There’s always a better way to make… everything!
By Jon Liebman
Week of December 28, 2020
I first met Tomm Stanley in London about 5 years ago. Though he lives all the way in far-off New Zealand, we’ve become good friends, corresponding often and seeing each other in person as much as possible. So it was great fun doing a one-on-one Facetime chat with Tomm for the interview we published this week on FBPO.
Tomm is the founder of Stonefield Musical Instrument Company, maker of some of the most outstanding basses I’ve ever played.
Before he launched Stonefield, I can’t say Tomm was completely unsatisfied with the basses that were commercially available, but, given the way his mind works, he’s always felt that certain things could be made better, whether it meant improvements in tone, balance, ease of playing, or a hundred other things.
It turns out his ideas are amazing!
“I actually sat and wrote out a list of things,” Tomm says, “that, over the years, I’d wondered why these things are not on bass guitars.”
The list included things like floating bridges, a wider variety of tone options, and a more optimum body shape, to name just a few items that are part of a never-ending quest to make an overall better instrument.
“I started experimenting with, ‘What would I want in a bass?’ Tomm says. “That’s where the company’s slogan, The bass you’ve always wanted, came from.”
One thing led to another and before he knew it, Tomm had built a few basses. Right away, he knew he was on to something and thought, “Man, this would be so neat to do this for a living. And why not?”
Stonefield basses feature Tomm’s signature tuning system, a multitude of frequency controls, specially angled neck, and other features that make his basses really stand out.
But Tomm’s obsession is not limited to basses. Determined to find a way to get great sound – and great power – out of a lightweight amp, he introduced the Stonefield Mighty Mini, the Mini Plus, and the Sub Mini amplifiers. Barely three feet tall, the right configuration will deliver up to 500 watts. They “absolutely just shake the walls!” Tomm says.
It just goes to show you that, no matter how good a product is, there’s always some aspect of it that can be improved. It’ll be interesting to see what Tomm and other like-minded bass makers come up with next. I for one am eager to find out!
How about you? Have a thought on the subject? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. In the meantime, check out my interview with Tomm here.