BY DAN BERKOWITZ
There’s something alluring about a simple bass—an instrument that
helps you just dig in and gets the job done. The early-’50s Fender
Precision bass was about as simple as you could get: slab body, maple
neck and fretboard, one single-coil pickup, two knobs. It was a testament to Leo Fender’s genius and innate sense of practical elegance.
It’s simple enough to make you think you can put one together yourself. In fact, I did once—from a neck found online and a discarded
Warmoth body that had “MORE BEER” crudely gouged into its back.
When I saw Chihoe Hahn’s Model 22 bass, it conjured thoughts of how
beautiful those simple Fender-style basses can be. It also reminded me
of the world of difference in quality and craft that can exist between a
beater like my old Tele-bass wanna-be and an instrument like Hahn’s.
The Model 22 is built to an absolutely superb level of craftsmanship,
and it’s a sonic performer capable of a breadth of tones.
Back to the Basics
A glance at Hahn’s website hints at his artistry and dedication to building top-notch ’50s-style guitars in the Telecaster mode. But a few
emails back and forth with Hahn really highlighted his dedication to
quality: He’s the only builder at his company, and he keeps a vigilant
watch on what goes into each axe he sells.