Mike Rutherford Reviews the Marathon Six
Article by Mike Rutherford in November 1979 'Sound International' (Original scans)

MARATHON - IN THE RUNNING
Reviewed by: Mike Rutherford
SHERGOLD MARATHON SIX STRING BASS
Price: £258.53
Genesis man Mike Rutherford with Shergold Marathon I first discovered Shergold in the form of one of their twelve string models. I now seem to have a fair few Shergold guitars in various jigsaw patterns so I can alternate them on my double neck. Although I have a sliced up bass that fits the double neck, I don't, as yet have a six string bass.

So what's the advantage of a six-string bass anyway? The first advantage must go to the guitarist who's decided to take up bass, not an uncommon thing to happen. A guitarist will be used to using six strings and the change over will require less adaptation. Of course this also works the other way. It's not the bass to get if it's you first instrument. You need to be an experienced player to be able to work fully within its capabilities.

Of course its other advantage is the fact that you have more scope, there's more that you can do. For a start you can actually play chords, though it's best to keep it to the top four strings otherwise it tends to sound muddy. It does have as much depth as an ordinary bass so it doesn't have to be used entirely for melody. In fact as an ordinary bass this Shergold works well, with a nice mellow sound up on the high notes.

The neck is 30" of Maple, with a double octave maple fingerboard, apparently available fretted or fretless. This one is fretted. It's good to see a nice wide neck on it. I've got a Fender six-string bass and the neck is too thin to be able to really use it to its fullest. There's plenty of room on this one to do a bit of jumping. Its general size is very comfortable to play, though your wrists would have needed to have developed some strength to play it for extended periods. The nut is made of brass, the truss rod is counter adjustable. And the whole thing is encases in polyurethane.

The pickups which are Shergold's own, are very bright and very toppy, which I particularly like. They feel quite powerful and used in conjunction with the tone controls give a fine range of variables in sound.

The bridge is fully adjustable with each string individually supported in brass saddles. It appears solid and extensive adjustment is available for both height and length.

The actual body itself is selected hardwood 'chosen for stability and weight.' It really is nicely finished, well cut for playability and comfort and covered in lustre polyester. The overall fell is quite heavy but not too heavy for me. After all I've been humping a double-neck around for long enough.

Everything about this guitar looks good to me. The machine heads do the job well, stay in tune and don't slip. The frets are shallow which makes it easier to play and overall it has a nice feel.

It should be mentioned too that it's available in five colours: cherry, white, black, natural and sunburst.

At £258.53 this is well worth the money; excellent value. It's particularly well suited for intricate music and also acoustic songs as it has very delicate qualities.