I have always paid special attention to the nuts and bridge on my instruments. They are the anchor for the string ends and affect how the vibrational energy of the string gets into the wood – and yes, the type of would makes a big difference but I’ll talk about that in the wood feature section later.
All Sceptre instruments have a real bone nut. I prefer this because of its medium hardness and tone. Many of the newer synthetic nut like PPS (Polyphenylene Sulfide) can be too soft and not durable or glass filled, hard and brittle sounding to me.
For the Ventana and Arlington Series I have chosen to use Wilkinson hardware. I have known Trevor Wilkinson for so long that I won’t embarrass him by indicating his (and my) age. Trevor’s hardware is well thought out, well manufactured and reasonably priced.
The Ventana Standard and Ventana Deluxe are both outfitted with the Wilkinson WOV02 tremolo system. The string spacing is 2 1/16” or 52.5mm. This works very well with both three single coil (SSS) or two single coils and a humbucker (SSH) configurations with good string/magnet alignment for balanced output of the pickups. I wanted the Ventana Series to have a versatile contemporary sound and chose this tremolo for its solid nickel plated zinc diecast saddles and full sized tremolo block. A full size block is heavy and gives a more solid attack and better sustain the tapered blocks often used. The tremolo arm is push-fit into the black and the tension on the arm can be adjusted with the screw on the tremolo block so that it can fall away from your playing hand or stay exactly where you want it to be. The base plate is chrome plated steel and ground to an edge where the holes for the mounting screws go through. This gives a smooth, accurate operation – and a long life.
The Arlington Series utilized the Wilkinson WOT03 bridge. As with the Ventana Series I wanted this to be a contemporary instrument. This bridge has a 2 ¾” or 54 mm string spacing for excellent string alignment over the pickup magnets. The saddles are nickel plated diecast zinc alloy and the bridge plate is chrome steel.
I chose to use other hardware on the DeSoto basses because of the tone I was looking for. The DeSoto Standard exhibits a very classic build and I wanted a more classic tone for this instrument. The Sceptre Vintage Style 401 bridge delivers this. It is relatively light weight with plenty of adjustment room to ensure that any gauge string can be accommodated. The string pitch is 19mm – the absolute standard for bass players around the world. Both the saddles and the
The Sceptre DeSoto Custom demands a different bridge. It has active electronics with volume, balance treble boost/cut and bass boost/cut I needed a bridge that would be a solid anchor for the strings to allow the active EQ to reach its potential. I needed a bridge that was more massive, maintained the 19mm string pitch and I wanted the saddles to have tracks to keep them in place for any amount of slapping and snapping.
The DeSoto 403 meets all of these specifications and performs as I had envisioned. And as a bonus – it looks great!