“Building basses like ours is a labor-intensive process, so we don’t expect to suddenly leap from making 300 basses a year to a thousand, but we do expect to increase our production.” Additionally, Keith - aided by his excellent shop crew - expects to offer significant design tweaks here and there that will ultimately improve the look, feel, and sound of their instruments. It’s a developmental process he very much enjoys. “I wish everyone else could find a job they love as much as I do, because I love every part of it."

--Keith Roscoe


In 1999, when Happy the Man was in its reunion phase - I didn't want to take my precious PRS bass out of the house. It's simply too valuable. I began a search for a replacement 32" scale instrument I could use "live" and as it turns out also in the studio. After shopping around - much to my surprise - I couldn't find any world-class luthiers - including Paul - making a standard medium scale bass model. Eventually, I was turned on to Keith Roscoe of Greensboro, North Carolina - by two members of the band - who had seen a couple of his instruments and thought they were amazing. It's a fact that Keith builds some of the finest instruments anywhere and is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

I called Keith and asked him if he would be willing to build me an LG 3000 4 string, fretted, medium scale bass. Even though this would be the first medium scale bass he would ever build - he was excited by the challenge. He offered to measure and copy as closely as possible the neck size and shape of my PRS. I was experimenting with the Roland V Bass at the time and I fell in love with a number of the modeled bass amp sounds within the unit. I also had an endorsement deal with Axon on their midi box, the AX-100 and I was triggering orchestral sounds with it. Consequently, I also wanted piezo pickups in the bridge - along with a Richard McLish (RMC) 13-pin pre amp/midi system in the bass. I know it was Keith's first midi/piezo system installation as well, but he was up for that challenge too. In the end Keith confided that getting the midi system up to speed had him muttering under his breath, but he did a fantastic job.


I was having a little trouble walking myself through all of this, and Keith was pretty incredible during the entire process. The only bass I had played for about 20 years was my PRS - and Keith did a great job of talking me down off the ledge. Keith assured me that I was headed in the right direction with the bass so I flew down to his shop in Greensboro and he personally walked me through the process, giving me the tour of his shop and introducing me to his staff.


We picked out all of the wood together and talked about all of the design options he had available. I decided to outfit the bass with the red micro light LED's on the side of the fingerboard and the drop "D" Hipshot tuner. He outfitted the bass originally with Bartolini pickups. He did an incredible job and when I got the bass I was completely thrilled. The sustain on this bass is indescribable. My sound engineer complained a few times that the sustain was borderline too much. In my mind, too much is never enough - especially when it comes to sustain. You can actually use it as bass pedals and the V Bass allowed me to model very respectable versions of upright and frestless bass sounds. It didn't take any adjustment at all from the PRS and I was off and running. It was in this moment that I realized, medium scale is medium scale and it fit me like a glove.


After I put the bass through it's paces for a few weeks at band rehearsals, I found that the band kept remarking how great it sounded - when the Bartolini's were turned off and I was only using the piezos through the V Bass. Here is the original bass with the Bartolini's:



I finally called Keith and said, "Hey - I am not using the mags, can you make me a new body with no pickup routings? I want the clean look - this bird's eye maple is too sweet to cover up with pickup routings and I know you have some more spectacular maple from the same batch."


Of course, he thought I had lost my mind, but I wanted the clean look of that beautiful wood - and since everything was going through the V Bass and the Axon - I could get any imaginable sound I wanted with the piezo/RMC system anyway. So I boxed up the body and sent it off to him. He made me a new one and when I got it, I bolted the neck back on, made some minor setup adjustments and I was off and running.


I did have to adjust my playing a bit, as the piezos pick up every nuance of what your fingers do. It cleaned up my playing quite a bit and I found myself playing without the amp a lot to temper the "finger noise" to the instrument.




This bass is the stuff that legends can be made of. It is a custom Keith Roscoe LG 3000 - fretted, four-string - with a medium scale neck. It features a laminated maple/purple heartwood neck, with Keith's amazingly stable patented graphite re-inforced truss rod design. It also features a spalted purple heartwood fingerboard with a distinctive diagonal “chocolate and vanilla” stripe. The neck is attached with the custom Roscoe three-bolt design. The tuners, the drop "D" tuner and the custom Roscoe bridge, all in black are by Hipshot. This bass weighs in at 8.4 lbs and the width of the neck at the nut is 42mm. There are red LCD micro lights on the side of the fingerboard, acting as fingerboard dots - with an on and off switch located on the body. It also has a proprietary 13-pin output jack which can drive a number of midi controllers made by Roland, Axon and other manufacturers. The piezo/midi systems is by Richard McLish and his RMC Designs. The body is a light, dry spanish cedar, a wood used prominently in making high end cigar humidors, and sports a highly figured bird's eye maple top. The same bird's eye maple adorns the front of the head stock. The top is finished with a vintage amber tint while the back of the body is finished in a dark cherry red gloss to match the heartwood stripe - which adorns the center of the back of the neck. The body and the front of the head stock. are finished in a mirror-like gloss while the neck itself is satin. This bass is on the heavy side due to the density of the bird's eye maple. This bass and the buckeye Roscoe bass I own are the basses that you hear on the most recent Happy the Man CD "The Muse Awakens". For more information on Roscoe Guitars, please go here.


Builder/Manufacturer: Keith Roscoe

Year: 1999

Model Name: LG 3000

Laminated Top: Exhibition Grade Bird’s Eye Maple with vintage amber stain

Body Material: Spanish Cedar with deep cherry red stain

Body Finish: Polyurethane Gloss

Neck: Roscoe Patented Graphite Re-Infiorced Truss Rod System

Neck Material: Maple with Purple Heartwood Laminate

Neck Finish: Polyurethane Satin

Scale Length: 32” (813mm)

Fingerboard: Spalted Purple Heartwood with a chocolate and vanilla stripe

Number of Frets: 24

Nut Width: 42mm

Electronics: Richard McLish RMC Systems piezo pickup and preamp system

Special Electronics: 13 Pin Midi System for triggering keyboards or midi sound modules

Bridge: Roscoe design built by Hipshot

Hardware Finish: Black

Strings: D’Addario Half Rounds .95 -.40

Unique Features: Switchable LED Lights which light up the dots on the side of the fingerboard in red, drop “D” Hipshot tuner on the E String.

Please click on any of the photos directly above to proceed to those pages.

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