Greg’s Custom 6-String Balor Bass Featuring Spalted Chen Chen Wood Veneer

This bass is more than awesome!!! — Greg Farber

Raising the standard of acoustic basses, the Balor is one of the most acoustically powerful, lightweight, and comfortable basses ever made. Extensive ergonomic contouring allows the Balor to feel like an instrument half its size. With an arm bevel, rib bevel, angled side and a heel-less neck design that gives effortless access to the 24th fret, you may never put it down.

Greg Farber from East Amherst, New York, NY was searching online for acoustic bases when he came across Emerald’s Balor bass. Intrigued by the Balor’s innovative ergonomic design and custom options combined with its powerful acoustic projection, the instrument had Greg saying to himself “I need to just go for it!” He never regretted his decision.

Greg’s custom 6-string Balor bass, tuned from B to C, features an exceptionally stunning Spalted Chen Chen wood veneer, gold Gotoh 510 tuners, black carbon revealed bridge, tone knob, and Graphtech piezo pickups with adjustable saddles.

Read Greg’s in-depth review of his custom Emerald Balor bass:

I first saw the Balor bass in an online search for acoustic basses. I had never seen this bass before and I was intrigued by the videos and info that I read. Considering I already own 14 basses, most of them from amazing luthiers (MTD, Elrick, Pedulla) along with 3 acoustic basses, I was a little skeptical of the claim that this bass had enough volume without an amp to keep up with an acoustic guitar. The acoustic basses I have — Warwick, Ortega, Guild — all have nice tone, but realistically only sound good acoustically when played solo or plugged in. When playing with an acoustic guitar in the room, they all need amplification or forget it. The Balor looked great and the thought of having a bass that didn’t need amplification just to jam acoustically had me returning to the website daily for a week or two.

Finally, looking at all the custom options and the ability to make an acoustic bass exactly to my favorite specs I said, “what the…I need to just go for it!” Well, I ordered her up and sat back hoping it would be as good as it seemed online. And, honestly, this bass is more than awesome!!!

First off, my ordering experience was fantastic. I talked to Kevin and went through EVERY detail from top to bottom. He was friendly and helpful. I had multiple questions that he and Alistair happily answered and addressed. After putting in my order, I still had a question or two that I was quick to get answers to along with minor changes prior to production that were handled professionally and courteously.

When the bass arrived, it was packaged well and looked even better than I had anticipated. In person, it was even bigger than I imagined. Attention to detail in the build and finish is more than obvious the second you hold this bass. Forgetting looks for a minute, picking it up and setting it on my lap, it settled right into my body like a glove. The ergonomic design of this bass is absolutely perfect.

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How about the neck?

This bass rivals any of my 6-string electric basses. Even though the action is slightly higher (remember it is an acoustic) the neck is lean, fast, and plays like a dream. Access to the high register is just as good as any electric bass I own.

What about the sound?

Well, if you haven’t played a Balor bass, you need to! Until I actually heard the bass in MY hands, I only hoped it would sound as good as it does. The tone of this bass adds a completely different harmonic value that can’t be achieved with an electric bass. There is no question that this belongs in every bass players arsenal. Having three other acoustic basses and being realistic about the shortcomings of every acoustic bass I have ever played, I was absolutely thrilled to find out that this bass is as good as the claims indicated. Even more surprising, the B-string sounds as tight and projects just as good acoustically as every string on this bass! And by the way, plug it in and it sounds just as amazing. The acoustic qualities of the bass ring through as clear as day.

I tend to be quite picky about intonation on my basses. I fully set up and adjust all my basses on my own and can hear even the B-string when it’s slightly off. Once again, the intonation on this bass is fantastic. Obviously Alistair knows what he is doing and has designed an acoustic instrument that has been perfectly thought out.

So, is there anything that is not great about this bass? I almost feel bad saying it, but no. This bass fits in any bass players’ collection and has a sound that makes it worth adding to your arsenal.

Since it arrived, it is my most-played bass. It’s easy and fun to pick up and start playing — no plug needed. It sounds great and I can go anywhere in the house or outside of my studio without an amp. This bass was worth taking a chance on. Odds are you won’t find one of these for sale nearby, most likely because once you play it, you’re not going to let this bass out of your sight.

So, if you’ve been considering purchasing a Balor bass, do yourself a favor, don’t wait any longer, you won’t be disappointed!

–Greg Farber

Greg already has another custom Emerald Balor bass in the works — a fanned fret shot scale Balor bass. Stay tuned for the release of Greg’s new custom Balor!

To learn more about the instrument that’s redefining the acoustic bass guitar, visit our Emerald Guitars Artisan page. The Balor bass is normally available as a 4-string, 5-string, fretted or fretless, in a variety of colors and exotic wood veneers. Other configurations such as fanned frets, 6 or more strings, and alternative pickup systems are readily available through our custom shop.

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