MICROFRETS STAGE II bass guitar: Circa 1970, made in the U.S.A. Serial #2601.
“Series 2” type construction, for you Microfrets enthusiasts out there. This is a semi hollowbody, created out of two
routed halves; you can see the body joint in the side view picture. These are held together by the neck plate and metal clips
hidden inside the body. Other than the F-hole, access to the inside requires complete removal of the neck. While
interesting, that is not something you want to do with any frequency due to the complicated intonation system found on all
Microfrets. Any serious work or even basic setups on these require a big investment of time.
Features include one distinctively designed F-hole, two pickups designed by a young Bill Lawrence, a phase reversal switch,
Micro-Nut for exact intonation and double dot position markers. The knobs have been replaced, otherwise this is all
original . There are various dings in the body edges and wear spots on back of neck from a thumb in the 1, 5 and 7th fret
positions. A small decal is on the back of the headstock from "Tony's Music Store" on Eastern Avenue in Baltimore.
Microfrets instruments were made in Frederick, Maryland and the local store decal adds a touch of history.
This axe has definitely seen some serious playing, and why not? It’s a great sounding bass, oddly shaped but light and not
bad looking and with a great thin/flat neck profile. If you like the feel of Mosrite necks you’d probably like a Microfrets.
The offset positioning of the bottom strap button helps the bass to balance perfectly; this seems like such a small detail but
I get tired of basses that don't hang right and either have to be held up or kill my shoulder after a couple of hours. A
baffling variety of tones are possible between the two pickups and phase reversal option. These Microfrets-made pickups
(others featured DeArmonds) are very loud and trebly; I restrung this bass a couple times to get the sound I was looking
for and ended up with Rotosound flats. All other strings were just too darn bright for bass, and I rarely say that.
Less than 3000 Microfrets were ever made and the majority were 6-string guitars, so you can figure out how rare all-
original basses are anymore. This finish was called “Western Sunburst” in company literature and has a lot of red shading,
as can be seen.
Case shown is a Coffin Case, non-original but just the right size! Besides the horror/kitsch factor these are very well made
cases and I don't work for them, so this is an honest plug.