Tim Lefebvre on His LEH Guitars Offset 5-String Bass

The legendary bassist recently electrified sold-out crowds at New York’s Blue Note Club with his newly acquired custom build

Tim Lefebvre on His LEH Guitars Offset 5-String Bass

The legendary bassist recently electrified sold-out crowds at New York’s Blue Note Club with his newly acquired custom build

Tim Lefebvre is a trailblazer in the world of bass for many reasons. His highly influential playing has captivated listeners spanning his illustrious career working with David Bowie, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Black Crowes, Wayne Krantz, Elvis Costello, Empire of the Sun, Chris Botti, and many others. His bass lines have graced countless movies and television shows including The Sopranos, 30 Rock, Oceans Twelve, and The Departed. As a producer and session ace, his many recordings have earned Grammy nominations and inspired bassists and musicians all over the world. 

In addition to his playing, Lefebvre serves as one of the greatest influencers regarding gear in the bass world. His knowledge and innovative use of pedals, amps, and basses has a wide reach when it comes to low enders, as he is always on the cutting edge of what’s next. When Lefebvre uses a new piece of gear, it’s certain that countless bass players will cop that item and add it to their own personal arsenal. That’s why when he recently acquired an LEH Guitars Offset 5-string, his many followers took notice. Then when videos emerged of him rocking the bass during his sold-out performances at the Blue Note, New York alongside drummer Nate Smith and keyboardist Jason Linder, the whole music world went ablaze. 

“That bass just absolute killed. There was nothing I threw at it that it didn’t handle perfectly. It was nuts. If you could’ve heard the bass sound in that place, it was just monstrous.” 

When Lefebvre initially approached Ellis Hahn, builder and creator of LEH Guitars, he had a specific vision in mind for his ideal build. Over the course of a few months, the two worked closely together throughout the building process.  “I was really gunning for a rude ass Jazz Bass that wasn’t too modern sounding. That’s pretty much what I brought to the process of conceptualizing this with Ellis and it was a homerun. I went for all of the custom stuff that I like with the Darkglass tone pots and the Lollar pickups, which sound killer. This bass is exactly what I wanted and needed. And it was instantly playable. Done deal.”

The model that Ellis and Tim came up with features an Okoume partially chambered body finished in high gloss poly Olympic White, a quartersawn maple fingerboard and neck with black block inlays, finished in a thin matte nitro with thin oil finish on the back of the neck. The bass boasts Lollar Single Coil J pickups in 70’s location, Darkglass faders, Hipshot Ultralite Tuners, and a Hipshot vintage quick release Bridge. 

Hahn and Lefebfre

When the bass was ready, Lefebvre visited Hahn’s Portland, Oregon workshop to pick it up just in time for a performance that night, where he was instantly blown away. “The second I picked it up, this thing felt and sounded exactly how I wanted it to. There are two things that I take into consideration when I first get a bass: how it plays and how it sounds. There was no break-in for this thing whatsoever. I picked it up and was like, okay, gonna use this at my gig tonight. And that’s such a rare thing. Most basses take some time to set up and get in working condition for how I want them. Now I’m bringing this bass to everything.” 

Since he acquired it, the bass became Lefebvre’s main 5-string, and he has already used it for numerous performances and sessions. “It records so well in the studio and the overarching thing about it is how usable it is. I got it and used it at my performance that night and I’ve been using it since. It’s a workhorse. There’s no question about it. When I need a Jazz Bass sound, there’s no debating it, this is the one I’m going to lean into. It’s absolutely blown me away.” 

For More on Lefebvre: Click Here & Here

About LEH Guitars

Ellis Hahn began their guitar making career in 2002 apprenticing at a repair shop in Chicago. Three years later, Ellis decided to move to NYC and jumped at the chance to work at Sadowsky Guitars, widely considered the best luthiers in the city. Ellis was originally hired to do fret work and body sanding back, but moved on to final assembly in 2006 and by 2013 became the shop manager. Working at the Sadowsky shop allowed them to hone their repair skills and at the same time grow into a professional guitar maker. Over the course of their 16-year tenure, he built at least a thousand instruments. While Ellis has been building instruments since 2002, the first bass with “LEH” on the headstock was built in 2011 and the first Offset was completed in 2018. The Offset was designed to be the first “repeatable” bass design, but also put to work so many of the ideas and improvements to the classic “Fender” building style that Ellis had been ruminating on for years. In 2021, Ellis left their job at Sadowsky guitars and moved west to work at LEH full time. The years since have been nothing short of a dream come true. 


Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine