When I think back over the years, a particular memory stands out, one that has left an indelible mark on my journey as a bass enthusiast. It was the first time I stepped into the modest, yet magical world of New York Bass Works and encountered David Segal's shop. Reflecting on it now, I can't help but draw parallels to a scene from Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill," where Uma Thurman's character, Black Mamba, sought out the legendary katana maker, Hattori Hanzo.
David Segal, much like Hattori Hanzo, is an approachable and humble figure with a tremendous sense of humor and an analytical mind. His unassuming stature belies the mighty intellect he wields when it comes to all things related to the bass guitar. He is, in every sense and, in my humble opinion, the Hattori Hanzo of the bass world.
I first visited NYBW long before the aspirations of supplying a broader clientele took hold, as that would come later in David's journey. As I continued to visit the shop and got a better sense of David's philosophies and approach to crafting bass instruments, I couldn't help but dream about what could be achieved if he ever decided to scale up his operation. Even back then, it was clear that NYBW was one of the best-kept secrets in the world of bass building.
My first NYBW instrument came into my life in 2012. By this time, we had established a deep friendship, and I was on a hiatus from the bass world. It was a simple yet elegant creation: a black limba-bodied, single-pickup 5-string bass with a 34" scale. To say it was the best thing I had ever heard would be an understatement. Even after all these years, it continues to blow my mind. It's not often that you encounter an instrument that you've owned for years and still can't outrun its spell. Remarkably, with NYBW, this is not the exception but the rule.
I know it might seem like I've been talking about our ethos for building basses in every blog. You would be right in thinking that. We've been a best-kept secret for so many years that I'm more interested in letting that cat out of the bag. It's no secret that the high-end bass building business is a tough racket to get a toe-hold in. It's a lot like a bare-knuckled brawl in a phone booth. You'd almost be lucky to break even! But breaking even isn't good enough for us.
We want to do more than just survive; we intend to thrive. We're on a mission to push the envelope of what makes a great bass truly exceptional and continue to redefine the standard. Plain and simple, we're not satisfied with the status quo. If anyone can do it, our real-life Hattori Hanzo, David Segal, can. My money is on him to continue leading us on this exciting journey of innovation and excellence.
NYBW’s David Segal has created something extraordinary in the world of bass building. His commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and a deep understanding of the bass guitarist's needs is evident in every instrument we produce. It's a privilege to be part of this journey, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this hidden gem in the world of bass guitars!