The stylish and unconventional Triad Bass ($1,439 list, $1,199 street), recently released by Reverend Guitars, is a somewhat unusual bass in several notable ways. Among them, there’s the three single coil-profile – yet humbucking – “Jazz Bomb” pickups, arranged in an almost Stratocaster-style layout. Another unique factor is that although the front and rear pickups are located roughly in Jazz Bass territory, there isn’t a front+rear combination configured on the 5-way pickup selector switch. This is perhaps an insignificant matter to some, but the omission bucks a massive market trend that has persisted for the last 60 years and represents a subtle but bold statement from the Ohioan instrument maker, “It may look classic, but this isn’t your Grandpa’s bass.”

Details, Details

With a body made from korina and gorgeously spray finished in Periwinkle Burst (as our tester was), Korina Burst, or Alpine Burst, mated to a beautiful satin-finished, 5-piece maple and walnut neck that’s topped by either a roasted maple or rosewood fretboard, the 34” scale length Korean-made Triad would seem to come compositionally suited to produce a host of classic bass tones. More modern appointments and design language differentiate this instrument from the stalwarts of years past, however. Those features include the lightweight Hipshot Ultralight tuners, dual-action truss rod, medium oval neck profile, exposed-rail humbucking/narrow aperture Jazz Bomb pickups, and of course the body shape and styling – as well as the option to string through the body, rather than top mount, if desired.

Reverend Guitars Triad Bass

Construction and feature set aside, the true soul and value proposition of this classy 4-stringer lies in its 5-position pickup selector, and the specific switching options Reverend chose! From closest to the neck to closest to the bridge, the layout is as follows: 1.) neck pickup soloed, 2.) neck and middle pickups, 3.) middle pickup soloed, 4.) middle and bridge pickups, and 5.) bridge pickup soloed. The passive control scenario is dead simple, involving simply a master volume and tone control. This lets the coil combinations do the talking, and they have a surprising deep vocabulary!

Three’s Company

If you’re unfamiliar with the almost unbelievable variance in timbre (sonic signature) that moving a pickup an inch or two forward or backward offers, the Triad makes for a great teaching tool. The neck, middle, and bridge pickups when soloed all have markedly very different tonalities, already producing usable approximations of a P-bass and a rear pickup-soloed J-bass, aside from the authoritative and clear voice of the middle pickup. But the combinations of neck/middle and middle/bridge produce much less archetypical tones that I found highly engaging and interesting, and which in fact ended up being my favorite stops along that selector switch’s path. Rather than trying (and failing) to describe those pickup pairings in prose, I’d suggest watching the review video to hear them for yourself! Pickup selections are clearly labeled during the playing examples.

Reverend Guitars Triad Bass

Undeniably a bass guitar that I’d expect to appeal most to someone in the market for a classic-yet-different (read: not necessarily an “FSO”) option; a player that appreciates passive electronics, categorically vintage pickup sound, and a healthy intermixing of chrome, paint, and wood; the Triad offers quite an exceptional value both tonally and monetarily. You’d be hard pressed to find all of these sonic signatures in any other single bass, and the fit and finish are commensurate with its peers in the same overseas-manufactured, low to mid-$1,000s market category. Cheers to Reverend for choosing the path less traveled with the Triad!

SPECIFICATION

Reverend Guitars Triad Bass
Manufacture:Reverend Guitars
Website:https://reverendguitars.com/basses/triad/
Model:Triad Bass
Made In:Korea, set up by Reverend in Toledo, OH
Warranty:1-year limited warranty
Body:Korina
Neck:5-piece maple and walnut
Fingerboard:Rosewood (as tested) or roasted maple
Weight:8 lbs, 12 oz
Bridge/color:String-thru-body or top-load, 3/4" spacing / chrome
Nut Type:42mm width, Boneite
Tuners/color:Hipshot Ultralight / chrome
Knobs/color:Chrome
Control cavity cover:Front-mounted plate, chrome
Pickups:Three Jazz Bomb humbucking pickups
Preamp:N/A
Controls:Master volume, passive tone
Body Finish:Thin gloss poly finish: Periwinkle Burst (as tested), Korina Burst, Alpine Burst
Neck Finish:Satin Amber finish
Scale Length:34”
Number of Frets/Positions:21
Strings:Nickel plated steel
Gauge:.045-.100
Fingerboard Radius12”
Accessories:Optional two-tone hardshell case (as tested)
Price:$1,439 list, $1,199 Street
Reverend Guitars Triad Bass case
Reverend Guitars Triad Bass