Review: Amfisound Raudus Bass

Amfisound Guitars is a small company from the northern Finnish town of Oulu. Run by two master luthiers, Amfisound offers a surprisingly wide variety of different guitar and bass models, as well doing a lot of customising and repair jobs. Kitarablogi visited Amfisound’s workshop late last year – read all about it HERE.

Amfisound have introduced a new bass model recently, called the Raudus Bass, which is the subject of this review.

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Amfisound Raudus Bass – full front

The Amfisound Raudus Bass (prices for EU-customers starting from 2,520 €) clearly takes its inspiration from Fender’s classic Jazz Bass, but this new Finnish (passive) bass offers a number of modern updates and improvements. The easiest things to notice on first sight are probably the added 21st fret and the much deeper cutaway.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – full back

The Raudus sports a body made from Finnish alder and a bolt-on maple neck.

The neck comes finished in a very thin satin lacquer, while the body is gloss finished in a glorious tri-colour sunburst.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – headstock

Our review sample of the Amfisound Raudus features two differences to the basic model – different tuning machines and different pickups.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – tuners

This Raudus comes equipped with a set of Hipshot’s UltraLite tuners (additional charge: 50 €), which are built from aircraft-grade aluminium. The UltraLite machines work extremely smoothly and precisely, and they efficiently cut down on surplus headstock weight, which is a good thing on such a traditionally-inspired long scale bass, such as the Raudus.

The two-way truss rod is accessed from the headstock side of the neck.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – fretboard

The outstanding standard of workmanship displayed in the Raudus-model’s fretwork, is but one of many points bearing clear testament to the world-class standard of Finnish luthiery! This is genuine custom shop quality.

The fretboard is made of Indian rosewood, and it’s sporting 21 medium-jumbo sized frets.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – neck joint

Amfisound’s rounded body heel makes excursions to the dusty end of the neck very comfortable, indeed.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – bridge

The bridge is a quality copy of the original, late-Sixties Fender bridge – if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – pickups

The review sample comes with a set of Jarno Salo Pickups from Finland. The basic version uses Swedish Lundgrens.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – controls

This instrument offers you Jazz Bass-type controls – separate volume-knobs for each pickup, plus a master tone-control.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – electronics

Amfisound’s workmanship is spot-on and very crisp – even under the hood.

Amfisound Raudus Bass – body beauty 2

The list of available custom options from Amfisound is very long, and includes (in the Raudus-model’s case) an ash body, different bridges and/or tuners, as well as active Glockenklang-electronics (among other things). For more detailed information you should contact Amfisound’s Tomi or Sampo.

There’s also a five-string Raudus on offer, which is built with a longer scale of 35 inches.

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Amfisound Raudus Bass – beauty shot 1

Amfisound’s Raudus Bass is a real corker of an instrument, with its sound and playability second to none.

The flatter-than-vintage fingerboard radius (9.5″) gives the slender neck a suitably modern playing feel. Thanks to Amfisound’s exemplary fretwork, our review sample’s low action (E: 2.0 mm/g: 1.6 mm) was completely free of annoying fret buzz or string rattle.

I’m a devoted Jazz Bass-fan, which made me feel right at home playing the Raudus. Yes, it’s true that the Amfisound offers much better top fret access, but overall this new bass feels like a dear old friend.

And this bass’ sound is outstanding, too, dishing out oodles of classic, Jazz Bass-style tones.

Jarno Salo’s excellent pickups are singlecoil designs, with the bridge pickup being reverse-wound and reverse-polarity in relation to the neck unit. This means that using both pickups together gets rid of any possible electromagnetic hum and buzz (from transformers, lighting or displays).

In terms of sound, these Salo-pickups really give you all those classic tones you’d expect from a bass such as this.

Listen to these three audio clips. Each clip has the neck pickup first, followed by both pickups on, and the bridge pickup going last:

Amfisound Raudus Bass – back beauty 1

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Amfisound Raudus Bass – beauty shot 2

The Amfisound Raudus Bass is a very fine example Finnish luthiery, there’s no two ways about this. Finns must be very lucky to find such fine instruments right at their doorstep!

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Amfisound Guitars Raudus Bass

Prices starting from 2,520 € (EU-customers) & 2,032 € (outside the EU)

Hard case included.

Contact: Amfisound Guitars

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Pros:

+ Made in Finland

+ handmade 

+ workmanship

+ playability

+ sound

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