Aleš Vychodil, Czech Republic, South East, Moravia has been building basses 1999 as hobby, 2005 started as his primary business, AV Basses.
How did you get started in bass building? In the latter half of the 1990s, while an active musician in a Zlin (Czech Republic) band, I played an off-the-shelf bass guitar with a ‘PJ’ pickup configuration. This bass served me well, but I started searching for an instrument that would better satisfy my growing demands in tone and playability, as well as visual appeal. None of the mass produced instruments from the big manufacturers suited my needs so I set about getting a custom bass built to my exact specifications. I played a significant role in the creation of my new instrument, and taking part in the development and build process opened up new horizons for me. Afterwards I decided to build my own bass guitar and this gave rise to AV Basses.
Why do you build instruments? It's about passion for me, I love working with wood. Making an electric bass combines a lot of know-how, using of (modern) technology and joy of finding tones and sounds that can inspire bassists to create their music. It's creative work for me.
How many instrument do you build per year? About 20-25, depends on orders.
What are your favorite materials to work with? Claro Walnut, all Maple's, Ash + Bubinga and Indian Rosewood.
What do you believe are the most important factors in tone Electronics, woods, touch of the player. All of them. A combination of materials and lacquer type plays a significant role, also construction. Pickups can make a big difference. I had a chance to hear one bass playing and articulating so dramatically different in hands of 3 different players that it might be the most important part.
When did you start using Nordstrand Pickups? I think I ordered pickups in late 2009 or early 2010 for first time. I discovered Nordstrand through the internet and discussion groups, feedback from bassists and testing it in my own bass. I have a lot of favorites: NP5, NP4, Big Singles or Dual Coils. What I like is that Nordstrand pickups are available in many string spacing versions, which is very important when you strive for precise tone of each string and don't want to compromise.
Who are some players for whom you have built instruments using Nordstrand Pickups? Bob Glaub, Keith Duffy, Paul Turner, Jerry Meehan, Jon Pold, Michael Krasny.