Francis Hickey first got in contact with me through a mutual friend and owner of the Parallipse, Zach Comtois. He had been a 4-string and upright player through most of his career but was now interested in expanding his reach into 6-string territory. We got to talking and quickly agreed that uncompromising versatility was the goal. The bass had to be capable of a wide variety of styles; rock, funk, folk, r&b and solo applications as well.

The foundation of the build was a thin, comfortable 7-piece maple/wenge neck with the standard carbon fiber inlays reinforcing a double-action truss rod. To capture the necessary midrange vocally and with definition, the neck was capped with a gorgeous Macassar Ebony fretboard and surrounded by a thin, resonant Black Ash body and percussive Wenge top.

The electronics, naturally, needed to be able to bring out all of the necessary characteristics that Francis required. Rather than spending hours trying to dial in the one, useable tone, he wanted to be able to quickly switch between many different, equally beautiful sounds. We decided on a pair of flagship Nordstrand DC-6's, each with it's own series/split/parallel selector and a bypassable 3-band Aguilar Preamp. This way he could cover as wide an array of options as possible without losing the intuitiveness of the controls.

Check out Francis and his EQ bass, currently on tour with the Adam Ezra Group: