Adam Clayton: Stage and Studio
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AUERSWALD | A. Clayton Custom | 199x | Fretless

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MAKE: Auerswald
MODEL: A. Clayton Custom (fretless)
VINTAGE: 1996-97
FINISH: yellow
 
NOTES: Adam reportedly, has two of the fretted A. Clayton Customs and one fretless. Adam's fretless was part of the 2003-2004 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Pride: 20 Years of U2 exhibition.
 
USE:
  • STAGE: N/A.
  • STUDIO: N/A
  • VIDEO: N/A

 
EXCERPT from BASSICS magazines' Fall 1997 issue:
 
"Exactly what is this golden horseshoe-shaped axe?
 
After discussing Adam's technical needs, the bass was built in Germany by Auerswald Instruments, a result of the teamwork between Jerry Auerswald and Adam Clayton's bass tech, Stuart Morgan. Based around a Flying V shape, Clayton wanted a "Spacey, Flash Gordon" styled instrument but with improved balance over a Flying V.
 
Crafted from 100+ year-old slab of cherrywood, it's set up similar to a P-J with the split P pickup mounted conversely, i.e. the could under the E and A strings is closest to the bridge.
 
Auerswald created cherrywood covers for the pickups to blend with the curves of the body, which is finished with an amazing yellow "angel dust" iridescent effect that utilizes metal and mother-of-pearl flakes blended with clear coats to create a multi-dimensional look. Jerry explains it this way: "For me, it was to have a very shiny and freindly yellow, and [close up], it's deep looking." Since the body is painted, you can' see the wood, but you sure can hear it. The curly-maple neck is shaped similar to a Precision but has a short scale of 80 cm (30 1/2 inches), so a lot of tweaking was done to deal with the inherent mids of a short scale. The bridge is an Auerswald patent and is fully adjustable for string height, spacing and intonation. If you like, Auerswald also offers the customer his patented working bottle opener in the headstock! Wouldn't a Dow go good now?

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"So there I was, fifteen years old, with a dark brown Ibanez-copy bass guitar and no amp. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. Absolutely none. Not a clue. It just sounded good to me." - Adam Clayton