got my attention, even though the pad was blank.  "We have to make a bass that goes out the door for less than $2000," he announced.

"Can't do it," came the grump from Mr. Positive Mental Attitude.  "We'll harpoon our reputation for quality.  Not worth it."

"Gotta try," Joel said, so right then and there the two of us made lists:  lists of all components of the bass and alternatives which would cost less.  This covered everything from body woods to the endpin and the stand.

It was obvious that significant ground could be gained in the pickup department.  Finish.  Body woods.  Nearly everything had a bargain doppelganger. 

"We'll try it," Lee said, his polarity shifting slightly.

Eight B2 prototypes, as they came to be called, were constructed.  We tried several brands of import pickups in them.  Some of the options we explored were failures.  That's good, when you're prototyping.  One component failing can bring into focus other considerations that might not have presented themselves otherwise.

Here is one of these prototypes.  I have been reluctant to let it out of the yard because, well, it's not the quality of where it led us, the Brio, as well as the B1. 

However.  If it is an entry level bass for someone who would not have access to a Brio, that's a good thing.
$900 plus shipping.  And bear in mind it's a rarity, not a bust.
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Questions, questions, questions.

 Some questions have the nearly chemical ability to keep you awake when your body wants nothing more than the solace of slumber. 

Here's a bass that has as many questions around it as a cheerleader has running backs around her at the prom. 

I'll tell you what I know.  Joel Barker had the idea.  Joel Barker brought a 6 string bass guitar to the shop and he and Lee Barker made a big bass out of a little bass. 

What was the brand of the bass?  Neither remembers.  "Maybe Lyle," offers Joel.  "Beats me," affirms Lee.

Does it play?  Indeed.  Does it sound like a Barker Bass?  Hmmm.  Well, it sounds like a Barker Bass would sound if it had an additional string.  Or two. With an onboard preamp.

$2000 plus shipping.  One only.  Six strings  Five knobs.  Unlimited possibilities.

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