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J J Burnel Signature Bass Carbonlite

Carbonlite Model

August 2014 – J J Burnel Carbonlite Bass body

The body is made from 3 different woods, a centre block is made from a top section of dense northern ash, 30mm thick (too heavy to use for a complete solid bodied electric) and a 10mm thick lower section of lightweight swamp ash. There is then two chambered wings made from lightweight alder, a 6mm top on top of a 34mm alder lower, the lower section is chambered in a ‘wedge’ shape to allow a rear ribcage contour and stops just forward of where the forearm contour starts. The lower bout is chambered forward of the control cavity. The construction is pretty complicated as the hollow wings have to be made complete before gluing to the centre section, so an accurate ‘map’ of the chambering has to be made to allow accurate carving of the rear contour. The main reasoning behind using different woods is to create a body that is extremely light but doesn’t lack serious definition and power in the lower registers, has a warm and acoustic quality to the mids, adds sustain and resonance. As well as being extremely strong to suffer the ‘style’ of playing by the bass worlds most flamboyant and aggressive player!

J J Burnel Carbonlite Neck

The neck for the bass is a completely new venture for both builder and player and has meant a fair amount of research in materials and methods to produce a bass first. A very complicated construction that no other manufacturer has been able to produce. The core of the neck is Honduras mahogany, a very lightweight and resonant wood. The neck is made 2mm smaller in all dimensions compared to the previous models. It is vacuum wrapped in a carbon fibre weave and cast in a thin polyester resin. The wood core is fitted with a two way adjustable truss rod and carbon graphite rods that extend into the headstock. Then a master grade birdseye fingerboard is fitted and master grade birdseye head veneer. The neck is lacquered in matt finish polyurethane lacquer. Stainless steel jumbo fretwire is fitted and a brass nut. The neck is incredibly strong and stable but the most resonant and ‘active’. The carbon rods as well as adding incredible strength also transmit every nuance and harmonic into the body, making the bass feel and sound very much ‘alive’

J J Burnel Carbonlite bass hardware

The hardware is made by ABM and Schaller of Germany, the bridge a lightweight ABM unit cnc machined from billet Aluminium, 20 mm string spacing. The tuners are Schaller BM lite tuners, the worlds lightest tuner but still sporting a full size gear and engineering far beyond the quality of other lightweight manufacturers. The nut is brass and handmade.

The new pickup in the Carbon-lite is made handwound and cast by the legendary Aaron Armstrong in England, made to J J’s exacting specifications to give him a string defined low ed with unsurpassed sub bass response, strong, focussed and aggressive mids when played hard and a bright controlled treble, an all round full range response that is slightly overwound to give a strong powerful tone. The controls are passive volume and tone, the tone control giving a lower cut off frequency than most passive tone controls.



Instrument Name J J Burnel Signature Bass Carbonlite
Construction Bolt on, Recessed neck bolts
Scale Length 34” scale
Fret Amount 20 frets
Fret Type Jumbo stainless steel fretwire
Inlays Black face and side dotsmm
Headstock Master grade birdseye head veneermm
Nut Type 44mm brass nut (neck measurements taken from his original 62 green P bass)
Neck Woods Honduras mahogany neck core, Carbon fibre matt pressure wrap
Fretboard Wood Master grade birdseye maple fingerboard
Truss Rod Two way truss and carbon fibre reinforcement
Body Top -
Body Woods Dense Northern ash, swamp ash and lightweight alder chambered body (as previously described)
Neck Finish Satin neck lacquer
Body Finish Polyester basecoat, Wet look gloss black polyurethane topcoat
Body Stain Solid colour finishes, burst and custom paint jobs
Tuners Schaller bml lite tuners
Bridge ABM bridge
Pickups Custom wound Aaron Armstrong P pickup
Electronics Volume and tone
Hardware ABM and Schaller Back body hardware, Black single ply scratchplate


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