Thanks for visiting this site. My name is Meaulnes Laberge (a.k.a. Mo for some) and I am the builder behind ML Basses.
Each instrument I build are hand made and a project on its own. I believe the energy and attention that goes into them, gives it character and somewhat of a soul.
While I try to standardize my designs for consistency, I like to have the freedom of improving constantly by changing small details. Using light fixtures and quality tools, give me the flexibility to do that and to easily customize an instrument if needed.
The instruments I create are meant to be a "tool to make music" and not only an art-piece that could compromise playability. I also don't do replica of classic brand models, especially the ones still produced today. I do have influences but each of my designs are original. My clientele mostly consists of musicians wanting something unique, of high quality but still relatively affordable. I rarely do super fancy stuff for these reasons. I also feel that when an instrument is too over-the-top, it somehow takes away from the music. I like simple functional designs, with tasty curves and impeccable details.
The look of an instrument is important but subjective to personal taste. What I think really differentiate high quality, is performance and reliability. For me, a great musical instrument must be inspirational to play by how it feels and sounds, and durable to last many generations. It is a balance between ergonomic, acoustic, physic and art, and the execution can't be rushed. Superb instruments take time to build. Each step is accomplished carefully, and in respect with how wood and materials behave. One of the principles is that each element of an instrument should come together like a puzzle and nothing should be forced-in unwantedly. An instrument stability and structural longevity depends on construction, material choice and it capacity to hold the strings tension and adapt to climate change.
Especially in solid body construction, I beleive what is really at the source of tone is how the strings vibrate. Of course, tone comes first from the player hands but the way the instrument is designed and built determine how responsive the strings are. While the pickups are an important part of tone, they can only capture what the instrument gives. As of life it self, it is all about energy transfer and lost. When the player plugs the strings, it directs energy to the strings which is partially transferred to the neck and body of the instrument. Some of this energy instantly re-bounces back to the strings. All this movement and exchange of energy defines the way the strings vibrate and respond to the player nuances and techniques. Some designs and materials suck-up life out of vibrations and my goal is to create instruments that amplifies them, and give the player a wider dynamic range. The more frequencies and harmonics content left in the string, the more tone and versatility the instrument can deliver and the better the musicians experience. These are the basic principles I research on.
I earned my skills through more than 20 years in the field. In the early 90's, I first studied Violin making, for 3 years, and also learned how to make Classical Guitars. Still today, these two classic instruments really contribute to my work. I later did repairs, assisted high-end builders and for the last then years, I have been working in R&D for some major guitar manufacturers in Canada and United States, developing products for the broader market.
Between these times, I went through various building phases making instrument for musicians and slowly developing my designs. I decided to officially create my bass brand in 2011.
I am also lucky to have on my side my loving wife and daughter, Betsy and Zoe, supporting what I do and helping. After 10 years traveling the continent for work, we recently returned back to Canada to find stability and be closer to our family.
Betsy and I have also been playing music together since the late 90's, making original music with other musicians we met along the way. Ultimately, it's all about music. I'm grateful do be part of it and I hope it translates in each instruments I built.