Most everyone knows that the Music Business is a highly competitive industry. But what you may not realize is that the Musical Instrument Manufacturing side of that industry could be considered even more fierce. Musical Instrument companies these days have limited budgets and are fighting tooth and nail for shelf space in the major music retail chains. As a result of the present economic climate, instrument manufacturers simply do not hand out product endorsements, let alone hold up the regular manufacturer of their normal line of instruments to create signature guitars, drums or anything else that often. It is a rare occurrence in a literal sea of great and accomplished Bass Players to receive a high profile opportunity to become the face of a company thus becoming synonymous with that brand. Veteran Recording and Touring Bass Guitarist, Larry Kimpel recently had this unique honor bestowed upon him and in a most interesting way.
The story behind how the Larry Kimpel LK5 Signature Bass Guitar came about goes like this... Says Larry, "In January of 2013, I had the good fortune of meeting Master French Luthier, Matthieu Combe' who is the owner of Combe-Luthier [www.combe-luthier.com] at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. For those who don't know, The NAMM Show is the National Association of Music Merchants' Annual Convention were literally thousands of musical instrument companies come together to show off their latest ideas and products. That year, I was busy helping Phil Jones of PJB demo his awesome bass amps when Matthieu Combe's Assistant and Translator, French Bassist Lacsap Duacoub asked me to please come and play their instruments.
I went with Lacsap to their booth on the lower level of the Anaheim Convention Center and once there, I met Matthieu and another wonderful French Bassist by the name of Therese' Henry who was also helping out at the booth. I looked the Basses over and immediately I was drawn to the contours, the different woods, and the quality designs. I picked up their fretless bass and immediately fell in love with it! We soon struck a deal for me to endorse the basses and that day I became the first musician in the United States to endorse the Combe' Brand, something that I am very proud of! A few months after NAMM was over, I contacted Matthieu about putting together a signature bass guitar for me. Matthieu was so gracious and so kind and he said "Absolutely, I'd love to work with you on that!" And so, we began putting plans in place to bring The LK5 Signature Bass to life! Altogether took a little over a year to put it all together collaborating back and forth via emails. The process was seamless and also really cool... I let Matthieu know what I was specifically looking for in a Larry Kimpel Model Bass, and then he in turn took a few weeks to create and then sent me photos of the prototype shell. I then gave him my comments, recommendations and specifications for moving forward and then Matthieu would tell me honestly what would work, and what wouldn't.
Never once did the process get bogged down or become combative between the two of us; we worked together as an international team and accomplished something great together! Matthieu and I worked very hard at keeping the quality high, but also making sure that we had a median price point which ended up at around $2,500 USD. I wanted something that Pros would appreciate as well as intermediate players."
"Many people know me as a bass player that has worked with artists like Anita Baker, George Duke, Steve Perry, Jonathan Butler, Larry Carlton and many others. That's a lot of different artists and a lot of different styles of playing. Of course, many fans know me best from my work with Frankie Beverly and Maze. What I've done along with Matthieu's help is to put together a bass guitar that I feel expresses all of the things that I would normally need to do in the different situations that I've been blessed to record and perform live in. The LK5 is primarily a bass I would say for "Groove Players", however she does also allow you to do many other different things. The LK5 is quite versatile in that she allows you the freedom to call up many different tones that you might be required to use on anybody's gig or recording session."
"I am an old Fender Bass enthusiast, and so I asked Matthieu to give me a pickup configuration consisting of the best of Fender's two most popular instruments which are the Precision Bass and the Jazz Bass. The Precision or P-Bass pickup at the front position gives the LK5 its rounded fat tones, while the Jazz Bass pickup or J-Bass pickup at the bridge position, gives the LK5 it's sharper, edgier tones. Matthieu suggested that we use Aguilar pickups and I'm so glad that he did because when the two pickups are combined in tandem, you achieve a big fat bass sound with a lot of clarity and punch which is enough for the LK5 Bass to sing effortlessly through any mix. She is also ridiculously responsive to the touch, just like a fine Sportscar. I am super proud to be associated with Mattieu and Combe-Luthier and I look forward to many years of mutual success."
The LK 5 Signature Bass Guitar from Combe-Luthier is a high-quality handmade instrument. Each one is singularly crafted by Matthieu Combe' himself. You can order your LK5 Signature Bass Guitar now by contacting Matthieu Combe' at email@example.com
Price: $ 2,500 USD + Shipping + VAT
Body: French ash
Neck: 3 piece Maple Hard-
Pickups: Aguilar 5P / J-HC
Preamp 3 band parametric "Combe" Original Design with Active / Passive Switch
Bridge: Hipshot A style
Nut Width: 47mm
Custom Design Pick Guard
Width at Last Fret: 80mm
Fingerboard Radius: 9.5 "- 16"
Scale Length: 34.5 "
Number of Frets: 24
String Spacing 19mm at Bridge