Here is a vintage 1968 Kustom K200D electric semi-hollowbody bass guitar. This particular example, serial number 2920, is in very excellent all original condition! Often likened to a Ricknbacker 4005, and for good reason, the Kustom K200D is a surprisingly great bass. Recently garnering both serious attention from collectors and players alike, it is often perceived as the coolest option for a very well-made vintage semi-hollowbody bass. This K200 features an unusually figured bird’s-eye maple body with a natural Blonde finish. Aside from a repaired pickguard cracks around the input jack, this example is in perfectly structural, 100% all original, condition. As used by Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend, this bass is practical for bass players of most styles.
Serial Number: 2920
Pickup Date Stamp: AUG 6 1968, AUG 7 1968
Pot codes: 134 6829
Weight: 8 lbs. 3 oz.
This ’68 Kustom K200D features: a sandwiched (2-piece) book-matched semi-hollowbody maple body construction, a 2-piece maple neck with maple neck, bolt-on neck construction, a rosewood fingerboard with zero fret and centered dot inlays, factory screw-mounted metal nut, Kluson tuning machines with clover metal buttons, (2) DynaSonic DeArmond single-coil pickups, a compensated bridge, a top-mounted reverse trapeze tailpiece, traditional (2) volume and (2) tone controls, a 3-way selector switch, (4) chrome insert black fluted 7-point knobs, white plastic pickguard, an no case.
Unlike the Kustom K200 guitars, which have incredibly thin neck profiles, the Kustom K200D bass features a very healthy medium-depth round C neck shape. Very comfortable, and accessible for both bass and guitar players, the feel of the neck is fantastic, the action is low, and the neck angle is conducive to incredible playability. The DeArmond DynaSonic pickups combine with the semi-hollowbody construction to create an absolutely gorgeous tonal quality: highly transparent, yet abundantly warm, it really does satisfy a very special niche.
With the price of a Ric 4005 exceeding $10,000.00, it’s no surprise players prefer this model at $2,000.00, as the two are more alike than not, with the highly adjustable action of the Kustom K200 surpassing the tragic set-neck disappointments inherent with Rickebacker’s basses. Yes, the neck is straight, and the truss rod works perfectly. The action is currently quite low, but could probably be adjusted to accommodate even lower action.
The white plastic pickguard is rather crude, so an original-style reproduction could easily be crafted. Otherwise, there is a small area of belt-buckle rash on the back, a scratch on the Kustom waterslide decal on the headstock, and several random dings on the back of the neck. It is very light weight, and tips the scale at 8 lbs. 3 oz., less than most guitars!
While the WineBurst (purple-blue sunburst) finish is considered by some to be the most interesting, and the cherry red finish seems to be the most common, the simple natural finish is probably the most rare. Furthermore, the natural finish further promotes the association with Rickenbacker, as it closely resembles MapleGlo. Of all the Kustom guitars and basses I have owned and enjoyed, this particular example easily has the most exotic figured maple, and I have yet to see another similar.