Sardonyx Bass

Bass Guitar

The Sardonyx Bass is an electric bass used by Andre Cymone and Sonny T. It is notable for its unusual body shape, which inspired the Dave Rusan Cloud Guitar. It has two P-style diagonal EMG pickups near the neck and an EMG humbucker near the bridge. It appears in the "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad", "My Name Is Prince" and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" videos. Andre Cymone discussed it in a Premier Guitar article about the Cloud guitar.

Prince bought the Sardonyx Bass for Andre Cymone in 1978. Prince was in California to record his debut album, accompanied by Andre. Andre saw the bass in a store but was unable to afford it, so Prince bought the bass for him. Andre used the bass in the video for "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad". After Andre left the band, the bass remained in Prince's collection. It inspired the Dave Rusan Cloud Guitar, which appeared in the Purple Rain movie. Sonny T later played the Sardonyx in a few videos in the early 1990s. It is in the collection at Paisley Park and appears in the Prince - Guitar & Bass book

We had a day off, so we just got in the car and drove. I spotted a shop in San Rafael, we popped in, and I saw the bass. I played it and fell in love, but I didn’t have the cash at the time, so I asked Prince to buy it and he did. I’m not completely sure who the maker was—I haven’t seen it since I left the band. I was pretty surprised when I saw him playing a guitar version. I’d never seen anything like that before.

Used By

  • Prince, Andre Cymone
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