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Building A Dream Bass
from Bass Player, April 1998

John Myung has favored basses by Spector, Tobias, Tung, and lately, Yamaha. He wasn't crazy about his TRB6's string spacing, though, so he and Yamaha engineer Leo Knapp began collaborating on a Signature Series bass, which is expected to start shipping this summer. "At the beginning, John mentioned there were a lot of very nice but really expensive 6-strings out there, and he wanted to come up with something more affordable," says Knapp. "We also wanted to go with a 35" scale length to help articulate the B string, and we'll be using a maple veneer on the top. A lot of times, if you put a 1/4" or 1/2" cap on a body, it starts to noticeably affect the sound; plus, it's hard to get consistently good wood in those thicknesses. The veneer will help eliminate those problems and look great at the same time." Underneath the cap will be a basswood body core. The electronics aren't finalized, but on the current tour Myung is playing a prototype with active pickups he says "don't make any noise at all." One thing that is certain, though, is an infinity- symbol fingerboard inlay. "I came up with a variety of designs," says Knapp, "and that was the weirdest one I made. I had no idea Dream Theater was going to call the new album 'Falling Into Infinity', but of course that's the design John picked." Instead of a single intricate inlay, the symbol will be made of abalone fingerboard dots to keep costs down. "I'm very proud to be with a great company like Yamaha," says Myung. "Getting a signature bass doesn't happen to a lot of people, and I feel fortunate and honored to have been given the opportunity."

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