Versoul Raya 12 & Swan 4 – NAMM 2022

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See how the company took one of their standout models and added a wealth of high-end features including a gold-leaf finish.

Versoul Raya 12 Baritone

Its crisp jingle-jangle also rang loud during the first flowering of psychedelia. In recent decades, Tom Petty and others have revived its unique sound. But anyone who has played an electric 12-string from its golden age’ knows just how problematic many of those instruments can be: everything from string spacing to intonation is oftenoff.’ Versoul’s Raya 12 is impressively `on’ in all the right places. The heart of the matter is its body of Finnish alder and an extraordinary scale length (26.75”), aiding the instrument’s robust resonance. There’s the laminated aspen and maple neck as well, crowned by an East Indian rosewood fingerboard. These elements lend the Raya 12 a near-orchestral sound palette, and you don’t have to fight it for optimal results: its low action and generous width at the nut make it the most playable electric 12-string imaginable. Whether you strum chords, pick single notes or play with your fingers, the Raya 12 was designed for ease of playability by any and all means. Solving the trouble-prone intonation of 12-strings, the Gotoh bridge design enables precise fine-tuning of each string. Here’s an electric 12-string that may inspire you to start a musical revolution of your own.

Swan 4 Electric Acoustic Fretless Bass 

Its Jumbo-sized archtop body is comprised of a top and back of advanced laminated European curly maple and solid maple sides. You may alternately choose the option of a top and back of book matched laminated East Indian rosewood. To prevent feedback, there are no soundholes on the top. But the instrument’s comfortable depth (circa 7 cm) and special bracing bring out an acoustically warm and `woody’ resonance. The nut, crafted from the dense shinbone of a moose, is a further sound enhancer. Its 34” scale length assures an authoritatively balanced bass sound. Bringing that sound to the fore is a Versoul Model 2 humbucker bass pickup with Alnico magnets and a coil-split switch. Making the pickup more than utilitarian is a chrome-plated brass cover with East Indian rosewood end parts. The floating bridge is made from East Indian rosewood, and the laser cut brushed stainless steel and East Indian rosewood tailpiece is a visually striking touch, uniquely Versoul. You have the option of choosing the nitrocellulose finish in either sunburst or a dark (bordering on black) brown. The three-piece neck is made from quarter-sawn European maple, and the fingerboard is East Indian rosewood with a 7.25” radius. The 15th fret neck joint allows for ease of accessing all of the instrument’s 20 frets. The Hipshot tuners, ultra-lightweight and high quality assure precision tuning. Leaf gold inlays and multiple wood bindings lend the Swan 4 Bass more than a touch of class. For a classic sound, flatwound strings are recommended. Players of many musical styles are in for a pleasant surprise here: this is an exceptionally light bass, not even a little neck heavy.

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