Up for sale, a circa 1965 Apps Enterprises Tap-A-Bass in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Exceedingly rare in any capacity, and even more so in the Upright configuration seen here, the Tap-A-Bass is a foot controlled one octave electric bass. Utterly unique in its design and implementation of the foot-controlled bass concept, the Tap-A-Bass was designed by O.W. Appleton, manufactured and sold through a single music store owned by Appleton.
Designed to anchor beneath a piano with adjustable upright supports similar in concept to a tension pole lamp, the Tap-A-Bass is tuned C to C, with "white keys" carved from maple, and "black keys" carved from black walnut. When a pedal is pressed, a machined metal hammer strikes a string which resonates in close proximity to a disc-shaped pickup. All 13 notes function consistently, with the hammers connected to a universal rail so that all keys stay level and the response consistently. All original pickups have strong signal, with a 1/4" input jack on the left side of the unit and small volume dial. And as Appleton designed his own string winding machine and made all his strings in-house, this Tap-A-Bass appears to retain even its original (still very viable) strings, unique from any other vintage or modern manufacturer. The strings are wound on original open-gear tuning machines with white buttons.
The black fiberglass outer shell is in excellent shape, retaining the polished aluminum Tap-A-Bass logo. The Apps Enterprises label is also fully intact and remarkably clean on the back of the unit in the upper left corner.
Only a handful of Tap-A-Bass units have survived to the present day, and of the few still in circulation, none are the Upright model seen here. For unique, nigh prototypical instruments created in the heyday of Rock n Roll and USA instrument manufacture, you'd be hard pressed to find a piece quite like Apps Tap-A-Bass.