Trent Palelei, Huon pine & Tasmanian myrtle acoustic bass (ART, OBJECTS 2022)

The Tasmanian Myrtle and Huon Pine Acoustic Bass is a bespoke acoustic bass guitar designed using Australian tonewoods and modern construction techniques. Working with Australian tonewoods brings me immense joy. So it was an easy request when a customer originally from Tasmania, asked if I could include Tasmanian woods in a bespoke instrument. The feature woods in this acoustic bass are Tasmanian myrtle and Huon pine. The myrtle’s stunning figure is due to an seemingly unexplained right angle growth of the myrtle’s trunk. This also led to the felling of the tree as it was precariously perched in a Hobart back yard and its odd akimbo growth was threatened a neighboring property. While the Huon pine, also salvaged, but from the bottom of a river and has, quite poetically given its water bound rescue, fantastic whitebait figure and is a perfect accompaniment to the myrtle. The art deco rosette and headstock motif are sunrise inspired and used to highlight the beauty of and richness of myrtle. The other Australian tonewoods are Queensland maple for the neck. The longer neck on an acoustic bass compared to a guitar requires a stable wood that has limited movement in humidity cycles. Queensland maple is perfect for that. Ringed gidgee was used for the fretboard, perfect for its extremely hard wearing nature and to resist string wear. Finally, with a little humorous nod to the gen x customer, a 90s style “feature wall” was included in the Florentine cutaway.