Poland’s Mayones makes extremely fine, high-quality guitars with a very distinctive look and style, great tone woods and amazing playability. But their basses are equally distinctive and high quality. The Comodous 6 is a breathtaking instrument – quite literally, because everyone I showed it to had the same shocked reaction to its sheer size, odd shape and the striking nature of its top. Aah, but as anyone who’s played a Mayones guitar will know, you can’t judge one on looks: it all happens when you pick that first note.
The Comodous is available in 4, 5 and 6 string versions. Mayones is basically a custom shop, so you can get all sorts of options in your personal Comodous, but the review model features an Eye Poplar top, sitting on a profiled Swamp Ash back and Wenge middle (imagine a sandwich in cross section). The neck-thru design means that the neck itself is also the centre section of the body, and it’s made of 9-ply maple/mahogany. The fretboard is made of rosewood with no inlays, and there are 24 medium jumbo Ferd Wagner frets and a very flat 20” radius. The scale length is 34.25”. The tuners are Schaller M4s and the bridge is a two-piece Mayones X2 brass bridge.
Electronics include a pair of Bartolini pickups (the specs we were sent said Aguilar) and an Aquilar OBP-3 active preamp with volume, balance and passive tone controls along with active midrange and concentric treble/bass controls, plus an active/passive mini-switch. The preamp is powered by a 9v battery tucked into the back.
There’s no getting around it: this is an imposing instrument which might be a bit too big for some players (and the treble-side cutaway kinda digs painfully into your thigh if you’re playing in a seated position). But provided you have the posture and hand size to get a grip on this six-stringed monster, it’s an extremely powerful musical tool. Before we even get into the tones, let me point out that the neck-through construction provides an exceptionally even response from fret to fret and from string to string, with no dead spots or unwanted overtones. Whatever you play, wherever you play it on the neck, it’s going to sound nice and smooth.
The passive mode gives you a very simple, straightforward tone which is great for traditional rock, blues and soul sounds, deep and complex, a little dark, and perfectly voiced to allow your audience to feel your basslines. There’s plenty of sonic variety between the blend and tone controls. But when you flick that switch to active mode you open up a whole world of exploration and expression. The Comodous can sound very hi-fi, with crisp, zippy highs and deep, deep bass. Or you can introduce warm, vocal mids which are great for jazz soloing or for filling out the sound around a strummed dreadnaught acoustic. And if you like to slam your bass through overdrive or distortion, the active mode gives you nano-level control over the frequencies you want to emphasise or constrain in pursuit of your perfect sound.
This is a world-class, professional-level bass which covers every musical situation you could possibly imagine, from fingerstyle slap-and-pop to plectrum-aided death metal. The looks may not be for everyone, and perhaps you’d prefer a 4 or 5-string version, but Mayones’ vision for this bass is fully sound, and fully realised.