This is an Electric Upright Bass designed &
built by Piotr Sell in
Poznan /Poland.
Played in Edinburgh /Scotland
by Simon Fokt .


Samples recorded with the DSDV·III·BASS by Simon Fokt.


The bass in two words

DSDV·III·BASS is a prototype piece. It is an electric musical instrument, a one of many possible ways (no golden standards here) to approach an EUB i.e. an Electric Upright Bass that generally is intended as a practical, easy-to-carry-around alternative to a full sized acoustic double bass.

It is quite easy to strip down a double bass to its bare bones - strings attached to a stick. But the tricky part and main interest while designing this instrument was to set limits to what one should remove and what could add instead.


Problems of interest and
intentions behind the design

+ New form should be adapted to the old habbits of an acoustic doublebass player.

+ It should be self contained with no need for stands or other accessories.

+ The instrument should be designed as a whole without reusing standard doublebass or bass guitar solutions - it is neither one of the two.

+ It's not a travel instrument so being more practical in transport can't get in the way of the playing experience.

+ Make it good looking. It was about time for a fancy EUB.


We who made it happen

Back in 2009 when Simon was looking for an EUB, I was looking for an adventure. He wasn't much inspired by the instruments he could find around at that time. I instead wasn't thrilled anymore about building electric guitars. We started talking.

I interpreted Simon's preferences and playing style in a form designed & crafted to my standards. That's what this instrument became.

Simon Fokt recorded in 2014 an EP with Kabaret Bastardo playing the DSDV·III·BASS. For info on his work and research ouside of the music world and current music projects check out his website – simonfokt.org.

Me, Piotr Sell, left making music instruments in favour of visual arts, media and animation. If you wonder what am I currently up to, see my website – pcell.it.


Continue on the story

Together with Simon we spent a good half a year discussing the project. At that time I knew very little about double basses and needed to catch up. Once we had the essential features traced out, I started working on a mock-up design that resulted in the original concept design that evolved further into the final DSDV·III·BASS design.

From the very beginning the flagship feature was the Möbius strip-like wing that delimits a virtual sound box. It isn't required by an electric instrument to produce sound but allows the player to rest the instrument on their body in an accustomed playing position. It's there to give the bass the right feel and a sense of volume. The concept of a hollow wing shaped like a contour of the double bass' sound box is nothing new, but my design features its full functional integration - it's an essential part of the instrument. Furthermore, that's what gives the DSDV·III·BASS its visually expressive and recognizable character and this is how I imagine an electric upright bass I would want to see live on stage.

Read more about the process

Kuba Styperek


Technical details

+ Body & neck woods: flame maple + ebony

+ The wing: Epoxy + Fiberglass laminate shell with hard poliurethane core

+ Pickups: Realist Piezo Pickup + Zadow Custom Made Magnetic Pickup

+ Preamp: K&K Sound Dual Channel Pro Preamp (VOL1 + VOL2)

+ Finish: Clear Acrilic + Black Acrylic

Read about the build process
All I know about making musical instruments I learned from good people on the internet — the Musical Instrument Makers Forum.

KUDOS TO MY HEROS in instrument making Scott French, Kaz Goto & Akiko Oda, David King, Mauro Marchesini, Jens Ritter, Michael Spalt, Ned Steinberger, Ulrich Teuffel. THANKS FOR THE SPIRIT in words, sounds & images Kurt Ballou, Luca Barcellona, Sorin Bechira, Gerhard Human, Gianmarco Magnani, Stephen O'Malley. SPECIAL THANKS for sharing lamination technology secrets Nick Comer-Calder & Nick J. Dolby.

Contact me