During four years of back and forth, Reverend Guitars and legendary punk-rock bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Stooges), developed a partnership that ultimately produced the Wattplower signature bass.
The Wattplower has a korina body, a set 30″ short-scale neck with a Blackwood Tek fretboard, Hipshot Ultralite tuners, Hipshot Type A bridge with brass spacer block, custom P-blade pickup, and a satin finish.
Thanks largely to the short-scale neck and the Hipshot tuners, the bass is well-balanced and hangs great – a lightweight, comfortable body and no neck-diving. The five-piece walnut and korina neck has a nice rounded D profile with a rolled fretboard edge and an abundance of side and top fret markers, including an inlayed MOP anchor in tribute to Watt’s father, a Navy veteran. That neck also gives a slinky feel, allowing for fast runs, chording, and string bending – all musts for the punk trio bassist. The satin finish also adds to the instrument’s comfortable playability and its retro working-man vibe.
Plugged into a 300-watt tube head and 8×10 cabinet, it had a distinctive, gritty tone with a ton of midrange punch and low-end growl. The custom P-blade pickup, in combination with the extra mass of the bridge spacer and extended midrange inherent in korina give it a ton of attitude that aggressively pushed the front end of the amp.
The Reverend Wattplower is a high-quality, distinctive instrument with a cool vibe and tone that does justice to its namesake.
This article originally appeared in VG February 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.