About Us

Neil Jason

After a career spanning 50 plus years with over 500 album credits, thousands of commercial jingles, movie soundtracks and TV shows, multiple top 10 hits and working with legendary artists like Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Luciano Pavarotti, The Brecker Brothers, Diana Ross, Mark Knopfler, Paul Simon, Bryan Ferry, Hall & Oates, Eddie Van Halen, Brigitte Zarie, Cyndi Lauper, John McLaughlin, Gene Simmons (KISS), Peter Criss (KISS) & Gladys Knight what does one do for an encore?

Start a bass company, of course!

Having played/owned hundreds of instruments throughout his long and illustrious career, Neil Jason knows how a good bass is supposed to feel, sound, and perform under the most critical recording and live performance situations. It is from his life experience and desire to create a legacy quality instrument that Manhattan Prestige Basses was born.

Predicated on the belief that a great, professional instrument does not have to have an exorbitant price tag, Manhattan Prestige Basses’ first offering, the Session One, is an embodiment of that belief. Quality and simplicity are the keys to the Session One as Neil explains “I wanted to create an instrument that anybody could play, across all genres of music, at a reasonable price. Something that would be played now and well into the future. We wanted to create a legacy instrument and after a considerable amount of trial and error, I think we did it.”

“Being an owner of the company allows me direct, hands-on oversight on a day-to-day basis. This isn’t just something I am endorsing or signed my name to, this was built and designed from the ground up drawing on 50 years of real-world playing experience. I like to think we have created something that all bass players can relate to and use as they travel their own musical paths.”

“The Session One is our first offering but will certainly not be the last, we have a great product road map and will be offering bassists a variety of new and exciting instruments moving forward. I want to take a moment and thank everyone past and present for their support! To think that a kid who grew up in public housing in Brooklyn has been blessed to have the career I have and now own my own bass company, it has been an incredible journey, and it’s a long way from over!”

Contact Neil at contact@manhattanprestigebasses.com

Jack Thompson

With 33 years in the business of developing/producing/branding musical equipment and an encyclopedic knowledge of professional wrestling, Jack is considered by many the Roy Disney to Neil’s Walt Disney (Google it kids.) Being a bass player himself for over 41 years, when Neil reached out to Jack with an idea to start a bass company it was an immediate “Yes!”.

“Honestly, for years people had been coming at Neil to endorse instruments but were never too keen on taking his feedback or ideas in the product development stage. As with a lot of famous musicians, these companies just wanted to slap a name on a bass, take some pictures and watch the sales roll in. Why you would not want legitimate input from one of the most successful bassists around is a bit beyond me but having been in this industry as long as I have, it was not all that surprising.”

Jack further elucidates (as he has a propensity to do) “The bass market has seen tremendous progression in addition to substantial regression in recent years. Are they basses? Guitars? Rhythm guitars? Mutated percussion instruments? How many pickups are necessary and how many laminates of wood do you need to create a good instrument?”

“Neil and I decided to go back to square one and start from the ground up. Seriously, the key here wasn’t reinventing the wheel, just making it more round. We started with an alder body-simple and direct. No other wood has been on more chart topping hits than alder, this is a simple and definable fact. The bass had to have an amazing neck, 90% of a bass is the neck. If the neck isn’t happening, neither is the rest of the bass. We took over a year and a half just to develop the neck on the Session One and it was worth every minute. Balance and weight are critical, it had to be light and balance in both sitting and standing positions-we got that right. Electronics and hardware had to be of great quality and in line with the rest of the bass. There is a synergy to any good instrument and both Neil and I feel we achieved it on the Session One.”

“Long story short, we got all the nuances that would define a world class professional instrument correct. Neil was able to test the prototypes on the Bryan Ferry world tour and put the basses through an intense road schedule. Not a lot of companies get to beta test their products at Royal Albert Hall. I have to say, it was quite the thrill to see something you have dedicated a serious amount of time and effort towards come to fruition at a sold-out Royal Albert Hall. Pretty cool.”

Jack continues (and we have to let him as he is co-owner and signs the checks) “The Session One is our first but by no means last instrument. As Neil has said, we have a substantial product road map and look forward to bringing new, quality products to market in the very near future. I would like to thank all the folks that offered opinions and assistance during development and most importantly Neil for inviting me along on this journey.”

Contact Jack (He needs a friend) at jack@manhattanprestigebasses.com

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