The Fender Six String Bass and The Fender Bass VI, Fender actually named this guitar, The Fender VI.
model UB2. Many recordings during the late 1950’s through the 1960’s featured this Danelectro six string bass, played with a pick with the high end accentuated. The sound was refered to as Tic-Tac, and the tic-tac bass was a new arsenal to add a special sound to recorded popular music. Some players strung these basses with extra heavy guitar strings and tuned down a fifth to get a baritone guitar sound. Duane Eddy specialized in this sound and he used a Danelectro instrument.
Fender Jazzmaster, however the upper horn had more of a curve.
The first model employed three single pole passive pickups with metal pickup rings and three single throw switches to turn each on or off. The neck had a 30” scale and a 7.25” radius. By bass standards, the neck was extremely thin. The guitar was equipped with a Fender Floating Tremolo that had a long bar, once again similar to the accoutrements of a Jazzmaster.
strings were wound, the tone was quite different from that of a guitar. The tuning was much different from modern five or six string basses, which extend beyond low E.
John Entwhistle, and Rick Huxley of the Dave Clark Five. Robert Smith of The Cure and other such as Glen Campbell utilized it as a lead instrument. The Fender VI was an excellent crossover instrument for guitarists. Harrison and Lennon both utilized it on their recordings. It is easy to play chords on this instrument and the short scale helps guitarists that are used to guitar necks as opposed to bass necks.
The tremolo bar on this instrument did not win many fans and did not receive much use. Though well designed, the Fender VI was not at all popular. From its inception to its demise, less than 800 units were manufactured.
Although Mr. Fender meant for this instrument to be an actual bass, many guitarists set it up as a baritone guitar and tuned it from A to A or B to B, using extra heavy guitar strings.
During Fender’s transition years, all manufacturing moved to Japan. In 1996, a ’62 reissue of the Fender VI was offered.
Fender VI was priced at $400. Though the Fender instrument was far superior to the Danelectro six-string bass, the Danelectro model, priced at less than $150 in 1961, was more popular. Guitarists saw this as a side instrument and were not willing to spend the extra cash.
Jaguar Bass VI Custom, There were several differences in this guitar. The body had a Jaguar shape. It came with only two pickups with Jaguar switching options and the neck scale was 28.5”. The bridge was fixed instead of having a tremolo.
At present, Fender no longer offers the Fender VI. One offshoot of the Fender VI was the Fender Jaguar guitar which was introduced in 1962.