Made in Moscow in the mid - seventies. The shape of this instrument is so cheesy - I wonder why there are no other instruments inspired by its design! We've got many pictures but no specifications. If anybody had a chance to play this beauty, please inform us!
The price tag says 130 roubles, which is not too much (for such a cool-looking bass). The bass was made at Moscow Experimental Factory of Musical Instruments - the same factory where some cool Soviet stompboxes were made - check out this fuzzwah. The neckplates feature the factory's street address, so you can try to send them a letter. Another nice detail you should pay attention to is how the bass with the red pickguard is strung (enlarge the headstock picture). This is the only right way to put strings on cheesy guitars!
A couple of words about how it plays (sent to us by Maxim Zolotarev):
Well, a neck of this guitar little bit narrow, therefore to play with fingers – It is very convenient. If you put good strings – guitar will sound rather decently. Though general loudness is not great - because the pickups on this guitar are Russian ;)
A general impression from playing on Roden bass is the cardinal image differs from basses - guitars under the name Ural. Rodens pretty close to sound like guitars of the Western and American sample. Despite of this, everyone who has Roden (in Russia ;) wants to get rid of this guitar and to get, may be not American, but, at least the Chinese guitar ;)
And here's another letter about Roden:
The Roden is a very unique bass. The neck feel like it was made out
of a baseball bat. It is, however, surprisingly easy to play (in spite of
its squared neck) and sounds pretty good. I have had a lot of friends play
it and love it. Everyone who has played it has at first balked at its square
neck, but later comment on how amazingly easy your hand slides over the
neck. There are the normal knobs, but the buttons are from another planet!
Below the bridge there are 2 black selector buttons, and the only way I can
describe them is to have you imagine an old-fashioned blender: the buttons
sit on an axis, you can push it down on the top, leave it in the center
(off-position), or down on the bottom. These buttons select between the
pickups, but also the sound each one produces. When the switch is pushed in
on top; the pick-up comes in full and a little clean. When the switch is
pushed in on bottom; three pick-up has a low fuzzy tone.
- Valerie Carrell
Neckplate of Roden #1 - 1975 (without serial number).
Another neckplate from '1975 Roden (with serial number).
MMP RSFSR (Ministry of Musical industry, Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic)
Moscow Experimental factory of Musical instruments
Electric Bass Guitar
art 423 r price 130 roubles
rst RSFSR 508-75
119121 Moscow, 1st Rujeinikov p., 16
made in USSR
Studio 1525 - via ebay
Maxim Zolotarev - Russia
Lordbizzare - Belgium
Valerie Carrell - USA