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.