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The Philip Mann Signature Series

Overwater Basses first approached Philip with the proposition of designing and manufacturing a signature j-bass in the fall of 2017.

Despite the more recent publicity surrounding their affiliation, Philip's relationship with Chris May and his wonderful team of luthiers actually commenced way back in 2002, whilst preparations were being made for a European tour with fusion guitarist, Tolis Zavaliaris.

Music careers tend to continually demand the evolution of instrumentation - thankfully they also have the tendency to move in fads. This was very much the case in 2002, as while preparations for Greece evolved, an additional run of shows with a Pat Metheny big band conveniently commenced. Both contracts were predominately fretless bookings, so the necessity (and opportunity) for investment prevailed. The proposed list of specifications was met by one of Chris May's innovations, the 'Progress III'.

From then until now, it's been these instruments that have become an intricate part of every chapter of Philip's career; from international bass guitar exhibitions, to an array of touring stages shows, theatre productions and recordings.

"The simplest way to describe my signature model j-bass is to envision it as a 'Progress III' presented in a traditional housing. Everything from the fretboard radius, number of frets, onboard electronics and neck construction have been designed with this instrument in the forefront of my mind". 

- Philip Mann

Little did anyone know at the time that the 'Philip Mann Custom J' would become the blueprint for an entire range of basses to be sold worldwide.

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Bass Guitar Magazine advertisement, circ. '17

WBIM - Overwater Avatar Photo (With PM)

Overwater advertisement, circ. '20

Philip Mann Signature Series

The 'PM Signature series is Philip's envision and attempt at refining Leo Fender's timeless and seminal design. This modernisation was featured in Overwater's initial advertisement campaign, published in Bass Guitar Magazine, circ. '17

Flagship Specifications:

Scale Length: 24 fret, 34ins (thru body construction).

Neck: 3 piece Maple quarter sawn, extended bolt-on.

Body: Swamp Ash (natural satin finish).

Top: Figured Ash (matching headstock veneer).

Fretboard: Rosewood, white binding with Abalone block inlays.

Pick-ups: Bartolini Original Dual Coil J (hum cancelling).

Electronics: Bartolini HR-4.6AP/918 (Active/Passive circuit).

Layout: Vol-Blend-Mid (250-800Hz parametric) Bass/Treble stack.

Bridge: Hipshot A-style (18mm spacing).

Tuners: Hipshot Ultra-Lite.

Control Knobs: East Tone ltd - Fender Style.

The concept behind the instrument's construction was simple: attempt to transcend as many Progress III features as possible into a more traditional housing. So, although aesthetic comparisons can be drawn between this and the design of a  traditional j-bass, on closer inspection, you'll discover a true wolf in sheep's clothing.


All Philip Mann signature models are 100% customisable, so, despite PMs personal preferences on electronics and hardware, there are naturally a sea of beautiful and stylish variations in circulation - all derived from the original design; 'Foghorn'.

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Developing the prototype (aka 'Marvin'), with Overwater's Chris May

For more information please contact: Overwater Basses        |       +44 (0) 1228 590591

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