This is a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted Steve McDonald VD3404 Bass, custom built in March of 2018 by respected luthier, Steve McDonald. The bass plays as great as it looks, and it sounds incredible. It’s only been outside the house a few times, and it’s in about the same condition as the day I bought it – other than a few insignificant surface scratches.
The interplay of woods, body shape and electronics gives this bass a really unique voice. It features a beautifully figured New Guinea Walnut body and headstock cap – both with a natural finish. (I believe the nut is actually made of of Walnut, too!). A Cherry neck is paired with a Pale Moon Ebony fretboard, and it offers a 20” radius, 26 frets and a scale length of 34”.
The bridge is a custom SM Design made of Pale Moon Ebony and it comes with adjustable saddles. The tailpiece is a through body design that requires extra long scale strings. The pickups are Active -EMG Victor Wooten P/J X-Series: a JVX Bridge Pickup, & PAX Neck Pickup. There are also Volume/Volume/Tone controls.
You’d think a bass with this kind of build would be a heavy beast, but it actually weighs in at about 8 lbs. It also sports a nice thin body. So, it’s pleasure to play for hours at a time.
The Gotoh Compact Bass Tuners along with a very strong neck means you can tune this Stephen McDonald bass at the beginning of a gig or session and even after a long stretch of sliding and bending, which always heats up strings, the bass will quickly go back in tune.
Stephen McDonald always gets rave reviews for his custom basses and this bass also deserves a lot of praise. It is truly a work of art, and a joy to play. Sadly, it’s another amazing instrument that I haven’t had the time to enjoy, so I’m ready to pass it on.
Because of its unique wood combination, and the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind build, I couldn’t find any videos of another McDonald model that was directly comparable to the VD3404.
Check out these videos anyway to get a general feel for how his other basses sound, and search some more on YouTube.
This video is somewhat similar to the construction and sound of my VD3404, but I’m sure there are different woods used in this particular model.