A Little Red CorvetteWildwoodians of the bass realm, engage your drool shields because we are about to introduce you to the Reverend Sentinel. The Reverend Sentinel is the four-string equivalent of a little red Corvette: it's faster than Crisco-coated lightning, it has plenty of muscle, and heads will turn if you pull up to the spot with one! Its short scale-length means that there's very little tension on the strings, so it has a gloriously slinky handfeel that allows you to play faster for longer. And, it has a deceptively versatile electronic system that allows you to get the right sound in a wide variety of genres. Let's take a closer look and see why the Sentinel is such a blast to play!
Short-Scale SweetnessThere's a lot to say about how great these Sentinels sound, but first I have to talk about how incredibly easy they are to play. For bassists accustomed to the typical 34" scale-length, the fast feel and easy playability of a short-scale bass can almost make you feel like you're cheating. You may find yourself feeling guilty after a couple tunes because it feels almost wrong to produce so much low-end with so little effort.
Once the initial shock subsides and you become acclimated to the 30" scale, all sorts of new possibilities open up. The closer fret proximity allows you to make bigger stretches more easily, and the lower string tension allows you to fly up and down the neck with ease. Quickly, you'll find that you can focus more on the nuances of your performances because you aren't being distracted by left-hand fatigue. Basically, it shortens the gap between the moment you have a creative impulse and the moment you put that impulse into action. In that sense, the Sentinel is a powerful creative tool.
The short scale-length also shapes the Sentinel's sound in an inspiring way. Because there's less string tension, there is more "give" to the attack, meaning that you get a lovely percussive attack before the note quickly blooms into full resonance. Short-scale basses like the Sentinel also tend to have a warmer timbre, giving them a dash of upright bass flavor.
Of course, the actual neck itself is quite comfortable. It's Reverend's classic medium oval, and it's slim enough to feel fast but substantial enough that you feel like you have something to grip on to. It also has a 12" radius, which allows you to set the action lower without losing depth or fullness of tone.
A Note About AccessibilityObviously, the Sentinel's incredible playability is great for all bass players. But, it also provides players who otherwise might not be able to work a long-scale bass with a ticket to the Low-End Realm. Long-scale basses are ferocious beasts, and they can present quite a challenge to players with small hands, short arms, or health problems.
This subject is near and dear to me because I (Trevor, Wildwood's resident Web Scribe and sole member of the Bass Department), am a gigging bassist with lupus. Thankfully, I am able to manage the disease through diet and medication, but there are times when it flares up and gives me arthritic symptoms in my joints. In those moments, I am thankful that there are basses as easy to play as the Sentinel because I know that I will still be able to bring the rumble even if my health worsens in the future. So, the Sentinel gets me quite excited, because it allows everyone to experience the joys of bass!
P-Blades of GlorySpeaking of low-end joy, the P-Blade pickup and three-way switch on the Sentinel give you access to three truly delightful tones. Why does a one-pickup instrument have a three-way switch? Well, Joe Naylor designed an awesome new set of electronics that allows you to change the pickup's voicing on the fly. With a flick of the wrist, you can go from normal to bright to deep in the blink of an eye. Being able to change your sound so much so quickly opens up lots of avenues of expression, and it also lets you match your tone to the situation with ease.
Each setting sounds awesome, too. The "normal" setting is actually quite extraordinary. Low notes sound warm and huge without sacrificing clarity, the highs are meaty and round, and the midrange packs a walloping punch. It provides an excellent foundation for other instruments, but it has enough presence to avoid getting lost in the mix. It's the sort of tone that would work beautifully for just about any genre under the sun.
You won't lose the Sentinel in the mix when you're on the "bright" setting, either. The low-end is still quite robust, but it does become tighter. The midrange becomes more focused, and the highs snarl and bite a bit more when you dig in. Overall, it sounds brash and bold, perfect for more aggressive moments or for when you need to slice through the mix.
The "deep" setting lives up to its name. The low-end becomes cavernous and chocolate-y, the highs become velvety and smooth, and the midrange takes on a vocal quality. All in all, this sound reminds me of a vintage Gibson bass, so it's perfect for when you need some old-school thump (speaking of which, this bass is an excellent candidate for flatwounds if you want even more vintage vibe!).
Being able to switch between these three sounds so quickly allows you to adapt easily to any musical situation. So, though the Sentinel may only have one pickup, it is a tremendously versatile instrument full of inspiring sounds.
Standing SentinelI've used the words "easy" and "easily" a combined six times in this piece of writing, and though that may mean I need to invest in a thesaurus, it summarizes the delights of the Sentinel quite succinctly: it makes bass easy. Whether you're a long-scale player looking for a little red Corvette to drive on the weekends, a studio musician looking for a versatile tool, a guitarist looking to dip their toes into the wonderful world of bass, a beginner looking for a friendly starter bass, or you're just looking for something fresh and exciting, you will have a blast playing the Sentinel.
|Finish Color||Midnight Black|
|Neck Wood||3-Piece Korina|
|Neck Dimensions||.810 1st - .910 12th|
|Width at Nut||1.650"|
|Controls||Volume, Tone, 3-Way Selector (Normal, Bright, and Deep Settings)|
|Bridge||Lock Down String-Thru-Body or Top-Load, 3/4" spacing|
|Tuners||Hipshot Ultralight, 1/2" Diameter Shaft|
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